Master's Capstone Unit: Theological Synthesis
(72 points)


Rev. Dr Phillip Gleeson SDB (coordinator)
Semesters 1 or 2, 2019
Days and times to be negotiated

General Theological Examination for Final Year Candidates for Ordination.

The aim of this capstone unit is to assist students to demonstrate a sensitivity for and a familiarity with the overall structure of Catholic teaching, by producing a written synthesis of Catholic theology. In undertaking this task, students will draw on prior learning about theological topics such as Revelation, Ecclesiology, Theology of God, Christology, Trinity, Grace and Original Sin, Eucharist and the other Sacraments, Eschatology, Mariology and Christian Moral Response, to construct an integrated and mission-oriented account of the Church’s faith.  This includes designing a thematic structure within which the various topics relate to each other, and indicating points within that structure for dialogue with the wider world, both in terms of the insights and challenges offered by secular learning, and in terms of the Gospel’s relevance to “the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and the anguish” of today’s world.

Census Dates

Semester 1  Tuesday 19 March 
Semester 2  Tuesday 20 August 


must be undertaken in the final two semesters of the Masters degree


regular seminars across the semester
students are to meet regularly with their supervisor to discuss the progress of their research


one 3,000 – 5,000-word progress report   5%
one 25,000-word written synthesis   70%
one 1-hour oral examination by two examiners   25%


  • Beattie, Tina. The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on Religion. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2007.
  • Fiorenza, Francis S., and John P. Galvin, eds. Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.
  • German Bishops’ Conference. The Church’s Confession of Faith: A Catholic Catechism for Adults. Edited by Mark Jordan. Translated by Stephen W. Arndt. Communio Books. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987.
  • Hession, Anne, and Patricia Kieran, eds. Exploring Theology: Making Sense of the Catholic Tradition. Dublin: Veritas, 2007.
  • Lyons, Adrian. Imagine Believing: Explorations in Contemporary Faith. Melbourne: David Lovell, 2003.
  • McBrien, Richard P. Catholicism. Rev. ed. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1994.
  • O’Collins, Gerald. Jesus our Redeemer: A Christian Approach to Salvation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • ———. A Short Guide to Writing a Thesis: What to Do and What Not to Do. ACU Series 2. Hindmarsh: ATF Press, 2011.
  • Rahner, Karl. Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity. Translated by William V. Dych. New York: Crossroad, 1978.
  • Ratzinger, Joseph. Introduction to Christianity. Rev. ed. Translated by J. R. Foster. Communio Books. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004.