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Passing the Integrative Examination

The Examination as an Exit Strategy

Villanova’s Graduate Program in Theology aims to provide students with a well-rounded education, placing particular emphasis on the relations between faith and culture. To that end, students are required to take classes from a variety of disciplines, ranging from biblical studies to spirituality. However, there is a recognition that classwork alone is not sufficient to complete the students’ formation. A final step is needed. At Villanova, this step is fulfilled either

  1. by passing an integrative examination, which, among other things, requires students to work with scholars in different areas; OR
  2. by writing a thesis, which also serve this purpose, even as it challenges students in different ways; OR
  3. by completing an integrative project. Indeed, we consider an integrative project the equivalent of the integrative examination or the thesis.

Thus, the examination, thesis, and project assume the same intention: each undertaking seeks to round out the students’ experience at Villanova, requiring them to engage matters of faith and culture under the direction of scholars from different fields.

Registration

The registration schedule of our Graduate Program differs significantly from the Graduate School schedule.

Graduate Program Schedule

  • For spring semester examination, you must register by 15 November.
  • For fall semester examination, you must register by 15 April.
Complete the registration by submitting the required form (see the "forms" repository on this page).

Graduate School Schedule

Register for the examination by the deadline listed on the Graduate Calendar by submitting the Graduate School Application form.

Note: You must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 to be eligible to sit for the Integrative Examination.

Schedule

The Graduate Program administers the examination in the fall and spring semesters.

  • The two written parts of the examination are usually scheduled Monday through Wednesday of one week, and the oral examination on Friday of the same week through Wednesday of the following week.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the examination at the announced location.
  • Bring academic material approved in advance by your board members (primary texts or other sources).

The Structure of the Examination

Day One 3 hours, written

Answer one question from each of the three examination areas (for a total of three answered questions).

Day Two 3 hours, written

Answer the integrative question.

Day Three 1 hour, oral

Answer questions on your written answers or on other topics from your area-specific fields of competency.

Examination Board

Choose three distinctive examination areas on which you will be examined. Well in advance of the examination - normally during the semester preceding the examination - form an Examination Board of three members of the graduate faculty, one from each of your chosen areas for examination. Request that one faculty serve as Chair of your Board.

Note: The Chair is responsible, among other things, for arranging the formulation of the integrative question for the second day of the examination and the time and place of the 1-hour oral examination.

Examination Content

Meet with each member of your Board well in advance of the examination (that is, during the semester preceding the examination) to formulate two mutually agreed upon area-specific areas of inquiry. On the basis of these agreed upon areas, each board member will construct two area-specific questions for the first day of the examination.

  • Board members will help you in defining appropriate fields of competency. However, responsibility for constructing specific questions rests solely with the members of your examination boards. That is, faculty members will not share the wording of the two questions with you before the examination.
  • Compile into one document (email) the six mutually agreed upon areas of inquiry on which you will be tested and distribute a copy to each board member at least two weeks before the scheduled examination.

Note: The Board meets separately to formulate the integrative question for the second day of the Examination.

Grade and Appeal

The Examination is graded pass/fail and pass with disctinction.

  • You may appeal your grade to the Graduate Program Director unless the Director also serves on your Committee. In that case, the departmental Chairperson or his/her representative evaluates the appeal.

Completing the Integrative Project

The Project as an Exit Strategy

Villanova’s Graduate Program in Theology aims to provide students with a well-rounded education, placing particular emphasis on the relations between faith and culture. To that end, students are required to take classes from a variety of disciplines, ranging from biblical studies to spirituality. However, there is a recognition that classwork alone is not sufficient to complete the students’ formation. A final step is needed. At Villanova, this step is fulfilled either

  1. by passing an integrative examination, which, among other things, requires students to work with scholars in different areas; OR
  2. by writing a thesis, which also serve this purpose, even as it challenges students in different ways; OR
  3. by completing an integrative project. Indeed, we consider an integrative project the equivalent of the integrative examination or the thesis.

Thus, the examination, thesis, and project assume the same intention: each undertaking seeks to round out the students’ experience at Villanova, requiring them to engage matters of faith and culture under the direction of scholars from different fields.

