PhD programme


Admission requirements
- a Master’s degree within a relevant subject area, or cand.theol.
- a good project description for a PhD thesis with a scheduled time-frame of completion
- documentation of how to finance the studies 

3 years full time/ 6 years part time (180 ECTS). 
The assessment will be a trial lecture and a public defense of the PhD thesis.

Application form
Use this form when applying for PhD studies



PhD programme

MF Norwegian School of Theology offers Doctoral Programmes (PhD) in Theology and Religious Education / Religious Studies. 

A PhD qualifies you for teaching at the college/university level, for research activities, and for other work where there are high standards of scholarly insight, skill, and well developed analytical thinking. MF's programme is open to applicants from other universities and colleges in Norway and abroad.


In order to be admitted to MF’s PhD Program, the applicant must have completed a five year master’s program in Theology, Religious Studies, Religious Education or their equivalent. The application for admission to the doctoral program shall contain:

  • A project proposal for the thesis
  • A detailed plan for completion of the project, including interim deadlines, etc.
  • An account of project funding
  • An account of the need for academic supervision and the name(s) of proposed supervisor(s)
  • Any relevant plans for extended stays at other research institutions
  • A plan for publication/dissemination of results
  • Documentation of educational background that qualifies for admission

Fields of Research/Disciplines
MF’s research is centred around the fields of Theology, Religion and Society, including disciplines such as:

The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (OT/HB)
The New Testament (NT)
Church History and Cultural History
Systematic Theology
Practical Theology
Religious Education
Religious Studies
Sociology of Religion
Psychology of Religion
Social Sciences

PhD Coordinator, Dr.Theol. Nils Aksel Røsæg
P: +47 22 59 05 53

Research Schools
MF hosts an interdisciplinary research school for PhD students working in the field of Religion and Society, The Research School Religion Values Society (RVS) as well as participate in the Research School Authoritative Texts and their Reception: National Research School in Textual Interpretation (ATTR). Participants in the research school are offered a course where distinguished scholars who have done research in various relevant topics participate, and where a main aim is to build networks between senior researchers and Ph.D. students. The research school arranges an annual one-week summer school in Lesbos, Greece. See more information about these two research schools here.


Research activities at the Norwegian School of Theology

Does MF offer financial assistance to international students?
MF does not offer any scholarships. All international students must arrive in Oslo with adequate funding to pay for student fees, registration fees, accommodation, and other living expenses. Apart from a relatively small student fee/ registration fee there is no tuition fee to study at MF.

How to apply?

How to apply?

Applications for admission are made by filling out the application form with all required attachments. Please send the application to: MF vitenskapelig høyskole, pb. 5144 Majorstua, 0302 Oslo, NORWAY.

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time.

PhD coordinator Dr. Theol. Nils Aksel Røsæg.

T: + 47 22 59 05 53 

Admission Requirements

  1. A master’s degree or equivalent higher education in a relevant field
  2. A complete description (proposal) of a research project and an indication of how the PhD dissertation can be completed within 3 years
  3. Documentation of funding for the 3 years of research (or up to 6 years with 50% research)

Application form:
Use this form when applying for PhD studies

Doctorate and Career Guidance

Doctorate and Career Guidance

The 100 doctoral candidates from MF until 2017 have all found employment related to their expertise.

75 % of the have found work outside of MF, distributed in the following sectors:

45 % in other Norwegian universities and colleges
20 % elsewhere in the Norwegian society, school and church
10 % internationally, including international universities and colleges

In total, so much as 75 %  have found work in universities and colleges.

MF wants to contribute to career counselling and career development for PhD students. Our society is in need of persons with expertise in the subjects researched at MF. With a PhD you can do everything you could with a master’s, but it also brings new opportunities to work with more specialized tasks.

