Application to the doctoral degree program in Eastern Christian Studies

The doctoral degree program at the Department of Eastern Christian Studies, Stockholm School of Theology (University College Stockholm) invites applicants with external funding to apply for a doctoral position.

Three venues

There are three venues within the research program at the Department:

Eastern Christian Studies: Eastern Christian Studies takes a historical and critical view of Eastern Christianity by exploring the Eastern Christian traditions from various perspectives such as biblical, patristic, liturgical, and ecclesiological in order to understand how the he present day Orthodox communities have been shaped.

International Relations and Ecumenism: International Relations and Ecumenism explores how churches have maintained and reached unity, exchanged views with each other, and how the churches operates on an international, inter-Christian, and inter-religious level. An important aspect is how churches handle international relations and diplomacy, and how ecclesiology shapes its external relations.

Religion, Art, and Democracy: Religion, Art, and Democracy takes its stand outside the Church, and explores how Eastern Christianity has contributed to and been affected by various Christian political theologies, secular ideologies, and modern/contemporary philosophies The field enables the exploration of art, in its aesthetic, theological and ideological dimensions, in the context of Eastern Christianity.

Three professors

Professor Dr Samuel Rubenson is a leading scholar internationally in Eastern Christian Studies. He was born in Addis Abeba, studied at the Coptic Seminary, and has produced multiple articles and books on Coptic and Ethiopian traditions. He is an expert on early Christianity, and early monastic life and is the chair professor at the department, and as such he has the overall responsibility for the research program and the attached research schools.

Professor Dr Cyril Hovorun is a leading scholar in Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism. Previously he was the head of the Department of External Relations in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), member of Faith and Order, World Council of Churches, and official member of most of the dialogues between orthodox churches and other communities, including the Eastern-Oriental theological dialogue. He is also considered one of the foremost experts on Christology and the reception of the council of Chalcedon.

Professor Dr Davor Džalto is a leading scholar in the field of how religion interacts with civil society and how structures of democracy may influence the Church, and how Church may influence structures of democracy. His work focuses primarily on the importance of emancipation in community building.

Requirements for admission to the doctoral program

  • External financial support. (I) Each doctoral student must be employed by a Patriarchate, a Diocese, a Parish, a Monastery, or any other institution, or have other financial means equivalent to 50% of an employment. (II) The employer must submit a certificate that the potential student will be allowed to study at least 20 hours a week within his/her employment or position, or the student must provide a certificate for other means of financing his/her studies. (III) Students from outside the European Union will start with a 13 month period of intensive studies in Sweden. After this period students stay in Sweden one month every year in addition to regular participation in online seminars and online supervision. (IV) Students from outside the European Union must therefore by their employer or other benefactors be granted a scholarship of at least 111 384 SEK (app. 11 100 Euros), which includes food and lodging (4500 Euros) and personal money for the student (6600 Euros), to cover 13 months in Sweden. (V) The certificate of initial scholarship and/or employment must be signed by the Patriarch (Patriarchate) or the Bishop (Diocese) or responsible persons for other employers/organizations.
  • Individual Requirements for the doctoral students. 1. The individual applicant must have a very good command of English, both spoken and written. This will be verified through the written material handed in as well as by an oral interview. 2. The individual applicant must have a Master/Magister thesis in theology, or in a similar subject, with a summary in English. 3. The individual applicant is also recommended to have a general knowledge of the history and theology of Christianity, in particular of the Orthodox traditions; experience and involvement in ecumenical relations; an open and critical mind and ability to work independently. 4. The individual applicant must submit all requested papers listed in the announcement, and apply by himself/herself.

Procedure for admission

  1. The applicant who would like to be admitted to the Research Program, must submit a personal letter no later than April 15th, with a CV.
  2. Those who are asked by the admission committee to send their Magister/Master thesis, must do it no later than June 15th.
  3. Those whose records and thesis are approved will be asked to send a research proposal at latest July 15th

Personal letter and CV

The personal letter should be sent by e-mail to The letter should describe your interest in one of the areas mentioned above, and in what way you would be able to contribute to your employer’s interest, and/or how you will be able to finance your doctoral studies. In the letter you should also argue for how you will be able to have a good study environment throughout the entire time of doctoral studies. The CV should contain your previous studies, degrees, employment record, as well as your practical experiences. You could also mention important aspects of your life in the personal letter.

If we find your personal letter to be sufficient, we will invite you to submit your certificates, references, and your magister/master thesis.