Skip navigation

DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

Main Header

Welcome to the Joint Doctoral Program

The Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) combines the strengths and resources of the University of Denver (DU) and the Iliff School of Theology, separate institutions that have shared a campus and a passion for the public good since the 1890s.  Together, we offer a PhD program for those who have already obtained a masters degree in religion, theology, or a related field and want to pursue an interdisciplinary PhD in the study of religion with a diverse, world-renowned faculty.

The JDP assumes that innovative and exciting academic inquiries depend on conversations among people who approach the study of religion from different angles. For this reason, the program is not structured according to professional tracks or academic concentrations, but instead fosters collegial relationships among students and faculty who locate themselves in different areas of specialization but have overlapping approaches to the study of religion. The core curriculum includes three colloquia where these overlapping approaches come together to create conversation among those who study varied places, texts, rituals, images, and religious traditions with a variety of methodologies.  For three years, students work together in residence to make the most of such exchanges. 

With the guidance of DU and Iliff faculty, students define their academic specializations through course work, comprehensive exams, and the completion of a dissertation leading to a PhD that is jointly granted by both institutions.  A certificate in LatinX Studies and a Future Faculty in Religion certificate are options for students with those interests. The Joint PhD Program is designed to prepare persons for independent research, teaching, and service. Some will use these abilities as scholar-teachers in higher ed.  Others will find vocational fulfillment within the context of religious organizations, institutes, counseling centers, government agencies, and other professional venues.