Project Proposal

The Project Proposal demonstrates the student's ability to organize the research project into a concise, coherent statement. In essence, it

  • defines and restricts the research project; 
  • clarifies the most important goals of the thesis;
  • explains the methods of study; and
  • lists resource requirements.

Submission Deadline

The proposal is to be submitted, together with the online registation (see the "forms" repository on this page), to the Director of Graduate Programming on or before 15 April.

Content

The project proposal follows the specific guidelines provided by the advisors and, at a minimum, consists of the following components:

  1. Proposal narrative explaining topic and research method;
  2. Clarification of expectations for
  • form and lenght of project;
  • meeting frequency (and who arranges the meetings – the directors or the student?);
  • preferred means of communication (phone, e-mail, meetings, etc.);
  • deadlines for submission of drafts, progress reports, etc.;
  • responsibilities of directors and the student.

Review and Approval

The Graduate Leadership Team (program directors and department chair) will review and normally confirm project proposals as follows:

  1. Each member of the team will cast a vote on the acceptability of the proposal and the directors of the thesis will be understood to have cast two votes in support of the proposal. Hence, only a unanimous vote against a proposal on the part of the leadership team shall cause the proposal to be rejected.
  2. If one or more members of the leadership team is a director of a proposal, they shall recuse themselves. In such cases, other faculty members will be asked to serve on the team as ad hoc members solely for assessing the thesis proposal(s) at issue.
  3. Only under truly exceptional circumstances shall the leadership team give approval to more than four thesis proposals per academic year. If the team receives more than four proposals, the team will evaluate the proposals on a competitive basis.

Writing the Integrative Thesis

The Thesis as an Exit Strategy

Villanova’s Graduate Program in Theology aims to provide students with a well-rounded education, placing particular emphasis on the relations between faith and culture. To that end, students are required to take classes from a variety of disciplines, ranging from biblical studies to spirituality. However, there is a recognition that classwork alone is not sufficient to complete the students’ formation. A final step is needed. At Villanova, this step is fulfilled either

  1. by passing an integrative examination, which, among other things, requires students to work with scholars in different areas; OR
  2. by writing a thesis, which also serve this purpose, even as it challenges students in different ways; OR
  3. by completing an integrative project. Indeed, we consider an integrative project the equivalent of the integrative examination or the thesis.

Thus, the examination, thesis, and project assume the same intention: each undertaking seeks to round out the students’ experience at Villanova, requiring them to engage matters of faith and culture under the direction of scholars from different fields.

Nature of Thesis

The thesis replicates the multidisciplinary nature and standards of inquiry intrinsic to the integrative examination. Its scope likewise is broadened to deal with matters of faith and culture.

Directors and Responsibilities

Students select two thesis directors—a primary director, who bears principal advising duties, and a secondary one.

  • Each director represents a distinct field, and, together, they ensure a multidisciplinary project that integrates faith and culture.
  • The primary director must be a member of the graduate faculty in the TRS Department.

The main responsibility of the directors is to take reasonable steps to

  1. provide a framework within which the academic work can take place;
  2. offer academic guidance;
  3. evaluate progress and provide students adequate and timely feedback;
  4. assist students to complete the research within an agreed time frame; and
  5. facilitate administrative compliance; and
  6. act as a guide to resources.

The main responsibility of students is to take reasonable steps to

  1. take responsibility for independently pursuing their studies under the guidance of their directors;
  2. plan and actively pursue the research;
  3. dentify and deal with problems;
  4. comply with administrative requirements; and
  5. take responsibility for the final form of the thesis.

Colloquium

In addition to completing the thesis, students are required to participate in, and contribute to, a Thesis Colloquium, to be held in the spring semester following the completion of the thesis. Participation in, and contribution to, the Thesis Colloquium are graduation requirements for students opting to write a thesis.

Grade

Like the integrative examination, thesis writing/presenting are taken not for credit and graded pass/fail and pass with distinction.

  • The thesis does not replace a course in the student's program. Rather, like the integrative examination, it is viewed as a concluding requirement, above and beyond course work.

