Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

Rules regarding Postgraduate Studies

Regulations of the Moscow Theological Academy Postgraduate Studies Programme[1]

1. The Postgraduate School of the Moscow Theological Academy (hereinafter referred to as "Postgraduate Studies") is a subdivision of the MThA, which trains academic/pedagogical and theological staff in the system of postgraduate professional theological education of the Russian Orthodox Church in the specializations featured in the current MThA list of specialties.

2. The main objectives of postgraduate studies are:

  • theological academic research;
  • passing the Candidate's examinations;
  • Writing a thesis for a PhD (Candidate) in Theology.

3. The postgraduate programme is headed by the Head of the Postgraduate School, elected by the Academic Council and approved by the Rector of the MThA.

4. Members of the Russian Orthodox Church who graduated from the Master's degree programme or a 4-year academy (with a thesis defended in the academy) in the system of theological educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church are admitted to postgraduate studies on a competitive basis. Members of other Local Orthodox Churches, as well as non-Orthodox, having a master's degree, shall be admitted to the entrance examinations to postgraduate stdies by the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. Admission to the entrance exams of postgraduate studies for applicants with a Master's degree of secular educational institution is carried out by order of the Rector of the MThA.

5.  Persons who have previously completed a full course of study at the MThA postgraduate department, other postgraduate programmes or a 3-year academy in the system of theological educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church, do not have the right participate again in postgraduate studies.

6.  An applicant for postgraduate studies shall submit the following documents to the MThA office:

1)   A petition addressed to the Rector of the MThA of the established format(it should be filled out in the Office of the MThA).

2) Recommendation:

a) for those who are applying the same year that they received their Master's Degree from a theological educational institution of the ROC, a recommendation from that institution is required;

b) for those who received their Master's Degree from a theological educational institution of the ROC several years earlier, a recommendation from the local bishop or head of the Synodal Department is required.

c) for members of other Local Orthodox Churches and for non-believers, who have a Master's Degree a recommendation from the Department of External Church Affairs of the ROC is required. 

3) Two 3х4 and six 6х8 photographs.

4)   questionnaire (Personnel Record Sheet - to be filled in at the MThA office).

5)  autobiography.

6) Passport (with a permanent residence address)

7) Military serivce certificate or a temporary certificate (with a military registration).

8) An insurance policy of manditory medical insurance issued at the place of permanent residence (for citizens of the Russian Federation), or an international insurance policy (for foreign citizens).

9) Diploma (from either/both theological and secular institution)[2].

10) List of family members (an official document).

11) Baptismal certificate.

12) Certificate of Marriage and Church Marriage (for married persons).

13) Medical form № 086/у.

14) Certificate of Reader's tonsure (for readers), certificate of tonsure (for monks), certificate of ordination to the rank of priest (deacon) and a copy of the last decree of the ruling bishop on appointment to a parish (for clergy).

15) Academic theological works:

a) for those who are applying to graduate school the same year that they graduated from a Master's Programme of any theological educational institution of the Russian Orthodox Church: Master's thesis, a list of academic theological publications and speeches at conferences and their printed copies;

b) for all other applicants: an abstract on the subject of the proposed academic theological research in postgraduate studies, up to a total of 3 pages.[3]and a list of academic theological publications and conference presentations with printed copies.

7. Admissions to Postgraduate Studies are held annually withing the deadlines established by the Rector of the MThA.

8. Admission to Postgraduate Studies is held by the Admissions Committee chaired by the Rector of the MThA. Members of the Admissions Committee are appointed by its Chairman from among highly qualified academic/pedagogical and academic/theological staff of the MThA.

9. Applicants with a Master's Degree from a secular educational institution are admitted to the entrance examinations for Postgraduate Studies by order of the Rector of the MThA. They may be assigned additional examinations on subjects from the curriculum of the Bachelor's and Master's Degree programs of the MThA. The procedure of admission to the postgraduate examinations of the MThA graduates who apply the same year they graduate is given in the Appendix.

10. Prior to the start of the entrance exams, applicants for Postgraduate Studies are interviewed by a prospective supervisor, who is familiar with the content of the academic theological works of the candidate. The prospecitve supervisor gives an assessment of the academic theological works of the candidate, informs the Admissions Committee on the results of the interview and announces his agreement to carry out academic supervision.

11. After a positive response from the prospective supervisor, the Admissions Committee decides on the admission of the candidate to take the Postgraduate Study entrance exams.

12. Those who apply to Postgraduate Studies must take entrance exams in a specific theological discipline (within the academic scope of the current Master's programme), theology and foreign language. In addition to entrance exams, applicants are interviewed by the Rector of the MThA, vice-rectors, the head of the post-graduate course, and the clergy of the Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Applicants must undergo a medical examination at the MThA medical unit.

13. Entrance examinations may not be retaken.

14. Admission to Postgraduate Studies is confirmed by the Rector of the MThA based on the entrance examinations results, interviews and medical examination.

15. Postgraduate study is carried out by full-time and correspendence enrollment. The period of study in full-time postgraduate study is three years, in part-time - four years. The Academic Council of the MThA may decide to extend the period of postgraduate study, but not more than by one year.

16. Each postgraduate student, as soon as he is addmitted by order of the Rector of the MThA, is attached to a department and appointed a supervisor with a degree not lower than a PhD (in Russian terminology: Candidate of Theology) from the department. Post-graduate students conducting research interdisciplinary research are allowed to have a supervisor and a consultant. If necessary, for the success of the thesis, in addition to the supervisor who would be a member of the MThA faculty, an external consultant may be appointed, who is a specialist in the necessary field of academic and theological knowledge.

