Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

New Testament and Early Christianity

Structure of the Program

The PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity is designed to be completed in five years of full-time study. Students must complete the required 33 hours of coursework during their first two years in the program. The third year is devoted to comprehensive exams—which are ordinarily taken during the fall semester—followed by the submission of a dissertation proposal. In years four and five students dedicate their time to writing the dissertation. 

In addition to developing research skills, classroom experience and preparation for teaching are key components of our program. During the first three funded years, students are expected to serve as teaching assistants and/or research assistants for departmental faculty. In years four and five, students serve as instructor of record for undergraduate courses offered by the Theology Department while completing the dissertation.


Robert A. DiVito (Pentateuch; Ancient Near East; Anthropology; Hermeneutics)

Brian Lee  (Pauline Literature, Second Temple Judaism, Hellenistic Judaism, Hellenistic philosophy, Early Jewish and Christian ethics)

Edmondo Lupieri (Religious Syncretism, The Figure of John the Baptist, The Synoptic Gospels, The Gospel of Matthew, The Historical Jesus, The Apocalypse of John, Apocalypticism, Gnosticism, Mary Magdalene)

Christopher W. Skinner (Johannine Literature; Synoptic Gospels; Gospel of Thomas; Nag Hammadi Library​; Narrative Christology; Narrative Criticism & Literary Hermeneutics; ​New Testament Ethics)

Olivia Stewart Lester (Gender, Religion and Violence, Prophecy, Ancient Economies, Pseudepigraphy, The Book of Revelation, Sibylline Oracles, Hellenistic Judaism, Biblical Interpretation)

Thomas Wetzel (Hebrew Bible; Deuteronomistic History; Former and Latter Prophets; Jewish-Christian dialogue; Violence in the Bible; Flannery O'Connor and Catholic Literature)


Students accepted into our PhD program are guaranteed funding for five years of full-time study. Our funding package covers full tuition and fees and includes a yearly stipend of $28,000.

Graduate Student Placement and Publication 

Recent graduates in New Testament/Early Christianity hold full time and tenure-track teaching positions, serve in academic administration, work in publishing, engage in church ministry, and teach part-time. Graduates and ABD candidates currently work at Catholic Theological Union, Cedarville University, Hope International University, Knox College, Loyola University Chicago, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Pepperdine University, Rock Valley College, Southwestern University, Spring Hill College, St. Xavier University, Tyndale House Publishers, and US Catholic Magazine.

Our graduates have published dissertations with Brill (NTTSD), De Gruyter (BZNW), Fortress, Mohr Siebeck (WUNT II), and the Society of Biblical Literature (Studia Philonica). For more information, see Recent Publications

How to Apply

Application requirements. 

For fall admission, the application deadline is January 15.