The purpose of doctoral studies in the field of Biblical Theology is for students to cultivate, in the usual way for advanced studies, their ability to think theologically and to deepen their knowledge in the relevant biblical theology disciplines on an expert level.
The field covers all aspects of the specialist study of the Bible, such as theological, literary, and historical factors. Studies focus on either the Old Testament or the New Testament field. They include the examination of biblical texts in their relevance for religious and cultural traditions. Depending on the specific dissertation project, studies may deal with textual, linguistic, literary, literary-historical, historiographical, religious, or cultural issues. Normally, they must also raise questions about the theological profile or overall testimony of Scripture in relation to relevant theological questions, and also deal with issues of understanding, communication, and interpretation. The working field of biblical studies also includes the related specialist disciplines – for example, the philology of the ancient and classical languages, the literature of the ancient Near East and the principal cultures of Antiquity, the phenomenology of religions and the study of the religions of antiquity, the archaeology and historiography of the relevant regions – and also a reflection on methodologies in the biblical field, hermeneutical issues, and the history of biblical research and its current trends. Studies are linked to an appropriate degree with other theological fields, and, like other branches of theology, have an interdisciplinary dimension.
Description of verification and evaluation criteria
The admissions examination is oral and takes place in one round.
Elements, content, and method of evaluation of the admissions examination:
A scholarly discussion about the outline plan of the dissertation that has been submitted, during which an evaluation is made of the factual and methodological quality of the outline plan, its innovative potential, and the ability of the applicant to present and defend their research aim. Part of the discussion takes place in a foreign language chosen by the applicant (English, German, or French). Depending on the focus of the outline plan, the applicant’s knowledge of relevant ancient and modern languages is verified (for example, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, English, German, and French). The commission awards the applicant from 0 to 60 points.
An oral examination, during which the applicant’s knowledge and orientation in the given branch of study are assessed, to the extent covered by state final examinations at a Master’s level. (The applicant submits a list of at least five titles that they have studied in the literature.) The commission awards the applicant from 0 to 40 points.
Bonus points: If the student has consulted the draft of their dissertation project with their potential supervisor, and obtained the supervisor’s recommendation for the project and their written consent to take on the supervision of the dissertation if the applicant is accepted, then the applicant receives 10 bonus points.
Minimum number of points required for acceptance: 75
The applicant is to consult their chosen theme and the choice of intended supervisor in advance with the chairperson of the relevant branch council.
Conditions for acceptance
Applicants may be accepted to study if during the entrance examination they gained at least 75 points and at the same time, based on the number of points they gained, finished in a place on the list of applicants corresponding to the number of applicants (fixed in advance) to be accepted for the branch of study in question. (See the requirements for the admissions procedure for the individual branches.) This condition is fulfilled by all those applicants who gain the same number of points as the applicant who finished in the last place on the list that qualifies for acceptance. The number of applicants to be accepted is fixed separately for full-time and part-time students.
Conditions for admission
Admission to Doctoral studies is conditioned by the successful completion of a Master's study program.
Confirmation date (of entrance exam)
from: 03.06.2019 until: 21.06.2019
Alternative date (of entrance exam)
from: 24.06.2019 until: 28.06.2019
Recommended literature, sample questions
Individual, depending on the nature of the dissertation project.
Graduates have a thorough knowledge of theology. Their expert knowledge, skills, and competence relate in particular to the historical and literary study of the biblical texts and their contexts. Depending on the subject of their dissertation project, they specialize either in the Old Testament or New Testament research. They are proficient in the relevant ancient languages and in exegetic methodology. They are familiar with the history of their discipline, reflect on the methodological issues relating to it, and understand current trends in research.
They are capable of exact theological thinking, and of discussing even highly complex and controversial questions in their field. They are able to deal with original texts and explain their findings comprehensibly in interdisciplinary settings. They are capable of presenting their results on an international level.