TCM International Institute
TCM International Institute
STUDENT THESIS/ MINISTRY PROJECT HANDBOOK January, 2006 Revised January 2007
Student Thesis/Ministry Project Handbook TCMI Institute 2005 Table of Contents Educational Goals of the Institute 3 Degree Outcomes 3 Master of Arts in Practical Theology Degree Outcomes 3 Master of Divinity in Practical Theology Degree Outcomes 3 Am I required to complete the thesis requirement? 4 The differences between a Traditional Thesis and a Ministry Project Thesis 4 General Matters 5 Form and Style Guidelines 5 A sample title page 9 A sample table of contents 10 A sample of thesis quality writing 11 (from Nancy Jean Vyhmeister. Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001, pp. 111-115) A sample mediagraphy 18 Common abbreviations in Religion and Theology 20 Research Expectations 25 Ministry Project Thesis 25 The Process 25 The Research Methods Course Component 26 Choosing a Project 26 Focusing the Project 27 Setting Goals 27 Completing the Proposal Form 28 Role of the Supervisor in a Ministry Project 28 Role of the National Coordinator in a Ministry Project 29 Role of the External Reader in a Ministry Project 29 Designing Evaluation Instruments 30 Release Forms 30 Implementation of the project 30 Essential Elements in a Project Report 30 The English Condensation 31 Traditional Thesis 31 The Purpose of a Masters Thesis 31 The Process 31 Choosing a Topic 32 Preparing the Proposal 32 Narrowing the Topic 32 Researching the Topic 33
Writing the Thesis Documentation in a Thesis Examination of the Thesis The Role of the Supervisor in a Traditional Thesis Appendices Appendix 1 - Thesis Ministry Project Proposal Form Appendix 2 – Thesis Proposal Form Appendix 3 – Library check-out and Loan Policy for thesis students Appendix 4 – Student Self-Evaluation Form for Meeting the Educational Goals of the Institute
33 33 34 34 36 39 41 42
Educational Goals of the Institute Mission of TCMI Institute: TCM International Institute prepares men and women for Christian leadership and provides benevolent assistance in Eastern Europe.
Educational Goals of TCMI Institute (for more details, see 2005 Catalog): Show progress in Christian formation Know essential biblical and theological resources for ministry. Communicate the Christian faith to others Develop a theology of ministry as an expression of serving Christ Demonstrate skills in the various practices of ministry.
Degree Outcomes Master of Arts in Practical Theology Degree Outcomes The purpose of this degree is to enhance the leadership of pastors and other Christian leaders by providing a broad-based interdisciplinary educational program for general Christian leadership. The degree is designed for those holding a university diploma in any discipline. Outcomes After having completed this degree, the student will be able to: 1. Use the tools of hermeneutics to interpret Scripture accurately for preaching and teaching. 2. Understand the background, history, and major teachings of the books of the Bible. 3. Understand the core doctrines of the Christian faith. 4. Effectively communicate the message of Christ through such means as worship, preaching, teaching, counseling, leadership, and evangelism. 5. Understand the principles of administration, management, and leadership. 6. Understand the spiritual formation process. 7. Develop a plan for and make a commitment to lifelong learning. Master of Divinity in Practical Theology Degree Outcomes The purpose of this degree program is to further enhance the ministry skills of pastors and other Christian leaders. This builds upon the M.A. degree. Outcomes After having completed this program of study, the student will be able to: 1. Use biblical languages for exegesis of Scripture for preaching and teaching. 2. Use the tools of hermeneutics to interpret Scripture accurately for preaching and teaching. 3. Understand the background, history, and major teachings of the books of the Bible. 4. Understand the core doctrines of the Christian faith. 5. Understand the significant events, ideas, and forces that have shaped the history of the church.
6. Effectively communicate the message of Christ through worship, preaching, teaching, counseling, and evangelism. 7. Understand principles of Christian administration, leadership, and management. 8. Understand the spiritual formation process. 9. Develop a plan for and make a commitment to lifelong spiritual development
Am I required to complete the thesis requirement? All students admitted to degree programs (M.A. or M. Div.) from January 1, 2003 on are required to complete either a traditional thesis or ministry project thesis for each degree. M.A. students are required to do a ministry project while M.Div. students may choose between a second ministry project and a traditional thesis. Traditional theses must be researched and submitted in English.
The differences between a Traditional Thesis and a Ministry Project Thesis Language of Writing Who is Eligible? Research?
Ministry Project The Studentâ€™s Own with an English Summary M.A. or M.Div. Reading and Other Research Should Guide the Development of the Project and the Written Materials used. Depends on Project; Since Much of the Work is Doing Something the Report of it should be no longer than 4060 pages; English Summary 15 pages To Do Something Practical in Ministry and Evaluate its Effectiveness To Learn How to Implement a Practical Project and How to Measure its Effectiveness so that Later Projects are Done Better Apply to Research Director
Traditional Thesis English M.Div. only Research from Beginning to End.
50 to 80 pages
To Research a Topic in Detail To Learn the Skills of Exact and Careful Research and to Learn about a Narrow Area of Interest in an Intense Way Apply to Research Director
General Matters Form and Style Guidelines: Parts of a Thesis - The parts of a thesis must be arranged in the order indicated here. Front Matter, or Preliminaries: Blank page Title page (see the enclosed sample) Blank page Dedication* Vita sheet (see the enclosed sample) Table of Contents (see the enclosed sample) List of Illustrations* Preface* Acknowledgements* Glossary* The Text, or Body of the Thesis Introduction Chapters Conclusion Reference Matter, or Back Matter Appendix (ces)* (Use a half-title with Appendix or Appendices typed on it) Student Self-Evaluation Form for Meeting the Educational Goals of the Institute Mediagraphy (Use a half-title page with Mediagraphy typed on it) Sources Cited Articles Books Other* Sources Consulted But Not Cited Articles Books Other* Blank page *Optional depending upon the nature of thesis and the guidance of your advisor. Parts of a Project The parts of a project are similar to a thesis and must be arranged in the order indicated here. Front Matter, or Preliminaries: Blank page Title page (see the enclosed sample) Blank page Dedication* Vita sheet (see the enclosed sample) Table of Contents (see the enclosed sample)
Preface* Acknowledgements* Glossary* The Text, or Body of the Thesis Introduction Chapter Biblical, theological and theoretical foundations for the project and research related to the project Chapter reporting the details of the project—what was done and the results Conclusion—lessons learned from the project Reference Matter, or Back Matter Appendix (ces)* (Use a half-title with Appendix or Appendices typed on it) Student Self-Evaluation Form for Meeting the Educational Goals of the Institute Mediagraphy (Use a half-title page with Mediagraphy typed on it) Sources Cited Articles Books Other* Sources Consulted But Not Cited Articles Books Other* Blank page *Optional depending upon the nature of thesis and the guidance of your advisor. Pagination The front matter is numbered using successive lower case Roman numerals, i, ii, iii, etc. The title page is i, but the number does not appear on the page. The blank page has no number. Other front matter pages begin with ii. The text, or body, of the thesis begins with page 1 and is numbered consecutively through the back matter of the thesis. If you have a half-title page before an appendix, it is assigned a number that does not appear on the page. Page numbers appear at the bottom of the page for the first page in any section, at the top for successive pages. These may be placed in the center or at the right margin. Format It is suggested that you use the American Psychological Association (APA) style as your basic guide. Individual supervisors (especially in Bible and theology) may prefer Turabian. Negotiate this in advance with your Supervisor. Haus Edelweiss has a software program “Citation” that allows you to indicate the style you want (it will be designated APA) on it that can be used with Tools in your Word word-processing. This style does not require footnotes, but rather allows you to place a reference in parentheses in the text. See the illustrations below.