Outcomes

Completing a master's thesis requires skills, competence, and confidence. The thesis is a piece of original, independent, and scholarly research conducted under the supervision of two faculty members. Whereas a thesis may convey an original and significant contribution to knowledge, it must, at a minimum, expand on knowledge by advancing a known position in a new direction or applying a known method to a new matter of inquiry. The thesis provides evidence of the student's skills in:

  1. Identifying and defining a problem and formulating a research question;
  2. Using adequate sources and pertinent specialist literature to contextualize the problem within the contemporary academic discussion;
  3. Developing an effective method to solve the problem;
  4. Applying the method;
  5. Reporting effectively on the research results; and
  6. Describing the relation of the results to the problem initially identified.

Grading Criteria

The following levels of quality of a Master’s Thesis are from Barbara E. Lovitts, “How to Grade a Dissertation: Table 2: Some Dimensions of the Different Components of the Generic Dissertation,” Academe Online 91/6, 2005.

No thesis does or can achieve all of the individual benchmarks. According to our departmental policy of giving a pass/fail or a pass with disctinction grade, a "pass" is a thesis that falls in categories 2 or 3 below.

1. Outstanding

• Is original and significant, ambitious, brilliant, clear, clever, coherent, compelling, concise, creative, elegant, engaging, exciting, interesting, insightful, persuasive, sophisticated, surprising, and thoughtful
• Is very well written and organized
• Is synthetic and interdisciplinary
• Connects components in a seamless way
• Exhibits mature, independent thinking
• Has a point of view and a strong, confident, independent, and authoritative voice
• Asks new questions or addresses an important question or problem
• Clearly states the problem and why it is important
• Displays a deep understanding of a massive amount of complicated literature
• Exhibits command and authority over the material
• Argument is focused, logical, rigorous, and sustained
• Is theoretically sophisticated and shows a deep understanding of theory
• Has a brilliant research design
• Uses or develops new tools, methods, approaches, or types of analyses
• Is thoroughly researched
• Has rich data from multiple sources
• Analysis is comprehensive, complete, sophisticated, and convincing
• Results are significant
• Conclusion ties the whole thing together
• Is publishable in top-tier journals
• Is of interest to a larger community and changes the way people think
• Pushes the discipline’s boundaries and opens new areas for research

2. Very Good

• Is solid
• Is well written and organized
• Has some original ideas, insights, and observations, but is less original, significant, ambitious, interesting, and exciting than the outstanding category
• Has a good question or problem that tends to be small and traditional
• Is the next step in a research program (good normal science)
• Shows understanding and mastery of the subject matter
• Has a strong, comprehensive, and coherent argument
• Includes well-executed research
• Demonstrates technical competence
• Uses appropriate (standard) theory, methods, and techniques
• Obtains solid, expected results or answers
• Misses opportunities to completely explore interesting issues and connections
• Makes a modest contribution to the field but does not open it up

3. Acceptable

• Is workmanlike
• Demonstrates technical competence
• Shows the ability to do research
• Is not very original or significant
• Is not interesting, exciting, or surprising
• Displays little creativity, imagination, or insight
• Writing is pedestrian and plodding
• Has a weak structure and organization
• Is narrow in scope
• Has a question or problem that is not exciting—is often highly derivative or an extension of the adviser’s work
• Displays a narrow understanding of the field
• Reviews the literature adequately—knows the literature but is not critical of it or does not discuss what is important
• Can sustain an argument, but the argument is not imaginative, complex, or convincing
• Demonstrates understanding of theory at a simple level, and theory is minimally to competently applied to the problem
• Uses standard methods
• Has an unsophisticated analysis—does not explore all possibilities and misses connections
• Has predictable results that are not exciting
• Makes a small contribution

4. Unacceptable

• Is poorly written
• Has spelling and grammatical errors
• Has a sloppy presentation
• Contains errors or mistakes
• Plagiarizes or deliberately misreads or misuses sources
• Does not understand basic concepts, processes, or conventions of the discipline
• Lacks careful thought
• Looks at a question or problem that is trivial, weak, unoriginal, or already solved
• Does not understand or misses relevant literature
• Has a weak, inconsistent, self-contradictory, unconvincing, or invalid argument
• Does not handle theory well, or theory is missing or wrong
• Relies on inappropriate or incorrect methods
• Has data that are flawed, wrong, false, fudged, or misinterpreted
• Has wrong, inappropriate, incoherent, or confused analysis
• Includes results that are obvious, already known, unexplained, or misinterpreted
• Has unsupported or exaggerated interpretation
• Does not make a contribution

