Rawlings School of Divinity Writing Guide

(based on the 8th edition of the Turabian manual)

Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity requires each student to submit their papers using the latest edition of Kate L. Turabian’s, A Manual for Writers. The Rawlings School of Divinity offers a condensed version for students as an introduction to the topic: Writing Guide, Sacred Book References List, and Capitalization Glossary.


  • One-inch margins
  • Times New Roman size 12-pt. type font except in the footnotes when you are to have Times New Roman 10-pt. font.
  • Double-spaced except in the footnotes, block quotes, and other exceptions.[1]
  • Quotations should be blocked if the citation is four or more lines. Blocked quotations are single-spaced and every line is indented one half-inch with an extra return before and after the excerpt. No quotation marks are used when using blocked quotations.
  • Pagination placement: Do not number the title page, but note that it is considered the first page (i); all following front matter is numbered with lower case Roman numerals centered in the footer. The paper body, bibliography, and appendices display Arabic numerals also placed in the footer. Note that this is one of the major differences between the Rawlings School of Divinity writing guide and Turabian formatting.
  •  You can find a tutorial on pagination placement from Microsoft.
  • Rawlings School of Divinity Standardized Title Page

  • Rawlings School of Divinity Sample Turabian Paper



  • As a general rule, use active voice and avoid first or second person pronouns unless permitted by the assignment instructions. In historical writing, use simple past tense verbs, but when referring to an author’s written work, use present tense.
  • Turabian permits two citation styles but the Rawlings School of Divinity only accepts notes-bibliography style in submitted documents. When using this style, use footnotes and do not use endnotes.
  • Use superscript numbers for footnotes. An example of a superscripted footnote number is “1.” If you are typing in Microsoft Word 2013, it is acceptable to use the default setting for footnote numbering.
  • When formatting a footnote, indent the first line of your footnotes the same amount as the first line of the paragraphs within your paper (generally .5 inches).  The indentation should be before the superscripted footnote number. Insert one space after the superscript number before the first word of the footnote. The footnotes should be single-spaced, and there should be a single blank space between (or 10-pt. line space after) each footnote. 
  • Ibid. is short for the Latin term ibidem meaning “in the same place.” As all foreign words, the word should be italicized (or underlined) when used in the body of the text; however, when used in the footnote, the word is not italicized. When citing a source where the bibliographical data is the same as the previous footnote, use Ibid.  Do not include a page number if you are citing the same page as the previous footnote; however, if it is a different page number, use the abbreviation (Ibid.) followed by a comma (Ibid.,) and then the page number (Ibid., #.). Do not use ibid. to refer to footnotes that do not appear on the same page. Ibid. is an abbreviation and therefore must end with a period. Lower case is used when the abbreviation is located within a footnote (or any sentence); upper case is used when it begins the note or sentence.

Since the Bible is considered a sacred work, cite it initially in the footnotes and subsequently in parenthetical references. For example, note the parenthetical reference in the following sentence: Christ declares his exclusive salvific value when he states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  The Bible reference is not included within the quotation marks because it is not a part of Christ’s declaration. The period would come after the parenthesis because you cannot begin a new sentence without a period immediately preceding it.


  • Do not include the Bible in the bibliography.
  • The version or translation of the Bible being used must be identified in the text with a parenthetical reference (e.g. I Cor 1:13, ESV). Even if you translated the Greek (or Hebrew) text yourself you must identify the fact that this is your own translation. If you choose to use the same Bible translation (such as the English Standard Version) throughout the paper you should add a footnote in your first usage stating “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the English Standard Version.” This means that you will not need to reference the version of the Bible in subsequent citations unless you change the version. For example, if the student identified the English Standard Version as the primary version but chose to use the New International Version (NIV) when quoting a particular verse such as John 14:6,  the parenthetical citation following the passage would be (John 14:6, NIV). Whatever translation (other than your own), it should be italicized since a translation is a book title.
  • When footnoting a source for the second time and the citation is not consecutive with the first citation, you do not need a full citation; instead use a “shortened note.” A shortened note should provide the author’s (or authors’) last name(s), an abbreviated version of the book title (in four words or less), and the page number. An example of this is in the footnote below taken from the previously cited source, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.[1]
  • When citing an article from an online library/search engine, you do not need to cite the search engine or article address if the article is in the same form as it would have been in a print journal (typically you can tell this is the case if the online article is downloadable into a .pdf). If you need to cite the link to the article, it is preferred that you cite the article using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI).[2] If no DOI is available, make sure you are using a permalink rather than a link copied and pasted from your address bar.[3] If you signed into the Liberty University library using a username and password, then the address from the address bar will not work for anyone who does not have your username/password.
  • Writing and preaching are two different communication mediums with two distinct purposes. When writing an academic assignment, avoid the temptation to sermonize or appeal to your reader’s emotions or character. Research writing lays out the evidence for the reader and lets it speak for itself.


