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Academic Writing

AGTS Academic Writing Policies

The AGTS academic writing standards are:

  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
  • The SBL Handbook of Style: For Biblical Studies and Related Disciplines. 2nd ed. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.
  • For problems or questions of format not covered by Turabian or SBLHS, writers should follow:
  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Consult the Student Supplement for SBLHS 2, giving priority to the following AGTS standards. For situations not addressed below, refer to SBLHS and Turabian.

Certain items remain at the discretion of the program or of individual instructors, as stated on their respective syllabi. (For example, the Global Missions Department follows the Turabian parenthetical style for in-text citations.)


Standard Microsoft Word auto-formatting styles are preferred, including:

  1. Superscripted footnote numbers followed by a space.
  2. Superscripted abbreviations for ordinal numbers: 16th

Citations of Scripture 

(SBLHS §3.4.1, §8.3.1)

  • When citing modern Bible versions, standard abbreviations (NASB, NJPS, NRSV, TNIV, etc.) take the place of publication information. Indicate in a footnote if the translations are your own.
  • The first time you quote Scripture, insert the following in a footnote:

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from [insert the SBL standard abbreviation of the name of the translation].

  • If you quote several translations, indicate the source of each reference (e.g., Qoh 12:12 NRSV).
  • After Scripture has been quoted in text, put Scripture references in parentheses—not in a footnote.
  • When listing multiple Scripture references, use a semicolon between passages from different books and from different chapters within books (e.g., Deut 6:4–6; Pss 23:1–4; 121:1­–2; Rom 12:1–2). Move a list of 6 or more passages from a parenthetical citation to a footnote.
  • Biblical citations should be cited by book, chapter, and verse. Spell out the words “First” and “Second” and the names of books of the Bible when they occur as the first word of a sentence. Spell out the name of the book when the whole book is cited. Examples:
    • First Corinthians 13 is often called “the love chapter.”
    • Psalms is my favorite book, and Ps 121 is my favorite psalm.
  • Use the abbreviation v./vv. for citing verses and the abbreviation ch./chs. for citing chapters. Example:
    First Chronicles explores the identity of Israel in a post-exilic context; the genealogies in chs. 1–9 lay the foundation for the Chronicler’s theology of Israel. The first chapter reaches back to the beginning of humanity, with Adam (v. 1).
  • Do not repeat a book abbreviation for a citation immediately following one from the same Example:
    Psalm 1:3 compares a righteous person to “a tree planted by streams of water,” and 52:8 compares a righteous person to a “green olive tree in the house of the God.”
  • Use abbreviations for books of the Bible found in SBLHS §8.3.1 and listed below:

Old Testament (OT)/Hebrew Bible (HB)

JoshEccl (or Qoh)Mic
JudgSong (or Cant)Nah
1–2 SamJerZeph
1–2 ChronEzekZech

New Testament (NT)

JohnCol1–2 Pet
Act1–2 Thes1–2–3 John
Rom1–2 TimJude
1–2 CorTitusRev

Hyphen and Dashes 


Note the difference between hyphens (e.g., second-century), en dashes (e.g., Prov 3:5–5), and em dashes (e.g., The Songs of the Ascents—Pss 120–134—are a lyric sequence). Students should use them appropriately in assignments.

Citations of Articles in Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Lexicons 

(SBLHS §6.3.6, §6.3.7)

Do not follow Turabian on citing articles from these reference works. Instead, for citing an article in an encyclopedia or dictionary, see SBLHS §6.3.6. For citing an article in a lexicon or theological dictionary, see §6.3.7.

Non-English Languages

A translation into English (either within the body of the text or in a footnote) should accompany all quotations from other languages.

Inclusive Language

AGTS employs inclusive language for human beings in both verbal and written communication. This commitment to equality and community is rooted in the biblical revelation of God’s will to form one united people, including men and women from every nation, people, tongue, and tribe (Rev 7:7–9). In regard to biblical texts, the integrity of the original expressions and the names of God should be respected. Students must use inclusive language in all assignments.

Academic Integrity

As participants in a Christian university, members of the broader academic community, and active professionals, it is incumbent upon every member of the Evangel community to employ and encourage integrity in all our academic and professional pursuits. Any and every instance of academic dishonesty compromises the mission of Evangel University and violates the standards we hold as people of Christ and practitioners within our professional fields. Students are expected to understand and avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, which includes falsification, cheating, collusion, and plagiarism.

As members of the Evangel community, students share the responsibility to deter and report academic dishonesty. Should a student become aware of a violation of academic integrity, he or she is encouraged to report the incident to a faculty member or department chairperson.

It is the responsibility of the faculty to address any and all acts of academic dishonesty. Sanctions for violations of academic dishonesty can include but are not limited to a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade for the course, suspension from school, or expulsion from the university. Evangel’s policy on academic integrity, as published in the Student Handbook, appears in the section IX. University Policies: Academic Integrity.

D.Min. Writing Resources

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