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General Requirements for Assignments - Bible/Theology and Counselling/Chaplaincy

This guide outlines the College’s expectations for written assessments in Theology, Counselling, and Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care.

Writing with Academic Language

As a tertiary education institution, Morling College has certain standards and requirements for academic assessments. All assignments should be written in English, in full sentences, using nondiscriminatory language as applicable.

Using Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviations should be used sparingly in the body of the assignment and any terminology which may be unfamiliar to the reader should be explained. If you use an abbreviation, the first reference to a term in the text should be used in full with the abbreviation included in brackets. For the remainder of the text the abbreviation can be used.

Abbreviations should not be used in the abstract.

Where journals, biblical books and series are abbreviated, their full details are to be listed on a separate page immediately following the abstract. Follow the conventions detailed in 'Instructions for contributors', Journal of Biblical Literature, 1998, vol.17, no. 3, 555-579. This journal is in the library.

An acronym is usually formed by taking the first initials of a phrase or compounded-word and using those initials to form a word that stands for something (for example, the acronym for the Australian College of Theology is ACT). As with abbreviations, the first reference to a term in the text should be used in full with the acronym included in brackets. For the remainder of the text the acronym can be used.

You can find a list of standard abbreviations for ancient works from the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Abbreviations for books of the Bible

These are the approved abbreviations for biblical books (taken from Journal of Biblical Literature, 1998, vol. 117, no. 3, 560).

Old Testament

Genesis: Gen

Exodus: Exod

Leviticus: Lev

Numbers: Num

Deuteronomy: Deut

Joshua: Josh

Judges: Judg

Ruth: Ruth

1-2 Samuel: 1-2 Sam

1-2 Kings: 1-2 Kgs

1-2 Chronicles: 1-2 Chr

Ezra: Ezra

Nehemiah: Neh

Esther: Esth

Job: Job

Psalms: Ps :pl. Pss

Proverbs: Prov

Ecclesiastes: Eccl

Song of Solomon: Song of Songs/ Can't

Isaiah: Isa

Jeremiah: Jer

Lamentations: Lam

Ezekiel: Ezek

Daniel: Dan

Hosea: Hos

Joel: Joel

Amos: Amos

Obadiah: Obad

Jonah: Jonah

Micah: Mic

Nahum: Nah

Habakkuk: Hab

Zephaniah: Zeph

Haggai: Hag

Zechariah :Zech

Malachi: Mal

New Testament

Matthew: Matt

Mark: Mark

Luke: Luke

John: John

Acts: Acts

Romans: Rom

1-2 Corinthians: 1-2 Cor

Galatians: Gal

Ephesians: Eph

Philippians: Phil

Colossians: Col

1-2 Thessalonians: 1-2 Thess

1-2 Timothy: 1-2 Tim

Titus: Titus

Philemon: Phlm

Hebrews: Heb

James: Jas

1-2 Peter: 1-2 Pet

1-2-3 John: 123 John

Jude: Jude

Revelation: Rev



Using Languages Other Than English

All Assignments should be written in English. While there is a preference for English (rather than American) spelling, please maintain consistency in whichever style you choose. You do not need to change the spelling of direct quotes or indicate that this is a spelling error.

If you choose to quote using a different language, include a translation of the quote, either in the body of the assignment or in an explanatory footnote.

Students are permitted to use Bibles and textbooks written in languages other than English, but all references and quotations should cite an English version so that they can be checked if necessary.

Nondiscriminatory Language

All students at Morling are expected to use non-discriminatory language when writing assignments.

  • In recent years, attention has been given to this issue as it relates to race, sex, colour, class, age or disability. It is increasingly accepted that where 'man' has been used in a generic sense, alternative terms that include men and women are to be used.
E.g. humanity, humankind, people, women and men
  • When it is essential to use a quotation that includes discriminatory language, the word [sic], enclosed in square brackets, can be inserted immediately after the discriminatory expression.
  • If a student chooses to use discriminatory language this must be clearly justified in their assignment.

The ACT policy also highlights:

  1. All people are created in the image of God and all are equally found wanting before the justice of God. This revealed truth should motivate us to respect all people since Christ identified with and died for all. Inspired by the gospel of Jesus Christ, St Paul sought to establish in the church a new vision of humankind in which the conventional social divisions between male and female, slave and free, and Jew and Greek were broken down and overcome (Gal 3:28). Linguistic discrimination, and its more acute forms of vilification and denigration, culpably undermine and compromise the apostolic vision and should therefore be avoided by those who are committed to caring for all people, including Christians who are committed to showing unconditional love.
  2. The issue of linguistic discrimination in our society is a serious one, which we do well to address, and to do all in our power to avoid and eradicate. Australia’s commitment to eliminating discrimination can be measured, for example, by the number of federal acts that have been enacted—including the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act 1986—to make it unlawful to discriminate against others on the basis of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, and gender.
  3. Linguistic discrimination, as well as vilification and denigration, may occur by means of the language used to refer to or address others, and may take verbal or written form. Linguistic discrimination against people may occur in various ways, whether by ignoring their presence, excluding them, portraying them in the light of irrelevant characteristics or in an unbalanced way, or using language that is insulting, harassing, or based on a stereotype.
  4. The means by which and the contexts in which this avoidance of linguistic discrimination should be achieved will vary according to the context of language and culture in which speaking and writing takes place. In working with already published works, such as the Bible, the issue of being faithful to the original intended meaning of a text will need to be addressed in the context of the need to avoid linguistic discrimination. The balance and tension between these two valid concerns (i.e. faithfulness to original meaning and avoiding linguistic discrimination) will vary between published works.
  5. In relation to avoiding gender linguistic discrimination, it is recommended that women be made more visible in language by avoiding an older linguistic usage in which “male-specific” and “male-identified” terms were used in a generic sense.
  6. The use of the word “man” should also be avoided in idioms and phrases when the speaker or author clearly intends to refer to both men and women. The same applies to pronouns such as “he” and “she”, occupational nouns and job titles, and other titles and naming practices. Stereotyped images of women or men should also be avoided.
  7. Language which is racist should be avoided, and especially with respect to people who are especially vulnerable in the Australian context, such as indigenous peoples.
  8. Further, language which vilifies or denigrates certain ethnolinguistic groups on the basis of their language or ethnic background should be avoided as forms of such linguistic discrimination.
  9. Linguistic discrimination and denigration should be avoided also in the case of people with disabilities or for people of certain ages.
© 2016 Morling College. Morling College is an affiliated institution with the Australian College of Theology (CRICOS Provider 02650E). Morling College Counselling (CRICOS Provider 03265F).