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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Kaltenbach

Obtaining an Overseas PhD Without Moving Overseas

Updated: May 19

****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 Ph.D. In the past, Ph.D. students would move nearby or live on-campus to undertake their studies. 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 most North American Ph.D. programs involve doctoral seminars before writing the dissertation, many overseas Ph.D. programs focus solely on writing the dissertation (commonly referred to as "dissertation only"). Since students have access to a major university library and can Zoom/FaceTime with their mentor professors once or twice a month, many overseas schools allow Ph.D. students to study in their home country. Such programs require either minimal or no travel before graduation.

Below are some overseas schools offering Ph.D.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 master's degree, where to earn a 100% online master's degree, and Ph.D. distance learning programs in the United States.


Asia Graduate School of Theology


Alphacrucis University College

Australian School of Theology

**Students choose one of their schools to study for a Ph.D. or a Th.D. (click on either link and scroll down to see the schools offering the degree).

Charles Sturt University

James Cook University

Sydney College of Divinity

**Students can earn a Ph.D. or a Th.D.

University of Divinity

**Students choose one of their schools to study for a Ph.D.

University of Notre Dame Australia

**Students can earn a Ph.D. or a Th.D.

**Students can study for a Th.D. at the following schools:

University of Western Australia


Evangelische Theologische Faculteit

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

**Th.D. award


Sofia University- St. Kliment Ohridski


University of Toronto


University of New York in Prague


Aix-Marseille University

Université de Lorraine


St. Paul's University


Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

**Students can earn a Ph.D. from the Free University of Amsterdam through:


University of Auckland

University of Otago


Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary


University of Olso

**Students can earn a Ph.D. or a Dr.Philos (Doctor Philosophiae)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

**Dr.Philos award


Asia Pacific Theological Seminary


University of Opole


South African Theological Seminary

Stellenbosch Univeristy

University of the Free State

**Students can earn either a Th.D. or a Ph.D. in Theology

University of Johannesburg

University of Pretoria **Students can earn a Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria through:

University of South Africa

**Ph.D. areas have different departmental websites with information


Lund University


Anglia Ruskin University

Bangor University

Canterbury Christ Church University

Coventry University

Durham University

**Students can earn a Ph.D. from Durham University through:

Liverpool Hope University

**Students can earn a Ph.D. from Liverpool Hope University through:

London Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Middlesex University

**Students can earn a Ph.D. from Middlesex University through:

Nottingham Trent University

The Open University

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford University

*Studying through the Department of Continuing Education

Staffordshire University

St. Mary's University

Union Theological College

University of Aberdeen

**Students can also earn a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen through:

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of Cambridge

**Students can study for a Ph.D. from the faculty of Divinity with short trips to the campus.

**Students can also earn a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge through:

University of Chester

University of Chichester

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 Hull

The University of Kent (apply as an external research student)

University of Leeds

University of Leicester **Students can earn a Ph.D. or the equivalent DSocSci (Doctor of Social Science)

University of London (King's College London)

University of Manchester

**Students can earn a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester through:

University of Northampton

University of Nottingham

University of Reading

University of Roehampton

**Students can earn a Th.D. in Practical Theology

University of Sheffield

University of Sunderland

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David

University of Westminster

University of York

York St. John University

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