Pontifical Degree Programs






Research and Method


Rights and Duties


In 1943, the Marianists of the University of Dayton founded The Marian Library to commemorate the triple centennial to be celebrated in 1949-1950: the arrival of the Marianists in the United States (1849); the death of Father William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary (1850); and the founding of the University of Dayton (1950).

The Marian Library offers its resources to all qualified students and scholars who need an extensive collection of books, periodicals, and other materials centered on studies related to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. This comprehensive collection which dates from the beginning of printing up to the present day, comprises works in more than fifty languages. It includes a general reference collection with resources in patristics, biblical studies, christology, ecclesiology, liturgy, spirituality, church history, hymnography, iconography, general and specialized bibliography.

The Marian Library is related to the Roesch Library, the main library of the University of Dayton. Roesch Library offers students a collection of more than 1,5 million volumes, more than 4,000 periodical titles, the facilities of a nationwide interlibrary loan service, and the possibility of extensive online database searching. The Marian Library issues a multilingual periodical, Marian Library Studies (New Series), devoted to the publication of foundational studies, historical research, and comparative studies in such areas as religion, archaeology, iconography, symbolism, theological anthropology, and psychology. It also publishes Marian Studies, the annual publication of the Mariological Society of America. The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute - its full name - communicates with friends and donors by way of The Marian Library Newsletter. Its intellectual and spiritual outreach is achieved mainly through the website The Mary Page (themarypage.org).

Since The Marian Library is recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive collection in the world devoted to Marian specialization, it was fitting that an institute be organized to allow scholars and students to exploit its riches through research and study, especially thanks to an academic program leading to the doctorate in theology with specialization in Marian Studies. In 1975, an institute of graduate studies in theology was founded in affiliation with the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Marianum, directed by the Servants of Mary in Rome. The Congregation for Catholic Education approved the International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) on November 5, 1975.

Since 1975, IMRI has organized annual sessions at the graduate level to promote the program of Marian Studies established by the Marianum, and adapted to the needs of students in the United States and abroad. Students can prepare for a licentiate and doctorate in Mariology, earn a certificate in Marian Studies, or gain credit hours toward a master's degree granted in conjunction with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton.

After the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, with its Norms of Application, established new rules to be observed in the preparation for and granting of pontifical degrees, new statutes were developed and approved in 1983. Since that date the IMRI has offered support to hundreds of scholars, delivered certificates in Marian studies and helped students to gain credits towards a master's degree in religious studies. Most important, it has prepared hundreds of students for higher degrees in Marian studies, and was happy to deliver since 1989 in affiliation with the Marianum, pontifical doctoral and licentiate degrees in theology with specialization in Marian studies. On July 26, 2008 the incorporation into the Marianum was renewed and approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education for a new period of five years.

The Mission of The Marian Library/
International Marian Research Institute

In fulfilling its mission the ML/IMRI pursues the following goals. It

  • Supports learning and scholarship faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church by assembling, organizing and making available materials (mainly books and periodicals, but also audio-visual materials, art, and artifacts) for information, teaching and research in Marian studies.

  • Promotes studies in Marian theology and on the role of Mary in Christian life. International in scope, it closely relates the study of Mary to Christology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, liturgy, spirituality, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, the arts, and social sciences.

  • Engages in and encourages original research in Marian studies. It also examines contemporary trends and seeks interdisciplinary cooperation.

  • Serves as a clearinghouse for information on Marian topics by critically assessing current contributions to Marian studies and culture in the light of the Church's Marian tradition and teaching.

  • Publishes the results of its research and teaching, as well as that of the scholars. It makes them available in its own publication, namely Marian Library Studies and on its website The Mary Page (www.themarypage.org).

  • Encourages scholarly and pastoral endeavors through lectures and symposiums, gallery exhibits, and the use of its website.

  • Cooperates with institutions of similar interest and scope, especially the Marianum in Rome and the Mariological Society of America, and shares information with Marian scholars and scholarly societies worldwide.

  • Provides direct and online reference service on specific research questions regarding Our Lady.

  • Gives recognition to scholarly achievement in the field of Marian studies through publications both actual and virtual, and through the bestowal of the Marian Library Medal.

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation

The following are excerpts from the 1988 letter of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education on The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation.


