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Lindsay Kuhl




Doctor of Theology

The Th.D. program at NNU is uniquely tailored for individuals in pastoral, ministerial, educational and ecclesiastical leadership roles in Practical Theology. This doctorate offers a distinctive opportunity for comprehensive exploration, research and analysis of the Church, its practices and ministry in interdisciplinary fields. The curriculum is designed to focus on specific practices of the Church and ministry, setting it apart from other programs.

student holding laptop in arms
  • COURSEWORK can be completed in 2 years
  • NEW COHORTS begin each fall semester
  • MOSTLY ONLINE with two, week-long face-to-face courses

Earn Your Doctorate in Theology — Your Calling is Powerful

Ready to take your passion for theology to the next level? Pursuing a Doctorate in Theology can be a powerful way to explore your calling in pastoral, ministerial, educational or church leadership roles. In NNU’s doctoral program in theology, you can immerse yourself in interdisciplinary fields such as biblical, theological, historical and philosophical studies. You will also study specific church and ministry practices, acquiring knowledge and skills that will equip you to make a real difference. Deepen your knowledge, hone your skills and impact the world with NNU’s Doctorate in Theology program.

degree details

Doctorate in Theology


$600 per credit

The Benefits of a Doctor of Theology degree at NNU

  • Pursue professional advancement in ministry with a Th.D. at NNU
  • Small group setting allows for close collaboration between students and teachers
  • Experienced faculty create an atmosphere of intellectual exploration
  • Flexible and convenient online classes make fitting your studies into a busy life more manageable
  • Gain advanced theological experience with NNU’s Doctor of Theology
  • Receive recognition for your hard work and commitment to faith-based studies with an accredited degree
  • Acquire the same quality education in a traditional setting but from the comfort of your home
  • Benefit from flexible scheduling options with online courses and a two-year completion schedule to fit your lifestyle
  • Build relationships with like-minded people in our cohort classrooms

Goals and Outcomes for Doctor of Theology Students

  • Prepare for ordained ministry and academic success with a Doctor of Theology from NNU
  • Join an engaged learning community where professors and peers help you deepen your understanding of practical theology
  • Receive training to apply theological studies critically and creatively to the modern church and its ministry in your doctoral thesis research
  • Benefit from a comprehensive program designed to develop a solid theological and philosophical understanding of the Church with biblical and historical studies
  • Pursue personal faith goals while growing professionally in an inclusive environment

Additional Information About the Doctor of Theology Degree


This program consists of 53 credits in total and will take a minimum of four and a half years to complete. The program will consist of a set curriculum of 10 courses (39 credits), followed by comprehensive written exams and a dissertation (minimum of 14 credits).

The program is offered in a cohort model and the courses are primarily in an online format with a weekly virtual meeting. All four-credit online courses will be eight weeks in length. The program opens with a three-credit in-person course, focused on research methods. A course will be offered after the final semester through an intensive one-week summer in-person format with required assignments of readings, papers, etc. before and after the course is convened.

A three-credit course will provide students with skills related to research methods and theological inquiry at the beginning of the program. The remaining 9 courses will consist of four-credit courses; in total it will be:

· Five courses of the Fundamental Curriculum

· Five courses of the Practical Theology Curriculum

· Two courses of Comprehensive Exams

· Four thesis courses

The courses are scheduled so that they can be completed in 2 years, prior to exams and thesis work.


The NNU Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The following degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accreditation: Master of Divinity; Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry; and Master of Arts in Leadership and Training with specializations in Missional Leadership, Spiritual Training, and Youth, Children and Family Ministry.

Since 1930, NNU has been continuously accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the same respected accrediting body that validates other leading educational institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

El programa de doctorado en teología en NNU preparará a los estudiantes para el ministerio y la carrera académica.


There are many ways to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during your studies. Career opportunities are vast, from teaching at universities to leading religious institutions as a clergy member. You can also dedicate yourself to research, writing, consulting or community work.

Executive Pastor

Administrator of the Church

Meet Our Faculty

The Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program emerged in response to the urgent need for highly trained ministers of the gospel to meet the spiritual demands of a society experiencing rapid changes and demanding concrete answers to serious questions in faith and conduct.

Tomás Alvarez


Frequently Asked Questions About Our Doctor in Theology Program

Here are some frequently asked questions we often receive about our graduate theology program at Northwest Nazarene University.


Northwest Nazarene University offers a comprehensive Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program that provides advanced study and research opportunities for individuals in pastoral, ministerial, educational and leadership roles in the Church. The program focuses on Practical Theology, allowing students to deepen their understanding and experience in this field.

The Doctor of Theology program at NNU covers various areas of study within Practical Theology. It provides a platform for in-depth exploration, study, research and analysis of the Church, its practices and ministry. The interdisciplinary program allows students to engage in biblical studies, theology, history and philosophy.

The curriculum is designed to comprehensively understand the Church and its ministry, emphasizing specific practices. Specialized courses prepare students to delve into the practical aspects of ministry, gaining valuable knowledge and skills to apply in real-world contexts and Christian traditions.

