Guidelines for Articles

Guidelines for Contributors

Those who contemplate submitting an article for publication in CSR, or who intend to write an article for the journal, should be guided by the policy statement found on the inside front cover of each issue. They should also, if possible, look at back numbers of CSR for specimens of articles that have been found suitable in length, subject matter, level of scholarship, and approach. Though the editorial staff has undergone changes from time to time, it is safe to assume that CSR‘s past and present is a reasonably reliable indicator of its future criteria for editorial evaluation of submitted manuscripts.

Editorial handling of manuscripts

  1. Submissions are welcome at any time from any person. An author need not be a faculty member of a sponsoring institution.
  2. Manuscripts that are to be considered for publication should be emailed to the Editor. One electronic copy in Word, with the author’s name deleted, should be sent. Inquiries about, or requests for, book reviews should be sent to the book review editors.
  3. Manuscripts will be initially screened by the Editor with the assistance of the associate editors. If a manuscript is obviously unpublishable, it will be returned to the author promptly (normally, first evaluations are processed within 2-3 weeks) with an explanation. If a submission is warranted of further consideration, it will be acknowledged and placed in the hands of associate editors for further evaluation. In this stage, external anonymous evaluators are recruited, normally at least two, and reports are obtained from them.  This process normally takes 8-12 week, but can take longer, depending on the journal’s ability to obtain voluntary reviewers and the demands on their schedule.  Those who submit articles to CSR should keep in mind that the editorial team as well as external reviewers are volunteers and that their primary vocations as educators remain even as they serve the mission of the journal.  The final decision about publication is made by the Editor in consultation with Associate Editors and journal leadership, as needs dictate.  The review process normally takes from two to four months on average.
  4. The Editor and Associate Editors will be aware of the contributor’s identity, but it is CSR‘s policy to send submissions to referees “blind,” without identifying the authors. In pursuance of this policy, authors should identify themselves only in a separate cover letter or email and should seek to remove any indications of their identity from the article as they submit it.

Criteria for publishable articles

  1. Length: 6000-8000 words is our ideal length for our standard article. Articles with significantly more or less word counts will normally be asked to revise their articles accordingly if publication is determined to be the goal.
  2. Fit: The article should be written for CSR with a view to its particular standards and purpose. Unrevised lectures, chapel talks, and the like are not acceptable. Please review the mission statement of the journal, as well as familiarize yourself with recent regular editions to obtain a clear sense of this before submitting your article.
  3. Currency: Since CSRis a journal, its articles should address matters of current importance. When the subject matter is one of the “perennial questions,” the author should do more than repeat what has been said already in places that are readily accessible to other scholars.  As a general rule, we publish articles that either break new ground on questions, or sheds new light on existing academic fields and conversations.
  4. Scholarly level: As a general rule, CSRdoes not accept submission which derive from undergraduate papers or graduate school essays. CSR accepts interpretive or critical summaries of one or more books, poems, stories, etc., only if in the judgment of the editors the author’s contribution is significantly original. The ideal CSR article reveals a quality of scholarly depth, of mastery without ostentation. A specialist in the field of the article should be able to tell that the author knows the relevant problems, arguments and literature pertaining to the subject; a non-specialist, on the other hand, should not feel excluded from a private scholarly domain.
  5. Interdisciplinary breadth: Since CSRintends to be attractive and intelligible to scholars in all disciplines, its authors are asked to make a particular effort to communicate across disciplinary lines. They should avoid, or provide definition for, esoteric language, and they should not presuppose information normally possessed only by specialists. Opening sentences and paragraphs are especially important: if they are clear and provocative, they will help to draw the reader into the essay.
  6. Christian perspective: The author may assume that his or her readers are generally familiar with, and sympathetic to, the Christian religion. While this assumption does not preclude articles that address topics in apologetics and philosophy of religion, including discussion of the rational justification of Christian belief, it does free the author from an obligation to provide such justification. Most sponsoring institutions of the CSR are evangelical and Protestant; its editorial policy, however, is ecumenical.


  1. Submit your final manuscript in electronic format using Word.
  2. Ensure that your final manuscript follows The current Chicago Manual of Style; manuscripts cannot be published until they are prepared according to The Chicago Manual of Style .
  3. Follow Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling and hyphenation. Follow American rather than British rules for spelling. In languages other than English, insert all diacritical marks, preferably by using accents on the font being used. Avoid using e.g. or i.e.
  4. Main body text should be double-spaced and in 12 point Times Roman font.
  5. Except as listed below, avoid all typographic embellishments, including bold, italics, underline, centering, type ornaments (dingbats), and words typed in all capitals.
  6. Type one space after periods, colons, and semicolons.
  7. Footnotes rather than parenthetical citations should be used; refer to the Chicago Manual for formatting guidelines. Use superscript for the footnote numbers in the text and for the footnote numbers themselves. In the text, no space should precede the footnote number. In the footnotes, no period or space should follow the footnote number.
  8. Book, journal, magazine, or film titles should be italicized rather than underlined.
  9. Left justify all text; do not full justify. Begin new paragraphs by typing a hard return and indent each paragraph .5 inch using a tab; do not use the space bar to indent. Do not insert extra spaces or lines between paragraphs. Extracts should be indented from the left margin .5 inch using the indent command in your word processing program.
  10. If your manuscript is divided into parts, type each heading in bold. If your manuscript is divided into subparts, type each subheading in italics. Do not number headings or subheadings. Type all headings and subheadings in upper and lower case; avoid all capitals, underlining, or other embellishments.
  11. Use the en dash and em dash as appropriate, rather than the hyphen or two hyphens.