About PhD Program

The PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a Concentration in Women's Spirituality

Founded by internationally known trailblazers in the women's spirituality movement, this doctoral program is located at the intersection of women/gender studies, ethnic studies, religious studies, and philosophy.  Through evening and weekend classes, online courses, and a semi-distance option, the program offers you a flexible format that allows you to integrate your studies with your professional and/or family life.

Our PhD program:

  • Offers you rigorous academic training that is grounded in transdisciplinary, spiritual, and feminist methodologies
  • Prepares you to conduct original research in one of the following areas: Women in World Religions; Feminist and Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism; and Women's Mysteries, Sacred Arts, and Healing
  • Provides a community of engaged scholars who are taking leadership on national and global issues related to women, gender, ecology, and spirituality

Your doctoral dissertation makes an original contribution to cross-disciplinary scholarship in this emergent field.


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Length of Study

The required preliminary coursework for the PhD degree may be completed in five semesters or two-and-a-half years if the student is enrolled full-time and successfully completes all academic course requirements. After the preliminary coursework is completed, PhD students require several additional semesters in order to complete their comprehensive exams, their proposal writing course, and their advanced research course. Once the dissertation committee has been constituted and the dissertation proposal has been completed and approved, PhD students work closely with the chair of their dissertation committee to devise a timeline for the research and writing of their dissertation. CIIS requires that students spend a minimum of one year engaged in research and writing the dissertation. Full-time PhD students who have elected to work through the summers may be able to complete their PhD in five to six years, but part-time PhD students and those with particular research needs will usually need more time.