Footnotes In APA style, you need not use footnotes very often. These are usually used only for content footnotes, that is, explanation of terms or presentation of relevant material that does not belong in the narrative. Fonts You should use Arial, Courier New, or Times New Roman typefaces. Use the same font size throughout the manuscript. Font size should be 12. Footnotes and entries within a table may be as small as 8 point. Headings and subheadings should be the same typeface and size as the text. Use italics instead of under-lining. Use bold type only for headings. Illustrations and Enclosures Drawings, photographs, charts, maps, graphs, and pictures may be used if appropriate. Charts, drawings, maps, and graphs should be electronically reproduced and included where appropriate in the thesis. Photographs should be mounted. Materials such as computer disks, slides, audio and video tapes, transparencies, etc. should be submitted in two sets, but they do not need to be mounted. Length An M.A. thesis should be 50-80 double-spaced, 12 pt font pages in length. A Ministry Project Report may be 40-60 pages in length. This includes bibliography and appendix(ces). This is a rough guideline; the exact length of the thesis is dependent upon the topic and method of developing it. Margins The left margin should be 1Â˝ inches, and the right, top, and bottom margins 1 inch each. The top margin should be 2 inches for the first page of a chapter, table of contents, bibliography, or other division. Printing The use of a laser quality printer is recommended. However, the use of a letter-quality 24-pin dot matrix type (300 dots per inch) printer is acceptable. Print on only one side of the paper. Corrections Reprint pages requiring correction. Paper Prepare the two final copies of your thesis on A4 paper with at least 25% rag content. The final copies may be printed or photocopied. If you cannot find the proper paper in your country, contact the Coordinator of Academic Services who will help you find a way to produce the final copies.
Personal Copies You may want a personal copy of your thesis bound. If so, work with the Coordinator of Academic Services. Thesis/Project Ownership Your thesis or project is the joint property of both you and the TCMI Institute. This means that if you wish to publish the thesis in whole or in part, you need the approval in writing from the Institute. Should the Institute wish to publish the thesis in whole or in part, you must provide approval in writing.
A sample title page
(begin this 2 inches from the top)
A HISTORY OF THE DETROIT CHRISTIAN CHURCH DETROIT, IL
(4.2 inches from the top) (4.6 inches from the top)
by Eleanor A. Daniel
(Begin this 6.7 inches from the top)
A thesis (or project) submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of (type in correct degree--either Master of Arts in Practical Ministry or Master of Divinity)
(Begin this 9.2 inches from the top, then double space for year)
TCMI Institute Heiligenkreuz, Austria (Year)
A sample table of contents Table of Contents (Type this 2 inches from the top, then double space) DEDICATION……………………………………………………………………………ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…..………………………………………………………….iv Chapter INTRODUCTION……………….………………………………………………………. 1 I.
THE ESTABLISHMENT AND EARLY YEARS OF THE CONGREGATION (1875-1938)…………………………………………….………………………..15
THE MIDDLE YEARS: THE LEGACY OF JOE T. MAYNARD (19381966)……………………….…………………………………………………….45
THE LAST THIRTY-FIVE YEARS: A FAITHFUL RURAL CHURCH……..75
A sample of thesis writing Sample of thesis writing from Nancy Jean Vyhmeister. Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.)
The term Heilsgeschichte was coined by Johann Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752). It came to be used to describe “the nature of the Bible as an account of God’s working out divine salvation in human history.” Proponents of Heilsgeschichte or salvation history “rejected the idea that the Bible is a collection of divine ‘proof texts’ for constructing doctrine in favor of seeing it as a history of God’s redemptive plan.”1 The formal development of the concept in the nineteenth century, according to A. Josef Greig, came in response to the skepticism that emerged in Christianity as a reaction to “the aims of rationalism and pietism, and the results of the historical-critical method.”2 Hans W. Frei points out that for Heilsgeschichte, the “saving facts” of the Bible are “real and historical but not in an ordinary way that would open them up religiously neutral verification.”3 The concept of Heilsgeschichte allows for the reinterpretation of an event from a historical understanding in time to a nonhistorical and experiential interpretation. This
Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVaristy, 1999), s.v. “Heilsgeschichte.” 2
A. Josef Greig, “Some Formative Aspects in the Development of Gerhard von Rad’s Idea of History,” AUSS 16 (1978): 314. 3
Hans W. Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), 180.
hermeneutical concept suggests the question: What impact does this theory have upon biblical doctrine, in particular, the doctrine of Creation? In order to answer this question, this paper will examine the historical development of Heilsgeschichte and analyze its presuppositions and hermeneutical approaches.
CHAPTER 1 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF HEILSGESCHICHTE Several factors played important roles in shaping the Heilsgeschichte concept: (1) rationalism, (2) experiential and inward-turning elements within Christianity, and (3) the implementation of the historical-critical method. These factors later came together to form the basis of Liberal Protestantism. Rationalism Immanuel Kant rose from obscurity to provide the “theological watershed between [the] classical and modern (liberal) systems” that would, if accepted, make “the classical view impossible.”4 Kant accomplished this task by reinterpreting reason. His philosophy included two aspects: the timeless nature of God and truth, and the limitation of human reason to the spatio-temporal. Fernando Canale notes that such divergences between God and humanity do not allow for cognitive contact between God, as a “timeless or supernatural object,” and human reason.5 Therefore, the need for some other means of communication arises. Because Kantian understanding leaned heavily toward the intuitive, rationalism brought uncertainty in regard to history. Since certainty could only be attained through reason, “Rationalism stimulated a search for a theology of immediacy and inwardness.”6
Fernando Canale, Principles and Methods of Theology: Student Notes (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University, 1997), 90. 5
Fernando Canale, “Revelation and Inspiration: The Liberal Model,” AUSS 32 (1994): 170-171.
