This unit enables postgraduate students to fulfil the capstone requirements related to their award (MSD) and is intended to be taken in the student’s final year. It directs, supports and encourages the integration of student learning across the theological disciplines by means of participation in an integrative seminar and completion of a project that draws on the student’s prior learning and directs it towards an integrative treatment of a chosen topic. Topics may be related to a particular theme identified in advance by Faculty. Projects must include explicit engagement with methodologies, concepts, and content from more than one field; actively address the graduate outcomes of the MSD; and show awareness of the issues related to creative and effective communication of theological ideas. Peer interaction coupled with a seminar will provide a staged development, as well as an overall framework for integrative learning while specific content will be largely determined by the participants’ own interests and experience. Students will be expected to present their ideas to their peers and members of faculty and to engage in critical interaction and feedback within the seminar process.

Unit code: XX9424J

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Capstone

Unit discipline: Capstone Other X

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a critical understanding of the methodologies, concepts and issues from at least two fields of study (MSD CLO 1,2);


Articulate points of synthesis and integration between at least two fields of theological study (biblical, historical, systematic, philosophical, practical – MSD CLO 1,3);


Generate questions and insights in relation to a chosen project that relate to at least two fields of theological study (MSD CLO 4);


Plan and execute and complete a substantial integrative project (MSD CLO 2,3,4,5,6,7).

Unit sequence

Requires completion of the postgraduate foundational units and at least 50% of elective units relevant to the award. The capstone unit will usually be taken during the last two semesters of the coursework.


Seminar, independent research, participation in a community of practice, regular conference with supervising lecturer.

Indicative Bibliography

To be determined according to the area of focus, but the following represent the core texts used in Spiritual Direction:

  • Barry, William A, and William J. Connolly The Practice of Spiritual Direction. San Francisco, CA: Harper, 2009.
  • Barry, William A. Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago,IL: Loyola University Press, 2001.
  • Dyckman, Katherine, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert. The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001.
  • Dyckman, Katherine, and L. Patrick Carroll. Inviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet: An Introduction to Spiritual Direction. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1981.
  • Fleming, David L. Draw Me into Your Friendship: A Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises. St. Louis, MO.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.
  • Gallagher, Timothy M. The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living. New York: Crossroad, 2005.
  • Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Lanham, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992.
  • Ivens, Michael. Understanding the Spiritual Exercises:Text and Commentary: A Handbook for Retreat Directors. Leominster: Gracewing, 1998. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Munitiz, Joseph. A., and Philip Endean. Ignatius of Loyola: Personal writings, Reminiscences, Spiritual Diary, Select letters, the text of the Spiritual Exercises. London: Penguin Books, 1996. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Ruffing, Janet. To Tell the Sacred Tale:Spiritual Direction and Narrative. New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2010.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Research Essay

5000 60.0
Oral Presentation

Presentation of chosen project in seminar. 15 mins presentation and 10 minutes class discussion (2500 words equivalent).

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 26 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-08 11:20:33 +1100