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.
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 welcome PhD research proposals in areas such as:
- Feminist and postfeminist engagements with religion
- Religion and LGBTI+ identities
- Queer theory and religion
- Religion in popular culture, including art, film, advertising, music and literature
- Evolutionary dynamics of religions
- Quantitative ritual studies
- Historical databases of religion
- Religion and health and wellbeing across the lifespan
- Religion in contemporary New Zealand society
- The interplay of religion and virtue
- Sociology of religion
- Religion in modern Japanese society
- Christianity in Japan and East Asia
- New religious movements
- Religion-state issues in modern Japan
- Asian religions in diaspora
- History of Christianity — especially in late antiquity, the Middle Ages and early modernity
- History of Christian theology, art and ritual
- History of religion in New Zealand
- Christianity, secularity and religious pluralism
Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland has a strong and interdisciplinary research culture.
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
For help with enrolling in your PhD you can contact the Arts Students' Centre.
If you would like to discuss your plans for your doctoral research you can contact our PhD Adviser.