17. Тема диссертации и индивидуальный учебно-научный план аспиранта утверждаются на выпускающей кафедре в течение 2-х месяцев с момента зачисления в Аспирантуру. Контроль за выполнением аспирантом   individual study plan is carried out by an academic supervisor, the department and the head of Postgraduate Studies. The academic advisor is accountable to the head of Postgraduate Studies.

18. During postgraduate studies, a postgraduate student must:

1) master the basic educational programme of Postgraduate Studies in the chosen specialty and fully implement the individual academic study plan;

2) within two years after enrollment, pass the graduation examinations in a specific theological discipline, theology and foreign language;

3) have a certain amount of pedagogical practice;

4) finish work on the thesis and submit it to his department for preliminary defense no later than 2 months before the end of the end of his postgraduate study.

19. The main educational programme of Postgraduate Studies is taught in the form of lectures and seminars during the first year of study in the amount of no more than 12 academic hours per week.

20. Graduation exams are administered according to the programmes developed by the respective departments and approved by the Academic Council of the MThA. Deadlines for taking graduation exams are determined by the order of the Rector of the MThA. Graduation examinations may be retaken no later that six months after the failed attempt.

21. The Admissions Commission that administer gaduation exams in each discipline are established by an order of the Rector of the MThA. The level of knowledge of the graduate student is assessed as "excellent", "good", "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory".

22. For each postgraduate student, an individual protocol of the graduation exam will be established by the members of the commission, which will include the contents of the questions and assignments of the exam. The minutes of the graduation exams are signed by all members of the Commission who were present at the examination, who will indicate their academic degree, academic rank and position.

23. Based on the results of all the graduation examinations, a single certificate of an established form is issued to postgraduate students upon successfully passing them.

24. At the end of each semester, the postgraduate student is subject to mandatory certification. For this purpose, he presents at the meeting of his department a report on the results of his work according to the individual academic study plan and the preparation of the thesis. The report, signed by the academic advisor and the head of the department, is given to the head of Postgraduate Studies.

25. A mandatory element of postgraduate qualification is: participation in the academic life of the MThA, academic theological conferences, seminars, symposiums, colloquia, etc., academic publications on the topic of the thesis.

26. A postgraduate student who fails to comply with the individual study and research plan within the established time frame is expelled from Postgraduate Studies.

27. Postgraduate students studying on site have the right to work under an employment contract as an assistant, teacher, tutor, department employee, etc., but subject to their individual educational and academic plan.

28. The time spent in the full-time postgraduate studies is counted as theological academic and pedagogical experience.

29. Postgraduate students studying in full-time postgraduate study are provided with a scholarship of an established amount. Postgraduate students may take part in a competition for church, state and other personal scholarships, as well as grants.

30. Transfer of post-graduate students from full-time to part-time education and vice versa, is carried out at the request of the post-graduate student by the Rector of the MThA, if there are vacant places.

31. Foreign postgraduate students studying in full-time postgraduate studies are provided with a dormitory. Post-graduate students studying in postgraduate studies by correspondence are provided with the rooms in the dormitory of the MThA for the period of passing the candidate exams and performing worksrelated to their dissertation (not more than one month during each year of study). Postgraduate students living in the dormitory of the MThA are obliged to follow the daily schedule and other requirements of the MThA administration.

32. Requirements for the thesis, the procedure of preliminary defense at the meeting of the department faculty and the procedure of defense are described in the Regulations concerning the thesis for the degree of Candidate of Theology .

33. Those who have completed their postgraduate studies will be issued a standard certificate.

Процедура допуска к экзаменам в Аспирантуру выпускников магистратуры МДА в год ее окончания

1. Студент второго года обучения магистратуры МДА до предварительной защиты пишет  прошение на имя Ректора МДА установленного образца, заверенное предполагаемым научным руководителем в Аспирантуре. Прошение передается на выпускающую кафедру.

2. На предварительной защите выпускающая кафедра дает или отказывает в рекомендации в Аспирантуру. Рекомендация кафедры в виде выписки из протокола заседания кафедры, а также прошение магистранта передается заведующему Аспирантурой.

3.  Диссертационный совет, на котором проходит защита магистерской диссертации, подтверждает или отклоняет рекомендацию выпускающей кафедры: при положительном результате защиты открытым голосованием простым большинством принимается решение о рекомендацию в Аспирантуру. При равенстве голосов «за» и «против» решающим является голос Председателя Диссертационного совета.

4. Решение Диссертационного совета о рекомендации в Аспирантуру утверждается Ректором МДА.

5. Поступающий в Аспирантуру подает список научно-богословских работ и выступлений на конференциях с их оттисками. Поступающие в Аспирантуру сдают вступительные экзамены по богословию и иностранному языку.

The theological examination consists of two parts: the first part consists of an oral exam on material found in the   standard programmeand the second part is the presentation that takes place at the department of the applicants academic theological works and his abstract of the proposed academic theological research topic for his postgraduate study.

[1] Adopted at the meeting of the MThA Academic Council on March 12, 2012. Changes made at the meeting of the MThA Academic Council on June 10, 2013. 

[2] К документу об образовании и иным документам на иностранных языках прилагается нотариально заверенный перевод на русский язык.

[3] Состоит из двух частей: а) обоснование предполагаемой темы, актуальности и предполагаемая структура кандидатской диссертации; б) научно-богословская статья по теме кандидатской диссертации.

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