The Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) was started in 1981 by the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, which share a campus.
The JDP assumes that innovative and exciting academic inquiries depend on conversations between people who approach the study of religion from different angles. For this reason, the program is not structured according to discrete concentrations; it is designed to foster collegial relationships between students and faculty who have overlapping approaches to the study of religion but locate themselves in different areas of specialization. The core curriculum of the program is therefore structured around three colloquia where these overlapping approaches come together to create conversation among those who study different places, spaces, texts, rituals, images, and religious traditions. For more details, see Program and Faculty Strengths and Requirements.
The program draws on the various strengths of faculty members at both the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver. In addition to DU’s department of religious studies, faculty from philosophy, anthropology, literature, art history, media studies, psychology and international studies play an active role in the JDP.
With the guidance of faculty, students define their academic specializations through course work, comprehensive exams, and the completion of a dissertation.