As part of our commitment to excellence and academic rigor, the Th.D. in Practical Theology at NNU is offered through the Graduate School of Theology. Our teachers are experienced academics and professionals who bring knowledge and experience to the classroom, ensuring students receive high-quality education and mentoring.

By pursuing a Doctorate in Theology at NNU, you will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful research, contribute to the body of knowledge in your chosen field and profoundly impact the Church and its practices. Join us on our mission to transform lives and communities through the pursuit of theological scholarship.


Northwest Nazarene University’s Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program offers a rich and comprehensive curriculum to equip students with the knowledge, skills and perspectives necessary for impactful ministry and academic study. The program’s curriculum comprises 53 credits and is generally completed in at least four and a half years. It is structured around a set of 10 courses, including 39 credits. After completing these courses, students will take comprehensive written exams and complete a dissertation, representing at least 14 additional credits.

NNU’s Th.D. program uses a cohort model, fostering a supportive learning community. Most courses are online, with weekly virtual meetings facilitating participation and collaboration. Each four-credit online course lasts eight weeks, allowing for focused and immersive learning experiences.

The program begins with a three-credit in-person course focused on research methods, providing students with essential skills and tools for theological inquiry.

The curriculum itself is divided into different components. It includes five courses in the Fundamental Curriculum, which delve into fundamental theological and biblical studies. Five other courses focus on the Practical Theology Curriculum, exploring the application of theological principles in real-world ministry contexts.

To demonstrate mastery of the material, students will undergo extensive exams and then move on to the thesis phase, which consists of four courses dedicated to developing and completing their research project. The program is scheduled to be completed in two years before progressing to exams and thesis work.

By pursuing a Th.D. you can expect a rigorous and intellectually stimulating curriculum at NNU that combines academic rigor and practical relevance. Through engaging courses, personalized mentoring and research opportunities, our program prepares students for impactful ministry and contributes to advancing theological knowledge.

Join us at the Graduate School of Theology at Northwest Nazarene University and embark on a transformative journey that combines scholarship, faith and practical application.


At Northwest Nazarene University Graduate School of Theology, we understand the importance of pursuing a program that aligns with your career goals and aspirations. Our Doctor of Theology program is designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills and transformative experiences necessary to excel in your chosen career path.

By enrolling in our program, you will embark on a personal and professional growth journey that will equip you for ministry leadership in the 21st century. Our curriculum has been carefully designed to prepare you for challenges and opportunities, ensuring that you are well-prepared to serve the Church and have a significant impact in your area of expertise.

Through our Doctorate in Theology program, you can conduct advanced studies and research, delving into biblical, theological, historical and philosophical analysis. This comprehensive approach will provide you with a solid foundation and holistic understanding of the subject, allowing you to contribute to advancing theological scholarship.

As a student in our program, you will benefit from the experience and mentorship of our faculty, experienced academics, and professionals in their respective fields. They will guide and support you as you navigate the program, ensuring you receive unmatched quality education and mentoring.

Additionally, our accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) is a testament to our program’s academic excellence and integrity. You can be confident that your degree will be recognized and respected within the theological community.

By completing our Doctor of Theology program at NNU, you will have the tools to pursue a career in academia, ministry or other related fields. Whether you want to become a professor, church leader, associate pastor or theologian in Christian institutions, our program will provide you with the knowledge, critical thinking skills and research necessary to impact your chosen vocation significantly.

Join us at Northwest Nazarene University Graduate School of Theology and take the next step toward achieving your professional goals. Let us be part of your transformative journey as you prepare to make a difference in the world through your theological scholarship and ministerial leadership.


In the Doctor of Theology program at Northwest Nazarene University, you will have the opportunity to learn from distinguished professors who are experts in their respective fields. Our faculty bring experience, knowledge and passion to the program, ensuring you receive a high-quality education and mentorship.

Our professors have extensive experience in theology and related disciplines, making them highly qualified to guide your academic path. They possess a deep understanding of theological concepts, allowing them to provide valuable guidance and instruction to students. One of the strengths of our faculty is their diverse range of experience and research interests.

This diversity ensures a vibrant and dynamic learning environment where you can explore different aspects of theology and engage in meaningful discussions. Whether your interests lie in biblical studies, theological ethics, church history or another area, professors are passionate about their field and eager to share their knowledge.

In addition to their expertise, our professors are actively involved in research and scholarship, enriching the learning experience for students. Its commitment to continuous intellectual research ensures that you will be exposed to the latest academic developments and debates in the field of theology. This commitment to research will foster critical thinking skills and equip you with the ability to analyze complex theological problems.

By learning from our dedicated faculty, you will deeply understand theological concepts and develop advanced research and critical thinking skills. They will challenge and inspire you to explore new ideas, engage with diverse perspectives and grow academically and personally.

In Northwest Nazarene University’s Doctor of Theology program, our professors are committed to your success and are passionate about theology. Through their mentorship and experience, they will guide you to become a transformative leader in academia, ministry and the theological professions.

Join us and embark on intellectual growth and spiritual transformation while learning from our experienced faculty at Northwest Nazarene University.