Over the past 52 years, Christian Scholar’s Review has published over 1,000 articles and is well on its way to reviewing 4,000 books. Published quarterly, each issue usually showcases 4–5 articles and 8–10 book reviews from the full range of academic fields. In our continual mission to further Christ-animated scholarship, we invite you to add your work to this collection.
Your scholarship in Christian Scholar’s Review would have a significant readership. The journal is indexed in ProQuest and Ebsco’s Academic Search Complete, ensuring that scholars worldwide have access to them. With the release of each issue, we concurrently post its content on our website, and with its revamping in 2020, we have seen a vast increase in traffic to the site. The online versions of articles regularly garner 300–400 hits in the first three months of release. The daily Christian Scholar’s Review Blog attracts hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of readers. While reading the blog, links to current articles are there to entice further reading. This is no stuffy esoteric journal collecting dust on a bottom shelf.
We are a cooperative of 40+ sponsoring institutions, each providing institutional representatives. Many of these and other Christian institutions have faith and learning papers as a requirement for promotion and/or tenure, and we aspire to be the outlet of first choice for publishing these works. In the submission process, one of my greatest joys as the editor is working directly with more junior faculty. If a piece has merit, we want to help bring it across the line to publication. The feedback from our blind reviewers is always meant to be developmental for future publication, even if a piece is not a fit for CSR.
But we are selective, publishing only about 20 percent of submitted manuscripts. What makes a manuscript a good fit with the journal? Our mission has been the same since the journal’s inception: to advance “the integration of faith and learning and contribute to a broader and more unified understanding of the nature of creation, culture, and vocation and the responsibilities of those to whom God has created.” While many academic fields have an outlet in which to publish discipline-specific Christ-animated work, we have always sought to be broader in focus, creating a venue for readers who are interested in the implications of Christian faith and practices across God’s created order and publishing pieces that are intellectually accessible to all. Our articles have a clear faith perspective, asking the reader to come alongside a dialogue the author is having between an academic field and some aspect of Christian theology, the Bible, faith, and the lived Christian experience. Pieces that address pedagogical, theoretical, and theological issues in Christian higher education, including student development, are regularly part of the mix.
Given our quarterly publication schedule, we showcase as many pieces as possible in each issue. As a result, our articles may be shorter than those found in other journals and typically range between 8,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes and citations). That smaller scope means that our articles are tightly written with a direct narrative.
We also welcome proposals for themed issues. About once a year, I turn the editorial reigns over to one or more people to curate an issue revolving around a single idea, often taking the perspective of multiple fields. This summer, David Cunningham, director of The Council for Independent College’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) program, is editing a themed issue on vocation. Past themed issues have included:
Conviction, Civility, and Christian Witness
Public Intellectuals and the Common Good: Christian Thinking for Human Flourishing
State of the Evangelical Mind
Please e-mail me ([email protected]) if you, or a group of peers, are interested in guest-editing an issue. Papers that have been presented together at a conference or workshopped together often make outstanding themed issues.
Submitting a piece through our portal is straightforward, with detailed instructions on the portal and website. Even though we are multidisciplinary, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style, where sources are cited in footnotes without a separate bibliography. As a psychologist steeped in APA style, learning CMOS was akin to taking on a foreign language. But if in doubt, look at prior articles by authors in your field, and then it’s pretty easy to get the gist of it. Not sure if your piece would likely be published before going to the trouble to submit it? E-mail me your idea, and I will gladly give you my initial feedback.
Once an article is submitted, I read it for mission fit. If the manuscript has potential merit, I pass it on to two of our associate editors, who then find appropriate evaluators for blind review. Of course, there are a lot of “ifs” in the timing of reviews, revisions, and the three-month process for moving manuscripts into publication. Still, we try to publish accepted manuscripts within a year of their first submission. Carefully following instructions for authors in preparing a manuscript for review can speed up the process considerably, as papers that don’t adhere to the instructions do not move on to review until a new document that is correctly formatted is submitted.
If you don’t have an entire project ready to go, start with something smaller by being a guest contributor to our blog, which is a platform for cross-disciplinary conversations with great flexibility in content. The 800 to 1,500-word blogs focus on the vocation of the Christian professorate, including pieces that engage with discipline-specific current theories from a faith perspective. You can find the blog submission guidelines here.
Book reviews are usually invited by our book review editor, Steve Oldham, and are not subject to blind peer review. In addition to 8–10 1,500-word book reviews in each issue, we also publish book review essays that use two or three books as the basis for a topical commentary. For example, recent review essays focused on civility among evangelical Christians and the history of evangelical humanitarianism. Dr. Oldham may also invite a review followed by an author’s response, such as the one between Katie Kresser and Makoto Fujimura, based on her review of his book Art and Faith. There is additional information regarding reviews on the website.
While our sponsoring institutions are North American-based, we seek to publish more pieces with international authors or co-authors to increase our engagement with Christian scholars around the world. We are particularly interested in including more insights from our fellow colleagues and believers in the global South. English as one’s non-primary language is not necessarily a barrier. We will work with authors to bring their ideas to print.
Christian Scholar’s Review is your journal. Our continued vision is to be a viable and lively venue that builds up the community of Christian scholars. We can’t wait to hear from you.
I have published a few times here and there (including with CSR in years past), and I hereby testify that the single best experience I have had in writing for a refereed journal has been under Dr. Diddams in a recent number of CSR. The reviews she solicited were, as a group, the best I’ve ever received: detailed, fair-minded, constructive, rigorous. And her own recommendations were sapient and encouraging in equal measure. For what it’s worth, I strongly underline her invitation.
I noted the paragraph about seeking international contributions. I write to note that the International Network for Christian Higher Education (INCHE) will have upcoming events that could generate some scholarly manuscripts. In June 2023, we will have a conference in Pohang, Korea, principally for our Asia-Oceania members, most of whom are teacher/scholars in Christian higher education settings. We don’t have the capacity to create a themed issue; and some of the contributions may be more well suited to the Korean journal about Christian education, the journal titled “Christian Higher Education”, or the International Journal of Christianity and Education. But we want to encourage our Asian scholars to contribute publicly as an outcome of our conference. Can we list Christian Scholars Review as a possible publication outlet? Then we will have four strong publishing opportunities to suggest.
Further, we expect a Spanish language gathering in July 2023 related to a new academic chair that honors Rene Padilla’s theological work in Latin America. This will occur in Medellin, Columbia. I will alert presenters at that conference about an opportunity with Christian Scholars Review. Likely, such submissions would require some aid in English translation. But you know about this challenge. It would be good to hear scholarly Christian voices from Latin America.
Executive Director, INCHE