Style Guide


All manuscripts submitted for consideration must include a title, author’s name, highest academic degree, institutional affiliation and position, a 100-200 word abstract, and an email address. Total word count for essays should not exceed 10,000 words. 

The major authorities on matters of style and usage in the U.S. are the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 16th edition, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition. For matters not covered below, consult CMS or seek advice from the Editor.

Please use the Participatio Template to conform to the formatting and settings described below. The template is available in two formats:

  • Word format (Windows or Mac)
  • Pages format (Mac only)

Paragraph Styles

Please use your word processor's Paragraph Styles feature to format your text. The Paragraph Styles are present in the article template (above). If you use Paragraph Styles, then small changes may be made by the editors uniformly across the issue. Participatio does not employ paid copy-editors, who normally take care of formatting issues, so if Paragraph Styles are not used consistently, the paper will be returned to the author for final formatting.

If you have not used Styles before, view formatting and submitting your article for Participatio as a learning opportunity to acquire what many regard as an essential word processing skill that will help you work much more efficiently in the future. Many video tutorials are available; cf. this one for Microsoft Word.

In addition to front matter and page headers, the template includes the following Paragraph Styles (all text in 11 point Verdana font, unless noted otherwise):

  • Title and Author Style: Centered, bold.
  • Abstract Style. Italics.
  • Body Style: 11 point.
  • Body not indented Style: used after major headings.
  • Block Quotation Style.
  • Footnotes Style. 10 point. 
  • Heading 1 Style (major headings): Not indented, followed by "Body not indented" style. Bold, 13 point.
  • Heading 2 Style (subheading): indented, followed by "Body" style. Bold, 11 point.
  • Heading 3 Style (minor subheading): indented, followed by "body" style. Italics, 11 point.

General formatting

Generally, American rather than British conventions apply.

  • Use double quotation marks for quotations in text (single quotation marks for quotations within quotations).
  • When periods or commas occur at the end of quotations, place them inside (before) the quotation marks.
  • Please use curly quotes rather than straight quotes.
  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes or inline citations. Use the footnote paragraph style.
  • Use headings to divide an article into smaller sections. Ensure that subheads follow a logical outline format. Use the three levels of heading paragraph styles.
  • The first paragraph in an article and the first paragraph under a top-level heading should not be indented. Use the "Body not indented Style."
  • Quotations of four or more lines should be set off from the rest of the text in a block quotation without use of quotation marks. Use the Block Quotation paragraph style.
  • The first reference to any author should be cited in full; subsequent references should be abbreviated to author and brief title, unless cited in sequence and then Ibid. is appropriate. “Ibid.," is not italicized, and includes the period and comma. This is required over the use of op. cit. and other such conventions.
  • Capitalize subheadings, such as “A Trinitarian Theology”
  • Right-Justify all text. This is already set for you by the paragraph styles.
  • Ellipses (with spaces): “. . . ”; or four periods, if including the end of a sentence: “. . . .”
  • One space after a period before the next sentence, or after a colon before the next clause.
  • Omit "p." and "pp." preceding page numbers.
  • Do not use f. and ff. The full page range of a reference should be given, omitting a specified number of digits in the closing number in a range where appropriate.
  • Spelling may conform to American English (U.S.) or British English (U.K.) conventions.
  • The CMS should be consulted regarding capitalization, but please note three general principles:
    • First, where religious terms are being used in the generic sense they should not be capitalized (e.g. “the four gospels” but “the Gospel of John”).
    • Second, adjectives are less likely to be capitalized than nouns. For example: Capitalize “Trinity,” "Incarnation," "Bible," or "Christology," but not "trinitarian," "incarnational," "biblical" or "christological."
    • Third, lower case should be used for divine pronouns and is preferred for divine derivatives in general.
  • Please use the serial comma: this, that, and the other (also known as the Oxford comma).
  • Use spaces around em dashes for sentence breaks (e.g., the task — which is paramount — is to gather all information first). 
  • Please use spaces between initials for first names (e.g., G. K. Chesterton, not G.K. Chesterton).

