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Sacrae Theologiae Doctoratus (STD)

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By virtue of Saint Paul University’s pontifical charter, the Faculty of Theology offers an ecclesiastical doctoral programme (Sacrae Theologiae Doctoratus – STD) conferred by the Senate of Saint Paul University. It is a doctorate at the level of the third cycle, in which for a suitable period of time scientific formation is brought to completion, especially through the writing of a thesis. The cycle concludes with the academic degree of Doctorate.

Sacrae Theologiae Doctoratus (STD)

Admission criteria for the STD are the same as for the PhD in Theology, except the candidate must hold a licentiate (STL) or its equivalent.

Sacrae Theologiae Doctoratus (STD)

  • two regular courses (three credits each) directly related to the thesis topic or to be chosen in consultation with the director of Graduate Studies;
  • directed reading course (3 credits) - THO 8311;
  • comprehensive exam - THO 9998;
  • the seminar (3 credits) - THO 9295;
  • submission and defence of a thesis - THO 9999.

Research Director

The research director is appointed by the Faculty of Theology before the end of the second session upon consultation with the student.

Comprehensive Examination

  • The comprehensive examination is intended to verify that candidates have developed a theological culture enabling them to acquire a knowledge and critical judgment in reference to the major questions, the most significant debates and the principal authors, past and present, in their area of study and, more particularly, in the area of their own research.
  • THO 9998 is a credited activity which is evaluated upon completion of both a written exam and an oral presentation.
  • This examination should take place sometime between the beginning of the third session and the end of the fourth session. It takes place before the presentation of the thesis project.

Refer to the graduate studies procedures manual of the Faculty of Theology for further details on the comprehensive examinations.

Thesis Project Presentation

The thesis topic must be submitted for registration after the successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

After the comprehensive examination, upon completion of all course and seminar requirements, and with the approval of the research director, the candidates present their thesis project to professors and graduate students. At this meeting, the candidates present the original hypothesis they have formulated and explain how their project attempts to prove it. The presentation is not perceived as an examination but as an exchange between the participants which may elicit suggestions for improving the project.

Thesis

The candidate must write, submit and successfully defend a thesis of at least 200 pages. The thesis must be a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge, embody the results of original research and analysis and be of such quality as to be worthy of publication.

At least six copies of the thesis and of a summary not exceeding 350 words must be submitted to the Faculty of Theology.

The thesis is submitted to an examining board of four to seven examiners, at least one of these being chosen outside the University. If the thesis is accepted by this board, the candidate will be called to defend it. The University community and the general public are invited to attend the defence.

Thesis Advisory Committee

During the first session of the program, a thesis advisory committee (TAC) is formed for the candidate. The Committee’s membership will be determined by the specific interests of the candidate. It will be composed of the supervisor and 2-3 additional professors. At least one member of the thesis committee, in addition to the supervisor, must be from the Faculty of Theology of Saint Paul University. The TAC is responsible for guiding the student throughout the program, including course selection, the comprehensive examination, thesis proposal, and thesis defense.

A meeting between the student and the Thesis Advisory Committee will take place at least once per session. The thesis examining board may include members who are not part of the TAC. 

DCA 5310 - CHURCH LAW AND PASTORAL MINISTRY

Theological reflection on and practical application of Canon Law to some areas of pastoral ministry, specifically marriage and reconciliation.

IPA 5321 - PASTORAL MINISTRY AND PSYCHOLOGY

Interaction between theology and psychology with reference to pastoral ministry, the experience of the believer, the development of faith and of religious attitudes. The pastoral implications of psychological theories of the individual and his/her social relations: impact on cognitive processes, emotion, behaviour, competence, values. Psychological perspectives on the pastoral minister's practice, role and identity.

IPA 5322 - PASTORAL MINISTRY AND SOCIOLOGY

Interaction between theology and sociology with reference to pastoral ministry. A study of the pastoral implications of socio-historical structures, and of social and cultural change. Analysis of how the social milieu forms the way people think, feel and act, and the reflection on the importance of this formation for values and beliefs. Sociological perspectives on Christian communities' practice, role and identity.

