Student Theses


1. M.A. Thesis. M.A. students are required to write a thesis of 30–50 pages in length, normally in their final semester. To register for thesis, MA students must submit an approved thesis proposal of 4–5 pages at the time of registration, in which the student outlines the problem to be investigated and gives a sense of what he or she expects to find. The proposal must also include a working title and a bibliography, which is not intended to be exhaustive but must show that the student is familiar with the main works in the field, in particular those that will be of value to the project. The thesis proposal must be approved by the thesis adviser, who must be a full-time or adjunct member of the faculty, and submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs for final approval at the time of registration. Students who are unable to submit a thesis proposal at the time of registration may not register for thesis until a proposal has been approved. The final deadline for thesis registration is the second Friday of the semester.

2. M.Div. Thesis Option. M.Div. students are permitted to write a thesis of 30–50 pages in lieu of three elective credits in their senior year, normally in the fall semester. (Note: the thesis option does not replace the Senior Oral Examination.) Although the thesis is not required to fulfill degree requirements, it is required for graduation honors. Prerequisites for writing an M.Div. thesis are:

  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 at time of registration;
  • successful completion of the research-writing seminar (TW 205); and
  • submission of an acceptable thesis proposal of 4–5 pages. (See "M.A. Thesis" above for a description of the thesis proposal and registration deadlines.) 

3. Th.M. Thesis. Th.M. students are required to write a thesis of 60–100 pages. The thesis, written under the supervision of the student’s thesis advisor, must be based upon personal research and constitute an original scholarly contribution. Once the thesis is accepted, it is discussed and defended at a special meeting of the faculty, to which competent scholars from other institutions may be invited. These scholars take part in the final faculty vote to recommend the candidate for the degree.

4. Continuation Registration. Students who do not complete their thesis by the thesis submission deadline, which is posted on the academic calendar, must register for continuation (and pay the continuation fee) in the following semester(s) in order to remain degree candidates. Failure to register for continuation and pay the fee will cause the student to be dropped from the degree program. In the event that the student is unable to complete the thesis, the permanent grade W (Withdrawal) will be entered on the student's transcript.

Order of Pages

1. Title page. This page contains the full title of the thesis (all capitals), the full name of its author, signature fields for advisor (named) and second reader (named), the partial fulfillment statement, and the date, as in the example under "Style Sheet."
2. Abstract of 200-250 words. In the abstract, you should present the problem of the thesis, describe the method of study or research, and state the results or conclusion. Please write in complete sentences, preferably in the third person active voice, rather than in the first person singular.
3. Acknowledgment (optional).
4. Table of Contents.
5. Table of charts, examples, and abbreviations (as necessary).
6. Body of thesis, including introduction, main presentation of material, and conclusion.
7. Appendix (necessary only in the case of an unusual amount of source material, indexes for cross references, etc.).
8. Bibliography.

Style Sheet

The final copy of the thesis should be read with utmost care, especially for typographical errors. Bear in mind that the original copy will be bound by and deposited in the Library, to become a permanent—and public—monument to your years here.

Title Page
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press House Style
Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style

Submission Instructions

FALL 2014 DEADLINE: Tuesday, December 2
SPRING 2015 DEADLINE: Tuesday, May 12

1. Electronic Copy to Office of Academic Affairs. After the advisor has accepted the final version of the thesis, an electronic copy of the thesis (as PDF file) must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the deadline indicated in the Academic Calendar. The thesis is then evaluated by two readers: the first reader is the student's thesis advisor, who is a full-time or sessional member of the faculty, and the second is appointed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from among the other faculty of the seminary. 

Note: Theses submitted after the deadline will be considered by the faculty council at its next meeting and, if accepted, will be subject to a full grade penalty (e.g., A becomes B). Students whose theses are not submitted on time will normally register, without grade penalty, for a semester of continuation.

2. Printed Copy to Library. Additionally, the thesis in its approved form—and on white, acid-free bond paper—is to be deposited with the librarian no later than the Wednesday before commencement. This copy of the thesis will be bound, for which reason the left margin must be 1.5 inches, and added to the library collection. Once the printed copy of the thesis has been submitted to the library, no changes of any kind will be permitted.

Note: Students who do not submit the library copy of the thesis by the deadline will not receive their diploma at commencement and a hold will be placed on their official transcript until released by the librarian.