Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate has developed and applied its grading system. The following table show the numeric grades and their equivalent descriptive and letter grades:


Grade Percentage Point Value Definition


A+ 100% 4 Excellent


A 95%



A- 90%


Very Good

17 B+ 85%



B 80% 3.2



B- 75%



C+ 70% 2.8

Above Average


C 65% 2.6 Average
12 C- 60%



D+ 55% 2.2 Passing
10 D 50%


below 10

E below 50% Redeemable Failure

below 8

F below 40%





Withdrawn w/o


Withdrawn with


1. For units from 3 credits onward (from 45 teaching hours)

  • Compulsory:
    • An essay of 10-15 pages in accordance with formatting style of LST[1])
    • Oral
  • Optional: professors will decide to access students by allowing them either to make a presentation individually or in small group, or to evaluate their active participation in class. Whatever way to be chosen, the result will constitute part of the whole accessment of the unit.

2. For units less than 3 units ( below 45 teaching hours)

  • Compulsory: Oral
  • Optional: professors will decide to allow students either to make: (1) a presentation of a certain topic covered in the unit; or (2) to evaluate students’ active participation in class ; or (3) to write a short reflection paper of about 1 or 2 pages. Whatever way to be chosen, the result will constitute part of the whole accessment of the unit.

[1] A4; double spacing; leave a margin of one inch (2.54 cm) on all four edges of the page; 12 point in Time New Roman. See “Appendix: Paper Format and Submission” in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Reseach Paper, Theses, and Dissertations (7th edition), (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007).


When you submit an essay at SJJS, you make a  declaration that your essay is your own work, that is that it does not involve cheating, plagiarism or academic fraud. What does this mean? The UD’s  Academic Conduct Policy gives the following definitions:

Cheating, plagiarism, academic fraud and similar activities undermine the integrity of the assessment process. They are strictly forbidden. Cheating involves obtaining an unfair advantage over other students in any way, through the use of prohibited resources. Plagiarism means the student using previously assessed work, or the work of another person without giving them proper acknowledgment; websites as well as books, articles or other students’ work are included. Academic fraud includes falsification, fabrication or dishonest reporting of results or outcomes of study or research.

The UD’s Academic Conduct Policy speaks of plagiarism as follows:

Plagiarism means the copying and use of the student’s previously assessed work, or the work of another person without proper acknowledgment.

Any of the following, without full acknowledgment of the debt to the original source being made, constitutes plagiarism:

  • Direct duplication, i.e. copying, or allowing to be copied, another’s work, whether from a book, article, web site, another student’s assignment or personal lecture notes, etc.
  • Paraphrasing another’s work closely, with minor changes but with the essential meaning,
  • form and/or progression of ideas maintained
  • Piecing together sections of the work of another or others into a new whole
  • Submitting work for a unit or thesis material which has already been submitted for assessment purposes in another unit or thesis (unless acknowledgment was made prior to the unit or thesis being commenced, and written permission given by the Academic Board)
  • Producing assignments in conjunction with other people (e.g. another student, or a tutor) which should otherwise be the student’s own independent work
  • Having another person write an essay or assignment on the student’s behalf
  • Purchasing and submitting essays or assignments from online repositories or elsewhere.

Many students ask why it is wrong to use words of other authors in an essay, when those people have far more knowledge of the area. The answer is two-fold. First, it IS permissible to quote from other writers, provided that the quotation is clearly identified by quotation marks (‘…’) or by indenting the margins (as in the quotations from the UD above), and provided that a footnote gives the exact source of the original statement. Second, one of the key aims of writing an essay is to show that you have understood the ideas at stake and are capable of expressing them in your own words. If your essay is a string of quotations from other writers, or if it copies the words of others without acknowledgment, it fails to meet this basic goal.

Plagiarism, then, is totally unacceptable as it is unethical, unfair, and makes it impossible for the student to learn. When detected it results in severe penalties.


  1. All students pursuing the STB Program at Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate are to take the Comprehensive Examination of Theology after having finished its curriculum. This examination aims to determine whether students have attained sufficient Christian theological knowledge for the fruitful exercise of their ministry.
  2. In general, this examination is organized in the last semester of the four-year Seminary Program.
  3. The Dean of Theological Studies together with his team at Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate is to compile and determine a standard list of theological themes which covers comprehensively the STB Program. This list should be re-evaluated periodically according to the updates made to the program. In order to ensure the equal level of academic performance andteststandards, the Compiling Committee should compare its own theological themes with those of other Jesuit schools of theology.
  4. The current list of theological themes covers all articles of faith and the Catholic Church’s Catechism as they are underlined in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. Those themes aim to help the examinees, during their period of review and synthesis, bring together all their knowledge on the Holy Scripture, Systematic Theology, Patrology and Church History, Moral Theology, Spirituality and Pastoral.
  5. All theological themes and matters to be prepared for the examination should be distributed to the examinees three months prior to the examination date.
  6. Besides, the examinees must prove a healthy judgment capacity in Moral Theology and Applied Canon Law in a separate examination right after they have finished the course on Hearing Confessions (Ad Audiendas Confessiones).
  7. The period of preparation is the major target of the Comprehensive Examination, in which the students should manage to work in groups for the review and preparation for the examination. They can also take initiative to contact their professors for special guidance or additional
  8. Depending on thesituation and aiming to prevent students from getting panic during the period of review and synthesis, the names of the jury should not be announced till two days before the examination.
  9. Depending on their academic performance, students will be assigned to either type of the comprehensive examinations:

Type-I: The Ordinary Comprehensive Examination

The ordinary comprehensive examination lasts 60 minutes before a board of three professors. The basis of this examination is based on the list of theological questions and themes which, despite their ordinary appearance, maintain their comprehensive nature. Each professor questions the examinee for 20 minutes.

