A minimum requirement for admission to the PhD program at ETF is a NVAO accredited two-year academic Master’s degree in Theology or Religious Studies, or equivalent. The Doctoral Committee assesses every application individually. Only a limited number of the applications are accepted. The most important criterion is the research potential of the candidate. In addition, it is important that the envisaged research project ties in to the expertise of the departments and research institutes of ETF.

International PhD student candidates with a completed Master’s degree from EEA or non-EEA countries might be required to follow a predoctoral program. The predoctoral period aims to cultivate the academic and research competences of the candidate and is based on the second year of the Master’s program, which includes the writing of a research thesis. Depending on the individual situation the predoctoral phase lasts typically one year or at most two years and is awarded by either a certificate or an NVAO-accredited MA in Theology and Religious Studies degree. At the end of this predoctoral period, the Doctoral Committee decides whether the student is suited to begin the PhD Program in Theology and Religious Studies. Students who have finished the predoctoral phase with honours (cum laude) may be admitted to the PhD program with advanced standing (examination phase level two).

A level of knowledge of English C1 or higher (Common European Framework of Reference) is required to be admitted to the doctoral program. This is equivalent to an Academic IELTS score of 7 – 8 or a TOEFL score of minimum 95 – 115 (internet-based). An additional language requirement may be specified depending on the envisaged research project.


New research institute ISREYM launched

New research institute ISREYM launched

Today, professionals from churches, education and youth work come together on the study day a study day on faith education at ETF Leuven. Several speakers...

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Steven van den Heuvel New Director of ILSE

Steven van den Heuvel New Director...

At the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE), a research institute of Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF), Leuven, a change of watch takes...

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