Work on my doctoral dissertation continues at a steady pace. I hope to have my program completed sometime in the Summer of 2015.
On September 18th, I will interview before a committee at the London School of Theology (via Skype) where I will present my progress to this point (including my original contribution). If all goes well, I will have permission to submit my final draft with corrections sometime in the coming year. Woo-hoo!
The process of writing a doctoral dissertation has been a wonderful adventure for me. I am still very much interested in my subject matter (see later), I continue to learn a great deal about the Bible and I continue to hone my research skills.
Milestones to a PhD
At the London School of Theology in Great Britian there are three major milestones on the road to a PhD (apart from actually writing a good dissertation). One is the application process whereby you must submit the topic you wish to research upfront. The second occurs about a year later where you are officially accepted into the school’s MPhil program (Masters of Philosophy).
Every PhD student begins as an MPhil student. This is one way to filter through students who have the desire to advance or have the skills to advanced into PhD status.
The third milestone is called the PhD upgrade interview which entails a Skype meeting with my advisor and a committee of professors from the London School of Theology to report on my progress. This is the last step before the school officially declares you a PhD worthy student.
Requirements for a PhD upgrade
Each candidate must present a chapter-by-chapter outline, a working bibliography (to make sure one is interacting with the right scholars), a substantial sample of work, and the most important piece perhaps, a summary of the original contribution. This last part is key. The PhD thesis is predicated on the fact that one is going to make an original contribution to research in the New Testament area.
On September 18th, I will have my PhD upgrade interview via Skype with my advisor (in Boston) and a committee of professors from the London School of Theology (in London). My topic, broadly speaking, is the parallel use of the pastoral image within specific sections of Acts and 1 Peter.
Wish me luck. Say a prayer. After September 18th, it’s PhD or bust!