Doctor of Practical Theology

Doctor of Practical Theology

The Doctor of Practical Theology (D.P.T., D.Th.P.) is an advanced professional degree for professionals serving Church, non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, seeking to apply theological principles to their professional practice. The typical degree candidate is a part-time student who continues full-time professional responsibilities. The modern development of this program in the U.K. (D.P.T.) has been greatly influenced by educators and other professionals affiliated with the Association of Practical Theology[1] (APT).

The Doctor of Practical Theology (D.P.T., D.Th.P.) is typically a multidisciplinary program designed for consideration, reflection, examination and application of appropriate theological principles to practice-based settings. Further, it serves as a foundation for an original project contributing to solutions and development of the student's organization and/or profession.

Typical concentrations (or majors) include: Missions, evangelism, pastoral care, pastoral counseling, psychology of religion, chaplaincy, church growth and development, Christian administration, homiletics, spiritual formation, pastoral theology, Church administration, Biblical counseling, Biblical archeology, higher education, college/university/seminary administration, religious education, Christian management, church music, social work, spiritual direction, spiritual theology.

The Doctor of Practical Theology (D.P.T., D.Th.P.) customarily integrates theological concepts into the context of professional practice. Most programs customarily include:

  • Practice-based research and enquiry-based learning methods, in which the student's own professional context becomes a primary resource in research, and
  • Courses consisting of assignments, reading, and research designed to strengthen writing and critical thinking skills while integrating theological principles and concepts with the context of the student's professional practice.

The Doctor of Practical Theology (D.P.T., D.Th.P.) is applicable to:

  • Public sector professions, such as health care, education, social services,
  • Caring professions, such as psychotherapy, pastoral care and counseling, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation, social work and community development,
  • Church ministers in parish, congregational or chaplaincy settings
  • Non-profit professions, such as charities, non-governmental organizations, cultural organizations, or the arts,
  • Business and industry professionals with an interest in the subject

The Doctor of Practical Theology (D.Th.P.) is offered by seminary and divinity schools in France (D.Th.P.), and, more recently, the U.K. (D.P.T., Pr.D.). It is offered by a few seminaries and divinity schools in the U.S.

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