Student Theses

Guidelines

All forms of the master’s thesis at St Vladimir’s Seminary are intended to lead students into the deep exploration of some new areas of learning not covered in the core curriculum.

Thesis Proposal. To register for thesis, students must successfully complete the research-writing seminar (TW 205) and submit—at the time of registration—an approved thesis proposal of 4–5 pages, written in accordance with the research standards learned in the seminar; the proposal must justify its topic and identify the problem or issue under investigation.

  • A proposal for TS 305 is grounded in a course of readings of 10–12 state-of-the-question books and articles on a precisely focused topic chosen and studied under the guidance of one of the members of the faculty.
  • A proposal for TS 310 or TS 401–402 must outline the research problem to be investigated and give a sense of critical methodology and research approach.

In both cases, the proposal must also include a working title and 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. Correct bibliographical style and good English stylistics are essential for acceptance of the proposal. Finally, the proposal must be approved by a member of the faculty, who will normally serve as the thesis advisor, and be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs for final approval. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make the final decision in assigning thesis advisors.

Registration Deadline. 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.

The following thesis registrations are possible:

1. M.A. Thesis (TS 305 [3 credits]). M.A. students who do not write an honors thesis (see TS 310 below) are required to write a thesis of 25–35 pages in length, normally in their final semester. Prerequisites for writing an M.A. thesis are:

  • successful completion of the research-writing seminar; and
  • submission of an acceptable thesis proposal (as described above).

2. M.Div. Thesis Option (TS 305 [3 credits]). M.Div. students who do not write an honors thesis (see TS 310 below) are permitted to write a thesis of 25–35 pages in lieu of three elective credits in their senior year, normally in the fall semester. (Note: The thesis option does not replace the M.Div. Senior Oral Examination.) Prerequisites for writing an M.Div. thesis are:

  • successful completion of the research-writing seminar; and
  • submission of an acceptable thesis proposal (as described above).

3. Honors Thesis (TS 310 [4 credits]). Invited M.A. and M.Div. students may fulfill the thesis requirement (elective in the case of M.Div. students) by writing an honors thesis of 40–50 pages. Prerequisites for writing an honors thesis are:

  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 at time of registration;
  • successful completion of the research-writing seminar;
  • submission of an acceptable thesis proposal (as described above); and
  • invitation, normally toward the end of the research-writing seminar, by the course instructor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. TW 205 students who are not invited to write an honors thesis may appeal to the faculty council for permission to do so. The decision of the faculty council is final.

Note: Although honors thesis is not required to fulfill program requirements, it is required for graduation honors.

4. Th.M. Thesis (TS 401–402 [3 credits each]). 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 over two semesters, 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.

5. Continuation Registration (CTN). 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 even with continuation registration(s), 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. Th.M. and honors theses are 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: 5 pm Tuesday, December 2
SPRING 2015 DEADLINE: 5 pm Tuesday, May 12

Theses submitted after the deadline will be considered by the faculty council at its next meeting after the final submission 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.

1. M.A. Thesis (TS 305) and M.Div. Thesis Option (TS 305):

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 emailed to Office of Academic Affairs by the deadline indicated in the Academic Calendar. The thesis is then evaluated by the advisor.

2. Honors Thesis (TS 310) and Th.M. Thesis (TS 401–402):

a. 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 emailed to 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 and the second is appointed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from among the other faculty of the seminary.

b. 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. (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.) 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.