Ph.D. in Theology and Education

Ph.D. in Theology and Education

A truly interdisciplinary doctoral program

The Ph.D. in Theology and Education prepares future leaders and scholars with a focus on religious education that branches out into practical and pastoral theology and such academic disciplines as religion and society, moral development, and leadership in Catholic education. It has also been effective in preparing undergraduate theology teachers.

The program combines resources from STM, the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Participants take courses in theology, education, religious education and other subjects as germane to one’s area of research and dissertation topic (philosophy, sociology, etc.). One’s PhD committee, serving for both comprehensive exams and dissertation, is made up of a DREPM faculty person with expertise in religious education, and then one from another area of theology and from the Lynch School.

STM Faculty

Department of Theology Faculty

Lynch School of Education Faculty


Upcoming Ph.D. Webinars:

Previous recording available upon request!

At a Glance

How long will it take?

Most students complete the program over four or five years.

Coursework and Residency

The program typically includes 50 credits of coursework beyond the master’s degree.
The minimum residency requirement is two years of full-time study.


All Ph.D. students receive a four-year stipend of $20,500/year,
plus a full tuition scholarship.

Religious Education Faculty

Recent Graduate Placements

Professor, Jesuit Theological College, Melbourne, Australia

Professor of Environmental Ethics, Department of Theology University of Portland

Member of Irish Senate

Associate Professor of Theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology

Director of Contextual Education and Congregational Partnerships, Boston University School of Theology



Professor, Mount Mary College

Head of Chapel, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

Associate Professor, Director of Pastoral Ministry
Program, Duquesne University

Professor of Christian/Jewish Learning, St. Joseph’s University

President, College of St. Mary



Application Information



January 15, 2021

Application Form

The application to STM must be completed online.

Application Form

Please note you can submit your application form once it is completed; you do not need to wait for all of your supplemental materials to arrive. We are able to schedule your interview once we have received your submitted application form, resume, and personal statement.

Additional requirements for international applicants

Additional requirements for religious applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web; You can pay the application fee at the same time your submit your application form.  However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.

Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are automatically granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.

Standardized Tests

GRE scores

The GRE is optional but preferred for spring 2021, summer 2021, and fall 2021 applications. We review all applications holistically. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores will not be penalized in the admissions process.

Applicants who do send GRE scores should have them sent directly from ETS. Our GRE code is 2508.

TOEFL scores
All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL or IELTS test score results. An acceptable TOEFL score is 85 or above on the internet-based test. When taking the exam, include STM’s institutional code – 3971 – so that your scores may be sent directly to the school. 

Read more about special instructions for international applicants here.

To request a TOEFL waiver, you must email


One copy of each transcript is required from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name).

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS, please use this address:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841


Ph.D. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

Each recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic competence. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, the recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. Applicants to our certificate programs are required to submit one letter of recommendation. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.

Writing Sample

The writing sample must be uploaded as part of the application. The sample should be an academic paper of around 25 pages.  


The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant teaching, research, ministry, service, and leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to the STM. Include a sketch of your educational background and interests, any experience you have in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience
  • Your understanding of theological education and/or ministry in the context of the Church’s mission
  • How you plan to apply your theological education
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and/or ministry as well as your areas of needed development
  • Information outlining your specific area and field of academic interest, a proposed topic(s) for your research and dissertation, how your previous academic, professional, and/or pastoral experience has prepared you for studies within that particular field, and the STM faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work