Apologetics Capstone – APOL 679

CG • Section • 11/10/2019 to 04/18/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

The student should be able to demonstrate an ability to reflect, integrate and apply apologetics knowledge to a specific problem facing Christianity. Apologetic reflection should be transformational, in that it influences, motivates, and empowers the student to live for Christ and further His kingdom.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

The goal of the MA in Christian Apologetics is to study the Scriptures and Christian thought with an aim toward defending Christianity’s truth-claims. This course seeks to bring together the cumulative knowledge and methods which the student has absorbed with the goal of responding to a specific question or problem facing Christianity. In constructing a specific, focused argument, the student will be able to implement research and argumentation strategies with the goal of both presenting and embodying truth through the argument and form of rhetoric used.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Formulate a research topic that is suitable for a capstone research paper.
  2. Evaluate sources critically.
  3. Design a thesis proposal that identifies the topic clearly, demonstrates understanding of the topic, forecasts the structure of the argument, makes effective use of language, and incorporates an appropriate number of scholarly sources.
  4. Develop a response to a problem facing Christianity by utilizing the basic tools of the discipline in a manner relevant to the selected topic.

Course Assignment

Book Critiques (MLO B)

The student will complete 4 book critiques on the select texts approved by the professor.  Each critique should be between 5 – 7 pages in length and contain at least 5 resources.

Discussion Board (MLO A)

The student will participate in 1 Discussion Board designed to help them refine their topic and thesis statement. The student will post a minimum 300-word paragraph explaining their research project and also post their thesis statement. Each student will then reply to at least 2 classmates with feedback and constructive critique of the project.

Research Paper on a Select Topic in the (MLOs A, B, C, D)

There are multiple parts to this assignment:

  • Research Paper: Topic (MLO A)

The student will submit a topic that is related to the focus of the Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics program.

  • Research Paper: Bibliography (MLO C)

The student will complete a bibliography of initially at least 15 of the 30 minimum required resources for the project. The student will then select 4 of these sources to complete for the book critique assignments.

  • Research Paper: Outline & Revised Thesis (MLO C)

After reviewing the feedback from the instructor on the research topic assignment, the student will complete an initial outline and revised thesis statement for the paper. The outline should consist of an Introduction, at least 3 major sections, and a Conclusion. Headings should follow the style prescribed in the Seminary Writing Guide.

  • Research Paper: Draft & Revision (MLO C)

The student will complete drafts of the major sections of the research paper throughout the course as well as revised drafts. The draft should incorporate the student’s best possible work, and the revisions should incorporate all of the suggestions and criticisms offered by the instructor.

  • Research Paper: Final Submission (MLOs A, B, C, D)

As a final step in the process, the student will compile the previously revised documents and drafts and submit a completed 32 to 40 page Research Paper.  The paper must include 7 sections: Title page, Table of Contents, Introduction (with thesis statement), Body (minimum of 3 sections with the total number of sections varying), Conclusion, and Bibliography. This paper should contain at least 30 scholarly sources (not counting the Bible).