Length

Completing a master's thesis requires skills, competence, and confidence. The thesis is a piece of original, independent, and scholarly research conducted under the supervision of two faculty members. Whereas a thesis may convey an original and significant contribution to knowledge, it must, at a minimum, expand on knowledge by advancing a known position in a new direction or applying a known method to a new matter of inquiry. The thesis provides evidence of the student's skills in:

  1. Identifying and defining a problem and formulating a research question;
  2. Using adequate sources and pertinent specialist literature to contextualize the problem within the contemporary academic discussion;
  3. Developing an effective method to solve the problem;
  4. Applying the method;
  5. Reporting effectively on the research results; and
  6. Describing the relation of the results to the problem initially identified.

A thesis submitted to the thesis directors is 45-50 pages long.

Style Sheet

The thesis complies formally with the standards prescribed in the Chicago Manual of Style Online.

The Chicago Manual of Style (Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, University of Chicago Press) is also available in Falvey Library at the Reference-Information Desk (Call Number: LB2369.T8 2007).

Students should also familiarize themselves with Graduate School thesis submission and formatting guidelines for submission of final copies to the Office of Graduate Studies. These guidelines differ from departmental submission and formatting requirements.

A generic Master's Thesis structure has the following components (adapted from Barbara E. Lovitts, “How to Grade a Dissertation: Table 2: Some Dimensions of the Different Components of the Generic Dissertation,” Academe Online 91/6, 2005).

Thesis Structure

Component 1: Introduction

The introduction

- includes a problem statement
- clarifies the research question
- describes the context in which the question arises
- describes the motivation for the study
- summarizes the thesis' findings
- discusses the importance of the findings
- provides a roadmap for readers

Component 2: Literature Review

The review

- is comprehensive and up to date
- shows a command of the literature
- contextualizes the problem
- includes a discussion of the literature that is selective, synthetic, analytical, and thematic

Component 3: Theory

The theory that is applied or developed

- is appropriate
- is logically interpreted
- is well understood
- aligns with the question at hand

In addition, the author shows comprehension of the theory's

- strengths
- limitations

Component 4: Methods

The methods applied or developed are

- appropriate
- described in detail
- in alignment with the question addressed and the theory used

In addition, the author demonstrates

- an understanding of the methods' advantages and disadvantages
- how to use the methods

Component 5: Results or Analysis

The analysis

- is appropriate
- aligns with the question and hypotheses raised
- shows sophistication
- is iterative

In addition, the amount and quality of data or information is

- sufficient
- well presented
- intelligently interpreted

Thesis Proposal

The Thesis Proposal demonstrates the student's ability to organize the research project into a concise, coherent statement. In essence, it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • defines and restricts the research project; 
  • clarifies the most important goals of the thesis;
  • explains the methods of study; and
  • lists resource requirements
  •  

     

     

     

     

     

    Submission Deadline

    The proposal is to be submitted, together with the online registation, to the Director of Graduate Programming on or before 15 April.

    Content

    The thesis proposal follows the specific guidelines provided by the directors and, at a minimum, consists of the following components:

    1. Proposal narrative explaining topic and research method;
    2. Clarification of expectations for
    • lenght of thesis;
    • meeting frequency (and who arranges the meetings – the directors or the student?);
    • preferred means of communication (phone, e-mail, meetings, etc.);
    • deadlines for submission of chapter drafts;
    • responsibilities of directors and the student.

    Review and Approval

    The Graduate Leadership Team (program directors and department chair) will review and normally confirm thesis proposals as follows:

    1. Each member of the team will cast a vote on the acceptability of the proposal and the directors of the thesis will be understood to have cast two votes in support of the proposal. Hence, only a unanimous vote against a proposal on the part of the leadership team shall cause the proposal to be rejected.
    2. If one or more members of the leadership team is a director of a proposal, they shall recuse themselves. In such cases, other faculty members will be asked to serve on the team as ad hoc members solely for assessing the thesis proposal(s) at issue.
    3. Only under truly exceptional circumstances shall the leadership team give approval to more than four thesis proposals per academic year. If the team receives more than four proposals, the team will evaluate the proposals on a competitive basis.

