2100 S. Summit Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

(800) 440-6227


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To inquire about a specific program, please complete our Request Info form.

We are so happy you are interested in applying to Kairos University. If you have questions, please visit this page. Or, if you are ready to take the next step, begin by filling out this form below.

Doctor of Theology

A transformational journey of discipleship focused on helping you develop vocational excellence in your current or desired context – all on your time and from wherever you are.


Engage in rich theological reflection on ministry practice, develop and deepen your knowledge of theological content, and generate new understandings of the craft of ministry.


This Doctor of Theology, which is designed for the theological reflective practitioner, is a research degree that will enable you to engage in rich theological reflection on practice, with the goal of enhancing and creating biblically faithful, theologically coherent, and contextually relevant ministry practices for the Church at large. The program’s core learning experiences provide a common foundation for seminar-style focused readings and generative research, accompanied by an invitation to integrate and apply. The program may be completed in context but requires four-large group residencies that are completed in person.

Some of the specialized theological fields of inquiry researched by students include biblical theology, historical theology, contextual theology, missional theology, apologetics, semiotics, personhood, leadership theology, and trauma and transformation.

Applicants are typically considered for August or January admission into the program in order to align with the start of core courses. To inquire about starting in a different month, please contact our enrollment team.




Only $600/month




From anywhere




Customized for you




Stay rooted in Christ


Why pursue a Doctor of Theology with Kairos?

By inviting Kairos to walk on this journey with you, you’re seizing a unique opportunity to deepen your faith while simultaneously developing the content, character, and craft to flourish in your vocation. You’ll develop a mentor team that walks with you throughout the entire program. And then, we will invite you to integrate discipleship, vocational excellence, and proficiency learning.


Program Breakdown

The 42-credit-hour Doctor of Theology is divided into four phases.

Students typically begin the program entry phase in August or January. This allows for time and space to work through the Starting Well learning experience before starting core learning experiences, which begin each September and February. In some cases, if additional pre-work is needed to begin the program, you will work with the enrollment team to coordinate an appropriate start date.


Program Entry Phase

This phase will prepare you for doctoral-level reading and writing, encourage you to develop habits and patterns for successful progress through the program, assist you in identifying a tentative research focus, and conclude with the identification of a mentor team to guide you through the remainder of the program. This phase must be completed prior to your first full semester.

Starting Well (3)


Core Learning and Specialized Inquiry Phase

Each fall and spring, you will have the opportunity to complete a 12-week scheduled integrative learning experience in order to provide a common foundational content and context for the learning in the program. Each 12-week scheduled integrative learning experience requires a three-day intensive residency experience in Sioux Falls, SD (some exceptions may apply for students outside of North America). Core learning experiences can be taken in any order.

Integration: Macro Context

An Historical Imagination (3)
A Global Imagination (3)

Integration: Micro Context

An Ecclesiological Imagination (3)
A Formational Imagination (3)

Simultaneous with the completion of the integrated learning experiences, you will be engaged either individually, or with a group of fellow students, in

specialized inquiry (consisting of intentional, guided learning) within your chosen discipline, ministry practice, or area of research, under the direct supervision of your mentor team.

Specialized Inquiry: Literature and History

Readings in Theology and Practice I & II (3 ea.)
Specialized reading and research on the literature and history of your area of specialization 

Specialized Inquiry: Concepts and Models

Readings in Theology and Practice III & IV (3 ea.)
Specialized reading and research on the concepts and models of your area of specialization

Specialized Inquiry: Practices and Methods

Readings in Theology and Practice V & VI (3 ea.)
Specialized reading and research on practices and research methods of your area of specialization 


Generative Learning Phase

Upon completion of specialization and core learning experiences, you are permitted to take the comprehensive exams, which demonstrate the capacity to integrate and apply across the content of the program. When the exams are completed, you will begin the process, under the continued direction of your mentor team, of creating a full-length disseminable dissertation or, with approval, a related artifact that accomplishes the same learning objectives.

Generative Learning

Comprehensive Exam
Dissertation I & II (3 ea.)


Program Completion Phase

Continuing Well (3)

Program Overview

While engaged in this program, you will walk with a mentor team through:

Program Outcomes

With a focus on rich theological reflection on ministry practice, the Doctor of Theology will help you develop and deepen your knowledge of theological content, be more fully formed in Christian character, and generate new understandings of the craft of ministry. Through the program, you will develop and demonstrate proficiency in its eight outcomes: Starting Well, Specialized Inquiry: Literature and History, Specialized Inquiry: Concepts and Models, Specialized Inquiry: Practices and Methods, Integration: Macro Context, Integration: Micro Context, Generative Learning, and Continuing Well.

Residency Experiences

Learning is not done in isolation. In addition to journeying alongside a mentor team, you will come together each fall and spring for a three-day, on-ground residency experience. The residencies will take place in Sioux Falls, SD, and coincide with the core learning and specialized inquiry phases of the program. Whenever possible, ThD residencies will be scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the annual fall and spring Kairos gatherings. Residency experiences create opportunities for community and connection and are helpful for personal encouragement and for the chance to learn from the experiences, perceptions, and wisdom of others who are asking many of the same questions.


As part of the Doctor of Theology program, you will be invited to generate for dissemination high-level scholarly research within a specialized theological field of inquiry toward the improvement of ministry praxis. You will work alongside a mentor team that’s crafted around your specialized field of inquiry, and your entire learning experience may be individualized and contextualized as much as possible toward the exploration of your research focus. Some of the specialized theological fields of inquiry researched by students include biblical theology, historical theology, contextual theology, missional theology, apologetics, semiotics, personhood, leadership theology, trauma, and transformation.

Customized Learning Experiences

Learning experiences in Kairos are built around an invitation for students to explore some aspect of their vocation, Christian thought and practice, or the human experience. As a Doctor of Theology student, you will have the opportunity to engage in individualized and guided learning experiences that encourage deep theological reflection on ministry practice within your own context and tradition. Learn more about customized learning here.

Get Started

We’d love to help you discern if this is the next best step for you. Start a conversation with us today or check out our “Discerning Your Calling” step-by-step guide.

Ready to move forward? Here are a few things you’ll need to get started (more details in the catalog).

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (and high school diploma for bachelor’s students) for all bachelor’s, graduate certificate in theological studies, master’s, and doctoral students.
  • On a case-by-case basis, certificate of completion for Training in Spiritual Direction students may be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (or 3.0 for PhD, ThD, DPC, DMin, MACO, & MAMFT applicants).
  • A completed application for admission and all admissions materials.