research paper about theology

Research Paper

Your mission will be to choose a research question relevant to the academic discipline of theology, to research that question, and to present your findings in a 5-8 page (double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman) paper.You will choose your topic and formulate your thesis in collaboration with the instructor of the class.In addition to whatever biblical texts you choose to engage, you must interact meaningfully with at least three pieces of theological or scholarly literature, which you must cite using a consistent documentation style. You will be graded using the following rubric:






The student demonstrated that he/she had studied the topic with due diligence.

The student demonstrated some relevant knowledge about the topic.

The student demonstrated little or no knowledge of the topic.



The student consistently utilized proper grammar, style, and documentation.

The student sometimes utilized proper grammar, style, and documentation.

The student did not utilize proper grammar, style, and documentation.



The student stayed within the page limits.

The student was within one page of the page limits.

The student missed the page limits by more than one page.



The student meaningfully engaged 3 or more theological sources.

The student meaningfully engaged 2 theological sources.

The student meaningfully engaged 1 theological source.



The student offered good evidence and logical argumentation in support of a clear thesis.

The student offered some evidence and argumentation in support of a thesis.

The student offered an incoherent argument and/or failed to articulate a thesis.




You may choose your topic from the following options:

  • Does God exist?
  • What is the proper relationship between faith and reason?
  • Is the Bible true?
  • Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
  • On what basis can God justify a sinner?
  • Why did God become man in the person of Jesus?
  • What does it mean to say Jesus is really present in the Eucharist?

A different topic in the field of theology may be allowed, if the instructor approves it.

In general, you will formulate and defend a thesis pertaining to the given topic.It is expected that your argument will use biblical, patristic, medieval, or modern theological sources as its basis.To avoid misinterpretation, it is wise also to use secondary sources (such as books and articles) as aids to understanding the texts discussed.As with all assignments, see me during my office hours if you have questions.You may also speak with me most days after class or e-mail me to ask a brief question or set up a meeting.

Due date: April 20

Completion of this assignment is intended to result in the following Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Interpret theological texts of different eras and genres with care and precision
  • Express theological ideas and arguments clearly in writing.
  • Utilize scholarly tools effectively for continued learning in the discipline of theology.

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