Mariology is alive and active in relevant questions in matters doctrinal and pastoral. However, it is necessary that the study of Mariology, together with attention to the pastoral problems which are emerging gradually, attend to rigorous research, conducted according to scientific criteria.

The words of the Council apply: "Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred Tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word."1 The study of the sacred Scriptures, therefore, must be the soul of Mariology.2

Further, the study of Tradition is essential to research in Mariology because, as Vatican II teaches, "sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church."3 The study of Tradition shows how particularly fruitful in quality and quantity is the Marian patrimony of the various liturgies and of the Fathers of the Church.

Research into Scripture and Tradition, conducted according to the most fruitful methods and with the most reliable instruments of critical enquiry, must be guided by the Magisterium since "the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church."4 This research must also integrate and be strengthened by the more secure fruits of learning in anthropology and the human sciences.

1 Vatican II. Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum. November 18, 1965, 24. (= DV).
2 DV 24.
3 DV 10.
4 DV 10.

A Comprehensive Approach

Considering the importance of the Virgin in the history of salvation and in the life of the People of God, and after promptings of Vatican Council II and of the Popes, it would be unthinkable that the teaching of Mariology be obscured today: it is necessary, therefore, that it be given its just place in seminaries and theological faculties.

Such teaching, consisting of a "systematic treatment," will be:

  1. organic, that is, inserted adequately in the program of studies of the theological curriculum;

  2. complete, so that the person of the Virgin be considered in the whole history of salvation, that is in her relation to God; to Christ, the Word incarnate, Savior and Mediator; to the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier and Giver of life; to the Church, sacrament of salvation; to man in his origins and his development in the life of grace, and his destiny to glory;

  3. suited to the various types of institution (centers of religious culture, seminaries, theological faculties...) and to the level of the students: future priests and teachers of Mariology, animators of Marian piety in the dioceses, those who are responsible for formation in the religious life, catechists, those who give conferences, and the many who want to deepen their knowledge of Mary. Teaching thus given will avoid one-sided presentations of the figure and mission of Mary, presentations which are detrimental to the whole visions of her mystery. Sound teaching will be a stimulus to deep research—in seminaries and through the writing of licentiate and doctoral theses—into the sources of Revelation and the documents. Mariological study can also profit from interdisciplinary teaching.

  4. (Excerpt from the 1988 letter from the Congregation for Catholic Education on "The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation")



    As an American affiliate of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Marianum, our academic program is empowered to offer courses leading to the STL and STD degrees. Such programs of study are governed by the rules and directives issued by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, and their application by the Marianum.


    The University of Dayton offers in joint venture with the IMRI a master's degree in Theological Studies with a Marian concentration. The concentration in Marian Studies is available for those who take a minimum of twelve hours up to a maximum of sixteen hours of specially designated courses in Marian disciplines.


    A Certificate Program is available for qualified students who do not wish to pursue the full rigors of the STL/STD courses of study, or who may be lacking in some of the basic requirements for admission into these programs. The Certificate Program involves basic courses (36 quarter credits) giving a broad foundation in the study of Mariology and the writing of a research paper or project. The research paper (30 pages) is elaborated under the direction of a moderator and must be original.

    The Certificate Program is available as a guided studies program. The suggested time frame for the completion of the program is two to four years.


    The Marianist Studies Program is open especially to Marianists, their affiliates, and to all those interested in learning more about the Marianist religious heritage. This program (36 quarter credits) involves basic course work giving a broad foundation in the study of Mariology, specialized course work in the Marianist religious heritage, and the writing of a research paper (30 pages) or project on a topic related to the Marianist religious heritage.

    The certificate program in Marianist Studies is available as a guided studies program. The suggested time frame for the completion of the program is two to four years.

    Program Cycle

    The International Marian Research Institute organizes its intensive program of Marian Studies in a three-year cycle. The courses are mainly taught in the summer. To alleviate the heavy summer school schedule, part of the summer program is offered in the spring, anticipating the upcoming course offerings. The same courses are again offered in the fall. The courses are distributed over the three-year cycle in the following manner.

