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Office of Admissions
Mailing Address
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3945
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 467-1269

Theology and Ethics

The PhD in Theology and Ethics program prepares its students to pursue scholarship as teaching and writing theologians in the academy and the church. Our graduates teach in theological seminaries and undergraduate church-related colleges, as well as serve in denominational leadership .  The Concentration is based on an integration of theology and ethics, while allowing a student to have a major area of focus within the two. The Concentration presupposes that these disciplines cannot ultimately be separated from each other in Christian understanding.

  • Theology focus: Study of selected classical and contemporary theological constructions, with attention to their grounding in the broad stream of Christian tradition. It focusses particularly on biblical and Reformation trajectories that take seriously the issues raised in the modern and contemporary eras. A significant dimension of this engagement is the awareness of how theology contributes to moral deliberation, discourse and ethical praxis.
  • Ethics focus: Study of theological ethics or Christian social and political thought; study of a specific issue such as gender, race and class relations, war and peace, technology and culture, with attention devoted to related contextual, historical, and theological issues.


Admission Requirements:

    • Masters degree in religious or theological studies from an accredited college or university.
    • Proficiency in the English language. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to give evidence of such competence (demonstrated by a TOEFL score).


A completed application consists of:

  • Application
  • Research statement
  • Professional experience/Resume
  • Writing sample (15 pages)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy interrnal and federal requirements.

The admissions committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the Ph.D. program.


PhD (TE) Degree - 40 semester hours
TE Degree Grid

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required for all PhD students
  • 18-24 semester hours in theology, and/or ethics
  • 9-12 semester hours in a cognate concentration
  • 2 research tools: one in a language for academic research and a second research language or pertinent research methodology. A social science tool, such as ethnography, may require satisfactory completion of two graduate-level courses.
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination, typically covering the following areas:
    (1) Overview of the selected discipline of study 
    (2) Cognate discipline (e.g., history, ethics, biblical studies, or theology) 
    (3) Focused area of research 
    (4) Subject determined in consultation with advisor
  • 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

Program Goals


  • To gain a knowledge and mastery of pertinent literature in the respective fields.
  • To learn the theories and methods of research and develop the critical thinking that prepares one to make contributions to scholarship promoting the work of the academy and the church.


  • To learn how to teach the pertinent literature within a variety of institutional settings.
  • To show effectiveness as a critical and creative producer of theological and ethical knowledge.


  • To become scholars grounded in the faith traditions of the church and committed to serving the mission and goals of the church through the contribution of their scholarship and the theological insights that it affords.
  • To become competent practitioners of theology in the public square.


Select courses in this concentration:

• Readings in 20th Century Theologies 
• Contemporary Christologies 
• Contemporary Theologians (example: J. Moltmann and J. Sobrino) 
• Feminist/Womanist Theologies 
• Global Feminist Theologies and Biblical Interpretation 
• Latino/Latina theologies in North America 
• Latin American Theologies (in Spanish) 
• Theology in Migration 
• Postcolonial Theories and Theologies 
• Queering Theory and Theology 
• Reading Scripture as Theologians 
• Theologies of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. 
• Sin, Evil and Travail in Christian Theology 
• Theology of John Wesley 
• Theology of Kierkegaard, Barth and Bonhoeffer 
• Wesleyan and Methodist Theology and Spirituality 
• Reformed Theology 
• Theological Dialogue with Living Religions 
• Topics in the History of Christian Thought  
• Religion and the American Way 
• Christian Social and Political Thought: Topics 
• War and Peace 
• City of God 
• Moral Theology: Topics (examples of recent topics: The works of Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil, Christology and Ethics, Selected Themes in Christian social and political thought, Globalization and Christian Ethics, Technology, freedom, and justice: The works of George Grant and Albert Borgmann)




Nancy Bedford

Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology

Select Bibliography
La porfía de la resurrección. Ensayos desde el feminismo teológico latinoamericano. Colección FTL número 30. Buenos Aires: Kairós/Red del Camino, forthcoming

"We Wait for Hope". Meg Cox (ed.). Cynicism and Hope. Reclaiming Discipleship in a Post-Democratic Society. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, forthcoming

