Graduate Division of Religion: Ph.D. Program in Jewish Religious Cultures

The Ph.D. program in Jewish Religious Cultures (JRC) at Emory is one of ten courses of study within Emory's highly ranked Graduate Division of Religion (GDR). The GDR draws on faculty from across Emory College departments in the humanities and social sciences as well as the Candler School of Theology, providing the advantages of specialized training in academic fields such as Jewish Studies together with broad exposure to the profound diversity of method and topic that characterizes the academic study of Religion today.

Jewish Religious Cultures takes advantage of Emory's wide offerings and interdisciplinary orientation to offer a program that emphasizes both textual and cultural/ethnographic approaches to Jewish Studies. Current faculty strengths include(but are not limited to) modern Jewish thought, Jewish interpretive traditions of the Hebrew Bible, ethnographic and anthropological approaches to the study of Jews and Judaism, and Rabbinic literature. Applicants are encouraged to consult our list of faculty in order to contact those with whom they share intellectual interests so that their applications may reflect a clear statement of the kind of research they are interested in conducting.

Jewish Religious Cultures encourages students to pursue a broad range of courses that support and strengthen their multi-disciplinary focus and analytic skills, including courses and seminars in the other courses of study  within the GDR. Offerings in cognate departments and programs, such as the Institute for Liberal Arts, Middle East and South Asian Studies, History, Anthropology, and the School of Law are also available for students each year. We work especially closely with, and benefit from the resources of, the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, the Department of Religion and the Emory Center for Ethics. JRC students may also enroll in a Certificate Program in Jewish Studies, which will present them with cross-disciplinary perspectives through coursework and participation in the regular lectures, seminars and conferences sponsored by TIJS, which bring together graduate students and faculty from across the university for intellectual interchange. The Certificate Program will offer students a credential beyond their departmental training that strengthens their ability to compete for national fellowships, postdoctoral awards, and tenure-track positions in Jewish studies.

As with other courses of study within the Graduate Division of Religion, JRC requires that students arrive with an MA in a related field, but exceptions may be made.

Fellowship Support

All students accepted to the Graduate Division of Religion are awarded tuition scholarships and competitive fellowship support. The Laney Graduate School regularly awards a number of fellowships through the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies to outstanding Ph.D. applicants in various Jewish studies-related fields. These awards are intended to supplement the doctoral program fellowships that students receive through their home departments. Applicants indicating an interest in Jewish Religious Cultures will automatically be considered for these awards.


Applicants for Ph.D. study in the Graduate Division of Religion should visit the Laney Graduate School admissions page and should specify Jewish Religious Cultures as their area of interest in their application. The application deadline is December 1, 2019 for admission in Fall 2020.

For more information on Jewish Religious Cultures, contact Professor Don Seeman or visit the GDR web page.