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DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

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What Can I Do With a PhD in Religion?

Stories from JDP alumni

Here are a few examples of what graduates have done with their careers:

  • James Murphy (2011) is an Assistant Professor in History, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion at South Dakota State University, College of Arts & Sciences.  He received the College's Liberal Arts Award, which included a medallion, monetary stipend, a ceremonial place in the College's spring ceremony, and the delivery of the Herbert Cheever Jr. Liberal Arts Lecture on January 16, 2018.  He lectured on "Standing, Kneeling, Respecting, and Protesting: Liberal Arts Education and Clashes Over National Symbols."

  • Hannah Ingram (December 2016) focused her PhD program on Religion and Psychology.  She recently became the Director of Religious Life and College Chaplain at Franklin College in Indiana.

  • Zachary Moon (June 2016) is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at the Chicago Theological Seminary where he combines his experience in chaplaincy with his education in pastoral care to teach classes on "Quaker Theology and Practice," "Identity, Power, and Difference," and "Impact of War on Pastoral Theology and Care."  He is the author of Coming Home: Ministry that Matters with Veterans and Military Families.

  • Grace Chiou (June 2015) serves as Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at Gordon University where she teaches a range of classes, including those related to her area of doctoral study in cultural theory with a focus on religion and media.

  • Eu Kit Lim (2015) teaches College Writing, History and Religious Studies at HELP University in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, after writing his dissertation on "The Hybrid Spirit Animating Chinese Pentecostals in Malaysia."

  • Elias Bongma graduated from the program with an emphasis in religion and social change. He is currently the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology and Professor of Religion at Rice University. He served as President of the African Association for the Study of Religion from 2010-2015 and is currently Managing Editor of Religious Studies Review.

  • Dan Clanton concentrated in biblical studies during his studies in the JDP. He is now Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.

  • Debbie Creamer’s particular area of interest is disability studies and theology. She taught for several years at Iliff School of Theology and served as Director of Iliff’s Taylor Library. She is currently Director of Accreditation and Institutional Evaluation at the Association of Theological Schools. In 2009, she published Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities.

  • Tamara Cohen Eskenazi is Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, in addition to holding a rabbinical degree. Among her many publications, Dr. Eskenazi is co-editor with Andrea Weiss of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, for which she won the National Jewish Book of the Year Award in 2008.

  • Jan Everhart received her PhD with an emphasis in biblical studies. She is currently Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department at Simpson College in Indianolia, Iowa. Find out more about Dr. Everhart at

  • Kwasi Kwakye-Nuako graduated from the program with a focus in religion and social change. He is currently Associate Professor of World Religions at Howard University Divinity School.

  • Jeff Scholes’s (2009) area of specialization is political theology. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.