A candidate undertaking the PhD in Theology delineates and investigates a question, a question that fascinates the candidate and captures their imagination.
Under the supervision of a member of the Faculty of Theology, a candidate undertaking the PhD in Theology delineates and investigates a question or the aspect of a question in a way that permits her or him to acquire an overarching mastery and competence in their chosen theological discipline, so as to formulate a thesis, write a dissertation thereon, and thus contribute to the development of theological understanding. The Faculty of Theology currently supervises the PhD in Theology in all principal theological disciplines.
Obtaining a doctorate is not just obtaining a more advanced degree—gaining a doctorate is gaining another life! Researching and writing a doctoral dissertation is not simply a question of more detailed and demanding study, it is the study of a question, a question that fascinates the candidate and captures their imagination. As well as academic ability, undertaking doctoral studies demands dedication, focus, and an ability to hold to one's academic path. This is clearly not for everybody, but for those who endure in their research, the rewards are great: an overarching mastery and competence in their field of research, a deep insight not only into their sub-discipline, into the very character of theology or philosophy, an ability to frame and engage new questions and research challenges as they emerge.
The Maynooth doctoral candidate—be it for the PhD or the D.D. (S.T.D.)—has access to a very large, international, multilingual, research active, and diverse Faculty in the Catholic tradition that is part of a dynamic academic network across Europe's premier theology faculties, in an institution where theology has been taught since 1795, with a contemporary research library (the John Paul II University Library) and a venerable archival library (the Russell Library), and sharing research facilities with a large State university on Ireland's most beautiful and most peaceful University campus.
Are you considering a career in research? The PhD programme is an opportunity for those who want to further their studies after completing a master's degree. A PhD will qualify you to lecture in higher level education, conduct research and enter other fields where there are high standard for scholarly insight and advanced analytical thinking.