PhD in Inter-Religious Dialogue and Diplomacy / Interfaith Studies


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Program Description


The DIRD (and DIFS) are unique programs in the sense that they are actually offered by an intergovernmental organization with a university charter and an additional mandate in inter-religious dialogue and diplomacy. Notably, EUCLID is the only university which has received the first prize of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, presented by H.M. King Abdullah of Jordan (photo below).


EUCLID offers several closely related but nevertheless distinct graduate programs:

  • DIRD: Ph.D. in Interreligious Dialogue and Diplomacy
  • DIFS: Ph.D. in Interfaith Studies
  • DCRel/DCCTh: PhD in Comparative Religion / Comparative Christian Theology

This page focuses on the DIRD: EUCLID’s Ph.D. in Inter-Religious Dialogue and Diplomacy, the umbrella program designed to train diplomats, government officials and civil servants in this complex and specialized field. These programs, delivered 100% online, exist to prepare government officials, social workers, clergy, theologians and faculty members to successfully and constructively engage in inter-religious dialogue and diplomacy. This program assumes a strong interest in religion, spirituality, theology, critical thinking, academic research and global affairs. Furthermore, it is open to students from all religious backgrounds including non-believers, although its focus may be of special interest to Muslims and Christians since it was—to an extent—developed in response to the “Common Word” initiative. However, it does assume the following:

  • an ability to read, understand and memorize large amounts of material since the reading assignments are significant
  • interest and respect for all religions and for the ideal of dialogue and possible convergence.

The DIRD is also a dual-purpose program which offers a core inter-religious theological foundation with an additional competency in critical thinking, diplomacy and conflict resolution. As part of the curriculum, this program offers an in-depth examination of the vast field of world religions, history, social and political projects, methods of negotiation and diplomacy, argumentation and critical thinking, etc. This program was designed to train government staff having an interest in this field, but also to prepare general public students for careers with government agencies, international organizations, religious institutions as well as NGOs.


Applicants must have a Master’s degree or its international equivalent. Government-sponsored applicants (who are already government staff) may be admitted without a Master’s degree if their level of education and experience is deemed sufficient. EUCLID may require these participants to complete bridge courses prior to enrolling in the program. Fluency in English (spoken and written) is required and will be tested.


This program is offered on an asynchronous—open enrollment basis with occasional sequencing in cohort groups. Since it is a doctoral-level program, it emphasizes the ability to express logical, respectful and persuasive arguments by means of publishable academic papers. In particular, the ability to write creative, constructive, respectful and professional, journal-grade papers is one of the essential objectives of the program. The curriculum also calls for the ability to present an oral report (webcast), delivered to the course tutor in MP3 or WMV format.


The EUCLID DIRD Course Sequence (including optional courses) includes the following:

  • International Academic Writing + Speaking (ACA-401D) (2 UCH / 3 ECTS)
  • Argumentation and Critical Thinking (TPH-499) (2 UCH/3 ECTS)
  • World Religions Module (REL-777) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Studies in World History (optional) (HIS-777) (2 UCH / 3 ECTS)
  • Methods of Diplomacy (incl. IGOs) (DIP-401) (5 UCH / 7.5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Studies in IRD level 1 (IRD-401) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Studies in IRD level 2 (IRD-402) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Studies in IRD level 3 (IRD-403) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (DIP-502) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Studies in Religious Conflicts (ISF-500) (3 UCH / 4.5 ECTS)
  • Doctoral Thesis 1/5
  • Doctoral Thesis 2/5
  • Doctoral Thesis 3/5
  • Doctoral Thesis 4/5
  • Doctoral Thesis 5/5


In consultation with his or her assigned tutor, the student may also pursue directed studies, for a value of 2-6 UCH / 3-9 ECTS, in the following areas of research and concentration:

  • Christian—Muslim Dialogue
  • Religion and Secularism
  • Issues in Global Terrorism
  • Religion and Geopolitics
  • Religion, Society, and Politics


This Ph.D. represents at least 90 US credit hours of academic coursework beyond the Bachelor's, in compliance with international standards. It is assumed that students will transfer 35 graduate credits, and the doctoral dissertation counts for 25 credits. As a result, most incoming students are expected to obtain 35 credits during the phase of pre-dissertation coursework.


EUCLID has ongoing enrollment (intake) for this program. It is acceptable to apply several months in advance but it is recommended to apply 60-40 days in advance. General public slots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last updated Mar 2018

About the School

EUCLID is, like the European Central Bank, NATO or the African Union, an international intergovernmental organization (IGO).

EUCLID is, like the European Central Bank, NATO or the African Union, an international intergovernmental organization (IGO). Read less
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