General Program Description

HAI PhD program is composed of a two-and-a-half-year process of personal and professional growth: Academic, Practical and Reflective. The process combines academic achievement with practice, and reflection on that practice in a Hebraic context or field of study. The PhD Program aims to foster community among participants and faculty in the ongoing process of transformation in the learning and doing.

Throughout the world, past and present, there are two major forms of philosophy, Western and Eastern and these two forms of philosophy are very different from each other. The Bible was written by Hebrews in a culture that was predominately Eastern in its philosophy, while we, the readers and descendants of the Bible, live in a culture that is predominately Western in its philosophy.

Eastern philosophy is the form of philosophy of all ancient cultures (as well as all primitive cultures that still exist today). Western philosophy was developed in the Greek culture by its ancient philosophers about 3,000 years ago. When we read the Bible or interpret our ancestral past, which was written from an ancient Eastern Hebrew perspective, we will frequently misinterpret the text because we are reading it from a Western Greek perspective.

The PhD Program embraces the Eastern Hebrew perspective. This means that HAI PhD program is uniquely designed to clearly reflect the four major differences between Hebrew and Greek thought must be kept in mind: concrete vs. abstract thinking, passive vs. active descriptions, impersonal vs. personal relationships and linear vs. block logic. Thus, HAI PhD isn’t just hard cultural or scientific research (abstract) but encourages the researcher to do studies in a real life cultural context (concrete).

The PhD Program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership according to a specific ethos. The HAI PhD Degree Program is designed around an ethos which may be characterized as preparing leaders through a process of wholeness which emerges out of a focus on the characteristics of knowledge, integration and performance of Hebraic reflection, cultural competency, group dynamics and leadership.


  • Knowledge: of yourself (past, present and future potential), of others (multicultural awareness and appreciation), of the varied Hebraic traditions and theological stances
  • Integration: self-awareness, acceptance and appreciation (living comfortably with yourself so you can live comfortably with others).
  • Performance: ability to communicate effectively in written and oral forms (good performance often defines effective leadership).
  • Hebraic Reflection: your ability to find evidence of your concept of and belief in Yahuah in the Scriptures, nature, Hebrew culture, personal experiences and events of individuals and the Hebraic community.
  • Cultural Competency: ability to appreciate and respect people of the book in diaspora and to function effectively in more than your own setting.
  • Group Dynamics and Leadership: to understand the dynamics of group behavior and to use the natural group process to educate and give leadership to Hebraic assemblies and communities.

The PhD Program focuses on the renewal of yourself as an awakened leader as well as a renewal of the setting or context in which you live, worship, and serve. Your studies will equip you for competent research and practicums at a new level of competence beyond which you have gained in the basic professional education of a Master’s degree. Within this framework you will develop an academic and practical program with an emphasis geared to your specific needs. Your program of study is developed within the experience of a Mishpacha Colleague Group.

The HAI PhD Program is designed to be completed over a two-and-a-half-year period. The major components of this program are compacted into three Emergent Residency Weeks (January, April, and August) each year.*

Intensive experiential Mishpacha Colleague Groups provide the settings in which you, your peer students and faculty mentor “colleagues,” learn, teach and grow together. Your understanding of the theory and praxis grow together through personal vulnerability, and mutual support and challenges, thus modeling faithful and effective scholarly leadership. Interpreting the meanings of theological symbols in the lived Hebraic experience brings the whole context of the Hebrew faith to bear on immediate existential challenges of life.

Worship, prayer, meditation, and reflection are an important part of your program and are implemented as a basic way of understanding and living the way of Torah. 

*Emergent is a word chosen intentionally because it seems to convey what the PhD process is all about. According to the Oxford American College Dictionary, 2002, emergent means “in process of coming into being or becoming prominent.” By derivation, emerge is a process of becoming more, greater, and/or prominent.  Each Emergent Resident Week of the PhD program centers on the process of coming into being and/or becoming prominent. We emerge better now than when we started and by this time next year we will be better yet.