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Biblical Studies

Admissions RequirementsAdmissions ProceduresAdmissions Application

The PhD in Biblical Studies prepares persons for teaching in colleges and international theological institutions, for scholarship, and for denominational leadership.  Students develop a major in either Old Testament or New Testament and a minor in the other testament or another area of the theological curriculum, e.g,  theology, ethics, church history (Roman era), to name a few.  Students are prepared with a comprehensive understanding of the theological, cultural, hermeneutical and exegetical issues facing contemporary biblical study.  In addition, as other students in the Garrett-Evangelical PhD program, students are equipped to address the inter-disciplinary issues in theological study.

Pre-requisites for Admissions:

  • Basic knowledge of Hebrew and Greek (one-year each) 
  • MTS or MDiv that includes at least 4 biblical studies courses

 Requirements: 40 semester hours[1]

  •  7 semester hours of core courses required for all Ph.D. students
    Hermeneutics (3)
    Teaching Seminar (2)
    Research Seminar (2)
  • 9 semester hours in core biblical studies courses 
    Biblical Interpretation (3)
    Issues in Biblical History and Archeology (3)
    Biblical Theology (3)
  • 9-12 semester hour major in OT or NT
  • 6-9 semester hour minor in the other testament or another area of the theological curriculum
  • 6- 9 semester hours in electives (determined with advisor)
  • 3 languages: Hebrew, Greek, and a modern language to enhance international and interdisciplinary study of biblical research and scholarship.
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination covering the following areas:
    (1) Major area
    (2) Minor area
    (3) Focused area of research
    (4)Open – to be determined with adviser
  • Dissertation prospectus to be discussed and approved at the time of the oral examination or within three months following the satisfactory completion of oral exam, as negotiated with advisor.
  • Dissertation


 Present faculty members in biblical studies have focused research on cultural, literary, and historical approaches to biblical study, the ethics of biblical research, and the impact of biblical studies in global Christianity.  Key faculty assisting with the program include:

  • Cheryl Anderson, Associate Professor of Old Testament
  • Julie Duncan, Associate Professor of Old Testament
  • G. Brooke Lester, Affiliate Faculty in Biblical Studies
  • Jim Papandrea, Assistant Professor of Church History
  • Beth Sheppard, Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography; Director, United Library
  • Osvaldo Vena, Professor of New Testament
  • KK Yeo, Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament

Select Publications by Program Faculty in Biblical Studies:

Cheryl Anderson.  Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies: The Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Cheryl Anderson.  Women, Ideology, and Violence: Critical Theory and the Construction of Gender in the Book of the Covenant and the Deuteronomic Law.  London: T&T Clark, 2004.

Cheryl B. Anderson, "Reflections in an Interethnic/racial Era on Interethnic/racial Marriage in Ezra.”  In They Were All Together in One Place: Toward Minority Biblical Criticism.  Edited by Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Fernando F. Segovia.  Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.

Cheryl B. Anderson, "The Eighth Commandment: A Way to King's 'Beloved Community'?”  In The Ten Commandments: The Reciprocity of Faithfulness.  Edited by William P. Brown.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Julie A. Duncan.  "Book of Deuteronomy." In The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Julie A. Duncan.  "Excerpted Texts of Deuteronomy at Qumran." Revue de Qumran 18/69, 1996.

Julie A. Duncan. “4QDeuteronomy b, e, h, j, k1, k2, k3, l, m.” Discoveries in the Judean Desert XIV. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995.    

Duncan, Julie Ann. “New Readings for the ‘Blessing of Moses’ from Qumran.” Journal of Biblical Literature 114/2 (1995): 273-290.

Duncan, Julie Ann.  “Considerations of 4QDeutj in Light of the ‘All Souls Deuteronomy’ and Cave 4 Phylactery Texts.” Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Madrid, 18-21 March 1991, eds. J. Trebolle Barrera and L. Vegas Montaner, 199-215.  Leiden: Brill, 1992.

G. Brooke Lester.  “Admiring Our Savvy Ancestors: Abraham's and Jacob's Rhetoric of Negotiation” Koinonia XV (2003): 81-94.

G. Brook Lester.  “Hebrew Bible and Higher Education.”

Green, Jennifer S., G. Brooke Lester, and Joseph F. Scrivner.  Handbook to a Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Rev. ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Jim Papandrea.  The Wedding of the Lamb: A Historical Approach to the Book of Revelation. Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2010.

Jim Papandrea. At Home with the Word. Scripture Commentary Contributor, 2011 Lectionary Year Edition.  Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2010.

Jim Papandrea.  Pray (Not Just Say) The Lord’s Prayer. Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, 2009.

Beth Sheppard.  “Ruth” and “Baruch/Letter of Jeremiah”, Translator (Greek to English) for the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear LXX software program edition, Libronix Corp, David A. deSilva and Randall Tan.  Bellingham, WA: Bible Logos Inc., 2009.

Beth Sheppard.  “Another Look: Johannine ‘Subordinationist Christology’ and the Roman Family.”  In New Currents through John. Edited by Thomas Thatcher and Fransico Lozada.    Atlanta, GA:  Scholars Press, 2006.

Beth Sheppard. “The Rise of Rome:  The Emergence of a New Mode for Exploring the Context of the Fourth Gospel.” ATLA Proceedings 57 (2003): 175-187.

Osvaldo Vena.  The Parousia and Its Rereadings. The Development of the Eschatological Consciousness in the Writings of the New Testament. Studies in Biblical Literature  Vol. 27. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2001.

Osvaldo Vena.  Apocalipsis (Revelation). Justo L. González, general editor. Series “Conozca su Biblia.” Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2008.

Osvaldo Vena.  Evangelio de Marcos. Series “Comentarios para exégesis y traducción.” Edesio Sánchez and Esteban Voth editors. Miami, Florida: Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 2008.

Osvaldo Vena.“The Markan Construction of Jesus as Disciple of the Kingdom.”  In Mark: Texts @ Context Series.  Edited by Teresa Okure, Daniel M. Patte and Nicole Wilkinson Duran.  Fortress Press, 2010.

K. K. Yeo. Musing with Confucius and Paul. Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2008.

K.K. Yeo, ed. Navigating Romans through Cultures.  Edinburgh: Continuum, 2004.

K.K. Yeo. Biblical Rhetoric. (in Chinese)  Beijing: Religious Culture Press, 2007.

[1] 2-3 courses in a student’s coursework are to be taken from Northwestern University or another approved university or theological school.


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