Phd In Theology, Christian Studies And Christian Management

Preamble:

The Board of Governors created the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies in its meeting held on 29th March 2019 under the provision of the MLCU Act, 2005, Chapter 2, Section 7 (a) of the MLCU Act, 2005 and Statues 10.1 of the MLCU Statues & Rules, 2016.

The University aspires to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in disciplines and fields that will promote its vision and mission. The University’s mission emphasises its mandate to recognise its Christian legacy and its commitment to Christian institutions and the Christian community. Thus, Doctoral Studies in Theology is to enhance leaders’ capacity to serve in theological institutions, churches, and society. The doctoral research should aim to equip leaders to become more efficient in their discipline.

The University believes that the primary motivation for undertaking research must come from the doctoral candidate herself/himself and that the candidate should have a passion for solving a significant and specific problem. The University will play the principal role in designing the study and the candidate, and the Supervisor will guide the domain discipline course work and the implementation of the study.The following regulations for doctoral research are made under the relevant Statute of the University and are recommended to the Academic Council.

1. OBJECTIVES OF THE PHD STUDIES

  1. To enhance knowledge in theological and religious studies and other related disciplines with mastery in an academic field;
  2. To increase awareness and competence in teaching and research in colleges, theological seminaries, and universities, and to instill a commitment to collaborative inquiry, to mentor, publication and other modes of transferring knowledge;
  3. To enhance the church and Christian institutional leadership capacity and build growth in one’s ability and dedication to social and theological diversity and its capacity to relate across difference.
  4. To build the capacity to conduct advanced scholarly research and writing that makes an original contribution to the discipline that is significant for religious communities, academy, and society.
  5. To enhance the ability to communicate one’s research appropriately to scholars within one’s discipline and other scholars, professionals, or publics beyond one’s field.

2. DEGREE AND DESIGNATION

The University shall award the PhD in Theology, PhD in Christian Studies and PhD in Christian Management degree to candidates who have satisfactorily completed the requirements in this scheme of regulations. The degree certificate shall indicate the Faculty under which the degree was pursued and shall mention the thesis’s title.

3. ELIGIBILITY AND DURATION OF THE PROGRAMMES

  1. PhD in Theology
  2. Eligibility
    1. , or its equivalent recognised and approved by the Academic Committee for Theology and Religious Studies.
    2. A Minimum of 2 years of ministerial experiences

 

  1. Duration
    1. Minimum duration of two years, as MTh., is recognised as equivalent to MPhil.
    2. The maximum duration shall be six years, extendable up to one year only in exceptional circumstances by the Doctoral Committee.
    3. After the candidate has completed six years and any permitted extension period, the candidate who wishes to continue the doctoral studies will have to be re-admitted, including the entrance test and the course work and payment of the fees current at the time of the new application. Such candidates have to petition the Doctoral Committee for approval to re-apply.
    4. The PhD duration shall be counted from the admission date, i.e., the entrance test results’ announcement.
    5. Women candidates may be provided with an extension of the PhD for an additional 240 days. Such scholars who wish to avail this provision will write to the Dean Research stating the reason.

 

  1. PhD in Christian Studies

PhD in Christian studies promotes research in Christian ideology and theology in the pluralistic, multi-religious and secular context of Indian reality. Hence its focus is:

 

  1. a) To promote national progress and integration, social and religious harmony, and enrichment of the individuals by understanding world religions and cultures through research based on Christian values.
  2. b) To promote research in theological concepts that has relevance for the church and society from a socio-theological perspective.

 

  1. Eligibility
    1. MA in Christian Studies or any postgraduate degree considered equivalent by the Academic Committee of Theology and Religious Studies. A person with a secular postgraduate degree from a recognised University or Board deemed equivalent by the ACTRS of MLCU with a bridge course in the fundamentals of Biblical and Theological studies can do PhD research in Christian Studies.
    2. Postgraduate Degree in any field with B.D/MDiv or bridge course in theology.
    3. Minimum two years of experience in ministry or teaching experience.