    Year 1

    • Introductory Courses
      (Research and Bibliography, Introduction to Contemporary Mariology,
      Methods in Theology, Monographic Study of Marian texts)

    • Mary and the Old Testament

    • Church in Patristic Period

    • Mary in Medieval Period

    • Ecclesiology

    • Mary in Ecumenism

    • Mary and the Church

    • Special Courses
      (Special Marian Topics, Monographs, Mary in Art, Mary in Music, Mary in Literature)

    Year 2

    • Introductory Courses
      (Research and Bibliography, Introduction to Contemporary Mariology,
      Methods in Theology, Monographic Study of Marian texts)

    • Mary and the New Testament

    • Christ in Patristic Period

    • Mary in Modern Period

    • Christology

    • Marian Doctrine

    • Mary in Theological Anthropology

    • Special Courses
      (Special Marian Topics, Monographs, Mary in Art, Mary in Music, Mary in Literature)

    Year 3

    • Introductory Courses
      (Research and Bibliography, Introduction to Contemporary Mariology,
      Methods in Theology, Monographic Study of Marian texts)

    • Mary and the Apocrypha

    • Mary in Patristic Period

    • Mary in Contemporary Period

    • Spirituality

    • Marian Spirituality

    • Mary in Liturgy

    • Special Courses
      (Special Marian Topics, Monographs, Mary in Art, Mary in Music, Mary in Literature)

    Program of Courses

    The pontifical program (STL, STD) comprises introductory, core, and special courses. The credits* are quarter credits.

    INTRODUCTORY MRI 600 Introduction to Contemporary Mariology (1 cr)
    COURSES MRI 601 Research and Bibliography (1 cr)
    MRI 602 Methods in Theology (1 cr)
    MRI 603 Monographic Study of Marian Texts (1 cr)

    CORE COURSES MRI 610 Mary and the Old Testament and Intertestamentary Period
    MRI 611 Mary and the New Testament
    MRI 612 Mary and the Apocrypha
    MRI 620 Christ in Patristic Period
    MRI 621 Church in Patristic Period
    MRI 622 Mary in Patristic Period
    MRI 625 Mary in Medieval Period I
    MRI 626 Mary in Medieval Period II
    MRI 627 Mary in Modern Period I
    MRI 628 Mary in Modern Period II
    MRI 629 Mary in Contemporary Period I
    MRI 630 Mary in Contemporary Period II
    MRI 631 Marian Doctrine
    MRI 632 Marian Spirituality and Devotion
    MRI 633 Mary in Liturgy
    MRI 634 Mary and the Church
    MRI 636 Mary, Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
    MRI 638 Mary in Theological Anthropology
    MRI 640 Ecclesiology
    MRI 641 Christology (Soteriology)
    MRI 642 Spirituality

    SPECIAL COURSES# a) MRI 650 Special Marian Topics (1-3 crs)
    MRI 652 Monographic Studies (1-3 crs)
    b) MRI 654 Mary in Art (1-3 crs)
    MRI 656 Mary in Music (1-3 crs)
    MRI 658 Mary in Literature (1-3 crs)
    c) MRI 660 Mary in Pastoral Theology and Catechesist (1-3 crs)
    MRI 662 Mary in the Studies about the Holy Land (1-3 crs)
    MRI 664 Mary and the Human Sciences (1-3 crs)

    #The student must choose one special course from each one of the three groups (a-c).

    DISSERTATION GUIDANCE MRI 790 Dissertation Guidance (12 crs)

    MARIANIST COURSES MRI 670 Chaminade: Marian Apostle
    MRI 671 Chaminade's Mariology
    MRI 672 History of Marianist Spirituality
    MRI 673 Adele de Trenquelleon and her Spirituality

    * 3 quarter credits, unless otherwise noted.

    Course Descriptions



    Designed for students who are new to the program or who simply have an interest in Mariology, this course explores basic Marian issues and emphasizes major developments in Mariology since Vatican II.


    This course introduces students to the resources and bibliography for theological studies, with attention to research in Mariology. It offers suggestions for organization and information management.


    This course deals with various methods used in the study of contemporary theology. It points to their specific focus and philosophical foundation, as well as to advantages and limitations. Their application to research in Mariology will be examined.


    This course leads the student to the understanding of Marian texts of various periods, genres, literary styles, and contents.



    Study of the principal Old Testament texts with anticipatory reference to Mary and the work of redemption, with special attention given to the protoevangelium and to types and symbols, e.g., New Eve, Hannah, Daughter of Sion, and Ark of the Covenant. This course includes the study of the intertestamentary period.


    Study of the principal New Testament texts with reference to Mary as person, as Mother of the Redeemer, as figure of the Church, and associate of Christ in the history of salvation.


