PhD Program

The PhD major in archaeology is housed in the School of Theology and follows the policies and procedures of the other PhD majors within the school.

PhD-School of Theology


Dr. Steven M. Ortiz, Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds
Dr. Thomas Davis, Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds
Dr. Eric Mitchell, Old Testament and Archaeology
Dr. Mark Janzen, History and Archaeology

Dr. Ryan Stokes, Old Testament and Dead Sea Scrolls

Additional Faculty from the Biblical Studies Division
Dr. George Klein, Old Testament and Semitic Languages
Dr. Joshua William, Old Testament



Master’s students should consult with faculty in the archaeology department to select appropriate graduate classes in anticipation of PhD studies in archaeology.  General seminary and core MAABS courses are normally expected components of a prerequisite degree.

Biblical Languages
Exegetical Competence in Biblical Hebrew and Greek is required for admission. If the applicant does not possess this competence, leveling work will be required.

Modern Languages
One research language is required for the PhD in Levantine Archaeology and Biblical Studies, generally either French or German. Students may petition to substitute other languages (e.g., Arabic, Italian, Modern Greek, Modern Hebrew), if there is an academic need to do so.

Archaeological Fieldwork and Museum Experience
Fieldwork and museum experience comprise crucial components of the requirements for the PhD major in Levantine Archaeology and Biblical Studies.  PhD students who do not have this experience in their master’s degree must complete the necessary work prior to the conclusion of the seminar stage of the PhD program.  The study of artifacts, and specifically ceramics, takes the place of a second research language. Fieldwork should take various forms, exposing students to a wide range of methodologies and techniques

The acquisition of museum or other collections-based experience is a growing dimension in graduate training in archaeology.  The Tandy Institute for Archaeology houses a small study collection as well as the collections housed in the Tandy Museum. PhD students will have the opportunity to learn about the conservation of artifacts and their use in education in the Tandy Museum, while assisting the museum to fulfill its mission. 

For general guidelines to SWBTS PhD programs and details of the application process, visit