Speaking of religious theory after Kant, Frei stated: Religious theory after Kant focused more and more on faith as a distinctive and self-conscious human stance which is reducible to no other. And faith in this sense qualifies whatever ‘reality’ it is properly in touch with, analogous to the way in which for Kant the structure of reason qualifies the transcendental ego’s contact with the objects of the sensible world, turning them from things-in-themselves into phenomena for human consciousness.7 Experiential and Inward-turning Elements within Christianity Thomas Aquinas desired to introduce Aristotle into Christianity in order to lessen the tension between faith and reason. To achieve this, he attempted to differentiate theology from philosophy.8 Aquinas’s views provided the basis for classical scholasticism. Lutheran Protestantism, though claiming to follow sola Scriptura, accepted the hermeneutical presuppositions of classical scholasticism. After the death of Luther, Protestant theologians began the process of rational systematization of doctrine “that often included natural theology, Aristotelian logic and extreme fine-tuning and hairsplitting with regard to doctrinal formulations.”9 As scholasticism resulted in an increasingly dry and rigid form of religion, nominalism created a new interest in humanity and came to see the human being as more real than the institution. In addition nominalism denied the objective reality of universal principles, which were considered to be “mere concepts with no reality apart from their existence in the mind of the individual.”10 Maintaining the existence of two realism of truth (scientific and theological) led some nominalists to exalt the experimental method as the main path to truth, while others 7
Frei, 32 (emphasis supplied).
John W. Baldwin, The Scholastic Culture of the Middle Ages: 1000-1300 (Lexington, MA: D.C.Heath,
1971), 93. 9 Roger E. Olson, The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Trandition and Reform (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999), 475. 10
Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling, s.v. “nominalism.”
began to move in the direction of mysticism “as a way by which the individual could come directly into the presence of God.”11 In Greig’s words, “The failure of rationalism to attain its theological goals ended to turn the theologian’s attitude inwards, toward religious experience.” This resulted in the development of the Pietistic movement within German Lutheranism.12 German Pietism Pietism stood “between the controversies of orthodoxy and the more innovative approaches in theology.”13 Olson defined Pietism as “a renewal movement that aimed at a completion of the Protestant Reformation begun by Martin Luther.”14 Through Pietism Lutheranism was refreshed and revived as three elements in the life of the believer were emphasized: the study and application to daily life of the Bible and the development of a pious life. An additional emphasis on missionary activity caused some, however, to develop an indifference to biblical doctrine and led them into idealism.15 This idealism found the nature of reality “more in terms of spirit or mind than matter or material.”16 It attempted to “retain the comprehensiveness of vision in Romanticism and Transcendentalism while avoiding their subjectivism…..At the same time, it retained an allure for philosophy by attempting to build on rationality rather than intuition.”17
Earle E. Cairns, Christianity through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church, rev. and enl. Ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Academie Books, 1981), 239-240. 12
Grenz, Guretzk, and Nordling, s.v. “idealism.”
Steve Wilkens and Alan Padgett, Faith and Reason in the 19th Century, Christianity and Western Thought, vol. 2 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000), 63.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Heilsgeschichte has been defined in this paper as a hermeneutical principle within the historical-critical method. Its development was simultaneous with the growth of the Liberal Protestant movement and came about as a result of the need to bridge the gap between the historical veracity of the Bible and the new theologically oriented method of interpretation. Several factors played roles in bringing about the concept of Heilisgeschichte: (1) rationalism, as developed by Immanuel Kant; (2) experiential and inward-turning elements within Christianity, such as German Pietism, Schleiermacher’s concept of Gefühl, and Hegel’s dialectical philosophy; and the historical-critical method. The paper began with the hypothesis that the Liberal Protestant concept of Heilsgeschichte impacts the doctrine of creation by allowing for the reinterpretation of the event from a historical understanding of the event in time to one of non-historical and experiential interpretation. This allows for the rejection of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis as historical documentation, while preserving the theological integrity of those passages. An examination of the presuppositions upon which the Heilsgeschichte concept is built shows that this hypothesis is true. Furthermore, the non-historical and experiential interpretation is problematic on five counts: (1) It uses subjective methods of interpretation, (2) it dissects Scripture, (3) it denigrates the concept of propositional truth, (4) it questions faith, and (5) it does not use consistently its own hermeneutical method−the scientific method.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Baldwin, John W. The Scholastic Culture of the Middle Ages: 1000-1300. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath 1971. Cairns, Earle E. Christianity through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Revised and enlarged edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Academie Books, 1981. Canale, Fernando. Principles and Methods of Theology: Student Notes. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University, 1997. __________. “Revelation and Inspiration: The Liberal Model.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 32 (1994): 169-195. Frei, Hans W. The Eclipse of Bibical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974. Fretheim, Terence E. Creation, Fall, and Flood: Studies in Genesis 1-11. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1969. Greig, A. Josef. “A Critical Note on the Origin of the Term Heilsgeschichte.” The Expository Times 87 (1975-1976): 118-119. ________. “Some Formative Aspects in the Development of Gerhard von Rad’s Idea of History.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 16 (1978): 313-331. Grenz, Stanley J., David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999. Grenz, Stanley J., and Roger E. Olson. Twentieth Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age. Downers Gove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992. Hasel, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology: Basic Issues in the Current Debate. Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972. Hegel, G.W.F. The Phenomenalogy of Mind. 2 vols. Translated by J.B. Baillie. New York: Macmillan, 1910. Lichtenberger, F. History of German Theology in the Nineteenth Century. Translated and edited by W. Hastie. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1889. Lundin, Roger, Clarence Walhout, and Anthony C. Thiselton. The Promise of Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.
A sample mediagraphy
MEDIAGRAPHY Books: Anderson, Bernard W. Understanding the Old Testament. Abridged Fourth Edition. Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.
Archer, Gleason. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Revised Edition. Chicago: Moody Press, 1974. Updated 1996. Childs, Brevard S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979. Clements. Ronald E. One Hundred Years of Old Testament Interpretation. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976. Dillard, Raymond B. and Tremper Longman III. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994. Driver, S. R. An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament. New York: Scribners, 1891. Eissfeldt, Otto. The Old Testament. An Introduction. Translated by Peter R. Ackroyd. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Edited by David W. Baker and Bill T. Arnold. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999. Gottwald, Norman K. The Hebrew Bible: A Socio-Literary Introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985. Habel, Norman. Literary Criticism of the Old Testament. Guides to Biblical Scholarship. Old Testament Series. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971. Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1969, 1981. Hostetter, Edwin C. Old Testament Introduction. IBR Bibliographies no. 11. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995. Lasor, William Sanford, David Allan Hubbard and Frederic William Bush. Old Testament Survey. The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982.
Rendtorff, Rolf. The Old Testament. An Introduction. Translated by John Bowden. London: SCM, 1985. Sellin Ernst and Georg Fohrer. Introduction to the Old Testament. Translated by David E. Green. Nahsville: Abingdon, 1968. Wegner, Paul D. The Journey from Texts to Translations. The Origin and Development of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000. Wellhausen, Julius. Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel. Translated by Menzies and Black. New York: Word Publishing, 1957. Whybray, R. N. The Making of the Pentateuch. A Methodological Study. JSOTS 53. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987. Websites: (in German): www.uni-mainz.de/~lehmann/link.html University of Mainz run by Lehman. (in English): www.bib-arch.org/ Biblical Archeology Soceity website.