    Withdrawal

    1. If a student foresees that he or she will not be able to complete the work for the thesis on time he or she may withdraw from thesis writing without penalty by the official deadline date listed in the fall Graduate Calendar for withdrawing from a course. If a student withdraws from thesis writing, he or she is required to pass the Integrative Examination.
    2. If a student withdraws from thesis writing after that deadline for any but a medical reason, he or she will receive a failing grade on thesis writing. Per Graduate School policy, he or she has one more chance for graduating by passing the Integrative Examination.

    Timeline

    Each student should work closely with her or his directors to determine additional or alternative dates appropriate to the thesis project. However, the dates highlighted in red are final.
    1. Choose the thesis primary and secondary directors and meet with them to develop the Thesis Proposal.
    2. Submit the Thesis Proposal Form (click on the link in the right columns of this page), with the required attachments, to the Director of Graduate Programming on or before April 15.
    3. Confirm with your primary and secondary readers that you are making satisfactory progress. Your readers must notify the graduate committee no later than 15 November that you are making such progress. If in the judgment of your readers you are not making satisfactory progress, they may recommend to you that you plan to take the integrative exam in the following spring semester rather than continue to work on the thesis.
    4. Submit the thesis to the directors on the last day of graduate fall semester classes (see Graduate Calendar).
    5. As a general rule, if your readers judged on 15 November that you were making satisfactory progress, then only egregious problems with the thesis would cause the thesis to fail. Examples of egregious problems would include academic integrity issues and / or failing to submit the thesis by the deadline above.
    6. Submit the revised thesis (final copy) to the directors one week before the official deadline date listed in the Graduate Calendar for completing an incomplete (N) grade, usually at the end of January.
    7. Present the research results at the Thesis Colloquium during the spring semester following thesis writing. Presenting the thesis is a requirement. Failure to present and discuss your work will cause you to fail the thesis.
    8. Submit the thesis in its final form (you must follow the Graduate School guidelines) to the Office of Graduate Studies on the deadline date published in the Graduate Calendar.

     

    Steps toward completing the Thesis

    Spring

    Fall

    Spring

    Student meets with thesis directors to (1) negotiate a topic, (2) construct the thesis proposal.

         

    Student submits thesis proposal and thesis proposal form to Director of Graduate Programming.

    April 15 or next business day.

       

    Graduate Program directors review proposal and inform student and directors of outcome.

    April 30 or next business day.

       

    Student submits completed thesis – writ­ten grammatically correct and complying formally with the standards prescribed in the Chicago Manual of Style–to directors.

     

    Last day of graduate fall semester classes.

     

    Thesis director returns thesis to student with suggestions for revision.

       

    Friday of first week of spring semester classes.

    Student submits revised thesis (final copy) to thesis director and second reader.

       

    1 week before official deadline date listed in Academic Calendar for N grade completion, usually end of January.

    Student presents research results at the thesis colloquium.

       

    Usually in March; see Graduate Program announcement.

    Student formats thesis for submission to Graduate School (guidelines here) and submits thesis in final form to the Office of Graduate Studies.

       

    Early April; see Academic Calendar.

     

     

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    Writing Graduate Level Papers

    Preamble

    The guidelines contain hyperlinks to on-line sources you may find helpful. The links are neither authoritative nor exhaustive; they are meant to provide “food for thought” and aid you in becoming successful academic writers. Our graduate faculty also follows these guidelines.

    Goals

    The Guidelines aim to

    1. strengthen the culture of student research at VU; 
    2. introduce standards for writing graduate level papers; 
    3. fulfill the department’s responsibility to prepare students for academic writing; 
    4. reconcile diverging faculty and student expectations; 
    5. decrease the number of “N” grades in the graduate program; 
    6. facilitate the timely completion of papers.

    Chicago Manual of Style

    Our students follow Chicago Manual of Style conventions for all written assignments. The Manual presents two basic documentation systems, the humanities style [notes and bibliography] and the author-date system. Ask your professor which citation style he or she prefers.

    The Chicago Manual of Style Online is available. The manual (Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, University of Chicago Press) is also in Falvey Library at the Reference-Information Desk (Call Number: LB2369.T8 2007).

