PhD Curriculum

PhD in BA Program Curriculum

The Ph.D. in Business Administration program is a hybrid, borrowing from some of the best elements of North American and European doctoral models. The methodologies used include: personal supervision, collaborative learning and Individual studies.

  • During the duration of the studies, each student will work with two supervisors. The first will guide the student through the first phase of the program. He or she will oversee the progress in the program, oversee and participate in the Oral Exam which completes the first phase. An Advisor will be appointed by the Ph.D. Committee to advise and oversee the dissertation phase of the program. He or she will also supervise and participate in the defense of the dissertation, which will lead to the completion of the program. It is possible that the same person could serve as both supervisor in the Seminar Phase and the Dissertation Advisor.
  • Collaborative Learning consist of formal courses comprised of onsite courses which are part of an annual Colloquium as well as online seminars. There are required seminars as well as electives. This collaborative learning facilitates peer relationship and peer learning. It also enables the professor to devote considerable time to guiding and mentoring students in their field of studies.
  • Independent studies consist of topic related studies, which include directed readings, writing and presenting academic papers for seminars and publication, student teaching, preparation for the oral exam, development of a prospectus and the writing of a dissertation.

The program requires the completion of 60 credits. 45 Credits will be earned in the Seminar Phase through the successful completion of required and elective seminars and independent studies. 15 Credits will be awarded for the successful completion of the dissertation.

1. Seminar Phase (45 Units)

The Seminar Phase incorporates 45 credits through required and elective seminars, colloquium participation and independent studies and is completed with the successful passing of an oral exam and presentation of an academic portfolio. Once the student completes these requirements, he or she will be allowed to enter the dissertation phase.

Required Colloquia (total units vary)

Regular, annual colloquia are a core requirement of the Ph.D. program. Each student, who has not yet passed the qualifying examination for entry into the dissertation phase must attend the annual colloquium. Credit earned counts towards the elective seminars portion of the curriculum.


Major Elective Seminars (30 units)

Students must complete advanced theological studies in their field of expertise and other course approved offerings from OBS catalog. Courses will be offered at the annual colloquiums, online, or as approved independent studies supervised by program faculty. Refer to the OBS course catalog for details. Course choices include:

RSCH850x Ph.D. Independent Study A-H (1-8 units)

2. Oral Examination (Qualifying Examination)

The Doctoral Oral Examination marks the culmination of the Seminars Phase and, if successfully passed, leads to the dissertation phase. All students who take this examination receive a “Certificate of Doctoral Studies” recording what they have done. Those who pass are granted permission to apply to transition into the Dissertation Phase.

Students must have completed all required seminars (15 units) and 30 additional units in the Ph.D. course catalog. To apply submit a completed Ph.D. Portfolio and a written request for examination. The examination itself will be held in front of the student’s doctoral committee and cover the content of the portfolio, all prior course work, the content of the Examination Reading List (Published by the Ph.D. Office), and key topic from the specific field of research chosen by the student.

3. Dissertation Phase (15 Units)

Upon completion of the Seminars Phase with the successful passing of the qualifying examination, the student officially enters the dissertation phase. In this phase, he or she will

  • Get approval for the intended title and thesis statement,
  • Submit a prospectus,
  • Write a dissertation on a topic associated with global theology, and
  • Defend it in front of members of the faculty.

The following courses are required in this phase:

  • RSCH980 Prospectus (0 units)
  • RSCH990 Dissertation Phase (15 units, prerequisite: RSCH980)
  • RSCH992-994 Dissertation Phase Continuation I-III (0 units each)

Upon successful completion of RSCH990 the student will be able to graduate. This course is initially enrolled after passing the Prospectus course and will receive an I – Incomplete grade if not completed within the initial term. Consequently the student must enroll and pass continuation courses each regular term until the final grade of RSCH990 is achieved.

Detailed Process

Upon entering the dissertation phase, the student submits a suggested title and thesis statement to register for the Dissertation Phase. Upon its acceptance the Doctoral Council assigns the student to an Advisor from the faculty, usually one from whom the student has taken some seminars and independent studies during Seminars Phase. The Advisor supervises the student’s research and writing of a dissertation on a topic related to global theological studies. If necessary, a Co-Advisor with complementary expertise is also appointed. The dissertation must demonstrate the student’s ability to do independent and original research and thereby making a valid and original contribution to scholarly literature. It is worth 15 credits in the overall Ph.D. program.