Academics‎ > ‎

PhD Program

The PhD program is intended for junior members (students) whose principal vocation is the life of scholarship and teaching. Admission is restricted to those who hold a master's degree, have a background in philosophy, and have done prior work in an appropriate area of study.

ICS is authorized to grant its own PhD degree. This degree will be awarded conjointly with the Free University of Amsterdam for the foreseeable future.

Prior to writing the dissertation, junior members complete seven on-campus semester courses, do a guided reading that results in a dissertation proposal, demonstrate competence in two relevant foreign languages, and pass a pre-dissertation examination. Two of the seven required courses are foundational courses in biblical studies and reformational philosophy, and another is an interdisciplinary seminar. The other four courses occur in one of the following six interdisciplinary clusters:

  • Aesthetics, Hermeneutics, and Philosophy of Discourse
  • Anthropology and Ethics
  • History of Philosophy
  • Knowledge, Truth, and Learning
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Theology and Biblical Studies

The pre-dissertation examination, conducted by a panel of internal and external examiners, tests candidates’ mastery of representative works from their study at ICS. The exam includes both written and oral components. Candidates should expect to spend at least two additional years completing the dissertation, which is defended orally in Amsterdam.

Please note that the PhD program involves a two-year coursework residency. The PhD program is not a distance education program.