PhD Ceremony

PhD Examination
PhD Examination
PhD Board and Assessment Committee
Soon after being notified of the decision, the Rector will give the PhD student permission to proceed to the defence of the thesis in the PhD ceremony, which will take place in the presence of the PhD Board as well as the members of the Assessment Committee.
Date, time & location

All PhD students, including international students at a distance, will be required to attend the PhD ceremony at Apeldoorn. Financial assistance to meet the cost of attending, will be considered by TUA. The PhD student will discuss the date of the PhD ceremony with the supervisor, co-supervisor and the Rector as soon as possible after receiving notification of the approval of the manuscript. Subject to the approval of the Assessment Committee, the date, time and place will be fixed by TUA’s secretarial office.

The provisions of the protocol also apply to this ceremony.

The PhD ceremony must be open to the public.

Opposition and defence of the PhD thesis

Before the ceremony commences, the chairman will propose the sequence and the average time allowed for the opponents to speak. The supervisor will always have the right to present objections and will be granted opportunity to do so at the beginning or the end of the ceremony, according to his/her choice.

The supervisor will ensure that sufficient members of the PhD Board and the Assessment Committee are prepared to act as opponents by making objections.

After the opening address, the Chairman will request the PhD student to give a brief explanation of the thesis. Subsequently he will, in the agreed order (as far as possible), invite the opponents to present their objections. The objections and the defence will be delivered in the form of a personal speech. If so desired, this speech may be accompanied by written notes and/or quotations.

The Chairman will ensure that the opponents expound their views in a brief and concise manner.
Unless the Chairman decides otherwise, the public defence will be terminated one hour after commencement.

After the defence has been terminated, the PhD Board will withdraw for private deliberation in order to decide upon awarding the PhD degree. The supervisor will be excluded from voting.

When deciding whether or not to award the PhD degree, the committee will take into account the decision of the Assessment Committee and the student’s defence of the PhD thesis.

Cum Laude

If a PhD student has shown outstanding ability to conduct independent academic research, the PhD Board may decide to confer the cum laude distinction.

PhD Certificate
As proof that the PhD degree has been awarded, the new PhD will receive a certificate in Latin, signed by the Rector, the secretary of the PhD Board and the supervisor(s) and a statement written in English.

If the PhD degree has been awarded the cum laude distinction, this will be stated on the certificate.


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All doctoral theology degrees are conferred by The Theological University of Apeldoorn (TUA), an accredited institution.