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.


Meg Mercury
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion

I have a strong passion for the American philosophical tradition, and during my master's program, I began exploring how creative literature can be a valuable resource for constructing environmentally just theology, which has drawn me to the intersection of literature and theology and the broader field of aesthetics.

My decision to pursue doctoral studies at GTU was driven by my love for interdisciplinarity and a desire to replicate the academic environment I experienced at a pluralistic seminary committed to justice and the arts.

I look forward to immersing myself in classes, learning not only from our esteemed faculty but also from my fellow students, and relishing the wealth of resources available in the GTU and UC Berkeley libraries during my final academic journey.

Deborah Jungmi Kang 
Religion and Practice

My academic journey culminated with the publication of my thesis, "A Korean Woman’s Voice to Preach as a Transformed Shaman through Perichoresis-Kut," for my Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree. This achievement has solidified my commitment to combatting dehumanizing practices like objectification, invisibility, and discrimination.

My academic pursuit aims to merge ethical and missional practices with the concept of liturgical inculturation, exploring the mystical realms of divinity, Korean shamanism, and societal transformation.

This journey holds deep personal significance for me, as a Korean woman and pastor, carrying the legacy of my great-grandmother, a shaman in North Korea.

Wolf Clifton  
Theology and Ethics

My academic journey spans a diverse range of disciplines, from Religious Studies to Museology, Geological Sciences, Astrobiology, and Conservation Biology. 

As a doctoral student at the GTU, I'm driven to intertwine religion, science, and activism, delving into Dharmic perspectives on ecology, animal ethics, and sustainable development. 

Choosing the GTU was influenced by its unique fusion of spirituality, scholarship, and inclusivity, especially under the guidance of Dr. Rita Sherma. This path allows me to tap into the profound influence of faith traditions to shape sustainable societies, while reconnecting with my own roots in Dharma scholarship.

Yusuf Mullick
Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation



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