The magazine Scientific American sometimes has archeology articles on the Bible. www.lpl.arizona.edu/~kmeyers/archaeol/bib_arch.html www.dabar.org Dan Dyke assembles a variety of resources and pictures here. www.iTanakh.org Chris Heard of Pepperdine University has assembled here one of the most helpful websites in Old Testament studies available. You might also try the websites of Yale University, University of Chicago, Princeton University.
Common abbreviations (taken from Vyhmeister, Nancy Jean. Your Indispensable Guide to Writing Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 2001. Appendix C) AHR AJT ASOR AB ABD ANEP ANET AUSS AThR ANF ANRW
American Historical Review American Journal of Theology American Schools of Oriental Research Anchor Bible Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by D. N. Freedman. 6 vols.New York, 1992 The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament.Edited by J. B. Pritchard. Princeton, 1954 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited by J. B. Pritchard. 3d ed. Princeton, 1969 Andrews University Seminary Studies Anglican Theological Review Ante-Nicene Fathers Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung. Edited by H. Temporini and W. Haase. Berlin, 1972– ACNT Augsburg Commentaries on the New Testament AusBR Australasian Biblical Review Bauer, W., W. F. Arndt, F. W. Gingrich, and F. W. Danker. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 2d ed. Chicago, 1979 BZAW Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft BZNW Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft BK Bibel und Kirche BRev Bible Review BT The Bible Translator BHS Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by K. Elliger and W.Rudolph. Stuttgart, 1983 BiPa Biblia Patristica: Indexdes citations et allusions bibliques dans la littérature. Paris, 1975– Bib Biblica BA Biblical Archaeologist BAR Biblical Archaeology Review BR Biblical Research BTB Biblical Theology Bulletin BO Bibliotheca orientalis BSac Bibliotheca sacra BZ Biblische Zeitschrift BKAT Biblischer Kommentar, Altes Testament. Edited by M. Noth and H. W. Wolff BDF Blass, F., A. Debrunner, and R. W. Funk. A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago, 1961 BDB Brown, F., S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford, 1907 BASOR Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research BCSR Bulletin of the Council on the Study of Religion BJRL Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester
Chicago Assyrian Dictrionary CAD CTJ Calvin Theological Journal CJT Canadian Journal of Theology CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly CHR Catholic Historical Review ChrCent Christian Century CT Christianity Today CH Church History CQ Church Quarterly CQR Church Quarterly Review CTM Concordia Theological Monthly CTQ Concordia Theological Quarterly CIG Corpus inscriptionum graecarum. Edited by A. Boeckh. 4 vols. Berlin, 1828–1877 CIJ Corpus inscriptionum judaicarum
CIL Corpus inscriptionum latinarum CIS Corpus inscriptionum semiticarum CurTM Currents in Theology and Mission DJG
Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Edited by J. B. Green and S. McKnight. Downers Grove, 1992
EEC EncIs EncJud ER EvQ EvT EKL ExpTim
Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Edited by E. Ferguson. 2d ed. New York, 1990 Encyclopedia of Islam Enyclopedia Judaica The Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by M. Eliade. 16 vols. New York, 1987 Evangelical Quarterly Evangelische Theologie Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. Edited by Erwin Fahlbusch et al. 4 vols. 3d ed. Göttingen, 1985–1996 Expository Times
Grace Theological Journal
HTR HUCA HeyJ HR
Harvard Theological Review Hebrew Union College Annual Heythrop Journal History of Religions
ISBE ISBE ICC Int IBC IB IDB IEJ
International Standard Bible Dictionary International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Edited by G. W. Bromiley. 4 vols. Grand Rapids, 1979–1988 International Critical Commentary Interpretation Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Interpreter’s Bible. Edited by G. A. Buttrick et al. 12 vols. New York, 1951–1957 The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by G. A. Buttrick. 4 vols. Nashville, 1962 Israel Exploration Journal
JQR Jewish Quarterly Review JSSR Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods JSNT Journal for the Study of the New Testament JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament JAAR Journal of the American Academy of Religion JTC Journal for Theology and the Church JAS Journal of Asian Studies JBR Journal of Bible and Religion JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History JES Journal of Ecumenical Studies JEA Journal of Egyptian Archaeology JJS Journal of Jewish Studies JMedHist Journal of Medieval History JMH Journal of Modern History JMES Journal of Middle Eastern Studies JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies JR Journal of Religion JRE Journal of Religious Ethics JRH Journal of Religious History JRelS Journal of Religious Studies JRT Journal of Religious Thought JSS Journal of Semitic Studies JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society JETS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society JPOS Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society JRAS Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society JTS Journal of Theological Studies
K&D Keil, C. F., and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Translated by J. Martin et al. 25 vols. Edinburgh, 1857–1878. Reprint, 10 vols., Peabody, Mass., 1996 KBL Koehler, L., and W. Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti libros. 2d ed. Leiden, 1958 LCC LCL L&N LQ LW
Library of Christian Classics. Philadelphia, 1953– Loeb Classical Library Louw and Nida, Lexicon on Semantic Domains Lutheran Quarterly Luther’s Work, American Ed.
Mennonite Quarterly Review
NHS Nag Hammadi Studies Neot Neotestamentica NKZ Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift NICNT New International Commentary on the New Testament NICOT New International Commentary on the Old Testament NIDNTT New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Edited by C. Brown. 4 vols. Grand Rapids, 1975– 1985 NIDOTTE New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Edited by W. A. VanGemeren. 5 vols. Grand Rapids, 1997 NIGTC New International Greek Testament Commentary NTS New Testament Studies NPNF1 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1 NPNF2 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2 NovT Novum Testamentum OTP OTS OrChr Or OLZ ODCC
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Edited by J. H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. New York, 1983 Old Testament Studies Oriens christianus Orientalia (NS - Rome) Orientalistische Literaturzeitung The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L.
