Areas of Concentration
MA (Theology) - Salesian Studies Program Requirements
"I exhort the students to use earthly knowledge as a stepping stone to heavenly things – virtue and its practice." St. John Bosco
Core Requirements - In order to ensure a sufficient breadth of theological knowledge, students may not use Salesian Studies courses to fulfill core distribution requirements.
Electives - Students must ensure that they have a total of four courses in the area of spirituality (SP), which may come from either the Salesian Studies curriculum or a combination of Salesian Studies courses and other SP courses.
Language Requirement - Students must possess a reading knowledge of a modern or classical foreign language. Language proficiency must normally be certified by the beginning of the third semester in the program. DSPT's policy for certifying language proficiency is based upon the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) policy for the GTU Common M.A. and is described in detail in the DSPT Student Handbook . Foreign students whose native language is not English may fulfill the language requirement by passing the ETS/TOEFL examination.
Writing Samples for Assessment Portfolio - Students must submit to their academic advisor two papers which they feel display their best work and which reflect engagement of the DSPT institutional goals and outcomes. For MA students, these papers are the Research Readiness Paper (due by the end of the first semester), and either the MAPh Capstone Research Paper (for students in the MAPh, non-thesis option) or the thesis.
Research Readiness Paper Review (RRP) - The RRP review helps students, advisors, and Department faculty assess and refine student research skills. As such, the RPR is a prerequisite for submitting a thesis proposal and must be completed by the end of the first semester in the program.The capstone demonstration of the student's mastery of theological research and writing skills and the ability to use another language in that research is achieved by writing and defending a thesis of approximately eighty (80) pages in length. Writing the thesis is a fundamental learning experience in which the student employs and sharpens research, language, analytic, and writing skills. The defense provides an opportunity to demonstrate not only acquired knowledge and insight but also oral communication skills.
See the Student Forms page for all forms needed for the Master's thesis.
Proposal - The student must present and have approved a proposal for the thesis by the end of the third semester in the program. The proposal must demonstrate the ability of the student to organize a project of theological inquiry into a brief, coherent statement. The student writes the proposal in consultation with a proposed thesis coordinator and two readers.
Using the DSPT "MA Thesis Petition Form," the student nominates the coordinator and two readers for the thesis. These faculty must be approved by the Department, which may, at its discretion, make substitutions in light of the nature of the thesis. The coordinator cannot be changed without the approval of the Department. The "Thesis Petition Form" is submitted along with the thesis proposal to the Department chair at least one week before the meeting at which it is to be discussed.
Thesis - The thesis is to be about eighty (80) pages in length and written according to the standards prescribed in the latest edition of A Manual for the Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, by Kate Turabian . A comprehensive bibliography of the appropriate sources and modern treatments of the subject matter of the thesis should be included in the final copy. Each thesis is to be defended and passed by the posted GTU deadline of the intended year of graduation (see the GTU Academic Calendar for the specific date). Students are responsible to see that a copy of the thesis to be defended is in the readers' and coordinator's hands at least three weeks before the scheduled defense. Members of a committee are not obliged to meet during breaks in the academic calendar. Upon approval and successful oral defense of the thesis, three copies suitable for binding and approved by the GTU Library are to be submitted to the Registrar (please see the Academic Calendar for the current deadline).
Oral Defense - The oral defense of the thesis will be conducted by the director and the assigned readers. The defense shall not exceed one and one half hours in length. A student, whose thesis and oral defense are deemed outstanding by all three examiners, may be granted the degree "with honors."