What We Believe

Ordained Servant Style Guide

Ordained Servant generally adheres to the standards set forth in the latest edition of Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Notable exceptions to CMS, and items of special concern that conform with the CMS, are listed below.

Because Ordained Servant is a journal of general interest to church officers of various churches, authors should take care to make their submissions interesting and comprehensible to an intelligent non-specialist audience. Thus, the articles should be between scholarly and popular. They should avoid jargon and should not assume that readers have detailed knowledge of their subjects or fields.

Bible Translations

The English Standard Version is the default translation for all articles and reviews. The use of other translations must be noted with the appropriate abbreviation in unpunctuated capitals, e.g., NKJV. Place the abbreviation reference after the Scripture citation in parentheses—as Rom. 12:1 (NKJV)—or after the citation, if the citation is already in parentheses (Rom. 12:1 NKJV).


Follow CMS. Capitalize “Reformed,” “Evangelical,” “Scripture,” or “Word” when it refers to Scripture; do not capitalize “scriptural,” “biblical,” “gospel,” “kingdom,” personal pronouns referring to deity, or “church” (unless it is part of a proper name).

Citation: Endnotes and Footnotes

Please cite in conformity with the models in CMS 16. Articles in Ordained Servant appear with endnotes in the electronic edition, with hyperlinks connecting the numbers in the text to the notes, and footnotes in the annual print edition. Please send electronic manuscripts with footnotes. Reviewers should cite page references in parentheses within the text of the review e.g., (54).

Although the editorial staff of Ordained Servant will attempt to ensure that all citations conform in style to the guidelines listed here, authors bear primary responsibility for the accuracy of citations in their submitted work.

Citations should emphasize clarity over brevity. A non-specialist should be able to find the cited source easily. Do not use any abbreviations, even those often considered standard within a certain field, without explaining them at first use.

Although citations referring to page numbers in printed publications are always preferable, if you must use an electronic publication please use location or screen numbers (sometimes percentage relative to the work as a whole). For formats that do not fit this description please consult the latest CMS.

Hebrew and Greek Characters, and Transliteration

Hebrew and Greek characters should be used in the text of all articles and reviews (followed by transliteration in parentheses, italicized) in order to accommodate those who read these languages as well as those who do not. Times New Roman, a Unicode font that supports pointed Hebrew and polytonic Greek, should be used (see “Spacing, Paragraphs, and Typeface” below). For Hebrew, a word processor that supports right-to-left text (such as Word 2000 or later) should be used. Transliteration should follow the method specified in the SBL Handbook of Style, “General-Purpose Style” for Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, 5.1.2–5.3 (to view this excerpt, click here).

Hyphens and Dashes

Distinguish between the hyphen and the two types of dashes: the en dash (–) and the em dash (—). The en dash, not the hyphen, should be used between two numbers indicating a page range, e.g., 23–48, not 23-48.


The web format used by Ordained Servant makes incorporation of photographs, graphs, maps, charts, and other such materials relatively easy, although we do not expect to publish many of these. Since pagination is not an issue in this format, illustrations may be placed wherever in the text they will be most relevant. They need not be numbered or given captions, but may be incorporated directly into the text. If the person or place in a photograph or illustration is not apparent in the text a caption should be used.


Italicize only short, unquoted foreign terms and the titles of books and other long works. Note that “Westminster Confession of Faith,” “Larger Catechism,” “Shorter Catechism,” “Form of Government,” “Book of Discipline,” “Directory for Worship,” and individual Bible books are not to be italicized, since they are not book titles but rather sections of books. Do not italicize proper names of persons or places. Use italics for emphasis sparingly. Do not underline for emphasis.


The language of publication is American English. Unless quoting, avoid use of other varieties of English and of other languages. Foreign terms should be italicized unless they form part of a long quotation—generally, three or more words—in the foreign language. A definition should accompany the first use of any foreign term that will be used repeatedly.

Numbers and Dates

In most cases, write out numbers between one and one hundred. However, use Arabic numerals if these numbers are intermingled with larger numbers, if these numbers are followed by hundred, thousand, million, etc., when referring to chapters of a book (“chapter 1”) or adhering to a conventional usage (“43 Squadron of the Royal Air Force”), as well as with the word “percent,” and dates like 1980. Use Roman numerals only when referring to pages so numbered, such as the prefaces of modern books; do not use Roman numerals for volumes in a series, acts of a play, or anything else that is not a page number.

The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms should be cited so when using parentheses: WCF 22.1; WSC 33; WLC 87. If cited in the text as Westminster Confession of Faith or the Confession, or the Confession of Faith, the chapter and paragraph alone may be cited as (22.1) or WCF 22.1, depending on the sentence structure.

Dates should be written out in the following fashion: “3 January 2000.” Note that there is no comma. Years are assumed to be A.D. unless otherwise specified. Decades and centuries are written out (“sixteenth century”) and require a hyphen when used adjectivally (“sixteenth-century art”).

Place Names

Please be consistent in use of place names. If a place has changed names over the years, bring this to the reader’s attention, but choose one form to use throughout your paper.

If a place is not well-known, then identify with reference to better-known places and political subdivisions appearing on maps.


Short quotations (shorter than three typed lines) may be accommodated within text; simply use quotation marks. Longer quotes should be block-indented and do not require quotation marks.

Scripture and Confession References

Scripture references should follow the standard CMS abbreviations, not the very brief forms used in scriptural studies (e.g., Matt., not Mt.). The abbreviation should be followed by a period. Use Arabic numerals in references to multiple books (e.g., 1 Cor. 2:10). In running text Bible books should be spelled out in full. References to the Westminster Confession of Faith should be so: WCF 22.3.

Spacing, Paragraphs, and Typeface

All manuscripts should be double-spaced between lines for ease of editing. Do not double-space block quotes or footnotes. Single spaces only between sentences. Do not double-space between sentences. Use indented paragraphs with first lines and block quotes indented 20 points or .25 inches (use the format menu, not the tab key), with no extra line between paragraphs. Use 12 point Times New Roman for all text. The title of articles should be 18 point Times New Roman. Your name under the title should be 14 point Arial. All headings within the article should be 12 point Arial bold caps. All text should be left justified.

Word Count

Regular book reviews should be between 500 and 1,500 words. Unless I have requested otherwise, this is the assumed standard length. Short book notices should be 200–300 words. Review articles should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words. Articles should be between 2,500 and 3,500 words maximum.


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