    English Grammar

    We expect all papers to be written in correct English grammar. In other words, faculty do not proof-read papers.

    Paper Genre

    It is your responsibility to familiarize yoursef with the specific genre requirements for each written assignment (e.g., abstract; explication; opinion paper; reflection paper; research paper; essay; book or article review; literature review). In other words, we presuppose your familiarity with academic writing standards.

    If a writing assignment differs significantly from academic paper writing standards, your syllabus will provide detailed – if applicable, area specific – guidelines. If not, ask for clarification, especially if you are not familiar with (1) sources pertinent to the area of studies and (2) ways to find specialist literature relevant to your research project.

    Research Groups

    We encourage you to form research groups (small writing support groups, not shared projects) of 3-4 students who gather throughout the semester to talk through their progress, share writing/flow-charts/outlines etc. with each other.

    Attending Classes

    Students are subject to the attendance policy set forth in the syllabus of each individual course in which you enroll. However, class attendance at all classes is expected. You will receive a grade of F (failure) whenever the number of absences (unexcused or excused) in a course exceeds three class meetings for the course.

    The course withdrawal policy published by the Office of Graduate Studies applies (that is, “an individual is permitted to withdraw from a course without penalty for any reason by the deadline date listed in the academic calendar. After that date, withdrawal must be for a non-academic reason”).

    Declaring a Concentration

    Noting a Concentration on Your Transcript

    Academic concentrations are serious academic endeavors. They convey an accurate and objective description your course of study, thus enhancing the value and ensuring the integrity of your education. Your concentration will be indicated on your official transcript if the concentration is declared when you apply for graduation and all courses required for the concentration are documented as completed.

    Noting a concentration on your transcript not only recognizes your academic interests and the completion of required course work; it also makes the concentration a University recognized track within your master's degree and officially acknowledges your academic achievements in the concentration.

    Listing your concentration recognizes the broader academic focus undertaken by you in a particular academic area while clarifying the purpose of the general master's degree for those intending to teach in secondary schools or seeking employment in ministerial fields.

    Declaring a Concentration

    You may choose a concentration during the course of your studies. We will notify the registrar at the time of your graduation that you have completed the concentration.

    Areas of Concentration

    A concentration consists of no less than four courses (12 credits) in any one area. We offer concentrations in these areas:

    • Biblical Studies/Theology
    • Historical Theology and Augustinian Tradition
    • Fundamental and Systematic Theology
    • Christian Spirituality
    • Christian Ethics
    • Lay Ministry
    • Religious/Theological Education
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    Guidelines for Scholarship Recipients

    Preamble

    Scholarship recipients are governed by a policy of the Graduate Studies Office.

    The hours scholarship recipients are assigned to work for the Department or for faculty members are weekly hours. Hours not requested by the department or the faculty generally do not accumulate over the course of the semester.

    The preferred way of communication in all matters concerning the work of scholarship recipients is e-mail.

    Duties of the Director of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid

    The departmental Director determines the distribution of work hours throughout the semester, informs scholarship recipients about their specific weekly assignments at the beginning of each semester, and supervises their service to the Department and its faculty.

    The Director attempts to distribute work evenly among scholarship recipients. However, responsibilities may vary. Only the Director assigns work to departmental scholarship recipients.

    Duties of Faculty Members and Office Staff

    Faculty members and staff members:

    1. inform scholarship recipients in advance about specific assignments;
    2. give students adequate time to complete assigned tasks;
    3. supervise the assigned work;
    4. are mindful of the students' personal time and study plans and their primary goal of attending Villanova University: studying and earning a degree; and
    5. notify the Director if their requirements for assistance change significantly during the semester or if any difficulties arise.

    Duties of Scholarship Recipients

    Departmental Duties

    Departmental duties of Graduate Assistants and Tuition Scholars include:

    1. attending departmental student and faculty colloquia;
    2. participating and assisting in departmental lectures, seminars, forums, and conferences; proctoring final examinations;
    3. classroom proctoring (for example, reading announcements; delivering assignments; administering final exams);
    4. assisting in recruiting efforts (for example, Graduate Open House);
    5. assisting the Department Chair, Program Directors, and main office staff with administrative tasks;
    6. community building;
    7. special tasks assigned by the Director.

