001 – PhD in Wisdom Studies

PhD in Wisdom Studies

Our PhD program is open to a spectrum of disciplines and interests. It aims to address a range of problems in virtually every area of human and ecological concern. Our doctoral program is dedicated to helping you shape and co-create a new global civilization so the human species can learn to act as responsible and respectful stewards of our larger planetary ecosystem.

At every level in the doctoral process, you will be supported. You will be required to take certain core courses and will have the freedom to design the rest of your program in consultation with your mentors and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Students can select courses from either inside Ubiquity or outside Ubiquity. This means that if there is a course you need to take that is offered through another institution, you are free to do so. Ubiquity’s in-person courses are also available for doctoral credit.

Upon completion of Ubiquity’s Doctoral Program, you will be awarded the title “Doctor of Philosophy.” This is one of the highest honors society bestows and indicates respect and acknowledgement for an expertise that the larger community can count on for integrity and professional competence.

Prerequisites: Master’s Degree in any field – transcript with proof of graduation is required (copy of diploma page only is not sufficient)

(Given the requirement to have a master’s degree before pursuing a PhD degree, we also have a combined MA/PhD in Wisdom Studies enabling you to get your MA qualification first and then continue studies toward your PhD. This program is composed of 80 credits consisting of 44 credits earned from online or in-person courses, and a dissertation worth 36 credits. Please discuss with the Dean of Graduate Studies.)

Admissions Process: Complete an initial interview with our Dean of Graduate Studies, then submit all materials prior to registering for courses.

All doctoral students must submit:

  • Transcript of completed Master’s Degree that clearly displays title of your major, date of graduation, list of courses taken and grades received
  • Essay indicating your educational goals and the area of research you want to explore
  • Your most recent resume/CV


This PhD Degree is composed of 60 credits:

  • Core and elective courses (24 Credits)
  • Dissertation (36 Credits)

3 core courses (11 Credits):

An additional 13 credits must be earned through course work approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The rules guiding our assignment collection and grading process can be found here: Ubiquity University Grading Policy

Information about how we process refund or cancellation requests can be found here: Refund and Cancellation Policy.

Tuition and Fees

Total Tuition and Fees for the whole Program = Approximately $18,000 for 60 credit fees ($300 per credit)*, Dissertation fee, Major Advisor fee, and External Examiner fee. You pay as you go for the courses. The dissertation fees must be paid in full prior to dissertation defense. Payment plans for the dissertation fees portion are available. For more information about the dissertation process itself, please see our Dissertation Manual.

*This total for courses may fluctuate if courses are taken from outside Ubiquity as Independent Study. To import for credit, you will need to have the Independent Study course approved, write a post-paper to demonstrate what you learned from the course and pay the normal $300 per-credit fee to transfer toward your Ubiquity degree.

In-person courses will include logistics costs (for board and lodging for example) which are not included in the costs above.

Learn more about the program in our Ubiquity University Student Handbook

As a global institution, Ubiquity University is not accredited by any single state or nation. We are a member of the Global Accreditation Council which seeks to establish a new standard for universal education dedicated to regenerative ecological, social and spiritual principles.


Dissertation Samples:

Juan Carlos Arean, PhDThe Experience and Impact of Sacred Ceremonial Apologies: A Colonizer’s Journey of Personal, Community, and Ancestral Healing

This study explores the experience and impact of sacred ceremonial apologies. It builds on previous research focused on the fundamental elements of genuine apologies and the psychological benefits on the apology recipient(s) and the apologizer(s). As a point of departure, I use powerful personal experience in which I ceremonially apologized to a group of Indigenous Elders for the atrocities the Spanish colonizers perpetrated in Mexico. The study uses Heuristic and Organic Inquiry methods. It is supported by interviews with ceremony participants and a thorough literature review on apology and the transmission and healing of ancestral wounding. The study concludes that sacred ceremonial apologies assist in the healing of personal, community, and ancestral victim and perpetrator wounding. Shared grief and unconditional love were at the center of my healing experience, resulting in the sense of spiritual union with people I previously considered “the other.” To read the full dissertation click here.

