The goal of the PhD program in contextual theology is to form scholar-practitioners who can exercise theological/educational/research leadership because they have developed certain perspectives and dispositions, acquired independent research skills, and are able to produce theological work that is rooted and has practical significance in the local context, yet has global resonance.
- They understand the contextual dimensions of Scripture and of the church’s theologizing in history.
- They are knowledgeable in the methods and skills for an in-depth and sensitive understanding of religious/social/political phenomena and the dominant values/narratives of their own culture or church traditions.
- They are able to trace themes, concepts, and ideas in Scripture appropriate to their subject matter, based on a careful exegesis of the text in its own context, yet with the understanding of the role of the reader in the whole interpretative process.
- They are ready to be independent researchers who are able to (1) tackle a subject matter in new fields or with new methods, or else to make connections or links that have not been seen or well-developed before; (2) gain a comprehensive knowledge of their field, so that they would know the gaps in research; (3) use resources and appropriate methodologies for gathering data, as well in analyzing and synthesizing them in creative ways.
- They are multi-disciplinary thinkers and practitioners who are able to relate together various fields in an integrative way so as to be able to produce new or more relevant paradigms of theology and praxis.
- They are able to draw out the practical implications of their research and contribute to the shaping of a pastoral/missional response to a current issue and/or to addressing a practical need with contextual relevance and missional impact.
- They have cultivated the quality of social and spiritual discernment so that they are able to make appropriate and insightful links and applications.
- They demonstrate the skill of disciplined writing and are able to present the results of their study in a clear and well-established format so that the others (both specialists and non-specialists) are able to interact with their results.
- They are equipped to be faculty of theological training institutions and teach in graduate and postgraduate theological education programs.