The Master of Philosophy in Theology (M.Phil.) at Bushnell University provides an opportunity for students with advanced graduate standing to complete a rigorous research degree program in an area of focused, personal interest. This program has six start dates per year.

Upon acceptance into the Master of Philosophy in Theology program, students will work under the supervision and mentorship of an approved Bushnell University faculty member to develop and conduct a course of substantial, original research culminating in a master’s thesis.

This program accommodates ministers, lay leaders, and other church and para-church professionals who have completed some level of graduate studies and who 1) have not yet completed a graduate degree in theology, or 2) wish to complete an additional degree to enhance career and/or education opportunities, or 3) simply wish to continue their pursuit of life-long learning.

Learning Objectives

Graduates of the Master of Philosophy in Theology:

  • Will demonstrate expertise in original research and writing at the graduate level by producing a master’s thesis of publishable quality
  • Will contribute substantively to their respective professions (specifically) and to the discipline of theology (in general) through conducting original and innovative research
  • Will gain new opportunities for personal and professional advancement
  • Will seize new and enhanced opportunities for service to the Church

Admission Requirements

  • A free application for admission, accompanied by a written proposal (300-500 words) for a research topic.
  • Official transcripts from a regionally-accredited institution showing receipt of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Evidence of graduate-level preparation (including an appropriate graduate writing seminar, or equivalent) that warrants admission to graduate research in the proposed area(s) of research; evidence of adequate preparation may include (but is not limited to) the following:
    • Official transcripts from an accredited institution showing the accumulation of a minimum of 15-semester credits of graduate coursework directly related to the proposed research topic, with a minimum grade of “B” for each course
    • Advanced specialization at the undergraduate level through a minimum of 20 upper division semester credits in coursework directly related to the proposed research topic, with a minimum grade of “B” for each course.
    • Evidence of advanced scholarly research activities directly related to the proposed research topic in the form of papers, articles, and reviews in peer-reviewed publications, presentations at professional meetings/societies, published monographs, etc.
    • Evidence of other substantial and scholarly professional activity directly related to the proposed area of research
    • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Two letters of reference from academic experts in the proposed research area, one of which may be from a prospective Bushnell University faculty supervisor/mentor.

Applicants who do not meet prerequisite requirements for admission may be granted conditional admission with a specified plan and timetable for making up deficiencies. Though it may be possible for some prerequisite deficiencies to be absolved through regular coursework at Bushnell, the University does not guarantee the availability of such course work and the making up of prerequisites remains the responsibility of the student.

Financial Aid

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Veteran Benefit Information

Bushnell University is approved by the Oregon Department of Education and the Department of Veteran Affairs for educating students who are eligible for VA educational benefits. You can begin receiving your educational benefits in just a few simple steps!

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Program Requirements

Credit Requirements for the M.Phil. in Theology: 21 Credits (Minimum)

6-12 credits – Foundation Studies (determined on an individual basis)

12 credits – Supervised Research

3 credits – Thesis

Program Director: 
School of Bible and World Christianity
Agam Iheanyi-Igwe, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Bible & World Christianity
Associate Professor of Bible & World Christianity

Ph.D., Biola University M.A., Biola University B.Eng., Federal University of Technology Owerri (Nigeria) Dr. Agam Iheanyi-Igwe has taught Missions, Bible, and Theology courses …