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 be about 10,000 words or less. 

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 you will help to make it easy for the editors to make small changes uniformly across the issue. 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 for Styles are available; cf. this one for Microsoft Word.

Participatio does not employ paid copy-editors, who normally take care of formatting issues prior to publication. Therefore the volume or issue editors serve not only as content editors but also as copy editors. They are by profession scholars, and are serving as volunteers, so please consider it a professional courtesy to them to prepare your manuscript as much as possible for publication. Your manuscript will be returned to you if it requires extensive copy editing, does not use the template paragraph styles, or does not conform to the Style Guide. Authors are encouraged to hire their own copy-editors (if you don't know any needy graduate students, we can help you find them!). Consult with the issue or volume editors whenever formatting questions arise. Thank you!

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 the Verdana font throughout (as implemented in the template's Paragraph Styles).
  • 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 template's 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 already set up for you in the template.
  • The first paragraph in an article and the first paragraph under a top-level heading should not be indented. Use the template's "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 template's 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.
  • Similarly to "Ibid.," when using "i.e." (i.e., “ that is”), "e.g." (e.g., “for example”), or "viz." (viz., namely), insert a comma after the last period, and do not italicize.
  • Capitalize first letters of subheading words, such as “A Trinitarian Theology”
  • Right-Justify all text. This is already set for you by the template's paragraph styles.
  • 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.
  • Consult the CMS regarding capitalization, but please note three general principles:
    • First, where religious terms are being used in a generic rather than particular 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." ("Incarnation" is capitalized when it refers to THE Incarnation, rather than a generic incarnation. On the other hand, whether similar nouns such as creation, redemption, or atonement are capitalized is left to the discretion of the author.)
    • 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). 
  • Ellipsis (plural: ellipses): No spaces within, but a space on either side (as with em dashes) unless it is followed by a period. To avoid unanticipated line breaks within an ellipsis, please use a single ellipse character glyph.
  • Please use spaces between initials for first names (e.g., G. K. Chesterton, not G.K. Chesterton).
  • If applicable, use "Torrancean" rather than "Torrancian."

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 information
    • Use the Title and Author style, bold.
    • Add the highest earned degree after the name, with the university in parentheses if desired.
    • Affiliation as a separate paragraph, bold. The affiliation may occupy more than one line. Include a city and country if it is not obvious.
    • Contact email address as a separate paragraph, not bold.
    • Examples:
      • David W. Torrance, M.A., B.D. (New College, Edinburgh)
        Retired parish minister, Church of Scotland 
      • Gary W. Deddo, Ph.D. (King's College, University of Aberdeen)
        Professor of Theology, Grace Communion Seminary
      • Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D. (King’s College)
        Professor, Christian Theology and Theology of Culture
        Director, The Institute for Cultural Engagement: New Wine, New Wineskins
        Multnomah University and Seminary
  • 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. Avoid using proprietary fonts. Transliterated words may be italicized for clarity, if desired.

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 (Ph.D., 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: 

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

The McGrath number is added in the same way as a web page url (see next item).

Citation with a web address or an email link

In most cases, simply add the url after the normal citation, separated by a comma or a semi-colon. For legibility, keep the url in the font and text color of surrounding text, with no underlining or bold. Append the McGrath number in the same way, if desired (see previous item).

Thomas F. Torrance, "The Eternal Spirit," The Theology of Nature, 5 (Warfield Lectures, Princeton Theological Seminary Media Archive, 1981),, #1981-TFT-4e

Note: This web page automatically underlines active links and does not allow them to be shown in plain text. In the word processor, we encourage you to add active links for McGrath numbers and urls, but format them as the surrounding text.

Article Length 

Participatio accepts pieces of a variety of lengths and formats, from short-form notices to longer essays or extended reviews. While our stated target is 10,000 words or less, that target is flexible. On one hand, one of the joys of digital publishing is that there are no costs per page for publishing. On the other hand, it’s good discipline for any author to cut a draft down after writing it, to ensure that optimal clarity is achieved. Also, shorter articles attracts more readers, which is in an author's best interest. If a piece would be publishable as a small book, then that format is a better way to go and the journal article would be better envisioned as a supplement to the book. Reviewers of longer manuscripts will be instructed to help authors decide if any material might be omitted. But all things considered, the main question is whether the length is appropriate for the subject matter.