(With Guillermo Hansen.) Nuestra Fe. Buenos Aires: I. U. ISEDET, 2008

"Plantar huertas, escuchar a los árboles. Hacia una construcción de la subjetividad teológica feminista en migración": Stromata 64 (2008) 95-110

"Making Spaces: Latin American and Latina Feminist Theologies on the Cusp of Interculturality": María Pilar Aquino; Maria José Rosado Nunes (eds.), Feminist Intercultural Theology. Latina Approaches for a Just World. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007, 49-69

 Barry Bryant copy

Barry Bryant

Associate Professor of Wesleyan and United Methodist Studies

Select Bibliography
"The Israeli-Palestinian Situation: Theological Explorations" and "Reflections of a Recovered Christian Zionist" Quarterly Review, Spring 2005

Presidential address, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Conflict of Values?" Wesley Philosophical Society, March 2004

"Class Leaders, Pastoral Care, and Christian Formation," in Discipleship Quarterly 18 (2003) 3:6-7

"Trinity, Technology, and the Meaning of Personhood," in Memphis Theological Seminary Journal, 38(2002)1:5-17

 Anne Joh crop

Anne Joh

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology

Select Bibliography
Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.

Terror, Trauma and Hope: A Postcolonial Spectrality of the Cross. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

“Teaching to Learn from the Other,” Keeping the Light, ed. Kate Ott and Melanie Harris, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

“Postcolonialism in Fugue: Contrapuntality of Asian American Experience,” in New Overtures: Asian North American Theologies in the 21st Century, ed. Eleazar Fernandez. (Forthcoming from Sopher Press).

“Hybridity,” in Asian Pacific American Religious Cultures Encyclopedia, ed. Fumitaka Matsuoka and Jane Iwamura, ABC-CLIO. (Forthcoming)

“Loves’ Multiplicity: Jeong and Spivak’s Notes Toward Planetary Love” in Planetary Loves: GayatriSpivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology, ed. Stephen Moore and Mayra Rivera. (Fordham University Press, 2010).

 Stephen Ray

Stephen Ray

Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Systematic Theology

Select Bibliography
(Co-author) Black Church Studies: An Introduction. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007.

"E-racing the Faith While Black. In: Being Black, Teaching Black: The Role of Black Church Studies in the Academy, N. Lynne Westfield ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press 2008.

"The End of Man: Human Rights, Christian Theology and The Rights of Human Persons," in Human Rights: Christian Influences and Issues, Frances Adeney and Arvind Sharma, eds. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2007.

(Contributor) Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Approach to Classical Themes, Serene Jones and Paul Lakeland, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004.

Do No Harm: Social Sin and Christian Responsibility. Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2002.

 Brent Waters H

Brent Waters

Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics

Select Bibliography
This Mortal Flesh: Incarnation and Bioethics. Grand Rapids: Brazos, forthcoming.

(Co-edited with F. LeRon Shults) Christology and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming.

"Disability and the Quest for Perfection: A Moral and Theological Inquiry," in Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church, John Swinton and Brian Brock, eds., T & T Clark, 2000.

The Family in Christian Social and Political Thought. Oxford University Press, 2007.

"Saving Us from Ourselves: Christology, Anthropology and the Seduction of Posthuman Medicine," in Future Perfect: God, Medicine and Human Dignity, Celia Deane-Drummond and Peter Manley Scott, eds. London and New York: T&T Clark, 2006

From Human to Posthuman: Christian Theology and Technology in a Postmodern World. Ashgate, 2006.



Recent Book Publications of Program Graduates:

Lewis V. Baldwin, Between Cross and Crescent: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Malcolm and Martin, 2002

Joanne Carlson Brown and Carole R. Bohn, Christianity, Patriarchy, and Abuse, 1989

James H. Cone, The Risks of Faith: The Emergence of a Black Theology of Liberation, 1968-1998, 2000

Reta Halteman Finger, et. al., The Wisdom of Daughters: Two Decades of the Voice of Christian Feminism, 2004

David E. Fitch, The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies, 2005

Mary Garman, Hidden in Plain Sight: Quaker Women's Writings, 1650 - 1700, 1995

Stephanie Mitchem, Introducing Womanist Theology, 2002

Michael L Stine, Losing the world but Finding the Harbor: a Spiritual Biography of Gustav Mahler, 1992

Emilie Townes, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil, 2006

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