By Rev. Andrew Compton, adapted from The Messenger Vol. 36, No. 3
Every spring at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, when senior Master of Divinity (M.Div) students are taking oral exams, participating in theological reflections, and preparing for licensure and ordination exams in their local presbytery or classis, another group of senior students is immersed in a different set of tasks.
In addition to the M.Div, Mid-America also offers a Masters of Theological Studies (MTS), a degree designed for men and women who desire to know the full counsel of God, and yet who feel called to serve in Christ’s kingdom and church in non-pastoral ways. Believing that an educated laity is a great blessing to Christ’s church, MTS students spend the spring semester writing a senior capstone project.
The capstone project is the culminating exercise for MTS students. It is a journey toward integration and synthesis designed to help MTS students tie together their coursework and ongoing research, with their vocational goals. As Scripture and theology are not studied in a vacuum at MidAmerica, this project aids MTS students in articulating the wide-ranging application of their education to the contours of their vocational interests.
This spring, three students will embark on capstone projects.
- Jared Luttjeboer is engaging in a research project related to eschatology.
- Pablo Martínez is working on a capstone that studies God’s attribute of immutability relative to His work in creation.
- Glem Melo is taking up the topic of planting confessional-reformed house-churches among Muslim communities in North America.
While there is always a degree of anxiety about producing a work of the length and methodological rigor of the capstone, the primary experience of students is one of eager anticipation. Jared Luttjeboer puts it this way: “I’m excited for the opportunity to pool various resources – either ones I’ve read or papers I’ve written – to hone my writing skills and best craft a project that will help Christians to think about eschatology using correct categories unto their comfort and spiritual growth.”
Please pray for all our MTS students, but especially Jared, Pablo, and Glem as they embark on this project. At Mid-America, we are excited to build up Christ’s church as we train future pastors and also well-educated lay people, graduates who will be equipped to serve Christ’s kingdom and church with an advanced degree in theology and Bible.
Read more of this month's edition of The Messenger. Also, Rev. Compton and two of our MTS students give their testimonial regarding the capstone project in this video: