A Jesuit, Filipino, and Asian Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology
In the doctoral program, the student normally pursues the same specialization as the one he/she has chosen for the licentiate program. The following fields of concentrations are available in the in the STD program:
• Biblical Theology
• Systematic-Dogmatic Theology
• Moral Theology
• Spirituality-Pastoral Counseling
Students seeking admission to this program must have the ecclesiastical degree Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) with a grade of cum laude (1.75) or better.
Acceptance to the STD Program
a.) Provisional Acceptance. Applicants to the STD program are accepted provisionally by the Vice President for Academic Affairs upon the recommendation of the Standards and Degrees Committee. The criteria for the provisional acceptance are the grades, the entrance test results, the licentiate tesina, essay, etc. In addition to the academic records, the committee considers the following priorities: full-time enrollment, knowledge of languages, and involvement in ministry.
b.) Definitive Acceptance. Full acceptance to the doctoral program is decided by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Standards and Degrees Committee only after the students have satisfactorily completed nine (9) units of course work. The bases of definitive acceptance are the grades, the professors’ evaluations, and at least one major research paper written in the doctoral course work. Without definitive acceptance to the program the doctoral students will not be allowed to enroll beyond the 9 units of course work.
STD Language Requirements
The STD program requires a working knowledge of two modern languages, besides English, in which significant theological writing has been done (e.g., German, French, or Spanish), Biblical Hebrew or Greek, and Ecclesiastical Latin. All these language requirements must be fulfilled before writing the dissertation. The requirements may be satisfied either by [a] taking language courses of two semesters each language in any university/college, provided that at least a grade of B is attained; or by [b] passing a proficiency test administered by LST in any or all of these languages. The test, lasting for 30 minutes, consists in translation of a page of Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, Ecclesiastical Latin, German, French, or Spanish, with the aid of a dictionary.
STD Course Work
The STD program requires at least a year of course work in which the student must complete successfully five doctoral level courses – a total of 15 credit units.
a) Concentration (15 units). The five doctoral level courses must all belong to the student's field of concentration.
Reading Courses. Two of the five concentration courses must be reading courses specifically geared toward the topic of the student's dissertation. At the end of each reading course, the student must submit a written report in the form of a Review of Literature, i.e., a survey and evaluation of books and articles dealing with a specific research topic. The review must cover all the books and articles assigned by the professor as well as other readings that the student may have discovered for himself/herself in the course of the research. The reading course includes pre-arranged meetings with the professor to discuss the reading materials.
Note: Before enrolling in the reading courses, they must first be approved by the Director of Advanced Graduate Students or the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A clear distinction should be made between reading courses and tutorial courses . Reading courses are tailor-made to suit the specific topic of the student's dissertation. Tutorial courses may also involve reading assignments on a course bibliography, but the readings may not necessarily deal with the topic of the student's dissertation.
b) Major Research Paper. During the probation period, in one of first three courses, the student must write at least one major research paper on the basis of which his/her capacity to write a dissertation can be judged by the Standard and Degrees Committee. The paper should conform to the following specifications:
• It must be between 30-40 pages in length.
• It must be formatted according to LST Style Manual based on Turabian, 6th edition.
• It must include footnotes and at least two full-page bibliographies listing only the titles of books and articles that have actually been cited in the paper.
• It must have received a grade of at least B+ (2.0)
Note: The sources of quotations and borrowed ideas must be fully acknowledged in the footnotes. Failure to do so is tantamount to plagiarism, which is penalized with a failing grade in the course and an appropriate sanction ( Code of Discipline, pp. 9-10).
STD Comprehensive Examination
After the completion of all course work, the student takes the comprehensive examination. The matter of the comprehensive examination arises out of the bibliography assigned to the student in the field of concentration. The process is as follows:
The student formulates six thesis statements — each thesis supported by a short, pertinent bibliography — with the help of a professor who shall approve the thesis statements for submission to the school. Once the thesis statements are approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student prepares for the comprehensive examination. The preparation time shall be not less than two months and not more than one semester. After the preparation, the student applies at the LST Office for an examination date. Twenty-four hours before the examination proper, the student is informed which particular thesis he/she will have to present and defend. The examination board is composed of three professors. The student presents the thesis for 30 minutes. Presentation, however, should not be reading a prepared paper, but actually teaching the matter as if the examinee were before a class of students. He/she should teach the matter clearly and in a well-ordered way within the allotted timeframe of 30 minutes. Each of the three professors questions the student for fifteen minutes. The entire examination lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. In case of failure, only one retake is allowed. Students who fail the retake are dropped from the program unless, for special reasons, the Standards and Degrees Committee recommends that a second retake be given.
a) STD Dissertation Proposal. Guided by a mentor officially appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student prepares a brief of the first chapter of the proposed dissertation including the following:  The Problem of the thesis;  The Justification of the problem;  The Methodology to be followed;  Definition of key terms; and  Basic Bibliography.
The proposal (minus bibliography) should normally not exceed 10 pages and should follow the LST Style Manual based on Turabian, 6th edition. Once approved by the mentor, five (5) copies of the dissertation proposal are submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who appoints a panel of professors to examine the proposal. On a date specified by the school the student defends his proposal before the panel. The oral defense consists in  a clear presentation (for about 15 minutes) of the written proposal by the writer, covering the basic problem or theme of the dissertation, its scope and limitation, its importance, and the basic sources (bibliography) and methods to be used;  each professor reviews the proposal with the writer through questions, suggestions, etc., usually for a period of 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the particular needs of the proposal. The professors may offer brief written recommendations, analyses, suggestions, etc. to the writer, copies of which are also given to the mentor and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
b) STD Dissertation Writing. After the proposal has been approved by the panel, the student may now proceed to writing the dissertation chapter by chapter. All throughout the writing of the dissertation the student must seek the guidance of his/her mentor. Each chapter must be approved by the mentor one at a time. The dissertation should be between 180 and 220 pages in length with an upper limit of 250 pages. In addition, it should follow the LST Style Manual (based on Turabian, 6th edition). The dissertation must make an original contribution to the field of concentration and must manifest an appropriate standard of scientific theological research.
c) STD Dissertation Public Defense. When the whole dissertation is finished and meets the approval of the mentor, it is submitted to the school. The Vice President for Academic Affairs appoints a second reader, who, ideally, should come from the panel that examined the dissertation proposal. It is the task of the second reader to ascertain that the dissertation is ready for public defense. He/she has the right to order any changes in the dissertation that he considers necessary for it to be truly ready for defense. In case of an unsolvable conflict between the second reader and mentor, an independent panel appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs will decide the issue.
After the second reader declares the dissertation ready for defense, unbound copies of the dissertation are submitted to the other readers who, together with the second reader, shall make up the panel of examiners for the defense. A date for the defense is then scheduled. After successfully defending the dissertation, the student must submit to the school two bound copies of the corrected and approved final edition of the dissertation. (Two-thirds of the grade given for the dissertation is based on the written work and one-third on the oral defense.)
d) Publication of the STD Dissertation. The doctoral program requires the publication of at least the main parts of the dissertation. The mentor, the second reader, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs must approve which parts may be published.