The Ph.D. in Religion and Culture is offered by the School of Theology and Religious Studies, which promotes excellence in teaching, research, and publication in the area of theology and religious studies; and to provide the professional training of lay and clerical leaders who will serve the Roman Catholic community in the United States and throughout the world.


  • A minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework beyond the M.A. is required. At least 21 credits should be in the field of religion and culture, including at least three credits devoted to the cross-cultural study of religion or the study of a religious tradition other than Christianity. At least nine credits should be in the Catholic theological tradition, and six credits in an allied area of specialization chosen from some other area of the school or department of the university (e.g., anthropology, sociology, philosophy).
  • Upon formal admission to the doctoral program, students consult with faculty advisors to project their full course of study. This will usually include all courses listed above for the M.A. degree. The director of the academic area, in conjunction with Area faculty, gives final approval to each student's program of studies, normally at the end of the first semester of coursework.
  • The completion of at least four major research papers (three if holding an M.A. from CUA in Theology/Religious Studies) that give evidence of the student's ability to do scholarly research; these are done at the 800 level, normally in conjunction with research seminars. Students must maintain a 3.3 grade point average.
  • Reading proficiency in two modern languages (e.g., French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi), either by passing an exam offered by the Department of Modern Languages or by a suitable alternative means. In addition, proficiency in each of these languages should be evidenced in at least one of the student's major research papers
  • Comprehensive Exams