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DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

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The Life of a DU/Iliff Student

The best of both Institutions

A Student's Perspective

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As a student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Religion I have had the opportunity to creatively pursue my own broad academic interests in biblical studies, hermeneutics, and ethics in an interdisciplinary setting, and to take full advantage of access to the extensive libraries of two unique partner institutions. More importantly, I have enjoyed sharing classes with other doctoral students who approach the study of religion from entirely different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. For me, this diversity and interdisciplinarity illustrates well the sense that in the JDP education is a collaborative and communal effort, and that we all have something to learn from one another. I hope that you will visit Denver soon and explore what the JDP has to offer.

Joshua Smith, Current JDP Student 


Students in the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program enjoy all of the resources at both the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver. Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, DU and Iliff share a beautiful campus, with each institution offering its own distinct culture and traditions. DU's student population consists of about 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and offers the amenities of a large institution with a private school feel. It is proud to be home of the DU Pioneers, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, the Vicki Myhren Gallery, and the Lamont School of Music, to name only a few. Iliff, by virtue of its smaller population, offers a more intimate community atmosphere and a unique blend of social activities and academic resources. Although Iliff officially identifies as one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries, the population is very ecumenical, welcoming students, faculty, and staff from over 30 different denominations and faith traditions. The doctoral degree is granted jointly by the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology and bears the signatures and seals of both schools.


The Joint Doctoral Program Graduate Student Association (JDP GSA) is a student-elected body that serves as a resource for both the students and the institutions at which they are studying. Visit the JDP GSA Portfolio Page to learn more.