Doctoral Programs (PhD)


Of the SAIACS doctoral degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) has two components: (a) the Pre-Doctoral Programme (PDP) and (b) Candidacy, which entails thesis writing.

The Pre -Doctoral Programme

Prior to formal acceptance as a PhD candidate, students join the Pre-Doctoral Programme (PDP) under a Supervisor. The PDP has several objectives:

  • To develop the student’s comprehensive general knowledge of their discipline;

  • To reach reading competency in research languages as relevant to the specialization;

  • To identify a possible topic for research;

  • To allow the Supervisor to assess the student’s ability to engage in PhD level research.

The PDP will normally take 6-12 months when the student will:

  • Read at least 1500 pages per month;

  • Meet every two weeks with the Supervisor, bringing a written report or paper for discussion;

  • Credit or audit modules (at MTh level) deemed relevant;

  • Attend and participate in departmental doctoral seminars;

  • Attend and participate in Doktorklub;

  • Complete the required language studies.

(The following are the Departmental language requirements in addition to English: Biblical Greek and Hebrew; one modern European language; other languages as deemed necessary e.g., Aramaic, Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu, Syriac, Ugaritic, Arabic.)


Doctor Of Philosophy, PhD

SAIACS offers PhD study in seven specializations:  Old Testament, New Testament, Theology and Ethics, Missiology, Study of Religions, History of Christianity (not on offer for 2018-19) and Pastoral Theology. 

This programme will qualify students for postgraduate level academic specialist teaching. Applicants need the capacity for independent research, must possess cogent analytical skills and have competence in communicating their findings through publishable writing or teaching.

Award Options 

  • Those entering with an MA or MPhil from a recognised university may opt to earn the degree of PhD awarded by the University of Mysore, accredited by the Government of India.

  • Those entering with an MTh from a Christian institution may receive their PhD from SAIACS, accredited by the Asia Theological Association.

Entry Requirements

  • MTh with high second class (minimum 55%; B+ average) or equivalent.

  • Ministry experience of at least 2 years.

  • High competency in oral, aural, and written English.

  • Tested competency in one or more research languages as relevant to the area of specialization.

  • Signature to the “Termination of Studies Agreement.”

For entry requirement for PhD awarded by the University of Mysore, please enquire with the Academic Dean.

Period of Study

  • Candidates must undertake 48 months of doctoral studies in either of two ways:

  • Live full-time at SAIACS (holidays exempted) for four consecutive years including PDP studies. These full-time students attempt to complete their dissertation within three years of completing their PDP.  The PDP period for a full-time student is a maximum of 2 years. The maximum period for full-time studies is five years after completing the PDP, with extension fee.

  • Live at SAIACS full-time (holidays excepted) for the first year (PDP studies) and the last six months, and for another 18 months in blocks of several months, as agreed with their mentor.  Family accommodation is given only if the student stays on campus for a minimum of six consecutive months. The PDP period for a part-time candidate is a maximum of 3 years. The maximum period for completing the dissertation is six years after completing PDP. 

  • Residency and Studies Abroad: SAIACS will endeavour

    to arrange an “overseas study component” for three to six months of thesis research at an appropriate foreign university. SAIACS cannot guarantee that it will arrange placement and sponsorship for this residency abroad. However, should it work out, it will then be considered part of the required 48 months residency. The Head of the Department, in consultation with the mentor and the student, will work out the details of the residency in terms of choice of university, the timing of the residency, etc.

Completion Requirements

  • The PhD dissertation must be of international standards, making an original contribution to its field of knowledge. It must be 80,000 to 100,000 words in length.