Students normally begin writing their dissertation in the fourth year and normally will have finished by the end of the sixth. The completed dissertation is evaluated in writing and approved by a committee of three readers and the departmental faculty. There is no oral examination on the dissertation.

Recent and current dissertation topics in Ethics include: Prospects for Moral Consensus in the Medical Profession; The Ethical Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar; The Trinitarian Ethics of Jonathan Edwards; Love and Citizenship: Augustine and the Ethics of Liberalism; Retrieving Luther’s Ethic: Christian Identity and Action; The Romance of Innocent Sexuality; The Individual and the Ethics of War: Christian and American Interpretation of the Jus in Bello; Preemption and the War on Terror: Morality, Law and the Use of Force; Political Love and Christian Social Ethics in Korea; Four Types of Calling: The Ethics of Vocation in Kierkegaard, Brunner, Scheler, and Barth; The Limits of Hospitality; Working the Body, Working the Spirit: Afro-Diasporic Women’s Labor and an Ethics of Embodiment; Theological Voluntarism and the Natural Law.