PhD Program

This program is currently under development. Stay tuned!

Early in 2018, a conversation started among the Presidents and Academic Deans of ABTS, Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), and the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC), to discuss the possibility of starting a collaborative PhD program in the Middle East. It quickly became obvious that the time is ripe for this conversation with the rising need for an accessible, contextual, and quality doctoral program in the region for the benefit of the Middle Eastern Church. This program can be a benefit for the global Church as well, with the focus on areas of specialization available within Middle Eastern institutions.

This conversation has been facilitated by Evan Hunter of ScholarLeaders. We are grateful for ScholarLeaders and the many partners in theological education who are coming alongside this conversation to enrich and strengthen it. In November 2018, we hosted a consultation at ABTS for the academic leaders of the three seminaries and invited several consultants to help us think through the best format for this program. Challenging Tradition: Innovation in Advanced Theological Education is a book co-edited by Perry Shaw and Havilah Dharamraj that was published to challenge the linear-empiricist tradition of doctoral dissertation that was developed in the West. We invited three of the book’s contributors to be the consultants guiding our discussions: Joanna Feliciano-Soberano, Dean at Asian Theological Seminary – Philippines, Perry Shaw, Professor of Education at ABTS at the time, and our facilitator Evan Hunter, Vice President at ScholarLeaders International.

From 2018 till 2022, the three seminaries worked hard to develop the structure and content of the collaborative PhD.

In February 2022, the Presidents and Academic Deans from the three seminaries met in Istanbul to assess the structure and content.

In late 2022, the three seminaries began conversations with the Protestant Theological Seminary in Amsterdam (PThU) on possible ways of partnership between the universities. The seminaries met with representatives from the PThU early in January 2023 in Jordan to continue the discussions. Faculty from the three seminaries also underwent PhD supervision training in January in Amman courtesy of Langham Partnerships and ICETE.

Throughout 2023, the three seminaries worked with the PThU to refine different aspects of the partnership. The consortium of seminaries also took on the name the Middle East Graduate Theological Consortium.

In January 2024, presidents of the Consortium signed a memorandum of understanding with PThU as a partner in the new collaborative PhD program. This was a major step towards fully developing and launching the program.