Institute of Theology

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Master of Theology (M.Th)


The Master of Theology offered by the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology is an academic three-year program that provides in-depth study in the main fields of Theology, with the possibility of concentration in a field or subject that can be chosen by each student, in agreement with the administration. This concentration on a particular field or subject will take place in two seminars. The study culminates in a thesis in the field of concentration, written under the supervision of a specialized faculty member. The core educational purpose of this program is to train, equip, and inform students concerning the methodological diversity and variety of concerns within theological studies. Students are expected to become critically acquainted with the ‘sources’ of theology: e.g. Holy Scripture, Church History, Patristic Literature, Dogmas, Liturgical Traditions, and with a special focus on the contributions of the theological heritage of Antiochian Christianity. In terms of training, students will be encouraged to interrogate and critically analyze their own, and others’, presuppositions, and approach their studies in a way that shows sensitivity to the multi-perspective nature of issues under discussion. The Master of Theology Program of the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology is shaped in such a way that, in selected courses or seminars, it encourages inter-disciplinary approaches to the subjects of specialization. It is also meant as a base for further academic studies, or as a preparation for specific tasks such as religious education, writing and editing in the field of religion, and last but not least, for a better pastoral performance in the parish.

Admissions and Regulations

1. Applicants to the M.Th. program must have completed their B.Th. at the Institute, or at any other Orthodox theological school. Applications of students from theological schools other than from an Orthodox expression are individually evaluated and accepted upon approval of the Institute's Council. In all cases, the Institute would reserve the right to ask applicants to take remedial courses to make up for deficiencies in undergraduate preparation.

2. Candidates for the M.Th. program who followed their undergraduate studies in theology at Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology, or at any other accredited institution of higher education, must have maintained a general average of 80/100 or its equivalent throughout their studies.

3. Students wishing to concentrate on fields such as: New Testament, Old Testament, or Dogmatic Theology, must demonstrate in a test, their competence in Hebrew or Greek as part of the admission process. Deficiencies in Biblical Hebrew and Ancient Greek must be made up before taking the concentration courses. Failure to do so leads to the cessation of candidacy to the concentration. Any credits taken in Biblical Hebrew or Ancient Greek do not count towards the total number of credits required for the M.Th.

4. Candidates for the M.Th. program must demonstrate an adequate knowledge of English equivalent to ENGL203 or higher, as well as an adequate knowledge of Arabic equivalent to ARAB203 or higher.

5. Applicants for the M.Th. degree are required to file a full application providing the following documents:

a) A letter of recommendation issued by the respective canonical Ecclesial authority;

b) A personal statement expressing their career goals and personal objectives in seeking the M.Th. degree

c) A photocopy of acquired diplomas or degrees

d) A Résumé and 2 passport photos

e) A Medical report

f) A judicial record for non-clericals

g) A canonical certificate for clergy

h) A photocopy of the identity card

i) An application form for admission.

The Registrar of the Institute processes admission to this program. All inquiries, requests for application forms, and correspondence must be sent to the Office of the Registrar at the Institute of Theology.

Requirements for the Degree

1. Candidates for the M.Th. degree shall satisfactorily complete work amounting to 33 credits distributed as follows:

3              Credits of Methodology of Research

18           Credits of specialized courses in the main theological fields

6              Credits in seminars treating the field of concentration

6              Credits in directed thesis preparation

2. The normal course load is two courses per semester for four semesters. The fifth and sixth semesters are reserved for the thesis preparation.

3. The academic year is made up of two semesters. The first semester begins on Monday of the first week of October, and ends in mid-February. The second semester begins in late February, and ends in late June.

4. Courses are offered in block mode. Students are required to attend courses during the semester every fourth week for a period of five days of intensive study. During this period, accommodation is available at the Institute. Block courses may supply study materials either at the beginning of the semester, or shortly before the block course itself. Regarding examinations, some block courses schedule examinations at the end of the semester while others complete all assessment within the block course.

5. The field of concentration shall be one of the following: Biblical Studies (New or Old Testament), History of the Church, Dogmatic Theology, Pastoral Theology, Canon Law, Polity and Administration, Liturgy, Christian Education.

