Who should apply?
Applicants must be Christian scholars with the calling to research, teaching, and writing in the context of the Church and her mission. They must have the potential to advance knowledge in the field.
How often do I come to Springfield?
Classes are offered in one-week modules twice per year: July and December. The program is designed for students to take two one-week courses back-to-back in both July and December, four courses per year.
Do you have on-campus house?
AGTS does not have on-campus housing. Once admitted into the program, a list of local hotels and possible other housing opportunities will be sent to the student.
When can I start?
The application deadline is December 31, with new cohorts beginning in July of each year.
How much does the program cost?
The program cost is $42,000.* A payment plan is established at the beginning of the program to pay for the program over four years in eight payments. The program fee is locked in at the time of admission, sheltering the participant from tuition increases.**
Financial Aid: The program does qualify for VA benefits and private student loans (Alternative Loan Options).
* Fee is subject to change.
** Note: The program fee does not cover the Application Fee, textbooks, travel costs, housing and meals incurred while on campus, or editing.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes, but these vary on an annual basis. If they qualify, students presently receive tuition remission in the overall program cost. Funds available and student needs are evaluated annually as a new class is admitted.
What is the difference between a PhD and a DMin?
Both are terminal degrees. A PhD is a research-oriented degree suited to the person who expects to teach in a particular academic specialty (e.g. New Testament). A DMin is a professional degree designed to enhance the abilities of a minister in his or her context. It will also equip a person to teach in the area of practical theology.
How flexible are the fields of study?
The four areas are definitive academic disciplines that allow for a focus. For example, someone interested in apologetics would pursue study under systematic theology. This is not the same thing as a PhD in apologetics or philosophy – the focus will be biblical-theological content directed to the scholar’s concerns.
What if I have degrees from one or more schools without regional accreditation?
Accreditation ensures important standards of academic and institutional integrity. AGTS has the highest dual accreditation. We are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) for our professional excellence and by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), our regional agency that accredits private and public institutions in collaboration with the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. We recognize that there are other agencies and networks; but ATS and HLC demand the highest institutional standards. For future academic and professional work, such affirmation helps the student. In some cases, an unaccredited masters or doctoral degree (especially from outside the USA) may represent ability for advanced work and can be factored into the evaluation for admission; however, the basic accredited degrees must be in place. Special cases affecting non-USA students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Why do you demand Greek and Hebrew if my interest is theology?
An AGTS PhD is rooted in biblical knowledge and advanced exegesis and hermeneutics are the starting place for all theological reflection. Our minimal expectations enable students to read and study the texts in the original languages and join the global world of scholarship.
Why do you require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
This exam helps evaluate the academic skills of applicants. The verbal score is weighted more heavily than the mathematical score. If applicants have taken the GRE for prior programs, these scores can be sent to AGTS. GRE information: http://www.ets.org/gre/
Which modern research language should I choose and when must I demonstrate competency?
Almost all students should plan to acquire competency in Theological German and demonstrate this before they begin their dissertation research during the third year. French may be substituted for German if warranted by the dissertation topic. Sometimes the field of study will require additional language competencies, such as Aramaic for the OT or Spanish for modern theology. These are in addition to German or French. AGTS will point students to resources so that this requirement is met before the dissertation phase of the program.
What is the Field Experience and why is it an 8-credit requirement?
The Field Experience is a learning and service experience where students teach in an approved cross-cultural setting with the oversight of their Advisor and the supervisor in the field. Students will teach a minimum of three undergraduate credits, prepare a research report on their experiences and be assessed by the leader(s) in the field. The goals are integration of academic excellence, ministry experience and global vision. AGTS is deeply committed to the Great Commission and the formation of scholars that are able to empower present and future spiritual leaders.
How are Advisors and Dissertation Committees chosen?
We recognize that PhD students need personal mentoring and collaboration in their chosen fields. During the first year, an Advisor will be assigned according to academic interest. As the comprehensives are completed and the dissertation proposal is prepared, additional readers and mentors will be part of the experience. The student can request another Advisor from the approved list of AGTS faculty. These scholars are part of a local and global team ready to serve the students of AGTS.
As I finish my program, what are my prospects for teaching while I write my dissertation and after I receive my degree?
There are opportunities for adjunct instruction that come open and the AGTS faculty will help the student network and find occasions to serve. Academic jobs in the USA are fairly scarce, but this is where faith, solid relationships and the specific training of the Biblical Interpretation and Theology PhD will help the student secure work. Our emphasis on the Bible, global mission, professional networks and assisting the students with publishing their work while in the program are all part of the context that will position the AGTS candidate and graduate.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 7:48 PM