IPA 5481 - PROFESSIONAL MINISTRY PRACTICUM I

Supervised ministry in a local church or other ministerial setting. Emphasis on the receptive skills and attitudes of the pastoral minister. Theological, sociological, and psychological theories are introduced which will enable the pastoral agent to observe, analyze, and integrate events within the religious community. Cognitive, behavioural, motivational, and emotional components are related to people's individual, social, and interpersonal life. Professional ethical issues are addressed. Codes of ethics in allied professions are used when appropriate. Supervision occurs in small groups under the guidance of a supervisor from the Saint Paul University.

IPA 5482 - PROFESSIONAL MINISTRY PRACTICUM II

In collaboration with a supervisor the student actively addresses a segment of his ministry drawn from Practicum I (e.g., relationships, or the community, or individuals). Action plans are formulated and carried out. Implications for religious structure, liturgy, homiletics, sacraments are developed and implemented. Emphasis is placed on critical, informed involvement, resource and time management in the exercise of collegial and co-responsible lay and ordained leadership in preaching, liturgical presiding, and community facilitation. Supervision occurs in small groups under the guidance of a supervisor from the Saint Paul University. Prerequisite: IPA 5481.

THO 5303 - LITURGICAL PASTORAL THEOLOGY

Theological reflection on the liturgical experience and expression of Christian communities. Principles, dynamics, and actualization of liturgical celebration, including sacraments, paraliturgies and prayer services. Roles and ministries in liturgical celebrations.

THO 5304 - CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IN ITS SOCIAL DIMENSION

The Christian community as a social reality embodying beliefs and values. Its relationship to and responsibility toward contemporary society and church: local, national, international. Present social questions and the Christian social tradition.

THO 5305 - CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AND ITS DEVELOPMENT

Types of Christian community. Maintaining the well-being and promoting the growth of Christian communities. Life cycles and life settings of Christian communities.

THO 5307 - STUDIES IN PASTORAL PRACTICE I

Study of a specific topic or issue in pastoral theology.

THO 5308 - STUDIES IN PASTORAL PRACTICE II

Study of a specific topic or issue in pastoral theology.

THO 6310 - THEOLOGICAL HERMENEUTICS

Principles and history of interpretation in theology. Recent developments and debates. The role of classic texts and the question of historical consciousness.

THO 6317 - THE FORMATION OF THE BIBLICAL TEXT

Transmission of the text. Inspiration. Canonicity. The authority of the text and the believing community.

THO 6318 - THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLICAL TEXT

Principles and methods of interpretation. History of interpretation: the Church Fathers, Middle Ages, the Reformation, 19th and 20th centuries.

THO 6333 - METHODS AND APPROACHES IN CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

Hermeneutical questions and methodological foundations of contemporary ethical reflection analysed from a theological perspective.

THO 6334 - ISSUES AND DEBATES IN CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

Analyses, from a theological perspective, of major issues and debates characterizing ethical research in its present context.

THO 6352 - STUDIES IN EASTERN CHRISTIANITY

Investigation of a particular issue, author, or trend related to any aspect of Eastern Christianity not foreseen by the other courses.

THO 6354 - RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

Faith and experience. The Mystery of God. Interpretations and expressions of the experience of God.

THO 6355 - THEOLOGY AND CULTURE

The relationship between faith and culture; contemporary issues, questions and challenges. The contextual nature of theology.

THO 6358 - SPIRITUALITY: METHODS; RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE HUMAN SCIENCES

Analysis of the methods used in the theological study of spirituality. Spirituality in relation to the human sciences.

THO 6359 - COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS

Comparative theological study of one or more Christian spiritual traditions and one or more spiritual traditions within other religions to highlight their views of the world, human reality and salvation.

THO 6375 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN CHURCH HISTORY

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of key historical source material from the fourth century to the present.

THO 6376 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of basic spiritual classics of Eastern Christianity from the fourth century to the present.

THO 6377 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN LITURGICAL HISTORY

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of basic sources that illustrate the evolution of Eastern Christian worship from the fourth century to the present.

THO 6378 - RESOURCES AND METHODS FOR THE STUDY OF EASTERN CHRISTIANITY

An examination of various research tools related to Eastern Christianity and religion in general. An overview of key methods in Eastern Christian exegesis, theology, liturgy, spirituality and Church history and their interface with modern and classical Western approaches.

THO 6379 - ISSUES IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN HERMENEUTICS & EXEGESIS

Study of a particular issue, author, or trend in the hermeneutics and exegesis of the Eastern Churches, e.g. particularities of the Greek, Syriac, or Slavonic versions and their distinctive canons; worship as hermeneutical matrix; scripture and tradition in Eastern Christian reflection; extra-biblical texts; the development of modern Orthodox hermeneutics in dialogue with Western text criticism and methods.