    Study of the place and role of Mary in the apocryphal literature of Old and New Testament. This course prepares students to the understanding of Marian symbols and topics in devotion, religious culture and art.


    Study of selected patristic texts regarding the person and redemptive work of Christ.


    Study of selected patristic texts regarding the Church as instrument and sacrament of salvation.


    Study of initial developments of Marian doctrine and devotion in Greek, Latin, and Oriental patristics.


    Study of the development of Mariology from the seventh century to the twelfth century: Marian doctrines, Marian devotions, Mary in art and liturgy, Marian feasts, and principal Marian literary works.


    Study of the development of Mariology from the twelfth century to the Renaissance: Marian doctrines, Marian devotions, Mary in art and liturgy, Marian feasts, and principal Marian literary works.


    Study of the development of Mariology from the Renaissance to the age of Enlightenment highlighting especially the time of the Reformation and Counter Reformation.


    Study of the development of Marian doctrine, devotion and culture through the Age of Reason, Restauration, and the "Marian Century" to the end of the nineteenth century.


    Study of the development in Marian doctrine, devotion, and culture from the beginning of the twentieth century to the eve of the Second Vatican Council.


    Study of the teaching of Vatican II about the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially in chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium and its implications and developments in contemporary Marian doctrine and devotion. The study includes magisterial pronouncements, theological reflection and historical developments in Marian thinking since Vatican II.


    Historical, theological, and anthropological study of the principal Marian doctrines: Divine maternity, Virginity, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption. Special emphasis is given to the meaning and importance of dogma, as well as to the study of the question of Mary's spiritual maternity, intercession, and mediation.


    This course studies the various historical expressions and methods of Marian spirituality, Mary's role as model of Christian spirituality and devotion, her virtues, and her active presence in the life of the Church and that of the faithful.


    Study of the importance and significance of Mary's presence in the mysteries of Jesus Christ celebrated throughout the liturgical year as well as their influence on Marian doctrine, spirituality, and devotion through the centuries.


    Study of the relationship between Mary and the Church, its historical perception, doctrinal significance, and pastoral implications and expressions.


    Study of Mary's place in Christian dialogue: its historical development and expression among the various Christian denominations. Special attention is given to recent documents regarding the dialogue about Mary. This course also studies the significance of Mary in Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.


    This course presents an anthropological approach to the understanding of Mary and examines its challenges and limitations in light of a theological study of the human person as paradox and mystery. Special emphasis is given to the relationship between theological anthropology and Marian dogmas.


    Study of the self-understanding of the Church through the ages, its scriptural and doctrinal foundation, and historical realizations. Special attention is given to the history and theology of the twentieth-century magisterial documents leading to Vatican II's Lumen gentium, and the ecclesiological reflection preceding and following the Council.


    Study of the scriptural foundations, the doctrinal developments and accompanying theological reflection about Jesus Christ's person and mission. Various Christological developments of recent times are examined as to their doctrinal content and pastoral significance.


    Study of historical and systematic aspects of Christian spirituality. The study includes the presentation of various schools of spirituality, with special emphasis on the French School of spirituality. It also attempts an evaluation of contemporary trends in spirituality.



      Study of a particular contemporary Marian topic or question: Marian apparitions, Mary and Feminism, Mary and Liberation Theology, etc.


      Detailed study of the Marian writings of a father or doctor of the Church or of a modern writer.

    2. MRI 654 MARY IN ART

      Study of the place of Mary in art with a concentration on specific themes or periods.


      Study of the place of Mary in music with a concentration on specific themes or periods.


      Study of the place of Mary in literature with a concentration on specific themes or periods.


      Study of Mary's place in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, catechetical directives, and in textbooks as well as pastoral tools.


      Study of the history, geography, and archeology relevant to Mary's life and Marian tradition.


      Study of sociological and psychological aspects of Marian culture and their impact on religious behavior and values.



    Doctoral students register for 12 credits of dissertation guidance.



    By using selected texts, this course investigates Fr. William Joseph Chaminade's spiritual development and method. Special attention is given to the Marian dimension of his spirituality and apostolic method.


    A study of Chaminade's teachings on Mary contrasted with those of his contemporaries, writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as earlier Christian sources.


    Based on the spiritual charism of William Joseph Chaminade, this course attempts to trace the history of the Chaminadean charism up to the present, taking into consideration its various theological, corporate, and cultural expressions.


