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Educational Effectiveness

Evaluating the educational outcomes of current students.

Monitoring success of current students in achieving program and institutional goals.

Students in all DSPT programs are monitored in an ongoing manner for satisfactory completion of program goals and outcomes through a student portfolio system (described in the Student Handbook). In addition to grade reporting, student success is measured in each course through key performance indicators related to both institutional and program goals, and reported as a weighted average. Using a scale of Excellent = 4.0; Good = 3.0; Satisfactory = 2.0; Barely Passing = 1.0; and Failure = 0.0, Faculty recently ranked current students as follows:

In the MA (Philosophy) program, faculty rankings of students range from 3.28 (demonstrating a graduate-level capacity for research and writing) to 3.74 (exhibit an appropriate level of intellectual curiosity about new or potentially threatening concepts).

In the MA (Theology) program, faculty rankings of students range from 3.22 (demonstrating a graduate-level capacity for research and writing) to 3.58 (exhibit an appropriate level of intellectual curiosity about new or potentially threatening concepts).

Rankings for students in the MDiv program are not yet available due to updates recommended by the most recent program review completed in Fall 2018.

Students are able to offer self-reporting through the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ). In the most recent GSQ (S2019) survey, the majority of graduates (56%) felt that their program helped them gain skills for making concrete applications of theoretical principles in philosophy and/or theology to contemporary issues and concerns. Graduates felt that their program was somewhat helpful (44%) and very helpful in helping (33%) in developing skills for meaningful and productive dialog with contemporary culture. Of those graduates in a thesis-option program, the majority (60%) felt that they received helpful guidance in completing their thesis work.

Completion rates

The MA (Philosophy) and MA (Theology) programs are designed as 2-year (48-semester units) programs. Most students enroll on a full-time basis (12 units per semester). Some MA students are members of a religious order and follow an extended (6+ years) program of study that results in combined MDiv/MA degrees. Others engage in a concurrent MA study option, designed as a 3-year option for completing both two degrees. The maximum time allowed in the single MA program is 4 years, and the maximum time allowed in the concurrent option is 6 years. At DSPT, completion rates are reported as submitted to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) as part of the Peer Institutional Profile Report. Because ATS does not distinguish between the various MA programs offered by DSPT, the ATS data as presented below is in combined summary form. The year indicates the semester in which data was submitted to ATS but reflects the number of graduates for the previous spring term, e.g. data from Fall 2019 represents students who graduated in Spring 2019. Disaggregation of the ATS completion rates by race and gender can be viewed here. In addition to that information, DSPT also provides disaggregated data for each program beginning with Fall 2019 and can be found here.

Percent Completing the MA Program within the Time Limit of 4 years

Reporting Year for Graduation Total No. MA Grads (Men/Women) No. Completed < 4 years (Men/Women)
F 2019 8/0 8/0
F 2020 5/3 4/3
F 2021 15/1 9/1

What are DSPT alumni doing

The following table from the ATS Peer Institutional Profile Report lists the known placement categories for graduates from a DSPT MA program.

Placements for All MA Graduates

Placement S 2019 (Men/Women) S 2020 (Men/Women) S 2021 (Men/Women)
Vocational 6/0 3/2 3/0
Non-Vocational 1/0 1/0 0/0
Further Study 1/0 0/1 5/0
Seeking Placement 0/0 0/0 2/0
Other/unknown 0/0 0/0 5/1

Of those who graduated with a Master of Divinity degree, 87.5% are currently employed, and the remaining 12.5% are in doctoral programs. Employment areas include parish ministry, campus ministry, and diocesan ministry.

Areas of work for DSPT alumni include the following (percentages are approximates based on a recent survey of alumni): secondary (10%) and higher education (8%); education administration (8%); parochial or diocesan ministry (33%); allied health professions (3%); and executive administration (8%).