 

  1. Duration
  1. Minimum duration of three years.
  2. The maximum duration shall be six years, extendable up to one year only in exceptional circumstances by the Doctoral Committee.
  3. After the candidate has completed six years and any permitted extension period, the candidate who wishes to continue to meet the doctoral studies will have to be re-admitted, including the entrance test and the course work and payment of the fees current at the time of the new application. Such candidates should petition the Doctoral Committee for approval to re-apply.
  4. The PhD duration shall be counted from the admission date, i.e., the entrance test results’ announcement.
  5. Women candidates may be provided with an extension of the PhD for an additional 240 days. Such scholars who wish to avail this provision will write to the Dean Research stating the reason.

 

  1. PhD in Christian Management Studies

PhD in Christian Management is:

  1. a) To enhance advanced thinking and discovery of knowledge in the management of NPOs (Not for Profit Organisations) with the biblical level of excellence.
  2. b) To develop skills to conduct advanced scholarly research and to enhance their ability to communicate one’s research appropriately.
  3. Eligibility:
  4. Master’s degree (MA) in Christian Management or its equivalent postgraduate degree from any recognised university or
  5. MTh., with a bridge course in management studies and accepted by the ACTRS of MLCU.
  6. Duration:
  7. Minimum duration of three years.
  8. The maximum duration shall be six years, extendable up to one year only in exceptional circumstances by the Doctoral Committee.
  9. After the candidate has completed six years and any permitted extension period, the candidate who wishes to continue to meet the doctoral studies will have to be re-admitted, including the entrance test and the course work and payment of the fees current the time of the new application. Such candidates have to petition the Doctoral Committee for approval to re-apply.
  10. The PhD duration shall be counted from the admission date, i.e., the entrance test results’ announcement.
  11. Women candidates may be provided with an extension of the PhD for an additional 240 days. Such scholars who wish to avail this provision will write to the Dean Research stating the reason.

4. ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAMME

  1. The candidates shall apply to the University in the prescribed form, attaching the required documents and fees. Besides, the candidate shall submit an essay of about 500 words on why the applicant wishes to do a doctoral study for the degree applied and a tentative research proposal of approximately 1500 words with 5 to 10 academic references.
  2. The entrance exam will test the candidates in the following areas.
  3. English competency
  4. Research Methods / Methodological Approaches related to Field of Research.
  5. Analytical skills
  6. Community Orientation
  7. A candidate shall ordinarily be admitted based on satisfactory performance in the entrance test and the interview. The qualifying marks for the entrance test shall be 50%. Upon being declared successful in the entrance test and interview, the candidate will be admitted to the doctoral study provisionally.
  8. After completing the course work as prescribed, the candidate will have to submit a research proposal to the Doctoral Committee in the prescribed format provided in the Manual for PhD in Theology and Christian Studies.
  9. If a candidate does not satisfactorily complete the prescribed course work within two years, he/she will have to re-appear and pass the entrance test to continue the PhD study.
  10. The DMin to the PhD candidate is expected to pursue the research study based on their previous research work completed for their DMin degree. Such candidates must obtain approval for their research proposal within three months of admission into the programme to be placed in the regular PhD programme.
  11. The candidate shall not have simultaneous PhD registration with the other Universities/Institutions.

5. FEES

  1. All applicants will submit the application fee along with the filled-in application form and required documents. On being declared eligible to appear for the entrance test, the candidate will have to pay the entrance test fee.
  2. Applicants who pass the entrance test and interview shall pay the registration fee and the first-year tuition fees together. After that, the annual course fees shall be payable till the candidate submits his/her thesis to the University.
  3. On submission of the research proposal, the candidate shall have to pay the Research Proposal fees.
  4. Candidates will be required to pay the examination fees along with the submission of the thesis.

6. COURSEWORK AND COMPETENCIES

  1. The PhD in Theology

sL. NO

Specialisation

Credits

Paper

1

Biblical Studies (OT & NT)

12/16

1.     Social Scientific and Theological Research.

2.     Methodological Issues and Current Trends in research in the discipline chosen for investigation.

3.     Advanced level Language requirements in Greek /Hebrew.

4. Third Language (German/ Spanish/ French) if needed as per the thesis requirement. (optional)

2

Systematic Theology &History of Christianity

12/16

1.     Social Scientific and Theological Research.

2.     Methodological Issues and Current Trends in research in the discipline chosen for investigation.

3. Subject-specific assessment paper as prescribed by the Supervisor 

3

Missiology,

Christian Counselling,

Christian Education and Communication

12/16

1.     Social Scientific and Theological Research.

2.     Methodological Issues and Current Trends in research in the discipline chosen for investigation.

3. Subject-specific assessment paper as prescribed by the Supervisor

b. PhD in Christian Studies

In the PhD in Christian Studies, students embark on a journey under a Research Supervisor’s guidance. They travel through a sequence of milestones to create a project or research that addresses a significant real-world ministry within their ministry context.The candidates are required to do coursework for 16 credits as given below:

  1. Social Sciences Research Design and Theological Research Design (4)
  2. Methodological Issues and Current Trends in Pastoral Theology (4)
  3. Literature Reviewor annotated bibliography in the field chosen for research (4)
  4. Area Specific paper for research as suggested by the Supervisor (4)

c. PhD in Christian Management:

Refer to the Coursework requirement from the Christian Institute of Management.

 

d. General Expectation of all Doctoral Candidates

  1. As part of the coursework, the candidate shall write a review article in the format suitable for publication.
  2. Each candidate is expected to demonstrate the Doctoral Committee’s competencies before the submission of the thesis. The Supervisor will certify the attainment of these competencies in the manner prescribed by the Doctoral Committee.
  3. All the candidates admitted to the Doctoral studies are required to complete the coursework within a year.
  4. A doctoral candidate must obtain a minimum GPA of 2.20 in the coursework to be eligible to continue the programme and submit the thesis.
  5. Each candidate will be provided with a transcript for the completion of the coursework.

7. PRESENTATION AND FORMAT OF THE THESIS

  1. The Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology, History of Christianity candidates should follow the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) Writing Style Guide.
  2. Missiology and Practical Theology candidates should follow the APA style guide (either 6th or 7th Version).
  3. For PhD candidates, the expected word count is 50,000 to 80,000.
  4. The candidates are expected to follow the format given in SBL or APA Writing Style guide.

8. Progress of the Candidates

The research proposal should generally be submitted to the Doctoral Committee within one year of admission and complete the prescribed coursework.

  1. Suppose a candidate has not completed the coursework and has not received approval for his/her research proposal from the Doctoral Committee within two years of admission. In that case, his/her candidature will be terminated.
  2. Upon approval by the Doctoral Committee, the thesis’s topic and the research study design shall be finalised. Any significant change of the topic or major modification recommended by the Supervisor shall have to be approved by the Doctoral Committee.
  3. After obtaining the Doctoral Committee’s approval, the candidate shall obtain the University Research Ethics Committee’s (UREC) approval. The Research work may commence only after the approval of the UREC.
  4. On the Supervisor’s recommendation, the Doctoral Committee can approve the proposal that does not involve human, community and/or animal participation in research.
  5. The doctoral candidates shall submit a yearly progress report approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor to the Doctoral Committee through the Doctoral Centres.
  6. Each candidate is expected to present his/her work, or part thereof, at an appropriate academic conference, preferably national or international, and/or submit or publish the research work in a peer-reviewed journal with the prior approval of the Supervisor and co-supervisor. The Supervisor and co-supervisor’s names shall be included in all presentations and publications that are part of the thesis.
  7. A pre-submission presentation, approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor, shall be made upon completing the main part of the research work.
  8. Before the final submission of the thesis, the candidates should report the findings of his/her research to the community in a suitable manner. The scholar submits a report to the secretary, Doctoral Committee, before the public defence.

