Areas of Concentration
"Today, the Church's social doctrine focuses especially on man as he is involved in a complex network of relationships within modern societies." - John Paul II
Students in the Concurrent MA (Philosophy)/MA (Theology) program with a concentration in Catholic Social Teaching follow the normal course requirement for this concurrent program. Namely, they must take a total of 18 courses (54 semester units) and write a thesis (9 units) for a total of 63 units. In the Catholic Social Teaching concentration, the coursework is distributed as follows:
Systematic Philosophy (15 units)
History of Philosophy (6 units)
Scripture (6 units)
Two elective courses in Biblical Studies or Biblical Interpretation
Historical Theology (3 units)
Systematic Theology (9 units)
Moral Theology (6 units)
Non-Christian Religion(3 units)
One course of the student's choice, a strong anthropological component is recommended.
Electives (6 units)
PHCE 4960 Faith in Human Rights
Thesis/Defense (9 units)
The thesis will focus on either a philosophical, theological, or historical study of Catholic Social Teaching or address a specific issue in Church or wider society. 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 - Students in the concurrent MA program must present a proposal for the thesis to be reviewed by the entire Faculty. The proposal must demonstrate the ability to organize a project of philosophical and theological inquiry into a brief, coherent statement. The proposal is written in consultation with a proposed thesis coordinator. Each student presents the proposal, along with the signed "MA Thesis Petition Form" (see next paragraph) to the Academic Dean at least one week before the Faculty meeting at which it is to be discussed. Faculty meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the academic year (except January).
Using the DSPT "MA Thesis Petition Form," the student nominates a coordinator and two readers for the thesis. These must be approved by the Faculty, which may, at its discretion, make substitutions in light of the nature of the thesis. It is the responsibility of the coordinator to assist the student in the writing of the thesis in whatever way is deemed appropriate. The coordinator cannot be changed without the approval of the Faculty.
Thesis - The thesis is to be about one-hundred twenty (120) 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 given to the coordinator and readers 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, the required copies suitable for binding and approved by the GTU Library are to be submitted. Students in the concurrent DSPT MATh program submit three copies to the DSPT Registrar. Students in the Concurrent GTU Common M.A. program submit two copies to the to the Academic Secretary in the GTU Student Affairs Office and two copies to the DSPT Registrar. Please see the Academic Calendar for the current deadline.
Oral Defense - The oral defense of the thesis will be conducted by the coordinator 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."
Foreign Language Requirement
Reading and comprehension proficiency in a modern or ancient language is required. Students are expected to fulfill the language requirement by the beginning of the third semester in the program. DSPT policy for certifying language proficiency is based upon the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) policy for the GTU Common MA 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.
"The Church, in fact, has something to say about specific human situations, both individual and communal, national and international. She formulates a genuine doctrine for these situations, a corpus which enables her to analyze social realities, to make judgments about them and to indicate directions to be taken for the just resolution of the problems involved." - John Paul II