Presidential Scholarship

All applicants for the GTU doctoral program are considered for our Presidential Scholarship. Each year, the Presidential Scholarship Program provides four doctoral students, one from each department, with full tuition for five years. This prestigious scholarship is awarded based on merit by the GTU’s doctoral admissions committee. Presidential Scholars have added support that enables them to complete the program more quickly and to engage in professional activities such as presenting papers at conferences and publishing articles in academic journals.

Presidential Scholars Spotlight

This year’s Presidential Scholars represent a combination of international and domestic scholars, drawn to the GTU by a common interest in the unique intersectionality of mission, interreligious and interdisciplinary study, faith, and praxis they have found at the GTU.


Gamil Fawzy Kamel
Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation

Having majored in biblical studies (Old Testament) in my ThM program, I would like to continue studying the same field in more depth. I am especially interested in hermeneutics. I seek to connect the practice of biblical interpretation with the issues of our Middle Eastern and North African contexts. 

Since GTU focuses “on interreligious and interdisciplinary perspectives,” I see that GTU is the most suitable place to achieve my academic purposes. Furthermore, I see that the structure of the Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation department fits perfectly with my academic interests because the department has an interreligious nature where it contains studies in different religions (Islamic, Hindu, Hebrew, Christian). 

My primary objective in pursuing a PhD at the GTU is to think deeply about how the other is constructed in the Hebrew Bible, particularly during the era of exile, in order to nurture biblical theology that encourages to build relationships with the other in our interreligious society. 


Nomenjanahary Mamisoa Rakotomalala EP Andrianjohary (Mamisoa)
Religion and Practice

I am interested in advocacy work (but particularly gender and environmental justice) and religious education. I want to examine cultural violence and the intersection of gender, religion, and socio-cultural systems; develop consciousness, awareness, and resistance to cultural violence into the church's practices, drawing from practical, womanist/feminist theology; reflect on human development and psychology. I mean by cultural violence: traditions, customs and practices that harm God’s creation. 

I choose GTU for my studies because of its interdisciplinary departments, the multiple resources under the consortium and the interfaith richness and diversity. Also, I am thrilled about GTU because of the expertise and guidance of Faculties who will be a tremendous and valuable to the effort that I want to achieve through my scholarship. And, last but not the least, I am so grateful for the Presidential Scholarship offered by GTU. Without this amazing opportunity, I will not be able to afford the cost of the studies. 

Well, as, I said earlier, I am excited about the multiple resources and faculties who will work alongside with me in this journey. But, as well as the relationships (this is very important) with various people from different background who will help me grow academically but as well as faithfully. 



Zeinab Vessal 
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion

My research interests fall into the scope of transregional and transcultural contexts of Islamic art in the early-modern and modern Iran. More specifically, the ritualistic objects, literacy, visual, and material cultures of those historical periods are central to my research. Another part of my study will be a comparative study of Christian and Shi’i emblematic arts and I anticipate that such research would provide a fertile ground for making a dialogue among artistic traditions and aesthetic perceptions in Christianity and Islam. 

Due to the distinctive diversity of GTU programs, students have the opportunity of working on expressions of belief across a number of religious traditions in collaborative projects. In addition to the intellectual and educational support provided by the school, I am honoured to be working under the supervision of my advisor, Professor Kathryn Barush. Moreover, accessibility to resources available to other departments, centres, and programs including the Islamic Studies program, as well as the UC Berkeley provides me with great research opportunities. 

I believe this program will help me to intellectually engage with the world of religion through a multicultural and multi-faith lens, and to communicate the knowledge in both theoretical and applied contexts to prepare me for a future career either in academia or museums. 


Oluwatobi Ololade Ife-Adediran (Tobi)
Theology and Ethics

My principal research interest is poised towards ethical issues in the deployment and application of nuclear science and technology especially nuclear waste disposal. On a secondary note, It will be exciting to reflect on the necessary consideration of African epistemology towards the sustainable development of science and technology in the sub-Saharan region. The rich consortium that the GTU represents and the robust resources that will be availed means that there is a wide body of knowledge to interact with; I therefore look forward to a superlative learning experience. 


To learn more about the GTU Doctoral Program and the Presidential Scholarship, contact the Admissions Department at (510) 659-2460 or via email at

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