Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Successful Dissertation Defense

I am happy to report the successful defense of my dissertation, titled "Andrew D. Urshan: A Theological Biography." I enrolled in the PhD program in the School of Divinity at Regent University in 2003 and completed all course requirements and the written and oral comprehensive examinations by 2008. Then I began work on the dissertation, gathering what I think is the largest single collection of materials by and about Urshan that exists in any one place on planet earth. Someday I will donate this to the Center for the Study of Oneness Pentecostalism. In the meantime, I have future writing projects related to Urshan, including an article for Pneuma and a revision of the dissertation for publication as a book. The publication of these projects should not be expected for at least a year and perhaps even longer.

I would have been happy just to pass the defense. At Regent University, there are four possible outcomes of one's attempt to defend the dissertation: (1) Pass with distinction; (2) Pass; (3) Pass with revisions required; (4) No pass. If one does not pass, it is the end of the PhD program, and the student is awarded a master's degree. I was sincerely grateful when my committee chairman, Dr. Dale Coulter, announced that I had passed with distinction.

The PhD experience at Regent University was rich and rewarding, and I do recommend looking into this program to those who are thinking of earning a seminary PhD.

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