Graduate Department of Religion
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religion
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religion
Areas of Study
Degree programs are offered in:
Interdisciplinary studies, both within religion and in other areas of knowledge, are encouraged. The study of religion can be pursued at Vanderbilt both as a critical, humanistic discipline, employing a variety of methodological perspectives, and as a theological discipline, interpreting the biblical religions and their historical, theological, and ethical heritage.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two modern languages:
- another modern language relevant to the field of study;
- a biblical or other relevant ancient language;
- the student’s native language, if not English;
- a research method such as statistics when appropriate.
Each of the areas of major concentration specifies which of the options under B are acceptable for its students. The requirement for modern languages may be satisfied by passing departmental reading examinations or by passing, with the grade of B+ or higher, a Vanderbilt University course designed specifically to teach graduate students to use the language in research. Currently such courses are offered in French, German, and Spanish. Special arrangements are made for demonstrating competence in other languages. Beyond this department-wide requirement, in biblical studies a knowledge of Hebrew or Greek is required, and in some areas of historical studies a knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. Students should be prepared to learn such other languages, ancient and modern, as may appear requisite for scholarly interests. Students should check with their area directors concerning specific requirements.