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Capstone

Capstone

REVISED JUNE 21, 2019; APPROVED SEPTEMBER 11, 2019; proposed further revision November 22, 2019


CAPSTONE REQUIRMENT (updated/replacement of existing Thesis, Project or Comprehensive exam) The final requirement for the Master’s degree (MDiv or MAT) is a concluding exercise that demonstrates mastery of theological literacy. This is undertaken in the last year of studies in consultation with your Personal formation Advisor or Academic Advisor. Students can elect one of three options:

CAPSTONE ESSAYSTo complete the Capstone Essays, student will be given five questions based on coursework taken and in departmental areas of student’s choice.* Student will select three of the five questions and respond to each question with an essay between 3,500 and 4,000 words (about 15 pages each; 45 total pages not including bibliography). At least one of the three chosen questions MUST come from Dogmatics, Liturgy or Sacred Scripture.

The essays should demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes associated with the degree. They should draw on established sources and follow a recognized style manual for citation (CHICAGO or TURABIAN).

Essays will be evaluated by the faculty director as well as another faculty member of student’s choice. The grades for all three essays will be averaged to determine overall grade for the concluding exercise. A grade of B- (76%) or above is required to pass. If lower than a B- is earned, student may retake the exam once, within six months of the first attempt.

WHEN: Student can request questions two semesters prior to intended graduation. Essays must be completed by March 15 th for Spring graduation or November 15 th for Fall graduation.

*Faculty from each department will provide at least one question that will serve as a capstone question in their area. These will be compiled and presented to the student; the choices will not number more than five.
RESEARCH PAPER
This option entails working with a faculty member to write a 40- to 60-page research paper (10,000-15,000 words, double-spaced, not including bibliography) that demonstrates achievement of theological literacy.

For example, student may write on some aspect of bioethics, Scripture, Eastern church history, theosis, the
life in Christ, apophatic prayer or ministerial practice.

Paper must include an introductory chapter that demonstrates how this research fits within the larger field of research on this topic (this is sometimes called a State of the Art). This paper must further identify how it satisfies at least one other degree outcome.

The paper must draw on established sources and follow a recognized style manual for citation (CHICAGO or TURABIAN). Papers will be graded by chosen research director and one other faculty reader. A grade of B- (76%) or above is required to pass.

WHEN: Must be completed by March 15th for Spring graduation or November 15th for Fall graduation.
PASTORAL RESEARCH PROJECTThe Pastoral Research Project is for students whose curriculum includes CPE. It has two components: a project that has direct pastoral application and a research paper for which the project serves as the main focus. After completing CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education), student may begin developing a project in consultation with a faculty member serving as project director.

Student and their selected director will agree on a combined project/paper that is of comparable scope to a
10,000- to 16,000-word paper (about 40 to 65 pages, double-spaced, not including bibliography). The pastoral research project should demonstrate pastoral application of theological concepts. In addition, it must demonstrate achievement of at least one learning outcomes associated with the degree.

Research paper must draw on established sources and follow a recognized style manual for citation (CHICAGO or TURABIAN). Pastoral research project will be graded by project director and one other faculty reader of student’s choice. A grade of B- (75%) or above is required to pass.

WHEN: upon successful completion of CPE. Must be completed by March 15th for Spring graduation or November 15th for Fall graduation.