PEQ Palestine Exploration Quarterly PG Patrologia graeca [= Patrologiae cursus completus: Series graeca]. Edited by J.-P. Migne. 162 vols. Paris, 1857–1886 PL Patrologia latina [= Patrologiae cursus completus: Series latina]. Edited by J.-P. Migne. 217 vols. Paris, 1844–1864 PW Pauly, A. F. Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. New edition G. Wissowa. 49 vols. Munich, 1980 RAC Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum. Edited by T. Kluser et al. Stuttgart, 1950– RSR Recherches de science religieuse RelSoc Religion and Society RL Religion in Life RelS Religious Studies RelSRev Religious Studies Review RevExp Review and Expositor RR Review of Religion RRelRes Review of Religious Research RB Revue biblique RA Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale RHE Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique RHPR Revue d’histoire et de philosophie religieuses RHR Revue de l’histoire des religions RevQ Revue de Qumran RSém Revue de sémitique
RTP Revue de théologie et de philosophie RSPT Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques RevScRel Revue des sciences religieuses SJT Scottish Journal of Theology SSS Semitic Study Series Sem Semitica SA Sociological Analysis SBLDS Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series SBLMS Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series SBLSBS Society of Biblical Literature Sources for Biblical Study SBLTT Society of Biblical Literature Texts and Translations SB Sources bibliques SC Sources chrétiennes. Paris: Cerf, 1943– SCJ Stone Campbell Journal ST Studia theologica SBT Studies in Biblical Theology SCR Studies in Comparative Religion SMRT Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought TU TDNT
Texte und Untersuchungen Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by G. Kittel and G. Friedrich. Translated by G. W. Bromiley. 10 vols. Grand Rapids, 1964–1976 TDOT Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Edited by G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren. Translated by J. T. Willis, G. W. Bromiley, and D. E. Green. 14 vols. Grand Rapids, 1974– TD Theology Digest TS Theological Studies TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Edited by R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr. 2 vols. Chicago, 1980 TGl Theologie und Glaube TP Theologie und Philosophie TLZ Theologische Literaturzeitung TQ Theologische Quartalschrift TRev Theologische Revue TRu Theologische Rundschau TZ Theologische Zeitschrift ThWAT Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. Edited by G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren. Stuttgart, 1970– ThTo Theology Today TJ Trinity Journal UF USQR
Ugarit-Forschungen Union Seminary Quarterly Review
VT VTSup Vid VC
Vetus Testamentum Vetus Testamentum Supplements Vidyajyoti Vigiliae christianae
WA WTJ WBC
Luther’s Works, Weimarer Ausgabe Westminster Theological Journal Word Biblical Commentary
ZDMG ZDPV ZA ZAW ZMR ZNW ZEE ZHT ZKT ZKG
Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins Zeitschrift für Assyriologie Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zeitschrift für Missionskunde und Religionswissenshaft Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche Zeitschrift für evangelische Ethik Zeitschrift für historische Theologie Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte
ZRGG ZST ZTK ZWT
Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie
Research Expectations Whether you are writing a traditional thesis or a Ministry Project Report your work will require research to find, comprehend, assimilate and reflect the very best literature and other media in your learning language(s) which are relevant to your thesis or ministry project. Graduate research presumes the ability to discover the major theories in a field, critique them evenhandedly from a biblically and theologically informed worldview and argue for the adoption of a particular view or views. Graduate research further presumes the ability to be self-critical and to be aware of one’s own presuppositions underlying the judgments which are made. The Research Director and the Supervisor will expect solid biblical, theological and theoretical foundations for any project whether a traditional thesis or a ministry project. In the case of a ministry project the report must contain a major section, drafted before the implementation of the project, which establishes these foundations. In a traditional thesis the foundations may in some cases be in flux until very near the end of the research and writing process. Depending on the topic the student will also be expected to argue the case for not adopting alternative theories. It is the goal of the Institute to use the thesis process (whether traditional research or a ministry project) to sharpen the analytical and writing skills of the student to a level worthy of the title Master.
Ministry Project Thesis The Process 1. Student discusses potential topics with Research Director 2. Student narrows topic and roughs out evaluation methods in conversation with Research Director 3. Student submits written proposal (see Form) 4. Research Director appoints Supervisor (and National Thesis Coordinator, if necessary) 5. All communication between student and supervisor is carbon copied to Research Director 6. Student designs the project and the project report and submits written plan to Supervisor 7. Supervisor approves written plan 8. Student writes rough draft of the theory section of the report and receives Supervisor’s permission to proceed with implementation 9. Student carries out the project carefully documenting each step in a timely way to the Supervisor 10. Student evaluates project in conversation with Supervisor 11. Student writes report rough draft and submits to Supervisor
12. Student emends rough draft to final draft in conversation with Supervisor 13. Supervisor approves final report and evaluates it 14. Student condenses/summarizes the report and gets the summary translated into English. (This is not necessary if written in English) 15. Student submits two copies of the report and two copies of the summary to the Research Director. 16. Research Director sends summary to External Reader 17. External Reader evaluates the summary. In conversation with the Supervisor the two agree to pass, or pass with distinction or to require corrections and/or revisions. In extreme cases the project may be failed and the student required to start over with a new project. 18. Student completes revisions of report and summary and resubmits them to the Research Director, Supervisor and the External Reader. 19. Student submits two copies of the final report and summary to the Research Director The Research Methods Course Component All Students spend “one Course” at Haus Edelweiss doing intensive research under the direction of the Research Director and Librarians. This “course” would be a part of the requirements for the completion of the thesis requirement. It would be taken as early in the student’s Master of Arts program as feasible. Master of Divinity students who have already taken the course would not be required to re-take the course. The course would ensure that all students gain the necessary research skills and enable them to assemble resources, take notes, discuss research problems, etc. This would require a change in the Catalog description of the program and the thesis requirements. Currently only a very small percentage of graduates (three in the last three years) never attend Haus Edelweiss. This would require that all students do so at least for this course. Students who cannot learn in English will have to come in groups with a translator. Students will learn in the library while other students are in the more traditional classes. Most of the time will be spent in individual research, but the Librarian, Librarian’s Assistant and the Research Director will give instruction in research methods, project design, mediagraphy, etc. In the future it may be possible to take this course “in-country” assuming we could hold a course at a library with good electronic access to resources and good printed resources. After completion of this course students remain in the program by either taking at least one course for credit each year or by paying a nominal thesis continuation fee. This indicates to the Institute that the student is still actively engaged in the program even though personal circumstances may have made it impossible for them to have taken a course during the calendar year. Choosing a Project
Students should not regard the Ministry Project requirement as something inherently different from the ordinary exercise of their ministry. Instead choose some need that presently needs responding to or a ministry initiative which would at least potentially draw in new people in new ways. But most of all, choose something that is challenging but realistic, consistent with Biblical and theological principles, and creative. Ask yourself the following questions about the feasibility of the project: Do I have the necessary resources to do this project? Am I qualified to carry out this project? Do I have the time to do the research and implement the project within the time limits of my degree program? Do I have the finances which the project will require? Discuss your situation with the Research Director and with your Professors. Focusing the Project After choosing a Ministry Project area there will almost always be the need for focusing and narrowing the project further. Remember that you have time limitations and that you must become realistic in evaluating your own abilities to design, implement and evaluate a project. If the project involves ministry to people, consider narrowing the focus by such things as age group, marital status, social status, ethnic group, life situation. Focus and narrowing will usually also be needed in terms of goals. What goals are realistic within the time frame of implementation? What goals are measurable? Do some preliminary reading in the area under the guidance of the Research Director or Supervisor. Often this will make the need for narrowing the project clearer. Students are often amazed at what has already been written on their project area. Setting Goals The characteristics of good goals: 1. Learner-centered not teacher-centered 2. Limited in number (3 to 10) 3. Holistic, involving all of life, not just the intellectual. If people are directly involved in the project, there should be at least one goal in each of the three basic domains, cognitive (know), affective (attitude) and conative (actions). 4. Directly related to the overall goal of the project. The individual goals when put together should indicate whether or not the overall goal of the project has been met. 5. Realistic within the time frame of implementation, but challenging 6. Measurable 7. Consistent with the educational goals of the Institute and the outcomes of the degree (see catalog) Examples of well-written and poorly written goals:
