This is the major work for the term. In this assignment you will be expected to think historically as well as theologically/biblically. You will examine your chosen topic through the lens of historical primary sources and secondary historical sources (scholarly books, peer reviewed journal articles, and online articles by recognized scholars) to develop a thesis statement (a single sentence that sets forth an argument to be defended) that will be developed throughout the paper on the basis of your research. The purpose is not a general overview but a focused paper which delves into a specific person, event, period, etc.
Each student should have already chosen a topic from the list provided below and have submitted a proposal showing a focused topic/thesis. Each student will now write a paper of 3,000-3,600 words (10-12 pages, excluding front and back matter). The final paper must include no less than three (3) primary sources and six (6) secondary sources. Secondary sources must be scholarly books and journal articles. Your paper should focus on the historical aspects of the topic and how to apply what you have learned in your research to contemporary challenges in the church.
Your paper must conform to the style standards of the latest edition of Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Most of the detailed instructions you need can be found at the School of Divinity Writing Guide located in the Course Guide.
Your paper should draw upon the writings of Church Fathers, scholars, theologians, and historians as well as Scripture to present a concise overview of the topic along with a view to how to apply what you have learned in the context of contemporary ministry. This project, in many respects, will be merely a sampling, something to whet your appetite, so to speak, for further study. You will be expected to choose your sources judiciously. Works that are general histories or historical accounts should be counted as secondary sources. Works by the persons with whom you are dealing should be considered primary sources. Be sure you consult up to date scholarly journals. These can be accessed through the Library portal.
Remember to review the Honor Code. Also read Turabian on the issue of plagiarism. Put your best effort into your research and your writing. If you are not sure, or think you might need help, contact your instructor or the Writing Center or Tutor.com for help with grammar, style, and spelling.
List of Approved Topics—
Arianism, Old and New
Baptismal Practices and the Eucharist
Christian Apologetics in the Early Church
Christian Belief and Philosophy
Christianity and Islam
Church Discipline and Restoration
Church/State Relations Before, During, and After the Constantinian Settlement
Contextualization through the Centuries
Eschatological Speculations and Interpretations
Gnostic Tendencies through the Centuries
Grace and Free Will
Hermeneutical Practices of the Church
Justification and Post-baptismal Sins
Marriage, Human Sexuality, and the Family in Christian Thought
Missionary Expansion through the Centuries
Modalism, Old and New
Models of Church Polity (Church Government)
Science and Faith
Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine: The Foundations of Western Theology
The Church and the Canon
Understanding and Explaining the Incarnation
Understanding and Explaining the Trinity
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.
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