Postgraduate Research Degrees MPhil / PhD

What is special about this course?

Highland Theological College UHI has been supervising postgraduate students for a number of years. Since 2004, through our memorandum of agreement with UHI (of which HTC is a constituent Academic Partner), HTC has been registering all of our MPhil/PhD students with the University of Aberdeen.

Entry requirements

MPhil Degree

HTC must be satisfied that a prospective student is of the required academic standard to complete the scheme of research proposed. Students will be expected, therefore, to have completed an honours’ degree in theology at upper second class level (or the overseas equivalent).

PhD Degree

Prospective PhD students who do not already have the MPhil degree or its equivalent (Th.M or M.Th) will be registered as M.Phil students until the completion of a probationary period, after which they can apply to be upgraded. This probationary period will normally be one year for full-time students and 18 months for part-time students.

How will I study my course?

Supervision of the degree will be carried out by the academic staff of Highland Theological College UHI, students will be registered with UHI and their programme will be administered by HTC. However, successful candidates will be awarded their MPhil or PhD degree from the University of Aberdeen.

Where can I study my course?

  • Highland Theological College UHI

Start date

October 2016

How much will my course cost?

Fee information can be found on the university's Research postgraduate tuition fees page.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact us for more information.

Part-scholarships - Apply now!

HTC is pleased to offer two part-scholarships for applicants from outwith the EU applying for full-time, residential PhD studies at the College.  These scholarships offer a 50% reduction in fees over the three years of full-time PhD studies.

We are particularly seeking proposals in the area of theological anthropology and we would favour applications that cross the theological disciplines to combine, for example, biblical and systematic theology or systematic and practical theology (etc.).

Questions or inquiries should be addressed for the attention of the Registry Officer to or telephone +44(0)1349 780000.

Applications should be submitted electronically, sending:

  • A full CV/résumé, including details of your qualifications with grades (or grades to date);
  • A 1000 word research proposal;
  • An indicative bibliography;
  • The names and contact details of three academic referees.


Applications should be sent for the attention of the Registry Officer to as soon as possible for a 1 October 2016 start date.  Skype interviews will follow for candidates who are short-listed.

Students can research a wide range of topics, as demonstrated by the thesis titles listed below. Many of HTC’s PhD graduates are lecturers and professors in seminaries and theological institutes.

Incomprehensibilitas dei: Calvin’s Pastoral Theology in the Sermons of Job.

Derek W.H. Thomas (PhD 1999) Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia


Herman Hoeksema’s Theological Method.

David McWilliams (PhD 2000) Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology, Redeemer Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas & Senior Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida


Scottish Theological Education and Training in the Kirk and Secession, 1560-1850.

Jack Whytock (PhD 2001) Lecturer in Church History and Missiology at Dumisani Theological Institute, King Williamstown, South Africa


The Federal Pneumatology of George Smeaton (1884-89).

Robert M. Shillaker (PhD 2002) Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Highland Theological College UHI


Time for Favour. Scottish Missions to the Jews 1838-1852.

John Stuart Ross (PhD 2004) Formerly Lecturer in Dumisani Theological Institute, South Africa; now part-time Lecturer at Free Church College, Edinburgh; Minister Glenurquhart & Fort Augustus Free Church


The Application of Presbyterian Polity and Transfer of Leadership in Cross-Cultural Situations.  A Study in Presbyterian Missiology.

Clayton E. Quarterman (PhD 2005) President of Evangelical Reformed Seminary, Ukraine


The Influence of Ancient Near Eastern Vassal Treaties on the Seven Prophetic Messages in Revelation with Specific Reference to the Message to Smyrna.

David E. Graves (PhD 2008)


Moses, David and the High Kingship of Yahweh: A Canonical Study of Book IV of the Psalter.

Mike McKelvey (PhD 2008) Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, USA


Men of One Book: A Comparison of Two Methodist Preachers, John Wesley and George Whitefield.

Ian J. Maddock (PhD 2009) Lecturer in Theology at Sydney Missionary and Bible College


Matthew 1:1-17 as a Summary of Israel’s Story: The Messiah, his Brothers and the Nations.

Jason B. Hood (PhD 2009) Was an adjunct Professor at RTS


The Justification Controversy at Westminster Theological Seminary. The Years 1974-1982.

Ian A. Hewitson (PhD 2009) Associate Professor of Theology, University of Northwestern, St Paul, MN


A Critical Analysis of the Sacramental Theology of George Gillespie.

Jerrard C. Heard (PhD 2009)


Puritan Evangelism: Preaching for Conversion in Late Seventeenth Century English Puritans as Seen in the Works of John Flavel.

Clifford B. Boone (PhD 2009) Pastor, Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, Allentown, PA


The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition: Marrow Theology in the Associate Presbytery and Associate Synod Secession Churches of Scotland (1733-1799).

William VanDoodewaard (PhD 2009) Associate Professor of Church History at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan


A Biblical and Theological Study of the Contemporary Relevance of Christ’s Role in the Heavenly Session.

Ian R. Clark (PhD 2010) Retired


The Reformed Doctrine of the Will of God in the Theology and Pastoral Practice of Thomas Boston.

Jonathan P. Mackenzie (PhD 2011) Pastor of The Lighthouse Church, Forres


The Emotion of Joy and the Rhetoric of Reversal in Luke-Acts: A Socio-Rhetorical Study.

David H. Wenkel (PhD 2011) Adjunct Faculty, Bible and Theology, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago


Distress in the Psalms. An Exegetical and Canonical Study of the צדד Word Group in the Psalter.

Michael D. Rasmussen (PhD 2011) Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas


Watch out for Whom? Reconstructing the Historical Background of Paul’s Rhetoric in the Letter to the Colossians.

Adam Copenhaver (PhD 2012)


The Unassumed is the Unhealed. The Humanity of Christ in the Theology of T.F. Torrance.

Kevin Chiarot (PhD 2012) Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Jackson, TN


Are the Princetonians Passe? Evaluating the Post-Conservative Critique of Charles Hodge.

Michael L. Gurney (PhD 2012) Professor of Theology & Philosophy, Multnomah University, Portland, Oregon


Anthony Burgess and the Westminster Doctrine of Assurance.

Jonathan L. Master (PhD 2012) Professor of Theology & Dean of the School of Divinity, Cairn University, Philadelphia


The Covenant Theology of Zacharias Ursinus.

Todd Smedley (PhD 2012) Senior Associate Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, MD


The Apologetics of Thomas Chalmers: The Influences, Methods and Effects of Chalmers’ Rebuttals to Objections to Christianity.

Steven C. Adamson (PhD 2013) Adjunct Professor of Church History & Dean of Distance Learning at Ligonier Academy


Canonical Interpretations of the Song of Songs.

Rosalind S. Clarke (PhD 2014)


Time and Eternity: A Study of the ‘Accidental Temporalist’ View.

R. Keith Loftin (PhD 2014) Assistant Professor of Humanities, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Prospective students should, in the first instance, send a letter or email ( expressing an interest in postgraduate study. This should be accompanied by a full CV (resumé), together with a 500 word outline of the proposed area of study.

Depending upon the total number of postgraduate student places and the availability of suitably qualified supervisors for the proposed topic, students will then be sent the appropriate application form, together with the prospectus and other relevant documentation.

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