About the Course

The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies subscribes to the AIU philosophy of education.

However, the distinct needs of doctoral students require additional approaches to learning.

Learning is at best holistic, collaborative, personal, sustained development that is contextualized in its matrix culture; in African Society, since group consensus is frequently valued higher than individual opinion, reflection needs to seek new consensus, and the learning community is the natural locus for this to occur.

This program seeks to maximize these characteristics of learning.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies curriculum applies this philosophy to the programme.

Individual students pursue their learning within a learning community.

Students may be admitted in cohorts or as individuals and each cohort, and individuals together with the faculty will form a collaborative learning community during the period of study.

Students’ ideas and reflections on issues are discussed and sharpened as they plan and do the research and dissertation during the dissertation cycle.
Given the mission of AIU, the program seeks to cultivate and form leaders who engage in theological reflection integrated with social sciences so that theory may inform practice and vice-versa.

This integration of theology and social sciences empowers the learners to be able to scrutinize contemporary theological discourses and help African Christians to developed contextual theologies and theological models that fit their contexts, respond to them constructively, and suggest alternatives rooted in fresh examinations of the biblical and theological texts and analysis of African realities in order to be relevant.

Rationale of the Programme
The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies at AIU is an advanced research based programme of study in a specialized area of theological and religious studies beyond the Master of Arts (or Master of Divinity) in theological studies.

The programme allows a student to do advance research in any of the concentrations in any of the areas of theological studies.

All concerned students will share 4 major common core areas of study that will significantly contribute towards their achievement of the overall intended outcomes in keeping with the university vision and mission.  

The program seeks to respond to the need to produce African theological and religious scholars who are in high demand because of the lack of trained theologians at the doctoral level for teaching, administration in theological institutions of higher learning, the Church, and Para-church organizations.

African realities
The theological and religious issues and questions society is facing are theological, and this creates the need for advance theological training for the Church in African to deal with these questions as well as train Christian leaders at the highest academic levels so they can train others.

We cannot ignore the challenges facing the church in Africa today, which are theological in nature and therefore theological reflection on these issues is critical and must receive special attention.

The African Church lacks such deep theological reflection on critical religious, social, political, governance and economic issues facing the Church in Africa and how theology has bearing on these matters facing humanity.

African Theological Institutions lack strong theological faculty at the graduate level where these issues are to be reflected upon and students equipped for the work of the ministry within the Church and society.

This lack of theological teachers for our theological institutions at the graduate level is not good for the Church in Africa.

Currently, the majority of people teaching theological courses in our theological institutions are not trained at the doctoral level. This can affect the quality of education and training being offered on the continent.

With the shift of Christianity to the global south, the Church in Africa has a great opportunity to contribute to theological reflection and studies from the African context that would be beneficial to the global Church.

This requires serious reflection at the highest level in academic theology. 

Training theologians at the PhD will go a long way to fulfill the responsibility that is placed on the African Church.

We urgently need PhDs in the different theological disciplines in Africa International University to be a critical and leading evangelical theological institution in of Africa.

Needs assessed from AIU alumni and other graduates
We have received many enquiries over the years about a PhD programme in theological studies from within the continent as well as from abroad.

Many AIU graduates have been waiting for a program like this.

Because we did not have it, some of our graduates have gone to other local and public universities that offer PhD degrees in religion and not in theology.

This programme with the different concentrations meet the current critical areas of need on the Continent in the area of theological studies.

Our preliminary survey on the program revealed there is great interest by our alumni and others who would like to study theology in Africa in all the seven areas of concentrations in the program, there is opportunity for the program to grow with our effort in strengthening our Bachelor of Theology, and MA programs in theological studies.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies is offered to meet these pressing needs in theological and religious studies on the continent.

Goal of the Programme
The goal of the programme is to prepare and train students in the African context for teaching, academic, Church leadership, as consultants and researchers and writers in theological and religious disciplines.

Expected Learning Outcomes of the Programme
Students completing the PhD in Theological Studies at AIU must demonstrate the following qualities, competencies and skills:
1.    Growth in discipleship and Christian spiritual maturity and integrity
2.    Develop potential for growth in leadership in a specific theological and religious discipline and demonstrate competency in advanced knowledge, teaching, and skills in a specialized area.  
3.    Develop creative competencies as innovative and critical thinkers to address the key issues and subject matter of the student’s area of concentration
4.    Competency in primary research and effective teaching within a chosen area of theological and religious studies.
5.    Acquire superior knowledge, broad-based competencies and skills in their areas of concentrations

Admission Requirements

The applicant must hold a MA or MDiv degree from an academic institution recognized by the Commission for University Education of the government of Kenya, or by ACTEA or ICHE, in one of the following disciplines: Theology, Church History, Bible, Religion, Missions, Translation and Pastoral.

