The Ph.D. degree in Catechetics prepares the student for advanced research, writing, and teaching at the college, university, and seminary levels. Since Catechetics is an academic discipline that, by its nature, is interdisciplinary, courses from the various academic areas of the School may be taken.


  • A Master of Arts degree in Theology/Religious Studies or Catechetics/Religious Education, or an equivalent degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  • Additional prerequisite coursework may be required by the area director when deemed necessary for the student's successful completion of degree requirements.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required from persons able to evaluate the applicant's ability to complete graduate studies successfully.
  • Non-native English speakers must show proficiency through the TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
  • The results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) which are considered in awarding scholarships.


  • Assessment Interview takes place prior to registration and then at midterm of the first semester.
  • A minimum of 30 hours of coursework after the M.A. degree; 36 hours if the student has an M.A. from another academic discipline.
  • 12-15 credit hours are to be taken in Catechetics and foundational courses at the 700-level (lecture) and 800-level (seminar).
  • 9-12 credit hours in an academic area of the School of Theology and Religious Studies for a minor area.
  • 9 credit hours may be taken in an allied area outside the major and minor area of concentration offered in the School of Theology and Religious Studies or another school of the University.
  • Completion of student's proposal for the doctoral program during second semester of doctoral studies.


In conjunction with courses taken on the 700 and 800 levels, students are required to submit four research papers that become a part of the student's permanent file. All four of these papers should deal explicitly with Catechetics and give evidence of the student's proficiency in doing research using foreign language sources. Each paper is to be evaluated by the course professor and given a letter grade before it is submitted to the student's advisor, who will place it in the student's file.

Comprehensive Examinations

  • The examination is based on a reading list drawn up by the student in consultation with three members of an examining board. The list should consist of fifteen to twenty titles related to Catechetics, ten to twelve titles related to the minor area, and ten to twelve titles related to the allied field.
  • Three days of written comprehensive examinations are taken on dates designated by the University academic calendar. The examining board evaluates the comprehensive examination on a pass/fail basis.
  • After notification of the successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student must apply for candidacy. Form for applying for candidacy: Ph.D. Candidacy

Language Requirements

  • Demonstrate a reading proficiency in both Latin and French by the end of the first semester of doctoral coursework.
  • Demonstrate a reading proficiency in German or another approved modern language by the beginning of the third semester of doctoral coursework.
  • A student may, with the permission of the Academic Area Director, substitute another foreign language for German.