9. SUBMISSION OF THESIS AND PUBLIC DEFENCE

  1. The candidate shall submit the thesis, in the prescribed style and format, in five copies (along with a soft copy, duly attested and approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor (if any), to the University, not earlier than six months before the prescribed minimum period.
  2. Before sending the thesis to the examiner, a screening of the thesis on content, format, grammar, plagiarism, and the general standards expected of a PhD thesis shall be conducted by the Department of Doctoral Studies and Research.
  3. The Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee, in consultation with the Supervisor and co-supervisor, shall recommend at least two suitable examiners.
  4. Within the stipulated period, each examiner shall submit a critical evaluation of the thesis to the University.
  5. Based on the examiners’ evaluation, the candidate shall revise the thesis if necessary, on the Supervisor and co-supervisor’s advice, and resubmit the thesis in three copies, along with a soft copy of the thesis.
  6. After approval of the thesis by at least two examiners (out of which at least one shall ordinarily be from outside the State), a public defence will be conducted.
  7. The date and venue of the Public defence shall be announced in advance to enable scholars and interested members of the public. Any audience member may post questions to the candidate about the research project or its general field.
  8. The candidate’s performance at the Public defence shall be evaluated by the Doctoral Committee members present. The Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee may announce the recommendation to be made to the Doctoral Committee at the end of the Public defence.
  9. Ordinarily, the process of evaluation and public defence should be completed within six months of submitting the thesis.
  10. In case any form of plagiarism is found, the University Policy on plagiarism will be applicable for all doctoral candidates.

10. RESULTS AND AWARD OF DEGREE

  1. The Doctoral Committee Chairperson shall declare the candidate’s eligibility to be awarded the PhD/DMin degree or otherwise, immediately upon the conclusion of the Public defence, and convey the recommendation to the University.
  2. The Doctoral Committee shall ratify the candidates’ eligibility for the Doctoral Degree award and forward the names to the Academic Council.
  3. The candidates should have fulfilled all obligations to the University before the award of the degree.
  4. Successful candidates will be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy/ Doctor of Divinity degree under the University’s seal and the Vice-Chancellor’s signature. Along with the degree certificate, a provisional certificate may be issued certifying that the degree has been awarded in accordance with the provision to these regulations of the UGC.
  5. A copy of the successful thesis shall be kept in the University library and disseminated appropriately to the academic community.
  6. The copyright of the unpublished thesis rests with the researcher, the University, and the community from which the data has been collected. A declaration of copyright claim will be included as part of the thesis.
  7. Announcement of the PhD degrees awarded and synopsis shall be sent to the University News, Association of Indian Universities, and the University Grants Commission.
  8. Candidates who have submitted the PhD thesis but have not attained the required minimum standards may be recommended for the award of an MPhil degree by the Doctoral Committee.

11. PhD DISCONTINUATION POLICY

Registration in the PhD degree may be cancelled by the scholar concerned by applying to the Secretary, Doctoral Committee. At the time of application, he/she should have paid all the tuition and other fees. He/she should enclose No Dues certificates from the Library, Accounts Department, Department of Research and Doctoral Studies. The application shall be signed by his/her research supervisor/Doctoral Centre. The Dean, Research Studies shall approve the application for discontinuation. Cancellation of the registration shall be effective from the date the student completes all the required formalities.

The Supervisor may recommend discontinuation of registration based on unsatisfactory progress. The Dean, Research shall consider the recommendation and decide the due process.

The Dean, Research may cancel the registration at any time in case of misconduct on the candidate’s part after the due process.

The Doctoral Committee shall be informed of the discontinuation or termination of the registration of any scholar.

 

 

(Samuel Meshack)
Pro-chancellor
Dean, Faculty of Religious and Theological Studies
Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong