Having studied at Princeton, Duke, and Frankfurt, and having taught for several years at Wheaton College, I read Rusty Reno’s OTS piece today with great interest. I’d also want to second a comment calling for more attention to Wheaton and Trinity.
Wheaton’s young doctoral program, offering PhDs in both theology and Bible, punches above its weight, so to speak. The courses are rigorous, the professors personable and accessible, the community warm and charitable. I found the library to be top-notch for my own research. Funding is above adequate. With over two dozen full-time profs in the Biblical and Theological Studies Department (not all of whom teach in the PhD program, of course) and a world-class theology conference each spring, intellectual energy abounds. Of course, the downside is that one’s employment options may be limited for the obvious reasons: Wheaton hires Harvard grads, but Harvard may not hire a Wheaton grad. But the program markets itself as one “designed to train scholars who can serve the church worldwide as teachers, researchers, pastors, and leaders” while “fostering faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture with a view towards strengthening and equipping the church in its mission.” Some Wheaton PhDs have secured good teaching positions; others serve their churches in other capacities. Wheaton should be a live option for evangelicals looking for serious theological training.
Trinity too; Kevin Vanhoozer is indeed a great thinker doing substantive and creative work not only in hermeneutics but now also in theology proper, and he is a prince of a human being whose students speak highly of him. Never underestimate how crucial having a good adviser is.
If one is interested in archaeology and ANE studies, both institutions have top-notch faculty: Dan Master and Adam Miglio at Wheaton, and James Hoffmeier and my good friend John Monson at Trinity.