“To teach on Jesus’ prayer-life.” – too general and teacher/leader focused “To design and teach a course on Christian ethics in an Ukrainian context.” To whom and with what goals in mind? “To lead a group of young Christians to maturity.” Unrealistic in the time frame. “To design and field-test a pre-marital counseling program for young Moldovan couples.” With what goals in mind? “To lead Romanian gypsies to evangelize their neighbors more effectively.” How much more effectively and how will you measure it? “To plant a self-sustaining church of at least 50 baptized members in the town of NEWTON in Byelorussia within 18 months.” This is concrete and measurable. Completing the Proposal Form The proposal form for a Ministry Project is found in an Appendix to this handbook. It must be completed in its entirety and submitted (usually electronically) to the Research Director. This will typically be done after one or more conversations with the Research Director to help the student in focusing the proposed project and in writing measurable goals and designing measuring devises. Until the completed Ministry Project Proposal Form has been approved by the Research Director the student may not begin the Project. Students often have particular difficulty in writing acceptable goals for the Project and designing means of measurement of those goals. Requests for Resources Professors and staff members are routinely asked to provide or facilitate the obtaining of books and other resources from the west for a specific student. Since the Institute is not able to provide this service for all of its students, Professors are prohibited by policy of providing such services for individual students. Please do not place Professors or staff members in an awkward situation by making such requests. Key resources for a ministry project or thesis can be obtained through the ordinary library ordering system described elsewhere in this document. The Role of the Supervisor in a Ministry Project
Since most Ministry Projects will be written in a language other than that of the Supervisor, typically the Supervisor will be dependent on communicating with the student through the National Thesis Coordinator by electronic means. The Supervisor’s role will be especially crucial at the beginning of the Ministry Project in helping the student to focus and refine it. It is also crucial that holistic, concrete and measurable goals are established before the implementation of the project. While the Research Director through the process of completing the Ministry Project Proposal Form will have ensured that the student has begun this process, most Ministry Projects will
have to be further refined in conversation with the Supervisor. These refinements will often require the re-writing of goals and the re-design and creation of assessment devises. The Supervisor is responsible to guide the student to the best available resources to which the student has access in their learning languages. It is not the Supervisor’s job to translate texts or to do computer searches, etc. The student will have been trained in research methodology during the course component of the thesis requirement. In the stage of creating Biblical, theological and other theoretical foundations for the project the Supervisor’s help will be especially crucial. The Supervisor is responsible to give the student permission to proceed with implementation of the project after being satisfied that the Biblical, theological and theoretical foundations are understood and in place and after being satisfied that the goals and evaluations methods are refined to a Master’s level standard. The Supervisor is also responsible to maintain regular electronic contact with the student (through the National Thesis Coordinator) during the implementation phase of the Ministry project. In most cases this should happen weekly, although there will obviously be projects that do not require such frequent contact. Student should report on progress, problems, questions, etc. The Supervisor is responsible to oversee the writing of the Ministry Project Report and to document that all of the required elements are present in it. The Supervisor is responsible to interact with the student regarding modifications to the report until he or she is satisfied that the report is of acceptable standard for a Master’s level Ministry Project Report. The Supervisor is responsible to evaluate the Ministry Project Report using the Supervisor’s Evaluation Form for a Ministry Project (see Appendix 1) and to submit that report to the Research Director. The Supervisor is responsible to communicate by electronic means with the External Reader and if possible to come to agreement with the External Reader on whether to pass, require modifications, or in extreme circumstances fail the student’s Ministry Project Report.
The Role of the National Coordinator in a Ministry Project Facilitate Communication in a timely Manner between the student and the Supervisor. This will undoubtedly involve the translation of emails or letters. Careful editing of Ministry Project reports for grammar, style, punctuation, etc. Careful comparison of the Ministry Project Report and the English summary/condensation to ensure that the summary condensation accurately represents the content of the ministry project report. Faxing a signed declaration that the English summary condensation accurately reflects the ministry report Ensure the integrity of the ministry project report. This will involve ensuring that the project was actually implemented and the results documented in the ministry project report accurately reflect the implementation of the project. This may require email or other correspondence with persons close enough to the situation to confirm the integrity of the project.
Fax or mail the ministry project integrity form with their signature, to the Institute’s Research Director. This form will verify that the National Thesis/Ministry Project Coordinator has taken all reasonable steps to ensure the integrity of the ministry project. Help to facilitate the student’s understanding of the requirements of the Institute and the supervisor. Maintain regular (weekly if possible) contact with the student, especially during the implementation phase of the project. Facilitate communication between the supervisor and the external reader (examiner) during the evaluation phase of the Thesis/Ministry project if necessary. The Role of the External Reader in a Ministry Project:
Carefully reads English summary of project report Corrects the summary for grammar and style Evaluates the summary in terms of institutional educational goals Evaluates the summary in terms of degree outcomes Evaluates the summary for integrity of research Evaluates the summary for required elements Evaluates the summary in terms of Biblical, theological and theoretical foundations Evaluates the summary in terms of the legitimacy of the evaluations methods Evaluates the summary in terms of the cogency of the conclusions drawn. Evaluates the summary in terms of the lessons learned. Submits the completed Ministry Project Evaluation Form to the Supervisor and the Research Director in a timely manner. This may be done electronically.
Designing Evaluation Instruments Pre- and post- elements ensure that the people did not already have the characteristics you are looking for and that the change is a result of the implementation of your project. Using interviews Using the self-testimony of people in writing Using case studies and people’s written responses to them Having learners write verbatims. Testing the same concepts with different types of questions before and after implementation. Using feedback forms. Getting written feedback from “expert” observers. Release Forms When people are involved in “research,” this should never be done without their knowledge and consent. Particularly in projects in Counseling, that consent must be in writing with signatures
that affirm that the people involved will not hold TCMI Institute, its employees or the student responsible for any potential adverse psychological effects of the research. This does not absolve the student from acting responsibly but it does protect both the student and the Institute from potential legal problems. Release forms must be obtained from Institute faculty in the area of counseling. Project are not to be implemented until the Institute faculty Supervisor and Research Director are satisfied that informed consent has been given by all participants. If any of the participants are minors the consent of parents is also required. Implementation of the project Implementation of a project cannot begin until the Supervisor has given explicit permission in writing to the student, the National Thesis Coordinator (if necessary) and the Research Director. Projects implemented without such explicit, written permission will not be recognized as meeting the Ministry Project requirements for the degree. A careful time-line (with flexibility built-in due to unforeseen circumstances) is to be negotiated with the Supervisor prior to implementation. Essential Elements in a Project Report
Title Page Table of Contents Your Reasons and Motivations for Choosing the Project – the Identified Need The Theory behind the Project o Literature/Media Review o Biblical and Theological Foundations o Discussion of Evaluation Methods Narrative of Implementation of the Project Evaluation of the Project Conclusion – What did I learn? Self-Evaluation of Meeting of Outcomes for the Degree Annotated Mediagraphy (including Bibliography and Internet sites as well as any other relevant resources Appendices o Evaluation Instruments and Data Tabulation o Documentation of the Reality of the Project o Signed Statement Affirming the Integrity of the Project
The English Condensation Students who write their Ministry Project Report in a language other than English are responsible to find someone to translate into English a 15 page summary and condensation. Please do not request that Institute Staff members do the translation. This would be an unrealistic burden for those with the language skills and place them in an awkward position. The condensation must include the following: 1) a brief summary of the theory behind the project; 2) a brief narrative of 30
the implementation; 3) a condensed summary of the evaluation of the project; 4) a brief summary of what you learned; and 5) the Self-evaluation of Meeting of Outcomes for the Degree in its entirety.
