The purpose of doctoral studies in the field of Historical and Systematic Theology is for students to cultivate, in the usual way for advanced studies, their ability to think theologically and to deepen their knowledge of the theological tradition in its historical and systematic dimensions on an expert level. Students learn to critically analyze and reflect on the knowledge acquired and methods used in their field and to interpret them both in their own specific contexts and in the interdisciplinary settings of contemporary scholarly knowledge. Depending on the subject of their dissertation project, their studies are focused on a specific specialized field of historical or systematic theology (for example, church history, the history of dogma, systematic theology, or dogmatics), but at the same time they retain the appropriate breadth of vision and interdisciplinary orientation that pertains to all branches of theology.
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 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 specialist knowledge of theology, especially its historical and systematic aspects. They understand the pluralistic character of the Christian tradition and are well versed in its varied forms. They are familiar with the history of their discipline, are able to reflect on the epistemological and methodological issues relating to it, and understand its current trends.
They are capable of exact theological thinking, and of discussing even highly complex and controversial questions. They are able to analyze and provide specialist expositions of religious texts and to interpret them within the given context. They know how to draw up a well-grounded analysis of theological issues and to explain their findings comprehensibly in interdisciplinary settings. They are capable of presenting the results of their scholarly work on an international level.