Prerequisite courses
The MA or MDiv studies of all applicants to the PhD Theological Studies must normally include minimum:

  • 12 quarter credits (or the equivalent) in related studies such as Old Testament New Testament, theology, missions, religions, Bible translation, pastorals and church history.

Applicants lacking the minimum requirements must remove the deficiency prior to admission to the programme.

The Graduate Board may waive some of these requirements in exceptional circumstances.

In some cases, a student with only a few prerequisite credits lacking may be permitted to take the required MA level courses during his or her first year after admission to the programme.

Grade point average of MA-level work
Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average for prior graduate level academic work of at least 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale.

Language requirements
Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English.

Applicants whose previous university studies have not been conducted in English must submit a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper version) or the equivalent: a TOEFL CBT (computer version) score of at least 200; a TOEFL IBT (internet version) score of at least 100; an IELTS score of at least 8; or a Cambridge Exam ranking of at least CPE.

Other languages
Applicants must present evidence of the following language competencies applicable to their concentrations, such as three terms at MA-level (or the equivalent) of Koine Greek or classical Hebrew, theological German, theological French, and fluency in the language of the culture in which the applicant proposes to do research. Proficiency exams must be successfully attempted in these areas, as prescribed for particular concentrations.

Competence in German and French may be demonstrated by means of University transcripts or of a certificate (for example from the Goethe Institute or the Alliance Française), or by means of a translation test administered by NEGST.

The Graduate Studies Board must approve exceptions to this requirement.

Beyond the mere possession of a degree, the applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) or the equivalent in his/her MA or M.Div. studies, and must demonstrate ability in academic research and writing.

In addition, all students must fulfil all general AIU requirements for admission.

Because AIU is a Christian institution, applicants must demonstrate Christian maturity and high moral integrity.

Since pursuing a doctoral degree is arduous and demanding, applicants should also demonstrate that they are capable, competent, hardworking and determined, and that they enjoy the support of their family and/or church community.

Guidelines for processing applications
a.    The applicant sends the application form and the required accompanying documents to the AIU Admissions Office.
b.    Once there is sufficient documentation, the Admissions Office sends the application dossier to the graduate school office who forwards the application to the Head of Department.
c.    The Head of Department seeks the approval of the department for admission of the applicant. The decision of the department is minuted. The relevant minute is then forwarded by the Head of Department with the application dossier to the Dean of Graduate Studies, who then seeks the approval of the Graduate Studies Board.
d.    In cases where the department wishes to waive an admissions requirement, the matter must be referred to the Graduate Studies Board, whose decision on admission is final.


The Programme comprises of two cycles: the seminar cycle, comprising, 8-12 seminars, a qualifying examination, a dissertation proposal and the dissertation cycle, involving 26 Credit hours, defending and pass of the dissertation, oral defense of the dissertation and graduation.    

Seminars/Course offered in the Programme
Core Courses for the PhD Theological Studies:
•    TH 800 Doctoral Research and Writing                    3hrs.
•    BS 801 Advance Philosophical and Biblical Hermeneutics         3hrs.
•    TH 802Trends in African Christian Theology                 3hrs.     
•    WC 803 Key Concepts in World Christianity                3hrs.

Specialization Courses/Seminars (or Directed Study)

