Last updated December 7, 2019
As part of the series on How to Fully Fund Your Ph.D., here is a list of Ph.D. programs in religion and theology that offer full funding to their students. A Ph.D. in Religion and Theology opens the door to a variety of interesting careers. You could work as a college professor, take a variety of roles within religious institutes, and write for media publications, among many other opportunities.
“Full funding” is a financial aid pack for students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary for the duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Full funding is not universal, so it’s a good idea to research the financial aid offerings of all the potential Ph.D. programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools.
You can also find several external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, including opportunities for funding for dissertation research, fieldwork, language study and summer work experiences.
Boston University, Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Bostom, MA): All students admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program are awarded full tuition fellowships plus a generous stipend for the first five years of study. The Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan program is also open to students in the Doctor of Philosophy program.
Brown University, Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Providence, RI): Our students receive five years of full funding; additional funding is possible but not guaranteed.
Duke University, Ph.D. in Religion (Durham, NC): Currently, our program is set up to pay fellowships on a 9-month basis for the first 5 years. Summer funding is guaranteed in summers 1 and 2 of the program. Students who no longer have guaranteed summer funding are encouraged to apply for competitive funding both internally and externally. All students must have proof of health care, and the program is prepared to cover the cost of up to 6 years of health insurance if needed.
Fordham University, Ph.D. in Theology (New York, NY): In 2009, the Fordham University Theology Department began offering Ph.D. students full funding for their doctoral studies. As part of the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) program, every second-year Ph.D. student will have an opportunity to work with at least one faculty member in a Fordham undergraduate classroom prior to teaching on his or her own in the third year.
Northwestern University, Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Evanston, IL): Northwestern University provides all graduate students in the humanities with the same standard package of guaranteed funding. Currently, this includes the following: five academic years of tuition and stipend, five summers of study stipend, health insurance and a U-pass for public transportation.
Stanford University, Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Stanford, CA): All Religious Studies Ph.D. students receive five years of funding, which includes fellowship stipends or teaching assistantships, and tuition for the academic year. In addition, students receive three funded summers of support.
University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. in Theology (Notre Dame, IN): Full-time students in good standing are eligible to receive a 12-month annual stipend (an amount of $23,000 for students starting in 2018-2019) for up to five years and a full-tuition scholarship for up to eight years.
University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Philadelphia, PA): The typical doctoral program in Religious Studies is funded over a five-year period, over which students are expected to engage in coursework, complete teaching assistantships, and attend the graduate colloquium. Requirements for the program include a minimum of two languages, qualifying examinations, preliminary examinations (with an oral examination component), and an oral dissertation defense.
Wheaton College, Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies (Wheaton, IL): A full tuition scholarship, as well as a research fellowship, for each of the six students accepted per year will enable each student to devote himself or herself to advanced learning as a fully involved member of the academic community.
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