Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

Doctor of Sacred Theology


The Doctor in Sacred Theology is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical degree granted by the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU) by virtue of its status as an Ecclesiastical Faculty. This is the third cycle in the program of ecclesiastical degrees intended to complete the scientific theological formation, especially through the writing of a doctoral dissertation. The Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) is the prerequisite for admission to the Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD) program.

Areas of Study

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Ethics
  • Systematics


JST-SCU welcomes the application of all qualified persons who wish to pursue the STD program. For detailed admission application information, please click here. Preference will be given to applicants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America; applications of persons from other regions of the world are welcome and will be given serious consideration.

Students accepted into the STD program may defer matriculation for one year without being required to re-apply.


1. A completed STL or Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (SSL) with a minimum grade point average of 3.7.

2. Proficiency in one modern language suitable for theological research other than the applicant’s native tongue. In addition, candidates who intend to specialize in Biblical Studies must show proficiency in one Biblical language.

3. A major research paper from the STL or SSL program, which demonstrates your research and writing abilities.

Degree Requirements

While the STD degree is designed as a two-year program, students typically take three to four years to complete the degree. All work for the STD must be completed within five calendar years from the date of first registration in the program.

1. At the beginning of the STD program, there will be a diagnostic interview of the student conducted by the academic advisor and one other faculty member.

2. The first year of course work will be at the 4000 level or above.

3. Students will be required to do four courses in the area of concentration during the first year of the STD studies.

4. The residency requirement will be registration for two years of doctoral study beyond the STL or SSL. Students must enroll full-time and pay full tuition during the two years of required residency.

5. Students will need to establish proficiency in an additional modern language suitable for theological research other than English and other than the modern language required for admission. Students in Biblical Studies will also establish proficiency in Greek or Hebrew, the biblical language not presented for admission to the program.

6. Students who have not taken comprehensive examinations as part of their STL or SSL program must take comprehensive exams in their area of concentration, ordinarily no later than the second semester of the STD. These exams will be administered by the appropriate department.

7. Students will write a doctoral thesis to be read and approved by at least three readers. Each student will have a public defense of the completed dissertation.

8. The doctoral thesis must be filed in the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) Library.

Program Brochures
Contact Information

Please refer all inquires, including requests for application forms, directly to:

Admissions Department

Maureen Beckman

Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management and Marketing
Phone: 510-549-5016

Grace Hogan
Associate Director of Enrollment Management
Phone: 510-549-5013


Mailing Address:
1735 LeRoy Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709