St Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore

St Peter's Pontifical Institute

Bangalore, India


Director:      Rev. Dr Joseph Titus P.
Members:    Rev. Dr Stany C. Fernandes (Registrar)
                      Rev. Dr Anthony Dias (Dean of Theology)
                      Rev. Dr Stany C. Fernandes (H.O.D. Missiology)
                      Rev. Dr Joseph Titus P. (H.O.D. Scripture)



The scope of the third cycle is the completion of the scientific formation, especially through the writing of a doctoral dissertation that makes a real contribution to the progress of science, written under the direction of a moderator, publicly defended, collegially approved and published (V. G. Art. 49). The cycle concludes with the academic degree of Doctorate (V. G. Art. 74/c). During this period the students may be asked to engage themselves in some teaching activity.

Board of Doctoral Studies (BDS)

All matters concerning the doctoral programme will be the responsibility of the board of Doctoral studies. The board of Doctoral Studies (BDS) comprises of:

(i) the Director, who can be any member of the faculty elected from the theological disciplines of our institute that has 2nd and the 3rd Cycle (ii) the Ex-Officio members: the Registrar of the Institute, and the Dean of Theology and (iii) Heads of the Departments of the Disciplines having 2nd and 3rd Cycle. The director of the BDS will convene and chair the meetings as and when necessary. The board of Doctoral Studies shall be convened at least once a semester and all deliberation of the programme should be the outcome of the discussion of the board of Doctoral Studies.


For admission to the Third Cycle of Theology leading to Doctorate in Theology (S.T.D.), the applicant must hold a canonically valid Master’s/ Licentiate degree in Theology or its equivalent in the field of his/her doctoral research with at least a high first class. In the latter case, the student should pass a qualifying examination conducted by the Institute.

Admission Procedure

When a candidate approaches the Institute in view of pursuing his doctoral research, the registrar receives the contact details from the candidate and forwards the request to the director of BDS. The choice of the moderator is reserved to the candidate, provided the moderator chosen should be from our faculty.
The director of BDS looks into or verifies the following matters: (i) qualification of the candidate, (ii) verification of the certificates, and (iii) eligibility of the candidate to pursue his/her doctorate. Then the director of BDS recommends the candidate to the department and briefs the head of the department, the wish and nature of the research that the candidate likes to take up. The head of the department of the respective discipline convenes a departmental meeting and presents the preliminary information procured from the director of BDS to the members of the department. The department scrutinizes and approves the candidate for research to the director of BDS through the head of the department. In consultation with the moderator, the director of BDS will furnish a predoctoral programme for the candidate.


Besides English, a doctoral candidate is required to have a working knowledge of the classical languages and modern languages pertaining to his/her area of research. A student who has already fulfilled this requirement needs to submit copies of his/her certificates at the time of registration. A student who has not fulfilled this requirement must attend language courses offered by the Institute – the choice of which depends on his/her area of research. The requirements including languages prescribed for particular area of research are the following

A. Language Requirements

B. Course Requirements

As part of the doctoral program, the head of the department will prescribe courses to be taken up by the candidate. These prescribed courses could be completed before the submission of the proposal.

C. Doctoral Symposium and Research Papers

a. Annually a Doctoral Symposium will be organized by the Institute for all the doctoral students in their various stages of research. Participation in this symposium every year is The candidates are also expected to brief their progress in their doctoral studies during the symposium. The Doctoral Symposium will be conducted in three sessions:

b. Background Papers: The student writes two research papers (approximately 25-30 pages) under the guidance of his/her The topics of the research papers must be approved by the moderator and must be submitted to the director of BDS.

c. The two research papers must be completed within one year after the registration. All the above requirements are to be fulfilled within two years after the

Moderator, Co-Moderator and Readers


Students in the Third Cycle are required to spend at least four semesters (two years) in research work, normally to be spent in Bangalore in regular contact with the Institute. Every year the registration should be renewed. The duration of the doctoral programme is not to be extended beyond five years from the date of the registration of the topic of research. In case of a special need, an extension of one year can be given by the director of BDS in consultation with the BDS and recommended by the moderator.

Submission and Preliminary Scrutiny of the Doctoral Proposal

Candidates are to submit their proposals after the completion of their basic doctoral program requirements. It is required that they do that within the same year in which they have been admitted to the doctoral program and not later than the completion of the second semester.

When the candidate, after fulfilling the requirements of the pre- doctoral programme, submits the proposal approved by his/her moderator to the institute on or before the stipulated time mentioned in the Institute calendar, the registrar receives the proposal and forwards it to the director of the doctoral studies. The review of the proposal shall be done at two levels as follows:

A. Review at the Department Level

A copy of the proposal is given to all the members of the respective postgraduate discipline to be reviewed in the departmental meeting. In case, the members of the department and the moderator of the candidate feel that the advice of a specialist is needed for a particular proposal, then they can invite the experts to review the particular proposal in the department meeting. The corrections proposed at the department level will be communicated to the candidate through the head of the Department with a copy to the moderator. The corrected proposal will be accepted by the registrar who will forward it to the director of BDS.

B. Review by the Board of Doctoral Studies

The director of BDS will distribute the corrected proposal to the members of BDS and fix a convenient date in consultation with the members of BDS for the presentation of the proposal by the candidate. Since the moderator is present in the review of the proposal at the departmental level, there is no need for his presence while the candidate is presenting his proposal to the board of Doctoral Studies.

The Doctoral Dissertation

The objective of the dissertation, its length, time-duration, and other relevant points pertaining to this period of research are as follows:

The Public Defence

When a candidate finishes his/her dissertation approved by the moderator for the Public defense, he/she submits it to the institute. The registrar will forward the work to the director of BDS. The director of BDS after consulting the department of the respective discipline in which the candidate had registered and pursued his/her research, will appoint the critical readers of the public defense. The director of BDS asks the head of the department of the discipline to discuss it in the department and to propose the readers for the public defense. The readers are appointed according to the area of specialization and the content of the research. Furthermore, the readers should be a permanent teaching faculty who teaches regularly for the 2nd & 3rd cycle in the particular discipline and preferably who holds nihil obstat or Missio Canonica or minimum 3 to 5 years of teaching at Postgraduate level.

Marks and Grading System

The grade is determined taking into consideration the aggregate of the marks obtained from the Seminars, Courses and the Dissertation in the following proportions:
                Research Papers, Seminars and other courses: 20%
               Written Dissertation: 60%
               Public Defence: 20%.

Submission of the Corrected Manuscripts

The doctoral candidates should incorporate the corrections and suggestions proposed by the evaluation jury and submit their corrected copy to the Institute within a time frame of 3 months (maximum) from the day of defence with the renewal of annual registration fees. In order to be sure of the corrections made during the defence, the candidate gets the approval of the moderator in the format supplied by the institute.

Special Fees

Besides the annual fees the candidates shall pay special fees as prescribed in the Handbook – for the Dissertation Approval, for the Public Defence and Submission of the Corrected Manuscripts.

Publication and Eligibility to obtain the Degree

To obtain the Doctoral degree, the candidate has to publish his/her dissertation wholly or partially as recommended by the jury and shall submit 30 copies of the same to the Institute. The publication of the work is expected within two years of time of the submission of the corrected copy. When the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled, the candidate is eligible to apply for the convocation.