Title page

  • Title
    • Use the Title and Author style, bold.
    • Title in ALL CAPS; subtitle, if present, in First Caps as a separate paragraph.
    • Double space after title before author info.
  • Author
    • Use the Title and Author style, bold.
    • Affiliation as a separate paragraph, bold.
    • Contact email address as a separate paragraph, not bold.
  • Abstract
    • Use Abstract style, italics. This style will add the equivalent of two double-spaces before and after the abstract.
    • "Abstract:" in bold precedes the text of the abstract.

Inclusive language

Use gender-neutral language for humanity whenever possible, but also avoid awkward constructions with slashes, such as “s/he” and “his/her.” Do not use “they” as a singular gender-neutral pronoun; instead rewrite the sentence and make the original noun plural.

Scripture references and biblical languages

  • For Scripture references, use a hyphen for any reference spanning two or more verses within a chapter (e.g., John 1:1-18) but use an en dash for references spanning more than one chapter (e.g., Gen. 1–11).
  • For multiple Scripture references in parentheses, use semicolons to separate chapter-and-verse entries and commas to separate verse entries (e.g., Gen. 1:1; 3:1, 5; Jn. 1:1).
  • Spell out names of biblical books in the main body of the text; in parentheses and footnotes, use abbreviated forms as listed in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

As Participatio is an interdisciplinary journal, general-purpose transliteration conventions should be used for the biblical and other ancient languages (unless otherwise deemed necessary to use Hebrew, Greek, etc), as described in CMS. Authors are requested to use Unicode for their transliterations rather than proprietary fonts.

Reference formats

Footnotes must be used rather than endnotes or in-line citations. Below are sample footnotes for books and journal articles. For further reference, see CMS chap. 14.


1T. F. Torrance, Space, Time and Incarnation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), 39.

Journal Article

1Paul Dafydd Jones, “Barth and Anselm: God, Christ and Atonement,” International Journal of Systematic Theology 12, no. 3 (2010): 258.

Book Chapter

1Thomas F. Torrance, “Divine and Contingent Order,” in The Sciences and Theology in the Twentieth Century, ed. Arthur R. Peacocke (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), 81-97.

Edited Book with Author

1John D. Godsey, Karl Barth’s Table Talk, ed. Thomas F. Torrance and J. K. S. Reid (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1963), 31.

Edited Book without Author

1Thomas F. Torrance, ed., Belief in Science and in Christian Life: The Relevance of Michael Polanyi’s Thought for Christian Faith and Life (Edinburgh: Handsel Press, 1980), 43.

Translated Book

1Oscar A. Cullman, Early Christian Worship, trans. James B. Torrance and Todd Stewart (London: SCM Press, 1950), 70.

Book in a Series

1Thomas F. Torrance, Reality and Scientific Theology, Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, no. 1 (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1985), 94.

Edited Book in a Series

1Iain Paul, Science and Theology in Einstein's Perspective, Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, no. 3, ed. Thomas F. Torrance (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1986), 48.


Christine E. Thornton, "Knowing God in the Body of Christ: The Epistemic Significance of the Church in the Theology of T. F. Torrance" (doctoral dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2021; #2021-CET-1), 97.

Or indicate the specific degree (M.A., D.Min., J.D., etc.), with or without the college, department or program:

Roger J. Newell, "Participatory Knowledge: Theology as Art and Science in C. S. Lewis and T. F. Torrance" (Ph.D. dissertation, School of Divinity, University of Aberdeen, 1983; #1983-RJN-1), 42.

McGrath #

Note: The bibliographies at the T. F. Torrance Fellowship website include a pre-formatted Footnote field which you may use to copy and paste into your article. The McGrath # is found in the upper left margin of any bibliography page. For items with a complicated bibliographic history, feel free to include the McGrath number as part of the reference; e.g.: 

Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988; #1988-489), 56.