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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word format (or JPG/PNG for artwork submissions)
  • The submission has been typed up in VJTM's style template (see General Guidelines, below, for links to templates)
  • Author’s agreement is completed and prepared to be submitted (upload the signed form to your submission library once the work has been submitted). Instructions:
  • If the submission is a book review, the book is not older than 5 years and is not currently a textbook for Vanguard College (email for a list of textbooks)
  • Note: If your submission is a creative submission, the below guidelines do not apply. Double check the requirements for creative submissions outlined below (under Sections), then check the boxes after this one to allow your submission to go through
  • The submission is typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman font and double-spaced, with headings in APA or Chicago style.
  • Citations are formatted in either APA 7th edition or Chicago style.
  • SBL guidelines have been used for citing Scripture and abbreviating books of the Bible, biblical commentaries, names, places, etc.
  • All identifying information is removed from your manuscript, including acknowledgements, funding sources, and affiliations; self-citations are anonymized. Personal information has been removed from file properties. Instructions:

Author Guidelines

A completed author's agreement must be included with every submission. To view and print the agreement, click here. Fill in the form, scan it back to yourself, and add it to your submission library after you have submitted your article.

All submissions are subject to a double-blind peer review process, which helps authors improve the quality of their writing in preparation for scholarly publication. This means that after you submit your article, you will recieve feedback from an anonymous reviewer with suggested changes, and implementing these changes will be a part of the acceptance decision for your article. The reviewer will also not know your identity, which means you must remove all identifying information from your manuscript before submitting it (does not apply to creative submissions, which follow a single-blind process).

For more information about the requirements of the actual submission such as formatting and word count, please refer to the submission guidelines, below. 


Submission Guidelines

Journal Scope

The Vanguard Journal of Theology and Ministry (VJTM) is an open-access journal dedicated to publishing the scholarly works of students, scholars, and practitioners. It is based out of Vanguard College, an evangelical Bible college affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) in Edmonton, Alberta. Issues are published once a year and are peer-reviewed. The VJTM welcomes original scholarship in the fields of theology and applied ministry.

The goals of the VJTM are to:

  • provide students the opportunity to contribute their perspective to academic discussion
  • encourage pastors and practitioners to engage in theological and scholarly discussion
  • promote the integration of theological study with applied ministry experience

For any questions about submission guidelines or any other part of the journal submission process, please email


General Guidelines

The VJTM welcomes original scholarship from students, alumni, school faculty, pastors, scholars, and other practitioners in the fields of theology and applied ministry. Categories of submission include both academic articles and creative/reflective pieces. In order to be reviewed by an editor, submissions must follow these guidelines:

If the submission does not follow these basic guidelines, it will be returned without being reviewed by an editor. For more guidelines specific to type of submission, see below.

NOTE: In academic culture, common courtesy is that writers contribute by both submitting their own work and doing peer review for others’ work. This helps keep the balance even, so there are enough peer reviewers to meet the need created by people submitting their work. If you’re an author with VJTM and you haven’t already, please consider registering as a peer reviewer with us!


Formatting Style

Submissions to VJTM must be formatted in either APA or Chicago style. Please adhere to Vanguard College or SBL guidelines for citing Scripture and abbreviating books of the Bible, biblical commentaries, names, places, etc.


File Format

Documents must be electronically submitted in Microsoft Word format through the OJS platform. Images for creative submissions can be uploaded as JPEGs or PNGs. As we are an online journal, there is no availability for mail submissions or communication. 