Type-II: The Honors Comprehensive Examination

The honors comprehensive examination lasts 90-minute before a board of three professors. The preparation for it affords the students an opportunity to achieve more thoroughly the STB Program, and to assimilate the whole program in a more personal and creative way.

a. Qualification for the Honors Comprehensive Examination

  • Students in the STB program with a 3.4 – 4 weighted average (equivalent to 85% or 17/20 marks and upper) take the honors comprehensive examination.
  • Students in the STB program with a 3.2 – 3.3 weighted average (equivalent to 80% or 16/20 marks) can appeal to the Dean to be allowed to take the honors comprehensive examination.
  • In order to evaluate the academic performance of an approved scholastic of the Society of Jesus in view of discerning his capacity to pursue graduate studies or take final vows, the Provincial and the Dean may consider for that scholastic, if needed, to take the Comprehensive Examination Type-
  • Students who are registered at Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate but have taken 4 courses upward at another institution, are allowed to take only the ordinary comprehensive examination.

b. Procedure of the Honors Comprehensive Examination

i. This examination consists of two parts:

  • The candidate is examined by each of the three professors for 20 minutes each, on the basis of the ordinary comprehensive examination theses list.
  • After a break, the candidate presents his synthesis within ten minutes. He is then questioned on the synthesis’ details by the examiners for 20 minutes.
  • Each examiner gives a mark based on the total performance of the candidate. The first part counts for 2/3 and the second for 1/3 of the final grade for the examination. The grading scheme with 20 marks in maximum should be used.

ii. The Synthesis

  • The synthesis of the honors comprehensive examination is intended to help students personally integrate the main themes of their study of theology by articulating it in relation to a particular focus. The students can include in that synthesis all the main areas of Christian message mentioned in the list of themes for the preparation of the comprehensive examination. During the writing period, they should also consult their mentors in order to bind the synthesis’ topic with the themes of the Catholic faith in a creative way, then present the synthesis coherently and persuasively.

iii. The Synthesis should comply with these characteristics: Written, Personal, Positive, and Synoptic.

  • Written: The synthesis should conform to the following specifications: [1] it must be between 15-20 pages in length; [2] it must be formatted according to LST Style Manual [based on Turabian, 7th edition][1]; [3] it must include footnotes and at least one full-page bibliography listing only the titles of books and articles that have actually been cited in the paper; [4] it must be concise and coherent. The writer should take into account the emphasis of the Second Vatican Councilon the adaptation of theological presentation: “From the beginning of her history, the Church has learned to express the message of Christ with the help of the ideas and terminology of various philosophers, and has tried to clarify it with their wisdom, too. Her purpose has been to adapt the Gospel to the grasp of all as well as to the needs of the learned, insofar as such was appropriate. Indeed this accommodated preaching of the revealed word ought to remain the law of all evangelization.” (Gaudium et Spes 44).
  • Personal: The students are free to start the synthesis with any topic on the doctrine of faith rooted in biblical, patristic, theological thinking, or a prominent argument of professional theologians … . In the development and argumentation, the students must be able to link that topic in a coherent, attractive and convincing way to all the major themes in the teachings of the Catholic faith, professed in the Creed.
  • Positive: The synthesis is considered as insufficient if the students just enumerate a list ofproblems as opposed to the Christian faith. The core of the doctrine should be developed, built in an argumentative and creative way.
  • Synoptic: As a general theological synthesis of the student, the dissertation should be brief, with a coherent plan, a concise content, and its ideas must fit together.
  • The students must submit the synthesis to the mentor three weeks before the examination; then three days prior to the examination, they print five typed copies of the synthesis, approved by the mentor, and submit them to the Dean of the Theology Department.

iv. During the defense session of the synthesis, the examinees need to prepare to:

  • Clarify the implications o robscure points left in the synthesis.
  • Defend or discuss on their points of view.
  • Indicate Biblical bases for their claims.
  • Comment on important declarations of the Magisterium related to the doctrinal points endorsed by the candidates.
  • Refer to important resolutions of the Church to major themes on doctrines and the liturgy, which had been long discussed during the Church’s history.

c. The grade obtained during the Honors Comprehensive Examination constitute 30 percent of the overal QPI. The following honors are to be indicated in the seminary diploma:


Grade Percentage Point Value Honors Awarded


A 95% 3.8 (19.00 and Above)
Summa cum Laude
18 A- 90% 3.6

(18.00 – 18.99)
Magna cum Laude

17 B+ 85% 3.4

(17.00 – 17.99)
Cum Laude

[1] A4; double spacing; leave a margin of one inch (2.54 cm) on all four edges of the page; 12 point in Time New Roman. See “Appendix: Paper Format and Submission” in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Reseach Paper, Theses, and Dissertations (7th edition), (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007).