    Assistants to Faculty

    Scholarship recipients also work for individual faculty members, in which case they work under the supervision of the faculty member to whom they are assigned. Duties of scholarship recipients who assist faculty include working with individual professors in the areas of research and administration (for example, preparing of classroom material; photocopying; developing and maintaining web content).

    Other

    Scholarship recipients:

    1. contact the faculty member to whom they are assigned immediately after receiving their assignments from the Director;
    2. carry out their assigned duties and responsibilities in a thorough, timely, and professional manner; and
    3. notify the Director if the work expectations of assigned professors vary significantly from that assigned or if any difficulties arise.

    Exclusions

    Duties of scholarship recipients do not include:

    1. grading examinations;
    2. grading papers;
    3. teaching or facilitating discussions in a faculty member’s class;
    4. working on weekends and during breaks;
    5. performing activities that are the responsibility of VU faculty or staff members (for example, deliveries or transports of goods or persons by personal or University owned car).

    Graduate School Policies

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    My Program Requirements


    Master's Degrees

    Master of Theological Studies

    Learning Goals

    Goal 1

    Engaging Faith and Culture

    Objective A

    Engage theology informed by the breadth of theological and cultural traditions.

    Objective B

    Contextualize faith meaningfully within an analysis of contemporary culture, relating faith and culture for our time as Augustine did for his.

    Goal 2

    Integrating Knowledge

    Objective A

    Bring theological perspectives (and their methods of analysis) in dialogue with each other: biblical, historical and Augustinian, fundamental/systematic theological, cultural, ethical, spiritual, and ministerial.

    Objective B

    Integrate theological knowledge and experience in course work.

    Goal 3

    Learning in the Augustinian Tradition

    Objective A

    Nurture a way of knowing that is in­fused with care and love or, to use an Augustinian metaphor, knowing with the heart and the mind.

    Objective B

    Integrate faith into the social and cultural environment beyond the classroom.

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15*
    Elective Credits 33-39**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 18
    Extra-Departmental Credits ≤ 6
    Credit Transfer ≤ 6
    Concentration (Credits/Area) 18
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.5

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.

    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology

    Learning Goals

    Goal 1

    Engaging Faith and Culture

    Objective A

    Engage theology informed by the breadth of theological and cultural traditions.

    Objective B

    Contextualize faith meaningfully within an analysis of contemporary culture, relating faith and culture for our time as Augustine did for his.

    Goal 2

    Integrating Knowledge

    Objective A

    Bring theological perspectives (and their methods of analysis) in dialogue with each other: biblical, historical and Augustinian, fundamental/systematic theological, cultural, ethical, spiritual, and ministerial.

    Objective B

    Integrate theological knowledge and experience in course work.

    Goal 3

    Learning in the Augustinian Tradition

    Objective A

    Nurture a way of knowing that is in­fused with care and love or, to use an Augustinian metaphor, knowing with the heart and the mind.

    Objective B

    Integrate faith into the social and cultural environment beyond the classroom.

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 30
    Foundation Credits 9-15*
    Elective Credits 15-21**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 12
    Extra-Departmental Credits ≤ 6
    Credit Transfer ≤ 6
    Concentration (Credits/Area) 12
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Dual Master's Degrees

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in Education

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 24 EDU
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in History

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 24 HIS
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Science in Church Management

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 24 MSCM
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in Political Science

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 24 PSC
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Public Administration

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 51
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 27 MPA
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in English

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2-3 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 48
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 24 ENG
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Joint Master+Certificate Degrees

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

    Program Learning Goals

    Goal 1

    Theological and ministerial knowledge in the Augustinian tradition.

    Objective A

    Explain theological arguments and their significance for lay ministry.

    Objective B

    Describe biblical, historical, ecclesial, and theological perspectives on Christian ministry (with a primary but not exclusive focus on the Roman Catholic tradition).

    Objective C

    Evaluate the resources of the Christian ecclesiological and ministerial traditions in light of the questions raised by contemporary culture and the continuing challenges of human life.

    Objective D

    Examine academic practices of inquiry and discovery for professional ecclesial lay ministry.

    Goal 2

    Spiritual growth and development.