Grammar Usage Notes

Avoid using the em-dash ( — ) in place of a comma to separate thoughts in a sentence. When necessary, make sure you understand the grammatical reasoning behind using this form of punctuation. 


  • If your bibliography includes two or more sources from the same author, replace the author’s name with eight underscores followed by a period (i.e., ________.).[4]
  • When using a hyphen or an em-dash, do not leave a space before or after the punctuation; for instance, “right-click,” not “right – click.”
  • Bible is the title of a book whereas biblical is an adjective and biblically is an adverb. Bible should be capitalized, but biblical and biblically should not be capitalized. The same is true of Scripture in the nominal form versus the adjectival (scriptural). See the Capitalization Glossary for more examples of common capitalization mistakes. 
  • All book and journal titles must be underlined or italicized.  Articles within journals or book chapters must be placed within quotation marks, unless the anthology is a collection of previously published books such as C. S. Lewis’ The Complete C.  S. Lewis Signature Classics.
  • The abbreviation i.e. (from the Latin id est) means “that is” and should be used in parentheses when providing a point of clarification.
  • The abbreviation e.g. (from the Latin exempi gratia) means “example” and should be used in parentheses when giving an example.
  • The bracketed notation [sic] indicates an error in a quotation and should appear directly after the error because quotations need to be cited verbatim (including errors). You do not want to suffer the point reduction of an error; therefore, the notation [sic] lets the reader know that you purposefully copied over the error because it was in the original citation.

Levels of Subheadings (not to be confused with Chapter Title)

Note the level of subheadings for the Rawlings School of Divinity papers below. All headings are to remain Times New Roman 12-pt. font. When providing a sectional heading, the heading should have two blank single-line spaces above the heading and one blank single-line space below the heading.

First Level: Centered, Boldface, Headline-Style Capitalization

Second Level: Centered, Regular Type, Headline-Style Capitalization

Third Level: Flush Left, Boldface, Headline-Style Capitalization

Fourth level: Flush left, regular type, sentence-style capitalization

Fifth level: Indent ½ inch for run in at beginning of paragraph (no blank line after), boldface, sentence-style capitalization, terminal period. Start first sentence here.



Footnote Citations

Book with a Single Author or Editor

          1 Gary R. Habermas, The Risen Jesus and Future Hope (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003), 65.


Book with Multiple Authors

          1 David Bagget and Jerry L. Walls, Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 79.


Kindle/E-Reader Book

          1 Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making Is . . . : How to Live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence (Nashville: B&H Publishers, 2013), loc. 103, Kindle.


Journal Article in Print

          1 Klaus D. Issler, “Inner Core Belief Formation, Spiritual Practices, and the Willing-Doing Gap,” Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care 2, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 180.


Journal Article Online[5]

          1 Brian T. Scalise, “Perichoresis in Gregory Nazianzen and Maximus the Confessor,” Eleutheria 2, no. 2 (2012): 72, accessed August 8, 2013, http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/eleu/ vol2/iss1/5/.



          1 A. Chadwick Thornhill, “To the Jew First: A Socio-Historical and Biblical-Theological Analysis of the Pauline Teaching of ‘Election’ in Light of Second Temple Jewish Patterns of Thought” (PhD diss., Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary, 2013), 189.