6. Candidates must submit in the second and fourth semesters respectively, two research papers of 15 – 20 pages, conforming to the standards of research and writing reflected in  the University of Balamand Masters’ Guidelines (available on the University’s Website). Students will select the topic for their research paper with a faculty member from the area of their specialization, who is available to serve as the paper's director. The research paper shall be completed no later than one month after the end of the semester. In rare cases exceptions may be allowed, but only by permission of the Academic Committee upon the recommendation of the professor directing the research.

 Graduation Requirements

1. Students shall begin their course of study in the fall semester when the courses are offered.

2. Students in the M.Th. program shall complete the degree within four years after admission to candidacy. Those who fail to fulfill their M.Th. requirements within that period of time, loose their candidacy for the M.Th. degree.

3. To qualify for graduation, candidates must have completed all required coursework (27 credits) with a minimum grade point average of 80/100. No grade less than 70/100 will be credited toward the M.Th. degree.

4. After completing course requirements, the students will register for thesis preparation.

 Regulations for the Master of Theology Thesis

1. The candidates select the subject of their thesis in consultation with their faculty adviser and with the approval of the appropriate division of the faculty. The division then submits the thesis topic to the Academic Committee, and then to the Dean for final approval. A deadline for thesis submission is set.

2. The Thesis proposal must include the following: a) a title; b) brief discussion of the existing scholarship on the topic; c) a statement of the nature and purpose of the thesis; d) a detailed outline describing the content of each chapter of the thesis; e) a working bibliography.

3. Three months after the approval of the thesis’ subject, the candidate is required to submit a report, approved by the advisor, describing the work that was already done. The Dean appoints then a second reader of the thesis, who reviews the work together with the advisor. The thesis cannot be submitted without the approval of the advisor and the consent of the second reader.

4. The thesis must reflect the use of standard research methods, display appropriate familiarity with the primary and secondary sources, and demonstrate a sound grasp of the subject. The text of the thesis shall be approximately 90 - 100 pages long, and should conform to the conventional standards of research and writing reflected in Policy and Style Manual for the Preparation of a Graduate Thesis, University of Balamand, (2nd Edition, 2004).

5. Three copies of the thesis to be used for the oral examination must be submitted by April 20 of the year of graduation. In rare cases, exceptions may be allowed, but only by permission of the Academic Committee upon recommendation of the candidate’s division. A thesis abstract, in Arabic and English, of approximately 200 words must be submitted along with the examination copies.

6. All theses shall receive a grade in the following manner:



75– 80


81 – 85


86 – 90

Very Good

91 – 95


96 – 100


7. Corrected copies of the thesis shall be submitted within four months after sustaining the oral examination.

Program Contents

The M.Th. Program offers the following curriculum:

Course Field



METH 300 Methodology of Research



THEO 320  Scripture



THEO 340  Church History



THEO 355  Patristics



THEO 330  Dogmatic Theology



THEO370  Liturgical Theology



THEO380  Pastoral Theology



Seminar in the Field of Concentration (1)



Seminar in the Field of Concentration (2)










شروط الانتساب إلى المعهد
 الماستر في اللاهوت  " M. Th."
دراسات أنطاكيّة

I  ـ شروط التسجيل:

- يتسجّل في برنامج الماستير ".M. Th" حاملو شهادة الـ B. Th. من خريجي المعهد، أو من خريجي أية كلية لاهوتية أرثوذكسية أخرى.

II ـ الأوراق الثبوتية المطلوبة:

- رسالة تعريف من مطران الأبرشية التي ينتمي إليها طالب التسجيل.
- صورة عن شهاداته العلمية (مصدَّقة أصولاً لغير خريجي المعهد).
- طلب الانتساب.
- رسالة خطية يشرح فيها غاية دراسته.
- سيرة ذاتية مرفقة بصورتين شمسيتين.
- ثبوتيات الفحص الطبّي.
- سجل عدلي (لغير الإكليريكيين) وشهادة قانونية من الرئاسة الروحية (للإكليريكيين).
- إخراج قيد أو صورة عن الهوية.

III ـ شـروط أخرى:

- على طالب التسجيل أن يكون على مستوى كاف باللغة الإنكليزية.
- أن يكون ملمّاً بلغة أجنبية أخرى.
- أن يخضع لامتحان قبول إن كان من غير خريجي المعهد.
- أن يكون معدل علاماته 80 وما فوق في الإجازة في اللاهوت.

IV ـ أوقات التسجيل:

- تنتهي مدة تقديم طلبات التسجيل لهذا العام الجامعي: 2012/2013 في 28 أيلول 2012.

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Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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