• Caleb Kaltenbach

Obtaining an Overseas PhD Without Moving Overseas

Updated: Apr 18

****This page is regularly updated****

I love education... I may have missed "my calling" to be an academic dean or professor. Anyway, one of the fascinating developments to watch has been the increased ways to study for a PhD. In the past, PhD students would move nearby or live on the campus to undertake their study. Over the last 10 years, many North American and overseas learning institutions have developed more user-friendly study methods. Modular programs, online classes, cohorts, intensive weeks, independent study classes, partnerships with conferences, and more are just a few of the various study methods.

Whereas a majority of North American PhD programs involve doctoral seminars before writing the dissertation, many overseas PhD programs focus solely on writing the dissertation (commonly referred to as "dissertation only"). Given that students have access to a major university library and can Zoom/FaceTime with their mentor professors once or twice a month, a growing number of overseas schools allow PhD students to study in their home country. Such programs require either minimal or no travel before graduation.

Below are some overseas schools offering PhD's (in areas like biblical studies, theological studies, religion, ministry/practical theology, philosophy of religion, missions/intercultural studies, and so on) that don't require relocation.

Hope you enjoy the post. Be sure and check out other blog posts in this series: earning an overseas masters degree, where to earn a 100% online masters degree, and PhD distance learning programs in the United States.


Australian School of Theology

**You choose one of their schools to study for a PhD or a ThD (click on either link and scroll down to see the schools offering the degree).

Charles Sturt University

Sydney College of Divinity

**You can study for a PhD or a ThD.

University of Divinity

**You choose one of their schools to study for a PhD

University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Western Australia


Evangelische Theologische Faculteit

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Th.D. award)


St. Paul's University


Free University of Amsterdam

**You can earn a PhD from the Free University of Amsterdam through:


University of Auckland

University of Otago


University of Olso


Asia Pacific Theological Seminary


University of Opole


South African Theological Seminary

Stellenbosch Univeristy

University of the Free State

University of Johannesburg

University of Pretoria

University of South Africa

**PhD areas have different departmental websites with information


Anglia Ruskin University

Canterbury Christ Church University

Durham University

London Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Middlesex University

**You can earn a PhD from Middlesex University through:

Nottingham Trent University

The Open University

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford University

*Studying through the Department of Continuing Education

St. Mary's University

Union Theological College

University of Aberdeen

**You can also earn a PhD from the University of Aberdeen through:

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of Chester

University of Dublin (Trinity College)

University of Edinburgh

University of Essex

University of Exeter

University of Glasgow

University of Gloucestershire

University of the Highlands & Islands

University of Kent

University of Leeds

University of Leicester

University of London (King's College London)

University of Manchester

**You can earn a PhD from the University of Manchester through:

University of Nottingham

University of Reading

University of Roehampton

**You can earn a ThD in Practical Theology

University of Sheffield

University of Sunderland

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

University of Westminster