Traditional Thesis The Purpose of a Masters Thesis The purpose of a masters Thesis is to learn the skills of exact and careful research and to learn about a narrow area of interest in an intense way. A Masters level thesis does not usually make a new contribution to knowledge (unlike the Ph.D. dissertation) and does not require research in multiple languages. It does require that the student exhibit and if necessary acquire the necessary skills of exacting research. This includes breadth and depth of research, intellectual honesty in representing the opinions of others, being self-critical of oneâ€™s own presuppositions (and even prejudices), and accuracy and comprehensiveness in documentation. Perhaps most importantly the Masters thesis is designed to enable the student to narrow and focus on a topic and to develop research questions which are specific enough to be researched in a mature way. The Process All Masters degree Theses at the Institute must be written and researched in English. The process begins with the choice of topic in consultation with the Research Director. After the topic has been sufficiently refined and focused the student prepares the proposal form. The Research Director then approves the proposal and appoints a permanent Faculty member as Supervisor. In exceptional cases Theses may be supervised by an Adjunct Faculty member. The student then works with the Supervisor to refine the topic further. This often results in what is effectively a change of topic. The Supervisor guides the student to the best resources available. If certain key resources are not currently in the Instituteâ€™s library the Supervisor will ask the Institute to order the resources and check them out to the student on a long-term basis. These resources will be no more than $50 per thesis student. The student develops an outline of the Thesis with careful consultation with the Supervisor by e-mail or other means. As chapters are drafted they should be sent to the Supervisor for comments and suggested emendation. This insures that the student is not surprised at the end of the process by how many revisions will be required. Revise along the way with the help of your Supervisor. When the rough draft is completed, the student sends the entire document in electronic form to the Supervisor who then suggests revisions, additions, subtractions, etc. Once the Supervisor is satisfied with the revisions the student may submit the thesis for examination by the Supervisor and the External Reader. Choosing a Topic
Start with what interests you. Then do preliminary reading by consulting Dictionary and Encyclopedia articles (or other major reference works in the area) to give you general orientation. Consult several as each Dictionary or Encyclopedia has its own tendencies and biases. Consult the bibliographies at the end of major articles for key resources. With this general orientation, consult with the Research Director and with your Professors about potential topics. They will be able to guide you in the feasibility and clarity of what interests you. Ordinarily only permanent faculty members serve as Supervisors for Masters Theses at the Institute. Negotiate an assignment with one of your Professors which will require you to write on the topic you are considering and introduce you to the literature available. Finally, in conversation with the Research Director (at Haus Edelweiss or by e-mail) discuss your potential topic. His job is to help you refine and focus the topic enough in order to appoint the appropriate Supervisor from the permanent Faculty. Usually this will take more than one conversation so give yourself ample time and begin early in your degree program to think about potential topics. Preparing the Proposal The proposal form for the Thesis (See Appendix 2) must be filled out in its entirety and submitted to the Research Director. Of particular importance is the narrowness (focus) of the topic and the tentative outline. This indicates the degree to which the topic is realistic and clear enough to have intellectual coherence. Narrowing the Topic Once a thesis proposal has been approved one of the first tasks your Supervisor will help you with is the further narrowing of the topic. The literature written in Bible, Theology and Practical Ministries is immense. It becomes practically impossible to absorb even the standard literature unless the topic is narrowed. Depending on the Thesis topic one might narrow the topic to a specific time-period (The Chronology of king Josiah) to a specific part of a writerâ€™s work (characterization in Dostoyevskyâ€™s Brothers Karamazov as an indication of his Christian convictions) or to specific aspects of a topic (the Hebrew verbs for worship rather than the far too broad Worship in the Old Testament). Researching the Topic The approval of the proposal will give you a rough outline to follow. Your Supervisor will help you to refine and flesh out the outline. The outline will give you a place to begin your research. It will undoubtedly be changed in the process of the research. Often entire sections will be eliminated as too broad. Other sections will be given greater detail and specificity. Remember to document your research well from the beginning. Notes should include all Bibliographic information from the outset. This will save much time near the end of the process when books that are returned to distant libraries are inconvenient to access merely for the sake of documentation.
Research is a journey which typically has hills and valleys. Often researchers go through periods of crisis and discouragement. Sometimes one becomes bored with the topic. These feelings and experiences are normal and should not lead you to give up at the final hurdle. Sometimes it is necessary to focus on something else in your ministry for a few weeks. Time away from the project often invigorates one yet again. It is also important to remember that you are writing a Masters thesis, not a book or a Doctoral Dissertation. At some point you must call a halt to the research and finish the writing. The page limit (no more than 80 double spaced 12 point font pages) will help in this regard. While you will undoubtedly have more than 80 pages of notes remember what a Masters thesis is. It is not usually an original contribution to knowledge. If you are still passionately interested in your topic, that may be an indication of a place to start on a Doctoral Dissertation. Writing the Thesis Most students find that writing from an outline helps them to organize their writing and keep them on task. The outline, of course, is and probably will be, revised as you research and write. Be sure to communicate with your Supervisor when you change your outline in any significant way. The use of note cards or digitalized notes which include all of the Bibliographical information will help you with documentation later on. Documentation in a Thesis Students must carefully and comprehensively distinguish between their own original ideas and those inspired by or originating in the writings of others. Failure to do so is known as plagiarism and is unacceptable in a Thesis or any other writing. Plagiarism is grounds for failure in a Masters thesis and is regarded by the Institute as a serious breach of Christian ethics as well as being illegal in the United States of America. Accidental plagiarism can result from failure to document sources in the early stages of research with the failure of memory later on. This must be guarded against by careful documentation of all quotes and ideas beginning at the earliest stages of research and continuing throughout the process. Quotation marks must be used when the authorâ€™s exact words are used. Ideas can be documented in internal parentheses with page numbers (e.g. Marshall, 2004, p. 74) or in footnotes. Guidelines for footnotes and internal documentation are found elsewhere in this handbook and in the standard APA and Turabian handbooks. Examination of the Thesis When the student has completed what they regard as the final draft of the thesis, electronic copies must be sent to the Supervisor and Research Director. The Research Director will forward a copy to the External Reader. All three parties will carefully read the thesis and evaluate it on the basis of the criteria in the Thesis Evaluation Form. The Supervisor and External Reader will electronically or otherwise correspond and seek to come to consensus regarding the thesis. They
may pass the thesis as it is, agree upon required revisions or in extreme cases fail the thesis. Should the Supervisor and External Reader not be able to come to consensus, the Research Director will read the thesis, complete the evaluation form, read the evaluation forms of both the Supervisor and External Reader, and decide as to whether to pass the thesis as is, require revisions, or in extreme cases fail the thesis. If the thesis is failed the student must begin the process again. The Role of the Supervisor in a Traditional Thesis
Assist the student in refining and focusing research questions. This will be done in a preliminary way with the Research Director but further refinement and focusing will almost always be necessary. A change of topic may even in some cases be necessary. In such a case make sure that a conversation about this takes place with the Research Director.
