Department of Faculty of Theology

Doctorate in Theology (ThD)

Director: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Mullooparampil, CMI


Scope: The scope of the third cycle leading to a Doctorate in Theology (ThD) is the completion of academic studies in Theology.  Its objective is specialization in a particular area of Theology as well as refinement in the methodology of theological research.

Board of Postgraduate Studies (BPS): There is a Board of Postgraduate Studies consisting of the Dean and three other members elected by the Faculty Council for a period of three years. The Board is in charge of the overall supervision of the Doctorate Programme. The Dean is the ex-officio Chairperson of the Board, and directly in-charge of the Doctoral Programme.

Requirements: For admission to the Doctoral Programme the applicant must hold a Master's Degree in Theology (LTh) or its equivalent in the field of his/her doctoral research with at least a high first class. There can be also an entrance examination.
The mode of commutation of any of the requirements for Doctorate with the courses one has done in another ecclesiastical or secular Institute or University or College shall be determined by the Syndicate, taking into consideration the merits of each case.  The BPS shall also decide the equivalence of a degree with a degree from the Athenaeum.


Admission: Admission is open to all who have the proper qualifications but only to those below 55 years.  An exemption to the age-limit can be granted by the BPS in deserving cases.  The candidates shall be introduced and recommended by his/her Major superior/Ordinary or a competent person acceptable to the Institute.  Admissions shall be given only at the beginning of each semester, i.e., in June and November.
Interview with BPS: An interview for the applicants in the presence of the Board of Postgraduate Studies, DVK will be held on dates announced in the Handbook of the Athenaeum. The following items are to be submitted one month in advance to the declared date of interview at the office of the Registrar.
Filled up application for admission

  • B.Th. (its equivalent degree) mark sheet and certificate
  • L.Th./M.Th. mark sheets and certificate
  • Recommendation of the Bishop or Major Superior
  • Recommendation letters from three referees (For example, former Dean, Director, Principal/President/Rector)
  • Confidential Reports from three referees on the proposed research work in the given format (including, preferable, the Director of
  • Write-up in 1000 words in the area of research interest
  • Copy of the L.Th./ M.Th. Thesis

Duration: The minimum duration of the Doctoral programme is two years (four semesters), which may be extended up to five years.  The BPS may grant a further extension after examining the merits of each case. Residence in Bangalore is a requirement during the first year of the Doctoral programme.  Exemption from this can be given only by the BPS after examining the merit of each case.

Director and Second Guide: The candidate chooses the director from among the teachers of the Faculty, including professores emeriti, in consultation with the Dean. The formal appointment of the director is made by the BPS. There shall be a second guide in case of research in interdisciplinary areas or when the director is from another Institute, and he shall be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the BPS.  The student shall have consultation also with the second guide, and the drafts of the dissertation shall be approved also by him.  In case the director is to be from another Faculty of the Institute, prior approval by the BPS is required.

Doctoral Programme:

  • The doctoral candidates shall be required to have a working knowledge of classical languages, such as Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Latin as may be required by the nature of the research, and also a working knowledge of modern languages, besides English, which may be required for the research.  The language requirement must be specified in each case by the BPS.
  • The research programme during the first two semesters shall be the following:
  • Two tutorials not directly related to the topic of the doctoral research which may be directed by the Guide of the candidate or by any teacher of the Faculty approved by the Dean.  Those who have completed their LTh at this Institute can be exempted from the tutorials.
  • Two Research papers of about 25-30 pages on topics related to the background of the doctoral research, but not directly related to the dissertation.  A panel of three teachers (including the guide of the research paper) appointed by the Dean, shall have a session of one hour with the student to examine the research paper and evaluate it.
  • Two ThD seminars per year are to be participated by all the doctoral students. Input sessions by experts may be arranged for the seminars. Besides, during such academic meetings they may be asked to present relevant parts of their research for sharing, interaction and discussion.
  • The candidate shall have the grade of first class for the tutorials and the research papers so that he/she may be promoted to the second year of the doctorate. The promotion is given by the Board of Post Graduate Studies.
  • The candidate shall meet his/her Director once in two months and discuss the progress of the research.iv) The candidate shall prepare a semestral report of his progress in studies and with the approval of the director of his thesis/doctoral studies submit it to the dean
  • The director of the ThD candidate shall prepare a semestral report on the performance of the candidate and send it to the dean of the Faculty.
  • After having completed all other requirements the candidate shall present a Research Proposal to a panel of three examiners (including the director) appointed by the Dean in consultation with the members of the BPS.  Four copies of the Research Proposal have to be presented to the office of the Dean.
  • The research proposal shall include a statement of the question or issue of research and its significance, methodology and procedure of the research, provisional titles of the chapters and their contents, projected conclusions, and the bibliography, both primary and secondary sources.
  • The Research proposal session shall be private and its duration may be about an hour and a half.
  • The main objectives of the session are critical evaluation of the research project and its methodology, and concrete suggestions towards the improvement and revision of the research project.
  • The examiners have to give formal evaluation of the Research Proposal individually in writing and hand it over to the Dean along with their comments and suggestions towards the revision of the research project.
  • The candidate shall be communicated regarding the result of the Research Proposal in writing along with the comments and suggestions of the examiners, and a copy of this communication shall be kept in the office.
  • The result of the Research Proposal session shall be presented to the BPS for its final approval.


  • Dissertation Approval: Before the public defence the dissertation in its final draft must be examined by three readers appointed by the Dean, and at least two of them must approve it before promoting the candidate to the public defence. The candidate shall submit four copies of the final draft as hard copies and a soft copy for the Thesis approval. The corrections and suggestions of the examiners have to be incorporated in the final form of the dissertation. The director shall not be a member of this panel.  If two of the readers are not in favour of promoting the candidate to the public defence, the dissertation shall be revised and a second session may be arranged for approval after six months.
    The maximum number of words for the dissertation shall be 1,20,000.  Five bound copies of the dissertation and a soft copy shall be submitted to the office of the Dean.  It may take about at least two months for the public defence of a dissertation, after it has been submitted. The Format of the dissertation shall be according to the prescribed form of the Athenaeum.
  • Public Defence:
  • The panel of examiners to be decided by the BPS shall not be less than four.
  • The public defence shall be chaired by the Dean of the Faculty or his delegate, and shall have the duration of an hour and a half.
  • The director, the second guide if any, and at least one of the three readers shall be included in the panel of examiners.
  • The panel of examiners may include competent persons from any of the Faculties of the Institute and persons from other Faculties in India and abroad.
  • Taking into consideration the local practice of Universities the publication of the dissertation is not considered to be an essential requirement for conferring the degree at the Convocation.

Marks and Grading System: The grade of the Doctorate will be determined by calculating the marks according to the following proportions: Tutorials, Research papers and seminars: 20%; Written dissertation 60%: Public Defence: 20%.

Special Fees: Besides the annual fees, the candidate shall pay special fees as prescribed in the Handbook for the Research Proposal, Dissertation Approval, and for the Public Defence.

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