AAR Graduate Survey

Survey of Graduate Programs in Religion and Theology (2002)

In the fall of 2002, the AAR conducted a survey of all fully accredited universities, theological schools, and seminaries in the United States and Canada that offered an academic doctoral program in religious studies or theology. We defined academic doctoral programs as those in which students earn a doctorate with the intent of becoming scholars, researchers, or professors. The purpose and nature of such a doctoral degree must be to prepare individuals for research and teaching in religion and theology. Typically the resultant degree would be the PhD, ThD, STD, DHL, DHS, or DTh. We were not soliciting information on professional doctoral degrees (such as the DMin), whose intent and purpose is to further an individual’s ministerial or counseling competence.

Background information on the Survey can be found in two articles in Religious Studies News – AAR Edition, Graduate Survey of Religion and Theology Programs (PDF), and AAR Surveys of Religion and Theology Programs in the U.S.: Numbers Count (PDF). A Council on Graduate Studies in Religion Advisory Group helped prepare the Questionnaire.

The List of Programs Surveyed (PDF) contains a listing of the programs surveyed indicating which programs responded. The Questionnaire (PDF) contains the 210 items that were queried. The Codebook (PDF) contains the complete statistical results of the Survey, which have then been cross-tabulated in two supporting documents: Crosstabulations by Department Size (PDF) and Crosstabulations by Institution Type (PDF). The Report on Students and Faculty provides demographic information on these two groups. An analytical article by sociologist Richard Rubinson, on Completion and Placement Results (PDF) analyzes these two important criteria. A presentation made by Terrence W. Tilley, at the 2003 Annual Meeting, entitled The AAR Survey of Graduate Education in Religion and Theology (PDF), summarizes much of the data. Finally, an interpretive article by Richard Rosengarten entitled The AAR Graduate Survey at First Blush (PDF), was published in Religious Studies News - AAR Edition.