Capstone: Finding Your Voice in the Franciscan Tradition

Course Overview

The Capstone for MTS-Franciscan Theology is completed during the 14-week course MTS 599 Finding Your Voice in the Franciscan Tradition, which is the final course of the degree. Students are encouraged to think about possible projects or themes during the course of their degree work. Throughout all the courses, students are reminded and encouraged to retain copies of their most engaging course work that could feed into their Capstone so that when the student enters MTS 599, they will already have at least nascent thoughts about subject matter or themes to address.
An MTS capstone demonstrates each student’s ability to develop a coherent theological argument on a topic about which they feel passionately. The capstone may contain an experiential component integrating personal, professional, and pastoral concerns and will demonstrate skill in developing a theological framework to situate the topic within the commitment of faith. The student works with peers and the instructor of MTS 599 (Finding Your Voice in the Franciscan Tradition) in the creation and implementation of their project. In addition, each student will select a faculty mentor whose subject matter expertise aligns with the student’s project to offer specialized guidance. A list of faculty mentors with their subject matter expertise and contact information is provided.

Students may choose between these options:
a.) A traditional thesis of c. 50-60 pages developing an argument grounded in a traditional theological discipline (or interdisciplinary approach) across three chapters with an Introduction, Conclusion, footnotes, and bibliography.
b.) Series of short articles amounting to 30 pages of text prepared for identified publications (such as America, St. Anthony Messenger, Franciscan Connections, The Way) with the analytical introduction of 15-20 pages explaining the purpose of the collection, research method, sources used to prepare the articles.
c.) Creation of a ministerial event such as a Retreat, Adult Education Lecture Series, or Workshop with detailed presentations scripted or outlined in detail; audio/visual components including PowerPoint slides; schedule of presentations, experiential exercises; “learning outcomes;” logistical and practical elements including location, budget, environment set up, materials needed; identification of target audience; promotion plan, etc. amounting to 30 pages of text. Analytical Introduction of 15-20 pages explaining the purpose of the event, research method used to prepare materials, sources used to prepare the presentations for the event.

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