    Objective A

    Discriminate Augustine’s call to the restless search for wisdom by actualizing relationships with God, the world, and its people.

    Objective B

    Engage one’s mind and deepen one’s Christian life by integrating the speculative (mind) and practical (heart) in one’s theological and ministerial studies and practices.

    Objective C

    Deliberate and form judgments about the implications of Christian moral principles for building a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.

    Goal 3

    Effectiveness in pastoral ministry and leadership.

    Objective A

    Evaluate pastoral practices that clarify the gospel for contemporary culture and promote the care of persons in the Church.

    Objective B

    Apply systematic theological reflection on ministerial practice and experience to systematic and critical reflection on one’s pastoral presence, skills, and gifts in ministerial service.

    Objective C

    Analyze the Church’s teachings on the universal call to holiness, including the concept of baptismal vocation, and discern their pastoral application and relationship to the role of ministers as leaders in faith communities.

    Objective D

    Assume positions as productive, ethical, intellectual, and socially responsible citizens, leaders, teachers, and ministers.

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 42
    Foundation Credits 9-12*
    Elective Credits 6-9**
    Theory & Practice of Ministry Credits 6
    Sacraments & Church Credits 6
    Religious/Theological Education Credits 6
    Christian Spirituality Credits 3
    Interfaith/Intercultural Studies Credits 3
    Extra-Departmental Credits ≤ 3
    Credit Transfer ≤ 6
    Portfolio Yes
    Field Practicum or Internship Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in History

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 36
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 12 HIS
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in Education

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 36
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 12 EDU
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in Non-Profit Management

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 36
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 12 MPA
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in Gender and Women Studies

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 36
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 9-15 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits 12 GWS
    Credit Transfer ≤ 3 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Master of Arts in Theology with Certificate in Advanced Theological Studies

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 6 yrs
    Credit Requirements 39
    Foundation Credits 9-15 THL*
    Elective Credits 24-30 THL**
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9 THL
    Extra-Departmental Credits ≤ 6
    Credit Transfer ≤ 6 THL
    Concentration (Credits/Area) ≤ 6 THL
    Portfolio Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Students with ≥12 credits in theology or religion on transcript prior to program admission complete 9 foundation credits. Others complete 15 credits.
    ** Foundation credits are prerequisite for electives.

    Certificates

    Certificate in Advanced Theological Studies (Post-Master)

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 3 yrs
    Credit Requirements 15
    Elective Credits 15
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9
    GPA 3.0

    Certificate in Advanced Interdisciplinary Theological Inquiry (Post-Master)

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 3 yrs
    Credit Requirements 15
    Elective Credits 15
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9
    Extra-Departmental Credits ≤ 6*
    GPA 3.0

    Choose two courses (6 credit hours) in one or two fields of inquiry offered by VU graduate programs (for example, in the Humanities or the Social Sciences) and approved by our Graduate Program Director.

    Certificate in Theological Studies (Pre-Master)

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 3 yrs
    Credit Requirements 18
    Foundation Credits 9
    Elective Credits 9
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 6
    GPA 3.0

    Certificate in Interdisciplinary Theological Inquiry (Pre-Master)

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time 3 yrs
    Credit Requirements 18
    Foundation Credits 9*
    Elective Credits 9
    Credit Limits/Area ≤ 9
    Extra-Departmental Credits/Area ≤ 9
    GPA 3.0

    * Nine foundation credits are required of all students in the program who do not provide evidence of previous graduate course work in Theology.

    Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (Pre/Post-Master)

    Program Requirements

    Full-Time 2 yrs
    Part-Time ≤ 3 yrs
    Credit Requirements 18
    Theory and Practice of Ministry Credits 6
    Religious/Theological Education Credits 6
    Christian Spirituality Credits 3
    Interfaith/Intercultural Studies Credits 3
    Field Practicum or Internship* Yes
    GPA 3.0

    * Each of the four Theory and Practice of Ministry courses includes a supervised Ministerial Field Practicum in a setting approved by the Campus Ministry Graduate Internship Program Director. The practicum normally spans 4 semesters. You are responsible for obtaining your placement and must complete a Practicum Contract. Villanova offers unique, but limited opportunities for completing the practicum in Campus Ministry.