Doctoral study in Theology

Why study with us?

You can join a community of scholars working in the allied fields of theology and religious studies.

As a doctoral candidate, you'll benefit from: financial support for research expenses through PReSS funding; high-calibre supervision practices; and the networks and expertise of our world-class academic researchers.

Research opportunities

You will be supervised by our researchers and have access to a range of resources to assist you in your academic and professional development. We can also provide supervision in collaboration with other disciplines.

If you are interested in PhD research, we encourage you to contact a potential supervisor. We welcome proposals in all areas of Theological and Religious Studies, including:

  • History of Christianity
  • Theology and Religion in New Zealand and the Pacific
  • Sectarianism, Pluralism and Tolerance
  • Contextual and Liberation Theologies
  • Religion and the Environment
  • Asian Religions in Diaspora
  • Japanese Religions and Society
  • Sociology of Religious Minorities
  • Queer and Feminist Theologies
  • Religion and Public Life

Our people

Dr Nick Thompson

  • The Reformation Era
  • Early Modern and Modern Christianity
  • Critical edition and translation of Early Modern texts
  • Sectarianism, pluralism and tolerance in the history of Christianity
  • Religion, society and culture in New Zealand

Associate Professor Michael Mawson

  • Christian theology
  • Religion and decolonisation
  • Eco-theology and the Climate Crisis
  • Theology and trauma
  • Ethics and Public Theology

Professor Mark R. Mullins

  • Sociology of religion
  • Religion in modern Japanese society
  • Indigenous Christian movements
  • Religion and nationalism
  • Asian religions in diaspora

Past research topics

  • "Pacific young women's images of God and mental wellbeing" | Supervised by Dr Caroline Blyth and Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
  • "The representation of the female body in fourteenth- to seventeenth-century Russian icons of Eve and the Virgin Mary" | Supervised by Dr Nicholas Thompson and Dr Caroline Blyth
  • "The celibate Christ: A suggestive reading of John 20:17 μή μου ἅπτου οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα (‘Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended’)" | Supervised by Dr Caroline Blyth and Dr Nicholas Thompson
  • "Le laau o le sopoaga/A plant for a journey: Planting Samoan Methodism in New Zealand" | Supervised by Dr Nicholas Thompson and Dr Ama’amalele Tofaeono

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your PhD in Theology:

Help and advice

Our friendly staff will provide you with advice on enrolling in your PhD at Student Hubs.

If you would like to discuss your plans for your doctoral research you can contact our PhD Adviser.

Apply for doctoral study