Volume in Multi-volume Set with Translator

          1 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. 1.1, The Doctrine of the Word of God, trans. G. W. Bromiley, G. T. Thomson, and Harold Knight (New York: T&T Clark, 2010), 125.


Volume in Multi-Volume Commentary Set

          1 Edward F. Campbell, Jr., Ruth, vol. 7 of The Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1975), 116.


Article or Chapter in an Edited Book

        1 Sergius Bulgakov, “The Virgin and the Saints in Orthodoxy,” in Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader, ed. Daniel B. Clendenin (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), 68.


Reference Works (Omit from Bibliography):

       1 Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, 6th ed., s.v. “Romans, Epistle to the.” 


Bibliography Citations

Book with a Single Author or Editor

Habermas, Gary R. The Risen Jesus and Future Hope. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers,

Book with Multiple Authors

Bagget, David and Jerry L. Walls. Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality. New York: Oxford
          University Press, 2011.

Kindle/E-Reader Book

Earley, Dave and Rod Dempsey. Disciple Making Is . . . : How to Live the Great Commission with Passion
          and Confidence.
Nashville: B&H Publishers, 2013, Kindle.


Journal Article in Print

Issler, Klaus D. “Inner Core Belief Formation, Spiritual Practices, and the Willing-Doing Gap.” Journal of
          Spiritual Formation & Soul Care 2
, no. 2 (2009): 179-198.


Journal Article Online

Scalise, Brian T. “Perichoresis in Gregory Nazianzen and Maximus the Confessor.” Eleutheria 2, no. 2
         (2012): 58-76. Accessed August 8, 2013. http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/eleu/ vol2/iss1/5/.



Thornhill, A. Chadwick. “To the Jew First: A Socio-Historical and Biblical-Theological Analysis of the
         Pauline Teaching of ‘Election’ in Light of Second Temple Jewish Patterns of Thought.” PhD diss.,
         Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, 2013.


Volume in Multi-Volume Set with Translator

Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics. Vol. 1.1, The Doctrine of the Word of God. Translated by G. W. Bromiley, 
         G. T. Thomson, and Harold Knight. New York: T&T Clark, 2010.


Volume in Multi-volume Commentary Set

Campbell, Jr., Edward F. Ruth. Vol. 7 in The Anchor Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1975.


Article or Chapter in an Edited Book

Bulgakov, Sergius. “The Virgin and the Saints in Orthodoxy.” In Eastern Orthodox Theology: A
         Contemporary Reader
, 65-75. Edited by Daniel B. Clendenin. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995.


Bibliography Tips

  • Use the term Bibliography for your final list of bibliographic entries. Other terms such as References or Works Cited are not acceptable.
  • Bold the title, center it, and begin a new page with normal page numbering.
  • Use a one-half inch hanging indention. 
  • Use single-line spacing between (or 12-pt. line spacing after) entries.
  • Only cite sources directly referenced in the body of your paper. Do not cite works that have only been consulted. For every reference there should be a footnote and vice-versa.

[1] Turabian, Manual for Writers, 158.

[2] Ibid., 140.

[3] A permalink is a hyperlink that is not directly copied from your web browser address bar. Instead it is typically provided by a search engine. The permalink will allow readers of your work to find the article you are referencing without being sent to your institution’s login screen. Rawlings School of Divinity students can find permalinks in the majority of Liberty’s online library sources.

[4] Note, when including two or more works from the same author in the bibliography, Turabian 8th edition calls for a long dash, called a 3-em dash; however, this is a point where the Rawlings School of Divinity digresses from the recommendation of Turabian. For more on this see Turabian, Manual for Writers, 151.

[5] Break the http address at a logical breaking point (after a period, /, etc. to go to the next line).

[6] When consulting an anthology where all of the chapters are written by different authors, insert the inclusive page numbers of that particular chapter in the bibliographic entry. If citing from a book within a collection of books such as C. S. Lewis’ The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics, also insert the inclusive page numbers of that particular book in the bibliographic entry.

modified 8/13/2015