Approve the preliminary outline of the research project.
Ensure the rigor and quality of the research.
Ensure that the Thesis is well documented and in a standard format. The Student Thesis and Ministry Project Handbook suggests APA style since the Institute has licensed Citation software. Some Professors may prefer Turabian or some other standard style. The more important issue is that all of the information for documentation is present in the footnotes and Mediagraphy and that whatever style is adopted, it is consistently followed.
Since the thesis is to be researched and written in English (and undoubtedly also other languages), the Supervisor is responsible to ensure that the best available resources for the topic are consulted. This may involve inter-library loan, extensive use of electronic data-bases, etc. It is not the Supervisor’s job to do the research for the student, but to be up-to-date in the field and conversant with the current discussions and therefore able to point the student to the best resources available in English and, where possible, in the learning languages of the student.
Ensure that the quality of the writing is of a level consistent with a Master’s degree. The Supervisor must remember that English is a second language for virtually all of the Institute’s students and that careful editing of rough drafts not only for content and cogency of argumentation, but also grammar and style will usually be necessary.
CC on electronic correspondence with the student to the Research Director. This will ensure that should unforeseen circumstances disrupt the supervision, the student and the Institute will be able to make suitable accommodations.
Encourage the student to persist and meet deadlines and to delve deeply enough into the subject that the research becomes genuinely practical for the student’s service and ministry to the church.
Thesis Ministry Project Proposal Form Name: ___________________________ Country: _________________________
Date: ______________________ Research Language(s): _________________
Proposed Topic: __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ INTERNAL USE ONLY: Proposal Approved By: ________________________ Date: Supervisor Assigned: __________________________ National Coordinator: _________________________ Curricular Area(s) (Field): Christian Leadership Spiritual Formation Christian Preaching Evangelism and Church Health Christian Formation Christian Care and Counseling Biblical Studies Historical Theology Systematic Theology Other (specify): _____________________________________ Where and when will the proposed project be implemented? _______________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Why are you interested in this particular project? ________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Will people be involved?
Will they be the â€œobjects of researchâ€??
If yes, you must supply the necessary release forms with the proposal. What are your goals for the ministry project? 35
Cognitive (Know) Domain goals 1. 2. 3.
Affective (Attitude) Domain goals 1. 2. 3. Psychomotor (Action) Domain goals 1. 2. 3. How will each of the above goals be measured? Goal
Means of Measurement
Outline of the Project in time
Outline of the Project Report
Thesis Proposal Form Name: ___________________________ Country: _________________________
Date: ______________________ Research Language(s): _________________
Proposed Topic: __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ INTERNAL USE ONLY: Proposal Approved By: ________________________ Date: Supervisor Assigned: __________________________
When do you plan to graduate? _______________________________________ Curricular Area(s) (Field): Christian Leadership Spiritual Formation Christian Preaching Evangelism and Church Health Christian Formation Christian Care and Counseling Biblical Studies Historical Theology Systematic Theology Other (specify): _____________________________________ Where and when will the proposed thesis be researched? _______________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Why are you interested in this particular thesis? ________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ What access to theological, Biblical and practical ministry Library resources do you have near where you live? (Describe in detail). ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________
Do you have fast and convenient Internet access? _________________ Other than the sources mentioned above, what other resources do you or will you have access to during the research period? ______________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ What works, if any, have you read as preliminary background to your research? _______ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Write a tentative outline of the Thesis in the space below.
Appendix 3 - Library Check-Out and Loan Policy for Thesis Students Qualifying Requirements: This policy applies to English proficient MA or MDiv students who have registered for the Thesis or Ministry Project and have had their topic approved by the Director of Research. Research Director and Library: The Director of Research or the Academic Administrative Assistant will notify the library office when a student meets the qualifying requirements. If necessary information resources related to a thesis or ministry project topic are not available in the library, or from national libraries, the Director of Research may request that a select number of resources (i.e., books, journals, etc.) be purchased for the library and made available to the student as soon as possible. The purchase amount is not to exceed $50 per student/topic. These resources will be purchased and owned by the library and will be cataloged before they are made available to the student. Check-out and Loan Conditions: Library resources can be checked out for a four (4) month period of time. Resources may be renewed one time for four (4) additional months, giving the qualifying student eight (8) months from the original check-out date before the resource must be returned to the library. All items may be renewed one time. All requests for renewal should be made BEFORE the due date. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . The message should contain o Student name and birth date o Book title and author o Number from TCMI Institute barcode on back of book All renewal requests will receive a confirmation reply from the library. Students must refund the library at present-day replacement rates if a resource is not returned to the library by the eight (8) month due date, or lost. Other penalties may occur. A qualifying student can have up to five (5) resources checked-out at any given time. Resources must be checked-out from the library in-person or by a designated third-party (e.g., a TCM credit student from his/her country). At this time, the library does not mail resources to students. Resources can be returned to the library in-person or by a designated third-party or by “registered” mail delivery. Resources must be returned in original condition. Students are responsible for any damage done to Library resources while in their care. Students will not be given a final thesis grade until all Library resources are returned and all fees paid. Contact Information: There will be a new library e-mail address set-up as email@example.com for the checkout and loan policy (i.e., renewals, etc.).
Appendix 4 - Student Self-Evaluation Form for Meeting the Educational Goals of the Institute Name: ____________________________________________________ For each of the following five educational goals of the Institute rate yourself on a scale of 1 to ten. Please include comments and concrete examples. 1. Show progress in Christian formation. 1……...2……..3……..4……..5……..6…….7…….8……..9……..10 Comments and examples:
2. Know essential biblical and theological resources for ministry. 1……...2……..3……..4……..5……..6…….7…….8……..9……..10 Comments and examples:
3. Communicate the Christian faith to others. 1……...2……..3……..4……..5……..6…….7…….8……..9……..10 Comments and examples:
4. Develop a theology of ministry as an expression of serving Christ. 1……...2……..3……..4……..5……..6…….7…….8……..9……..10 Comments and examples:
5. Demonstrate skills in the various practices of ministry. 1……...2……..3……..4……..5……..6…….7…….8……..9……..10 Comments and examples: