The Th.D. Program at La Salle University seeks to prepare highly talented individuals to “hand on” the Christian faith in a wide spectrum of venues. Graduates, grounded in solid scholarship, will have the ability to convey the insights of theological knowledge through classroom teaching, programmatic design, ministerial supervision, and the development of theological resources for various audiences.
The structure of the Program includes three intensive summer residencies, online learning, and independent study. Students create and maintain a portfolio that includes reviews of critical texts, annotated bibliographies, and major research papers. At the conclusion of the course work, students review the portfolio to prepare questions for the comprehensive examination and to develop a proposal for the dissertation.
The Program offers four areas of concentration:
Founder’s Studies – a critical understanding of the founding charism of a religious community, its significant individuals, the history of the movement, and its significance in the contemporary world. Examples include Lasallian Studies, the Sisters of Mercy, Franciscan Studies, and the Quakers.
Catholic Studies – the interdisciplinary study of Catholic history, thought, and culture. With a solid grounding in Catholic philosophy and theology, students study the expression of the Catholic imagination in art, literature, music, education, social teaching, and other areas of culture.
Christian Spirituality – studies that move beyond a general survey of various schools of Christian spirituality, to gain an in-depth critical understanding of a particular tradition as well as to explore its current value and expression. The concentration may include a significant consideration of ecumenical and inter-religious approaches to a particular Christian spiritual tradition.
Church Ministry – an in-depth consideration, both theoretical and practical, of specific ministries within a Christian Church. The focused study may highlight historical perspectives on a particular ministry; questions regarding the possible future development of a ministry, theories, and programs of faith formation; or a similar topic. Some examples include the ministry of the catechist in missionary countries, restoration of the permanent diaconate in the United States, and emerging models of parish- based religious education.
Intended first for working professionals, the Program seeks to help highly motivated, independent learners to meet their educational and professional goals. Individuals completing the degree will be well qualified for professional careers in the areas of institutional Mission and identity, religious education, supervisory positions in Church offices, adult faith formation, and various positions in higher education in seminary and church-related institutions.