    By using selected texts, this Marianist studies course investigates Adele de Trenquelleon's spiritual development, apostolic method, and pastoral outreach.



    1. The applicant should have a reading knowledge of Latin and a modern language other than English. Formation in biblical Greek and Hebrew is strongly recommended. Special consideration may be given to well-qualified students who have some deficiency, especially in Latin.

    2. The applicant must have adequate background in the study of philosophy (at least 9-12 semester credits), especially in such basic areas as logic, epistemology, rational psychology, and metaphysics, .

    3. The applicant should have the equivalent of a Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (STB). Ordinarily this would compare favorably with the first three years of study in a seminary. For those with an M.A. in Theology/Religious Studies, it would probably mean at least an additional year of study, e.g., 18 more semester credits.
      Each applicant is evaluated as to past achievements. Applicants will be asked to make up deficiencies before being formally admitted into the program. In evaluating past work, the IMRI considers the strength and breadth of previously acquired degrees, courses taken, other academic work, and work experience.
      Below is an outline of the basic course work that some pontifical universities require for the STB Credits are listed in terms of quarter credits; three quarter credits equal two semester credits:

      • Foundations in Theology (21 credits)

      • Systematic Theology (15 credits)

        Revelation, God, Christian Anthropology, Christology (Soteriology), Church, Eschatology 

      • Sacramental Theology (6 credits)

        General introduction, specific sacraments 

      • Moral Theology (9 credits)

        Individual and Social Ethics 

      • Scripture (15 credits)

      • Old and New Testament

      • Church History (3 credits)

      • General Overview

      • Canon Law (3 credits)

      • General Introduction

    4. Applicants who have an STL corresponding to the second cycle of pontifical-theological formation can be admitted into the STD program, but they will be asked to obtain the specialized formation in Marian Studies. This usually involves at least 36 quarter credits: 30 credits in core courses and 6 credits in introductory and special courses. Additional courses may be required to complete the specialized formation of the candidate in Marian studies. The courses may be chosen in consultation with the thesis moderator. Comprehensive exams are part of the course work.

    5. Applicants are asked to submit transcripts of previous academic work, a curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation. One from their bishop, for diocesan priests or seminarians; their provincial superior for members of the consecrated life; or from an ecclesiastical authority, e.g., parish priest, for lay persons. A second letter is requested from an academic authority acknowledging the student's intellectual preparation and ability.


    The following remarks are intended to facilitate the organization of studies:

    1. The STL requires 70 quarter credits of courses. The student must take all introductory and core courses listed in this Student Guide, a total of 67 credits. S/he must choose one special course from each of the three groups listed as offered in the annual program (3 credits). Exceptions from the rule have to be sanctioned by the director.

    2. Each student writes three major research papers (30 pages). Two of these research papers are based on some aspect of the annual program. The student works with an instructor able to facilitate the research of the topic chosen. S/he follows the rules commonly accepted for format and technical apparatus.
      The topic of the third paper may be chosen in connection with the licentiate thesis, for example, as general exploration of the topic or as background information.
      The annual research paper is due no later than the beginning of the following Summer session.

    3. The course work for the STL decree may be completed in three years by taking a heavy load of 23 credits each year possibly distributed over all three annual sessions (Summer, Fall, and Spring). The student can also take a lighter load to finish the course work in four or more years. It is important for the student to schedule properly. While the three-year cycle of introductory and core courses allows to plan ahead, special courses are announced only with each annual program.

    4. Each of the courses is sanctioned by a specific examination. Form, content, and deadlines are determined by the instructor.

    5. At the end of the course program for STL and STD,and before defending his/her thesis or dissertation, the student is required to take comprehensive exams. Comprehensive exams cover all of the core courses taken. They are administered both orally and in writing.

    6. During Fall and Spring sessions students are encouraged to choose at least one guided studies course in addition to the regular courses for which they register. As a rule, no guided studies are offered during the Summer session.

    7. The student is allowed to earn up to 12 credits by way of guided studies under the guidance of an instructor, and complying with the rules and exigencies regarding regular courses.

    8. The institute offers remedial courses in the form of guided studies for those who need to satisfy a minor requirement in the area of general theology.

    Research and Method

    With a degree in theology the student will be expected to be familiar not only with the area of specialization in Marian Studies, but also with the current literature in all the branches of theology systematic, historical studies, Scripture, etc. Familiarity with the wide range of theological literature is an absolute requirement.

