Institute of Theology

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The Study Track


The PhD study track is oriented towards scholarship and research. It is a 3 year curriculum and may be extended to 5 years. During the first year, the student participates in 4 seminars and submits a detailed dissertation proposal. In the second year, the candidate follows two tutorials and begins with the redaction of the dissertation. The third year is entirely dedicated to the redaction of the dissertation.



  1. The PhD Program is equivalent in length to three years of study.
  2. All candidates are required to complete course work (12 credits seminars – 6 credits tutorials) in the first two years.
  3. Candidates for the PhD degree shall satisfactorily complete work amounting to 42 credits distributed as follows:
    • 12 credits in four offered seminars in different theological disciplines
    • 6 credits in two tutorials focusing on the topic of the dissertation
    • 24 credits for the dissertation
  4. The academic year is made up of two semesters.
  5. The PhD candidate must meet the standards for academic progress, defined as:
    • Having a cumulative grade point average of at least B (80 /100) in the Program
    • Minimum passing grade B- (75 /100) in all courses
    • Not exceeding maximum absence (10%)
    • Continuous effort in research
  6. The following grading scheme is adopted for reporting final course grades:
Grade Notation
95 and above High Distinction
90 - 94 Distinction
87 - 89 Very Good
84 - 86 Good
80 - 83 Fair
75 - 79 Weak
<75 Fail




The doctoral dissertation is an unpublished academic work, culminating years of post-graduate, guided, independent and personal original research. The results must be supported by critical study and theoretical arguments obtained with scientific methods. A dissertation must have the general purposes:

  • To generate scholarly valid and reliable conclusions
  • To provide advancement in knowledge in the field of specialization

The PhD candidate needs to defend successfully his/her doctoral dissertation to receive his/her PhD degree.



By the end of the first year, the PhD candidate submits a detailed dissertation proposal, related to the faculty’s active research areas. The description of the academic content of the PhD project should include: topic definition, hypothesis, methods of research, literature review, any empirical research planned, bibliography, etc.




Upon considering the Application for Admission and the Dissertation Proposal, the Academic Committee recommends to the Dean a Professor to supervise the PhD project. The Dean considers the recommendation for approval. The supervisor should be a recognized researcher in the relevant research area and a member of the UOB faculty at the level of Full Professor or Associate Professor.



The supervisor has overall responsibilities to mentor the progress of the PhD candidate’s research project and the writing of the PhD dissertation with a view to ensuring completion as required. The supervisor shall prepare a PhD plan at the start of the project together with the candidate.

He shall:

  • Evaluate the progress of the PhD candidate in his research project and report on this in semiannual evaluations.
  • Support the PhD candidate in developing necessary contacts and in working actively in the world of research.
  • Provide supervision regularly, read and discuss the candidate’s work, and suggest needed corrections in the research and the writing process.
  • Guide the PhD candidate in his efforts to publish research results in the course of the PhD Program.



i. Keeping his/her supervisor informed of the progress in his research, including:

  • All relevant information concerning the progress of the PhD Program and work on the dissertation.
  • All the drafts of the gradual phases in writing the dissertation.
  • All important research results.
  • The process of the editing of the final text of the dissertation.
  • Drafts of any publication during the PhD study period.

ii. Applying all corrections requested by his/her supervisor.

iii. Participating actively in academic conferences and workshops during the period of his/her doctoral study.



Every six months, the supervisor provides the Dean, as director of the PhD Program, with an evaluation of the candidate’s academic progress and research. Based on the evaluation, the Dean decides whether the candidate’s academic progress and research are satisfactory or not.

The PhD candidate who fails to secure an approval of his/her detailed dissertation proposal, within the 3 semesters that follow his/her enrollment, is placed on academic probation.



The two readers must be professors or associate professors from the main field of specialization at UOB. The task of the Committee is to read the dissertation final draft and provide feedback including remarks and required amendments before the submission to defense.



The supervisor may be changed in the course of a PhD Program, or co-supervisors may be appointed. A request for a change of supervisor may come from the PhD candidate or from the supervisor, or may be initiated by the Dean.



Candidates must follow the PhD Dissertation Guide and Style Manual issued by the Central Library at UOB.




Upon completion of the PhD dissertation, the candidate submits by hand to the Dean seven copies of the manuscript and applies in writing for the dissertation defense. The Dean approves the candidate’s application, appoints the Assessment Committee members and designates the committee chairperson.



The Assessment Committee consists of at least 5 members: the supervisor, the members of the dissertation committee, including a professor or an associate professor from another university. The Dissertation Supervisor may not chair the assessment committee.


c)  TASKS:

The Assessment Committee is in charge of reading and examining the final text of the dissertation. Members of the Assessment Committee receive a hard copy of the dissertation sent by the Dean. They shall:

  • Submit a written Report on the Dissertation to the Dean two months after they receive the manuscript. All reports shall be available at the Office of the Dean before the public announcement of the defense session.
  • Attend the defense session personally and present their evaluation orally during the session.
  • Participate in the writing of the Report on the Defense session.
  • Deliberate and agree on a grading mark for the dissertation.

The Program Director is responsible for ensuring the examination procedures: submission of copies to the assessment committee, communicating the date of defense, coordination of the session and submission of all needed reports and documents.



The PhD candidate defends the dissertation before the assessment committee according to the following procedures:

  • The date for the defense session is set by the Dean.
  • The physical presence of the candidate at the defense is required.
  • The defense is open to the public.
  • The Dissertation is graded with a pass/fail assessment
  • The chairperson writes down the session report.
  • The final session report is signed by all members present in the defense.



The PhD degree is the highest academic degree awarded at the Institute of Theology to candidates who have completed the required coursework, participated in at least two international conferences, published at least one article in a peered academic review, defended a doctoral dissertation, and submitted it by hand to the Library after making the requested amendments.

Candidates are eligible to receive the PhD degree when they offer by hand to the Dean’s office the following documents:

  • Certificates of participation in at least two national or international conferences.
  • A copy of their publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
  • A copy of the Dissertation after the final amendments, signed by the five members of the Assessment Committee.
  • A Library receipt of the Dissertation.

After reviewing the above-mentioned documents, the Dean of the Institute of Theology approves the award of PhD to the Candidate. The University of Balamand solemnly awards the degree of PhD.

Contact us
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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