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Program Overview

1. Why a Th.D. and not a Ph.D.?
La Salle University wishes to emphasize the unique character of its theological education at the doctoral level.  The Program seeks to combine and foster critical theological reflection for the purpose of handing on the Christian faith.  In this respect the Program seeks to promote the Lasallian mission of combining both theoretical and practical knowledge for professional advancement.

2. What kind of student is right for the Program?
The Th.D. Program seeks to recruit highly talented and self-motivated students.  The Admissions Committee will give preference to working professionals who can maintain, on average, a minimum commitment of 15 hours per week for their doctoral studies.

3. How many students are in the Program?
The initial cohort will enroll between 8 and 10 students.  In subsequent years, the Program will accept no more than 12 students.  The Admissions Committee will give consideration to academic achievement at the master’s level, the ability of the applicant to commit to the intensive format of the Program, and some distribution of applicants across the four concentrations.

4. What are the employment prospects?
The Th.D. Program seeks to enhance the credentials of the working professional.  The degree can lead to advancement within the same profession.  For example, an individual working in parish-based religious education would be well prepared to advance to a diocesan or synod office for religious education.   Candidates and graduates would be well qualified for adjunct teaching in higher education, and for full-time positions at some church-related colleges and universities.  There are increasing opportunities in offices for mission and identity at church-related colleges, universities, health-care facilities, and other institutions.

5. Is the Program only for Catholics?
No.  La Salle University was founded in 1863 and is a comprehensive university under the auspices of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a non-clerical Roman Catholic order.  Roman Catholic in its orientation, the Program seeks to foster a truly ecumenical spirit with a faculty and student body representing various Christian churches and faith traditions.  While each of the concentrations maintains a Christian orientation, they do allow for a focus on Protestant traditions and inter-faith perspectives.

6. How long does it take?
The Program ordinarily requires year-round study with the completion of six courses each year.  Each course has a term of seven weeks.  One course each June requires a one-week campus residency.  Once the course work is completed, and the dissertation proposal approved, the student can begin writing the dissertation.  At a minimum, the dissertation should take about one year to complete.  The student ordinarily has a maximum of five years to complete the dissertation.

7. Must a student stay on campus?
Students are required to reside on campus for the one-week intensive summer course each June for the first two years.  Likewise, they must be in residence for the comprehensive examinations.  The residency helps to develop a sense among the students that they belong to an academic community.  Secondly, the residency frees the students from home and work responsibilities so that they can concentrate more fully on their studies.

Francis Berna, OFM, Ph.D.

Francis Berna, Ph.D.

Theology and Ministry Graduate Studies
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1346
Fax: 215.951.1665

La Salle University reserves the right to alter or change this information
at any time, without notice.

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