Ph.D. Courses and Dissertation Seminars

Ph.D. Courses and Dissertation Seminars

Fall 2019

Religion and Values as Fields of Research (5 stp/ECTS; PhD900/VIT9021)
9-11 September

Philosophy and Theology: Methods in Systematic Theology (5 stp/ECTS;  MET920B/MET904B)
7-9 October

Empirical Studies: Qualitative Methods (5 stp/ECTS; MET910C/MET903)
7-9 October

PhD Thesis Seminar (parts of the PhD theses)
5-6 December


Spring 2020

Historical and Exegetical Methods:
Sources, Text Produstion and Transmission
(5 stp/ECTS; MET920A/MET902B)
22-24 January

PhD Thesis Seminar (parts of the PhD theses)
23-24 April

Fall 2020

Theory of Science and Research Ethics (5 stp/ECTS; PhD901AB/VIT901)

Empirical Studies: Qualitative Methods (5 stp/ECTS; MET910C/MET903)

PhD Thesis Seminar (parts of the PhD theses)
3-4 December

Spring 2021

Historical and Exegetical Methods:
Text, Materiality, and Context
  (5 stp/ECTS; MET910A/MET902A)

PhD Thesis Seminar (parts of the PhD theses)
22-23 April

External PhD Courses and Seminars

Relevant courses and seminars from institutions and conferences held nationally and internationally can be accepted as substitute for part of the candidate’s academic training
Research networks:

Religion, Values, and Society

Nordic Network for Doctoral Training in Theology and Religion

Global Network of Research Centers for Theology, Religious and Christian Studies

OTSEM - Old Testament Studies: Epistemologies and Methods

NordForsk, Nordic Research Academy

Finnish Graduate School of Theology

Religion in Dialogue, International Ph.D. Programme Frankfurt, J. W. Goethe University

Relevant webpages:

PhD On Track

Seminaret i vitenskapsteori UiO (The Seminar in Philosophy of Science)
Senter for vitskapsteori UiB (Centre for Philosophy of Science)

Programme Description

Programme Description

The PhD programme aims to train researchers with expertise in scholarly analysis as well as hypothesis and theory formation. The programme is to a large extent based on individual and specialized studies, and it also aims at providing the means for academic socialization. The Candidate’s research and the resulting PhD thesis constitute the major part of the education.

The programme is structured around four areas: 

• Philosophy of Science (10 ECTS)
• Methodology (10 ECTS)
• The Status of the Discipline (10 ECTS)
• Thesis/dissertation (150 ECTS)

1 ECTS (= European Credit Transfer System, ’studiepoeng’) requires 25-30 hours work from the Candidate. 

The programme consists of different parts which together allow for a hermeneutical interplay. The course components support, inform, guide and inspire the individual PhD research. Seminars will partly be arranged at MF, partly through national cooperation, and partly through international networks and conferences. The majority of the seminars are held at MF. You may apply for recognition of courses and/or seminars offered by other institutions.

The dissertation must be an independent academic work meeting international standards with regard to ethics, professional level, and methodology in the field. It should contribute to the development of new knowledge and be at a standard appropriate for publication as part of the scientific literature in the field of research.

The programme of study for the PhD/research training follows the Regulations for the PhD degree at MF Norwegian School of Theology valid from 01.08.2012.
The research training comprises 180 credits (normally within 3 years of study). These credits includes a doctoral dissertation which is an independent study of 150 points and research training of 30 points. The degree is referred as a research degree because it leads to research expertise. It is usually based on specialisation within the field of a master's degree,  Cand. Theol, or Bachelor of Arts. ​"The course work portion of the PhD programme, together with the dissertation, provides an education at a high academic level in accordance with international standards.  insights into the nature of scholarly academic work, training in presentation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, and an introduction to research ethics, philosophy of science and scientific methods.  Training will, in conjunction with research, contribute to the achievement of the expected learning outcomes in accordance with the national qualifications framework." 

Programme description (PDF)

Ethical Guidelines

Ethical Guidelines

The research at MF should be in accordance with the national guidelines.

For more information click here.

Papers and essays

Papers and essays

Research programmes at Norwegian universities must include the approval of a paper discussing theoretical as well as discipline-specific topics. These essays should focus on one topic and/or a research question which is placed within the framework of the larger academic and theoretical discussion context it is a part of, and is the subject of independent discussion. The essays should demonstrate the ability to discuss and appraise arguments, leading to a conclusion, which often is also relevant to the broader field of theology or the candidate’s own discipline.

The essay must be approved before the student submits the dissertation for evaluation.