John Genette, PhDJourney Inward, Journey Outward, Guided by a Council of Elders

This study examines the researcher’s spiritual transformation within a global shift in consciousness (Stellar Era, Baring). The path is illuminated by mystics, poets, philosophers, and scientists who coalesce as a Council of Elders. Their insights form a mosaic of “provisional perceptions” (Bohm) as an alternative to a rigid belief system. The Elders call for a twofold practice: 1) a heart-focused journey inward, attuning to feelings of compassion and oneness, and connecting with the Sacred Marriage of Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine; 2) a service-oriented journey outward, actuating compassion to help humanity reject toxic patriarchy and reawaken to the feminine-masculine balance that sustains the natural world. The researcher turns inward through art as meditation and serves outward through social arts that foster equality and inclusiveness. Findings suggest that an inner/outer dialectic guided by elders can generate positive outcomes on personal, social, and global levels.

Lindley Edwards, PhDThe Ancient Heart of Economics: Social and Technological Dimensions of Financial and Economic Transactions Linking Past, Present and Future

Most financial and economic exchanges are rooted in social relations. This study explores the social concepts that underpin financial and economic transactions whether those transactions be related to debt or money or assets. The social aspects are embedded via personal and cultural values through the determination of value, trust, gifting, what we consider to be enough and how we apply yin and yang statees – static and dynamic styles – to our financial and economic affairs. The other part of the thesis is the exploration of what is ancient and true in regard to financial and economic affairs and how these factors need to be brought forward into a digital world. Digitization has both positive and negative impacts. The thesis examines via Organic Inquiry research methodologies some of the incredible opportunities that are available to humanity to democratize the ability to not only access banking services and products on a very cost-effective basis but to also give every individual the ability to build wealth. The potential negative impacts of digitization are also explored, where we collectively end up with a digitized future that is reductive to human life rather than enhancing of life.

Dan Erikson, Combined MA/PhDThe Creation of Water Calming™: Demonstrating How This Therapeutic Modality Applies Focused Introspection, Which Emerges from Sensory Experience, to Evoke Feelings of Hope, Joy, Connection, and Relaxation.

A newly created therapeutic modality, Water Calming®, was tested for this project. 41 participants took part in a voluntary response sample, using a grounded theory method and tracking three distinct stages: sensations, perceptions, and emotions. The results were thoroughly coded and 10 specific themes emerged suggesting that Water Calming® has the ability to induce personal transformation and stress recovery. Individuals can now become certified in the healing modality at www.watercalming.org. The Water Calming® certification and training program was accepted by the American Psychological Association in order to award Continuing Education credits to mental health professionals in all 50 states.

Carole Boye, PhDHolofractographic Integral Spiritual Practice.

Holofractographic Integral Spiritual Practice (HFG-ISP) combines a multiple perspective method of spiritual practice with an emerging view of matter and consciousness as co-arising from a matrix or fundamental field of awareness, to which every individual is intimately connected. This exploratory research examines three specific spiritual practices, each based on elements of Wilber’s Integral model, and in alignment with the principles of Haramein’s Holofractographic (HFG) Worldview.

Constance Clark, PhDJohn O’Donohue’s Triadic Phenomenology of Being: System, Process, Actualization, and Culmination in Relation to a Reimagining of Theosis, the Divinization of Man within Human Consciousness, in the Mitigation of Chaos and Order.

This dissertation created the first systemization of O’Donohue’s phenomenology. It was philosophically initiated by a system of Possibility, 2) explored through a process of Vulnerability, 3) actualized by an embrace of Imagination, and 4) culminated in Beauty by humanity’s active participation in a process of divinization that mitigates chaos and order within human consciousness, reflecting an embodied selfhood. O’Donohue’s phenomenology was, furthermore, explored through the lens of human longing, belonging, becoming, and Being. The research question explored: 1) the current societal need for this phenomenology, 2) the potentiality of the actualization of the phenomenology, 3) the accessibility of the phenomenology to adherents of diverse ideologies, and 4) the validity of the prophetic mantle assumed by O’Donohue.

Mary S. Hillsman, PhDWomen’s Investigation of Personal Power Through Mask Making: An Heuristic and Organic Inquiry.

