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Residential Library

New Testament and Hermeneutics

over 100 years of

Faculty Experience

Thomas E. Phillips, Ph.D.

Center Director

Meet The Faculty

Thomas E. Phillips earned his Ph.D. in Christian Origins at Southern Methodist University under Joe Tyson. Dr. Phillips is the author of several book and scholarly articles. In 2010, he served as the lead translator for the Gospel of Luke in the Common English Bible. Dr. Phillips has taught at Eastern Nazarene College, Colorado Christian University, Point Loma Nazarene University and Fuller Theological Seminary. At present, Dr. Phillips is dean of the library and information services at Claremont School of Theology.


The Doctor in Theology and Ministry degree (DTM) is a professional research doctorate.It is an alternative to the Ph.D. degree, and yet the DTM is directed and examined in the sameway as a Ph.D. course of study.


The DTM requires 36 credit-hours of systematic study andoriginal research leading to a doctoral treatise and oral defense before a faculty committee. This degree is ideal for those who desire independent research connected to the core disciplines in theology with a direct application to the practice of ministry.This center is designed to provide advanced training in New Testament Interpretation forstudents who desire to engage in academically rigorous, critical scholarship on the NewTestament, Christian Origins and hermeneutics.


The program presumes that students will haveeither completed a Master's degree in religious studies or excelled in an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies. This program provides students with individualized instruction from established New Testament scholars and will allow students to individualize their primary area of study under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor who is an established New Testament scholar.


This degree is designed as a terminal degree for ministers and Bible teachers who want to engage in advanced research in the New Testament, Christian Origins and hermeneutics. The program requires the ability to read the Greek New Testament, but does not require otherlanguages. This program is not designed for persons who plan to teach in a university setting (persons wishing to teach in a university should pursue a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Theology). Likewise, the program is not focused primarily upon preaching or pastoral ministry (students desiring to a degree which is directly related to pastoral ministry should pursue a Doctor of Ministry or Doctor in Pastoral Ministry).


The program is non-residential and requires no travel. The program is ideal for persons who are engaged in ministry and who cannot relocate or travel easily. The program provides access to the world's best specialized digital library in religious studies, the Digital Theological Library. 



Prerequisite Requirements:

Academic Research Methods (3 credit hours or oral exam)
All students must demonstrate their mastery of the tools, methods and standards of contemporary scholarly discourse, including research, documentation and writing skills.

Greek Language (3 credit hours or oral exam)

All students must demonstrate the ability to read and analyze the Greek New Testament.

Core Competency Experience (12 hours):

Contemporary NT Study (3 credit hours or oral exam)

All students must demonstrate an awareness of scholarly discussion regarding the major questions involved in the contemporary critical study of the New Testament.

Greco-Roman World (3 credit hours or oral exam)
All students must demonstrate an awareness of the history and culture of the Greco-Roman world from which the New Testament arose.

Contemporary Hermeneutics (3 credit hours or oral exam)

All students must demonstrate an awareness of the generally accepted principles that guide contemporary interpretation of the New Testament as a literary and theological text.


Ancient Christianities (3 credit hours or oral exam)
All students must demonstrate a mastery of the variety of early Christian texts which represent the various Christian communities of the first three centuries. 


Students who demonstrate competencies in one or more of these core competencies via oral exams will not be required to take a course in that area. These 2-hour oral exams over each pre-requisite or competency are administered by Northwind Institute Faculty. Successfully completed exams are documented on a Northwind Institute Transcript and transferred to Northwind Seminary. The Institute charges $395.00 per exam. (fees apply whether the student passes the exam or not).


Treatise Research Experience (12 hours):

Students will choose a faculty mentor from the list of the Center’s available scholars to serve as the student’s primary faculty mentor. The student and faculty mentor will develop an academic plan for two 6-credit Treatise Research Courses. These Oxford-Style courses include a reading list and a description of a mutually acceptable means of accountability and reporting and a formalized mechanism for evaluation for each of two research courses. In most cases, the student will work with the same faculty member for both projects. However, the student may work with two different members with the consent of the student’s primary faculty mentor. These courses include Contemporary Hermeneutics - an awareness of the generally accepted principles by guide contemporary interpretation of the New Testament as a literary and theological text.

Treatise and Defense Experience (12 hours)

Having completed the first stages of the program, the student will work under the supervision of his or her faculty mentor to research, write and defend a final research project of 120 - 150 pages over an issue related to the area of the student’s research.

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