Theological Studies
•    TH 900 Western Methods in Theology                     3hrs.
•    TH 901 African Method in Theology                    3hrs.
•    TH 902 Contemporary Issues in Theology                  3hrs.
•    TH 903 Trends in African Christian Theology                 3hrs     
•    TH 904 Theology and the Social, Political and Economic Life of Africa     3hrs.
•    TH 905 Theology and Development                      3hrs.
•    THS 906 Creation and General Revelation                               3hrs
•    THS 907 Contemporary Christologies and Soteriologies            3hrs
•    THS 908 Ecclesiology and Community                     3hrs.
•    THS 909 Pneumatology and the Powers                     3hrs.
•    THS/C 910 Contemporary Views of God                     3hrs.
•    THC 911 Theology of Culture                        3hrs.
•    THC 912 Social and Cultural Perspectives on religion and Theology    3hrs.
•    THC 913 African Cultures and Theology                      3hrs.
•    THC 914 Theology, Aesthetic and Arts                         3hrs.
•    THC 915 Theology and Popular Culture                                         3hrs.
•    THD 916 Theories of Development                        3hrs.
•    THD 917 Poverty and Development                                                              3hrs.
•    THD 918 Theological Foundations for Development            3hrs.
•    THD 919 Globalization, the Poor and Christian Mission            3hrs.
•    THD 920 Development Tools and Practices                    3hrs.
•    THD 921 Theology of Poverty and Development                 3hrs.
•    THD 922 Theology and Economics                        3hrs
•    THS/C/D 923 Special Focus Study                         3hrs


•    BS 809.  Advanced Philosophical and Biblical Hermeneutics
•    BS 810. Seminar in Biblical Criticism (Interpretative Methods)              3 hrs
•    BS 811.  Biblical Hebrews Revision.                                                    3hrs
•    BS 812.  Seminar  in the Septuagint                                                   3hrs
•    BS 813. New Testament  Revision                                                      3hrs
•    BS 814. Seminar in Ezekiel Studies                                                    3hrs
•    BS 846. Advanced Exegesis of the New Testament : Acts                     3hrs
•    BS 847. Advanced Exegesis of New Testament:  1 Timothy                  3hrs


•    PT 800.   Doctoral Research  and Writing                                                  3hrs
•    PT 903    Qualitative Research Methods                                                    3hrs
•    PT 904 Transformational Leadership and Spiritual Formation                      3hrs
•    PT 905. Leadership for Change                                                               3hrs
•    PT 950.  Theories and Practices of Personal Peace Making                         3hrs
•    PT 964.  Peace Making in Church and Community                                     3hrs
•    PT 960.  Conflict Transformation and Trauma Awareness and Recovery      3hrs
•    PT 905. Transformational Leadership and Community Change                   3hrs


•    WC 900. Research World Christianity                                                 3hrs
•    WC 901. Key Concepts in World Christianity                                       3hrs
•    WC 906. Migration in the History of Christianity                                  3hrs
•    WC 902. World Christianity & World Politics, Africa & beyond.              3hrs
•    WC 904. Centre for World Christianity, Dynamics of Global Revival      3hrs                                                 
•    WC 903. Theological Trends in Africa                                                 3hrs
•    WC 905. Global Pentecostalism                                                         3hrs                                 


•    MS 900 Research Methods I
•    MS 901 Research Methods II
•    MS 902 Hermeneutical Approaches to Scripture
•    MS 903 Floating Ideas about God in Africa
•    MS 904 Advanced Contextualization
•    MS Anthropological Reflections on Modern African Society
•    Electives

Mode of Delivery

The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies is taught in seminar form consisting of:
1.    There will be a ten-day face-to-face residency  two to three times a year for two years on the AIU Karen Campus.
2.    Research Paper for each seminar: Following each of the residencies, students will complete a research paper that relates to their doctoral seminar content with specific issues in their areas of specialization.

In addition to these, there will be On-line peer mentoring conversation and cohort interaction and peer review of student’s work through colloquiums and retreats during each residency.

1.    Provision is made for cohort-based/modular format in the first year of the programme, while students are required to attend three contact sessions to complete the seminar/taught cycle. Thereafter the PhD candidate may choose to stay on in residence for the purpose of quality concentrated time during the research cycle of 2-3 years or come on part-time basis.
2.    Whether the full-time or part-time option is adopted following the first year, regularly scheduled meetings between the mentor and the candidate will be agreed upon and signed by both parties and the mentor is required to report same in writing to the HOD and the Graduate School (consult the Doctoral Studies Guidelines for related details).
3.    Payment of a fixed tuition amount every term/semester is recommended to the University, as a way to incentivize and minimize attrition.
4.    Candidates who complete all the required seminars but are yet to successfully defend the dissertation will be subject to register and pay University continuation fees, within the maximum time allowed in the PhD programme (consult the current University fees structure and the Doctoral studies Manual).

Fee structure

Total tuition 126,000
Admin Charges 16,525
Total tuition fee per semester 142,525
Total per Year 427,575

How to apply

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