This study explores the importance of defining our power. Heuristic Research, Arts-Based Research, and Organic Inquiry Methods were used to investigate women’s subjective experience of personal power. The expressive and reflective aspects of mask making engaged the creative and intuitive ways of knowing of both the researcher and the co-researchers. This exploration began with the premise that women experience and express power differently than is traditionally identified in our culture and understood as domination and control. Co-researchers defined power as: Awareness, Balance, Authenticity and Connectedness. They further explained their expressions of power as Compassionate Communication and Compassionate Action. As a conduit for change, this study presents defining options for the concept of power that, if adopted, by a more general population, could change how we care for ourselves, for others, and for our world.

Peter Merry, PhDVolution: An Integrative Theory of the Holographic and Trans-linear Dynamics of Life.

Everything that is part of life is created out of a tension between a current and potential reality that represents a vacant niche in the ecology of life. That tension, that vacuum, is what exerts a pull on the unified field (Lefferts 2012), and starts a process of giving form to the impulse that emerges out of the tension. That process, when looked at as a flow, can best be represented by the form of a torus. When looked at geometrically, it can be represented by Buckminster Fuller’s jitterbug model (Lefferts 2012), with an ongoing unfoldment and enfoldment, as consciousness expresses information holographically in energy-matter and space-time. The core motion of a torus is spinning and pulsing, which is why the term “volution” is so apt to describe it. My thesis is that volution provides a way of looking at ourselves that can integrate yet transcend a developmental evolutionary perspective with an understanding of how we are related to all other aspects of life, in both time and space.

Krista Stanley – PhDNear-English Nonsense and Trans-sense Thinking.

I hit upon my thesis topic because I was curious about claircognizance, or how we can know something of which we have no knowledge. I wanted to understand how we are physically capable of
tapping into a field of information. I wondered about this psychophysical neutral domain and explored the shifting states of consciousness that allow access to it. I theorized that the literary genre of Near-English Nonsense provides such access. By engaging with this grammatical and syntactical trickster, thinking is surreptitiously thrust into a semantic void, forced to relinquish cognitive effort for pure uncertainty. Mind is free to become entangled with a field of pure potential, in potentia. Pointer states of consciousness break the symmetry, with mind and matter arising from the unus mundus; we become the measuring device calibrating meaningful correspondences between these seemingly disparate realities, with informing potentials erupting into consciousness. Synchronicities awaken us of the symmetry.

Other Dissertation Titles:

Katherine Andrews (PhD): Nature – Connecting Point to the Divine: Interweaving Intimacy with Nature & Relationship with God in Howard Thurman. Aug 2009

Carolyn Fisher Atkinson (PhD): A Feminine Face of Allah: Nursing & Islam in Kuwait. Jan 2010

Carol Lynne Bennington (PhD): Flower Essences: A Doorway to a Deeper Connection with Nature Through Plants. Dec 2012

Amy A. Blumenshine (PhD): Military Moral Injury: Un Cri du Coeur. Jan 2013

Donna A. Butman (PhD): Boredom: Nemesis or Gift? A Study of Baby Boomers’ Life Experiences with Boredom and the Challenges of Aging. Jan 2013

Monica Kamykowowski Costantini (PhD): Art Full of Grace. Jan 2013

Suzanne Darley (PhD): Fifteen Contemporary Creatives: Unleashing Images of the New Apocalyptic Paradigm. Jan 2011

Nancy Crawford Holm (PhD): Remembering Who We Are: Re-Visioning Birth Rites for a Collaborative Humanity. Feb 2011

Christopher John Hyland (PhD): Self-Leadership: The Art of Living a Powerful Business Life. Feb 2011

Greg Richard Katz (PhD): Artists and Illness: Influence of Visual Narrative on Autobiography and Meaning Making. Dec 2012

Nancy Lee-Evans (PhD): Carrying the Bones of the Ancestors: An Indigenous Journey in the Irish Celtic Tradition. May 2010

Dave MacQuarrie, MD (PhD): Acedia and its Transformation. Jan 2012

Theodore Richards (PhD): Cosmosophia: Cosmology, Mysticism, and the Birth of a New Myth. July 2009

Peter K. Rimbach (PhD): Males Coping with Third Age Issues Following Retirement. Jan 2010

Will Taegel (PhD): Earth Wisdom and the Primordial Mind: Navigating Two Evolutionary Currents of the Eco Fields. June 2010

Anne Elizabeth Ulvestad (PhD): Igniting the Divine Sparks Within: Weaving Stories of Connection. March 2011

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