THO 6380 - PATRISTIC THEOLOGY

Examination of a particular issue, author, or trend in Eastern Patristic theology, e.g. Greek, Byzantine, Syriac, Coptic or Armenian sources; or the twentieth-century neo-patristic synthesis.

THO 6381 - CONTEMPORARY EASTERN THEOLOGY

Study of a particular issue, author, or trend in contemporary Eastern Christian theology, e.g. modern philosophical theology (for example, sophiology), and systematics and/or moral theology of the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Melkite and Romanian schools in particular; or the systematics and/or moral reflection of non-Byzantine theologians.

THO 6382 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of basic texts that have helped shape Eastern Christian theology from the third century to the present.

THO 6387 - ISSUES IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN LITURGICAL HISTORY

Study of a particular issue, author, or trend relating to the history of the Constantinopolitan, Armenian, Alexandrian, West Syrian or East Syrian worship traditions and their offshoots, e.g. historical and structural analyses of Eastern patristic sources, Church Orders, euchologies, typica and other worship books; chant traditions, execution, environment; cultural factors conditioning these traditions.

THO 6388 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN LITURGICAL THEOLOGY

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of basic texts from the fourth century to the present.

THO 6392 - THE HISTORY OF EASTERN CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS, MOVEMENTS, PERSONS

Historical analysis of Eastern Christian institutions, movements or persons in the early, "medieval," or modern periods of one or several of the various Eastern Churches, e.g. pre- and post- Nicene developments; Byzantium; pre-Ephesian and pre-Chalcedonian Churches; the Slavic missions and Kyivan Rus'; the Turkocrateia and subsequent liberation; later Rus' Christianity; the Tsarist era; modern persecution; the Eastern Christian "diaspora."

THO 6393 - METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN EASTERN CHURCH HISTORY

Investigation of a particular issue, author, or trend related to the periodization, historiography or methodology in general of Eastern Christian history.

THO 6397 - FOUNDATIONAL TEXTS IN EAST-WEST ECUMENISM

In-depth reading, analysis and evaluation of key documents that have shaped East-West rapprochement from 1902 to the present.

THO 6398 - INTER-RELIGIOUS ISSUES AND THE CHRISTIAN EAST

Examination, from the perspective of the Eastern Churches, of a particular issue, author, or trend relating to dialogue between Christianity and other religions, e.g. Islamic-Christian encounters in the Middle-East, the Balkans and the former USSR; Slavic Christian-Jewish interaction; Buddhist-Eastern Christian monastic contacts.

THO 6399 - METHODOLOGIES IN THEOLOGY

A study of methodologies found in different theological fields. Introduction to the diverse resources available for theological research. Preparation of a master's research paper.

THO 6997 - EXAMEN DE SYNTHÈSE DE M.A. EN CHRISTIANISME ORIENTAL / MA SYNTHESIS EXAMINATION IN EASTERN CHRISTIAN STUDIES

Un examen oral et écrit pendant lequel l'étudiant devra démontrer son aptitude à faire une réflexion critique sur cinq thèmes (et textes correspondants), ayant une portée particulière pour le christianisme oriental. / A written and oral exercise during which the student is expected to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on five themes (and concomitant texts) of particular significance to Eastern Christian Studies.

THO 6998 - MÉMOIRE / RESEARCH PAPER

Le mémoire, d'environ 40 pages, sera évalué par le directeur, qui doit appartenir à la concentration de l'étudiant, et par un autre professeur de la Faculté de théologie. Le mémoire ne peut être déposé qu'après avoir terminé avec succès le cours de méthodologie (THO 6799 ou THO 6778). / The research paper, approximately 40 pages in length, will be evaluated by both the supervisor, who must be from the student's concentration, and another professor from the Faculty of Theology. The submission of the research paper is dependent upon successful completion of the methodology course (THO 6399 or THO 6378).

THO 7999 - THÈSE DE MAÎTRISE / MASTER'S THESIS

THO 9295 - DOCTORAL SEMINAR IN THEOLOGY

Organization and composition of a thesis proposal acceptable to the Faculty of theology and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. (Graded: S or N/S)

THO 9998 - EXAMEN DE SYNTHÈSE / COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

THO 9999 - THÈSE / THESIS

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