The editorial team at VJTM believes strongly in supporting the ability of authors to publish in both of Canada's official languages. Unfortunately, as a small journal, we do not currently have the capacity to accept submissions only in French. We can publish your article in French if you are able to provide an English translation to be published side-by-side with the original article. If you speak French and would like to volunteer as a peer reviewer or translator, please contact the editorial team with an expression of interest at

Si vous parlez français et souhaitez vous porter volontaire en tant que pair réviseur ou traducteur, veuillez contacter l'équipe éditoriale avec une manifestation d'intérêt à


Declined Submissions

Submissions may be declined based on the recommendation of peer-review. However, we also reserve the right to decline any submission that does not fit within the scope of VJTM or the stated theme for the upcoming issue. If we decline a submission because it does not fit the stated theme, it can be resubmitted when appropriate to an upcoming issue's theme. If we request revisions on a submission but they are not provided within the current issue's publication cycle, we will also decline the submission, but you are free to submit a revised copy if it fits with an upcoming issue's theme. 


Types of Submissions

There are four types of submissions, each with their own guidelines (outlined below): editorials, creative submissions, book reviews, and journal articles (subtypes of articles include undergraduate, graduate, and pastor/practitioner).

Copyright Notice

Work published in VJTM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The CC BY 4.0 liscense allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the Work, even commercially, as long as they credit the Author for the original creation. Authors retain copyright of their Work, with first publication rights granted to VJTM.

Authors will never be charged to submit or publish a manuscript through Vanguard Journal of Theology & Ministry.

Privacy Statement

The data collected from registered and non-registered users of this journal falls within the scope of the standard functioning of peer-reviewed journals. It includes information that makes communication possible for the editorial process; it is used to inform readers about the authorship and editing of content; it enables collecting aggregated data on readership behaviors, as well as tracking geopolitical and social elements of scholarly communication. 


This journal’s editorial team and its hosting service, the University of Alberta Libraries, use this data to guide their work in publishing and improving this journal. Data that will assist in developing this publishing platform may be shared with its developer Public Knowledge Project in an anonymized and aggregated form, with appropriate exceptions such as article metrics. The data will not be sold by this journal, the University of Alberta Libraries, or PKP nor will it be used for purposes other than those stated here. The authors published in this journal are responsible for the human subject data that figures in the research reported here. 


This website uses Google Analytics, a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers in the United States. Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. This journal uses reports provided by Google Analytics to help us understand website traffic and webpage usage, and report on such usage to funding agencies, association members, and other agencies. You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing this browser add-on.

Those involved in editing this journal seek to be compliant with industry standards for data privacy, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provision for “data subject rights” that include (a) breach notification; (b) right of access; (c) the right to be forgotten; (d) data portability; and (e) privacy by design. The GDPR also allows for the recognition of “the public interest in the availability of the data,” which has a particular saliency for those involved in maintaining, with the greatest integrity possible, the public record of scholarly publishing.



Journal article submissions are well-researched pieces of academic writing that argue an original thesis or present original research findings on a particular topic. They do not need to include original research studies in order to be published in this journal, but they must represent an original academic contribution to Christian thought on the topic. The maximum word count for articles is 8,000 words, but authors are encouraged to submit articles shorter than that length. Please include an abstract (50-150 words) at the top of your journal article submission.
There are three subtypes of journal article submissions, differentiated by author type and type of contribution: undergraduate, scholarly, and pastor/practitioner. Submitters are free to choose whatever category they feel suits their article best, but VJTM reserves the right to switch the submission to another category if they feel it fits better. For guidance according to article type, see below:

Students attending any undergraduate institution are encouraged to submit original articles applicable to this year’s theme. If desired, they may convert a paper previously submitted as coursework to the journal, provided that it has been adjusted from the original submission into journal article format. These adjustments include: updating the title (for attractiveness and relevance), removing any reference to the course name, providing a short 50-150 word abstract (or summary statement), and any other changes desired. If the paper was previously submitted for a course, please indicate this in your author’s publication agreement.

Scholars are invited to submit articles from their field of study that connect with this year’s theme. All submissions must fit within the scope of this journal and be related to Christian theology or practice, but integrations with other fields such as psychology, education, law, social work, etc. are both welcome and encouraged. This submission type has the highest level of scholastic criteria, and rigorous research is required to ensure the article meets academic standards.