    The subject of a research project should be original, a contribution to the field. The topic's ultimate justification is not primarily that it is relevant to today's questions, but that it provides interested persons with information not previously available in that way.

    A research project must include both a text and a context, that is, it must both have a specific focus but situated within a larger background.

    Good research projects are focused and limited in scope.

    1. DEVELOPING A PROPOSAL (STL thesis; STD dissertation)

      Developing the proposal is a major step in writing a thesis (STL) or dissertation (STD). The proposal must be clear, precise, and specific. The proposal indicates that the student has a grasp of the overall direction of the project, the principal divisions of the work, the method which will be followed, and the bibliography. By outlining as clearly as possible the entire project (either by principal divisions or chapters), one can avoid repeating the same material in different places).
      Before submitting the proposal, the student should be able to give thorough and complete answers to the following questions:

      1. What is the general field of inquiry and the special focus of the study?

      2. What articles and books have been already written on the topic? What is your work going to add to the previously existing body of literature? This is sometimes known as the status quaestionis. The student should show that he/she is aware of and has studied the strengths and limitations of what has already been written on a topic. The fact that a topic has been written about previously does not preclude further investigation, provided that the student can demonstrate the shortcomings or incomplete nature of what has already been published or what a new investigation might reveal.

      3. What are the original or primary materials which will furnish the basis for the study?Careful distinction between original materials and secondary materials (articles containing interpretations or commentaries on primary materials) is of importance. The main body of research should be limited to an investigation of the original materials. For example, the primary materials contain the interpretations which you may or may not judge to be pertinent and accurate. A danger to be avoided is allowing the secondary materials to form too large a part of the evaluation.

      4. How will the original materials be analyzed or studied? A body of materials requires some heuristic device to bring out its full meaning. There are many methods of studying a text. But it is important that the method arise from the text, and not be imposed in such a way as to distort the meaning of the text. An external critique would involve a study of all the influences from which may have influenced the text. An internal critique would examine a text from a point of view of consistency, accuracy, and development.
        Various methods of textual or literary criticism are also possible.

      5. What are the hypotheses which will furnish the direction of the study? As you sift through large amounts of materials, questions or "hunches" or suppositions will arise which direct the efforts of the researcher. Generally speaking, with the exception of a serendipitous discovery, the researcher only finds what he/ she is looking for. Without questions or hypotheses, research lacks aim or direction. During the course of the research, hypotheses may be modified, but it is those hypotheses which shape the study and eventually furnish the conclusions for the study.


      The thesis or dissertation proposal for the Licentiate or Doctorate, elaborated with the help of the moderator or thesis director, must be presented to the director of the IMRI and approved by his council. It should include the following:

      1. a title indicating both the general field and the specific topic of investigation;

      2. a review of the research on the topic indicating the strengths and omissions of what has been previously written;

      3. an explanation of the specific contribution which this study will make to the field of knowledge;

      4. a preliminary outline giving the principal divisions or chapters;

      5. the method of analysis or way of treating original material;

      6. a bibliography of primary and secondary materials with occasional annotations on the usefulness of a book or article.

      All of the above are offered as suggestions for the proposal; the outline need not be slavishly followed. The methods of investigation are myriad. Generally speaking, the researcher should not impose categories on the material, but rather follow the directions which the material indicates. It is the material itself which indicates or provides the method.

      In writing the thesis or dissertation, for example the Turabian or the MLA style manual may be followed. For footnotes and bibliography, consistency in the form used is what is important.


      1. The thesis must be an original scholarly work that has not been presented at another academic institution.

      2. The topic should be chosen and the proposal presented by the end of the second summer of the student's studies.

      3. The moderator is a professor of IMRI. Experts in the field may be invited for advice and guidance.

      4. Thirty days before the defense, five typed copies must be presented to the director of the IMRI with the nihil obstat of the thesis moderator.

      5. The defense takes place before the director of the IMRI, the moderator of the thesis, and two examiners designated by the director. The defense includes a discussion of the principal theological themes related to the candidate's thesis.

      6. The candidate explains for forty minutes why this topic was chosen; what methods were followed, difficulties met, results attained; and what is original in the conclusions.

      7. Each examiner who reviewed the thesis has fifteen minutes to ask questions and explains his/her appraisal of the thesis. At the end, the moderator of the thesis may intervene.

