Students who major in religious studies work closely with the faculty throughout their program, and in their senior year, students complete a major capstone course that involves independent reading, research, and writing about a project of their choice. This project will show a mastery of a specific subject area, as well as methodological rigor in the study of religion.
Topic discernment and final decision should be completed by the end of the second semester, junior year, in coordination with department faculty along with a non-departmental faculty advisor/reader. The Capstone paper project abstract should be typed in double space with a limit of 500 words and a 15 item annotated bibliography.
The due date is either October 1 or February 1 (two semesters prior to graduation).
The Capstone paper seminar (REL 444) is a three-credit seminar with a faculty mentor taken in the second semester prior to graduation (fall semester for May graduation or spring semester for December graduation) concurrent with the preparation and writing of the capstone paper. The Capstone paper completion deadline will be March 1 or October 1 depending on expected graduation date.
Students are required to present their paper at both the annual SEPCHE Honors Conference in March and Cabrini's Undergraduate Arts, Research, and Scholarship Symposium in April. Students must complete an oral defense of their Capstone paper in April or November before a non-departmental faculty advisor/reader and department faculty.
The grading for the Capstone paper and course is as follows: Fail, Pass, High Pass, Distinction.
Finally, after evaluating a major's grades in religious studies courses, departmental service, and the quality of his/her Capstone project and paper, the department faculty will bestow departmental honors.
NOTE: Following the final Capstone defense, admittance to Theta Alpha Kappa, Alpha Pi Chapter, is determined by the department faculty. Membership is limited to students who have completed a minimum of 18 credits with a grade of "C+" or better. Courses with "C" grades or below will not be counted.