Pastors and Christian practitioners working in fields outside the church are encouraged to submit articles related to their practice of ministry that are related to this year’s theme. Exceptional work will incorporate theological research and practices grounded in one’s life experiences inside or outside the church. As this is an academic article type, submissions must be well-researched, include sufficient citations and a thesis, and represent an original contribution to pastoral thought on the topic. Less scholarly reflections may be submitted under the Creative Non-Fiction submission category (see Creative Submissions section, above).

Book Reviews

Book review submissions are pieces of literary criticism that describe or analyze a book’s content and merit. More than simply summarizing the work, insert your well thought out criticism and praise with specific examples and references to other material that covers the same topic. The goal is to contribute to the academic discussion surrounding the book, as well as to help our readers determine if they want to read it for themselves. The chosen book must relate to the scope of the journal and be published within the last 5 years. Authors are also encouraged to submit reviews for books that relate to that issue’s theme, but this is not required. Vanguard College students may not submit a book review for a textbook currently used in a class offered at Vanguard College. Please include the book’s full bibliographic reference in your chosen citation style (APA or Chicago) at the top of your submission. The maximum word count for this type of submission is 1000 words.

Creative Submission

VJTM accepts submissions of creative pieces such as short stories, poetry, and art, which speak to the Christian community through non-academic expression. The submission should directly respond to the topic of the journal issue through creative means. The editor’s acceptance decision will be based on the depth and importance of the contribution the work makes to the topic, as well as other criteria.

Creative submissions must be produced in whole solely by the declared author(s)/artist(s). If a portion of the submission includes the copyrighted work of another author/artist, the submitter must be able to prove permission to use the original work, such as a Creative Commons license that permits derivatives or explicit written permission from the original author/artist.

Authors and artists are welcome to submit as many individual pieces as they would like, provided each is submitted in a separate document. At the top of the submission, please specify the title of the piece and the total word count. Written submissions should be formatted according to APA or Chicago style guidelines, but only in regards to stylistic formatting (i.e. typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font); citation guidelines will not apply as citations are not used in creative submissions.The following are guidelines for types of submissions that can be accepted:

Short Story

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting and focuses on a simple or self-contained narrative. The narrative or moral of the story must be directly related to the topic of the issue, or otherwise express the author’s thoughts on the topic through narrative means. A short story submission may be between 1000 and 3500 words, but flash fiction stories may be less than 1000 words. Each short story submission should contain only one story.

Creative Nonfiction

This category includes other prose forms of creative expression including but not limited to reflective narrative, personal essays, narrative nonfiction, biography, lyrical works, etc. See the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society’s definition herefor more explanation. Pastoral works that are more reflective in nature and do not fit the requirements for a pastor/practitioner journal article may be submitted in this category. The maximum word count for this category is 2800 words.


Authors are encouraged to submit pieces of original poetry that speak to the issue’s theme through non-prose means. VJTM welcomes these non-academic and more reflective perspectives that encourage us to think more deeply about contemporary issues and lived realities that we currently face. The requirements for poetry submission are flexible. Poetry submissions may be single-spaced instead of double-spaced and may have other stylistic deviations. The maximum word limit is 1000 words. Submitters are encouraged to use the full spectrum of literary expression when submitting poetry, without feeling limited to an academic format. If desired, an accompanying statement can be submitted alongside the poem that gives context to the work or helps readers understand how the poem addresses the topic of the journal issue.


VJTM also welcomes and encourages artwork submissions from both aspiring and professional artists. As this is a scholastic journal that aims to spark and provide space for dialogue, please make sure the artwork is reflective in nature and represents a contribution to the issue’s discussion and current theme. Artwork submissions should be accompanied by an explanatory paragraph that gives background to the piece, including artist background, media information, explanation of the piece, or any other elements deemed necessary to help readers understand how the artwork responds to the topic of the journal issue. Please submit artwork entries digitally in JPG or PNG format through OJS.

Due to the unique nature of creative submissions, it may be difficult to fit such a submission into the guidelines specified above. If this is the case, we encourage you to still reach out to us so we can talk about possibilities for including your contribution.