      8. The evaluation is based on the following scale:

        • summa cum laude = 29-30 points

        • magna cum laude = 27-28 points

        • cum laude = 24-26 points

        • bene probatus = 21-23 points

        • probatus = 18-20 points.

        The written thesis and the oral defense each receive 50%.

      9. Based on the observations made by the examiners and the director of the thesis, the candidate prepares a corrected and final copy of his/her thesis, and submits it for approval to the director of the IMRI and his council.

      10. The final evaluation of a candidate is based on the results of the comprehensive examination (30%) and the written thesis as defended and corrected (70%).

      11. For the licentiate, six copies of the revised thesis will be given to the director of the IMRI. One copy will be sent to the Marianum.

      12. The diploma, signed by the director of the IMRI, by the president, the Grand Chancellor and secretary of the Marianum, will be awarded the student.


        1. The topic of the dissertation will be chosen during the first semester . At the beginning of the second semester, the candidate must present an outline of his/her dissertation.

        2. The proposal is evaluated by the moderator of the dissertation and by a second professor of the IMRI. It is then submitted to the director's council for approval.

        3. The dissertation must conform to the Norms established by the Marianum:

          • The work must be original and be a genuine contribution to the development of knowledge.

          • It must not have been previously published nor presented to another institution. An STL thesis presented at the IMRI or at the Marianum can be the basis for doctoral research.

          • A dissertation of at least 150 pages is expected wherein the personal work of the candidate and its scholarly value can be appraised.

          • Three months before the defense of the dissertation eight copies must be given to the Institute. The dissertation must have the written approval of the thesis director and of the director's council. Two copies are sent to the Marianum.

        4. To be admitted for the defense, the dissertation must be approved by a commission (of two reviewers) and the president of the Marianum.

        5. For the defense, the same procedures as given above for the STL thesis are followed with these differences:

          • There are three examiners.

          • In the evaluation, 50% is given for the written dissertation, 20% for the defense, and 30% for studies and scholarly activities of the candidate.

        6. After the defense, the candidate submits to the director of the IMRI a summary of the dissertation (150 word abstract) and receives a copy of the observations submitted by the three examiners.

        7. To obtain the diploma of the STD the candidate must publish his/her dissertation in whole or in part, taking into consideration the observations and directions of the board of examiners. A copy of the complete revised text must be given to the director of the IMRI. The nihil obstat of the director of IMRI, the director of the dissertation, and the examiners is necessary for the publication. The text may be published in offset.

        8. At this point fifty copies are sent to the Marianum by the candidate. The IMRI receives six hard copies and one digital copy. A copy is sent to the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education by the Marianum.

        9. The complete work (ready to be photocopied) and a 350-word abstract should be sent to Dissertation Abstracts International.


        1. Research paper for certificates: present within one year after completion of course work

        2. STL Thesis: present within three years after completion of course work.

        3. STD dissertation: present within five years after completion of course work.

        4. Publication of STD dissertation: complete within one year after defense.



      Admission into the program is approved by the director of the IMRI and his council. Those who possess all the requirements are admitted without reservation. Those who do not possess all the requirements are admitted provisionally, pending completion.


      • Registration is processed electronically. New students should contact IMRI by email (clare.jones@notes.udayton.edu), telephone (937-229-4214), or visit at least thirty days prior to the beginning of the term to register. Students enrolled in a Masters program at the Department of Religious Studies and concurrently taking Marian courses must register at Religious Studies. Payment of fees is required by the end of the IMRI session.

      • To officially drop or add a course contact the IMRI office by phone or email.


      Fees change from year to year, conforming to current practice at the University of Dayton in its various programs. See Annual Academic Program for current fees. Limited scholarships are available. Applications should be submitted by April 15 at least one year in advance of attendance.


      The norms of the University of Dayton detail the rights and duties of the students:

      1. Freedom of access to University facilities (libraries, gymnasium etc.) according to established regulation;

      2. Academic rights and duties:

        1. the right to knowledge of course contents, requirements, and objectives prior to registration;

        2. the right to timely information about objectives, procedures to be followed in a course;

        3. the responsibility for meeting the requirements of the given courses;

        4. the opportunity for exchange and inquiry about the topics studied;

        5. information about the academic evaluation of studies completed;

        6. protection against improper disclosure of information.

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      This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Tuesday, 04/12/2011 10:56:08 EDT by Michael Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.

      URL for this page is http://campus.udayton.edu