The Ph.D. thesis is expected to be an original contribution to the field of scholarship. Normally, it should not exceed 250 pages, excluding front matter, bibligography and appendices.
The thesis must be prepared in accord with: (1) The requirements of Luther Seminary's Writing and Style Guide or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association; or (2) The publication guidelines of another scholarly manual or journal that is chosen by the student in consultation with his or her advisor, and that is presented by petition to, and approved by, the Graduate Committee. If choosing the second option, the student, at the time the thesis is submitted, shall also submit a style sheet of the manual or journal style that is to be followed. Such a style sheet shall include the proper formatting for references, footnotes and/or endnotes, and bibliography. In all cases, a sample of two word-processed chapters with properly formatted notes and bibliography is submitted to the Graduate Theological Education technical reader no later than Feb. 1 of the year in which the degree is granted.
The completed thesis is submitted to the Office of Graduate Theological Education by March 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted. The student is required to provide copies in sufficient number for the thesis adviser and the thesis readers.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are examined orally on the completed thesis no later than April 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted. The appropriate form, certifying readiness for the oral examination, must be submitted by the candidate to the Office of Graduate Theological Education at least one week prior to the examination and a copy of the thesis made available in the library. The oral defense is a public event, though only faculty have speaking privileges.
After successfully completing the oral thesis examination and making any necessary revisions to the thesis, the student submits by April 15 a final, typographically perfect copy of the thesis for written approval by the Graduate Theological Education technical reader who will examine it for conformity to the requirements of the Writing and Style Guide. Editorial work to meet Writing and Style Guide requirements is the responsibility of the student.
After securing the written approval of the technical reader, the student submits two unbound, boxed copies of his or her thesis on 100 percent cotton paper and one boxed copy on normal copying paper to the Office of Graduate Theological Education for binding by May 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted. One copy is placed in the library, another is deposited in the seminary vault, and a third is submitted to University Microfilms of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The binding and filing fee for the thesis is included in the Doctor of Philosophy Degree graduation fee.
Students who do not meet the deadlines in this section cannot be guaranteed graduation during the year in question.