doctor of ministry; journal; ADME

Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope



Marshall Shelley, Editor

Purpose: The Journal of Christian Ministry is a publication of The Association for Doctor of Ministry Education (ADME) that exists to encourage the practice of Christian ministry at the highest level, through theological reflection, research, and training.

Article Submission: We invite submissions of original research/writing on issues related to Doctor of Ministry education and the practice of ministry. To be considered, articles will generally fall within one of the following categories:

a. the practice of ministry
b. spiritual formation
c. andragogy
d. program administration

Contributors do not need to be members of ADME. Manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere unless specifically approved by the editor. In matters of format, submissions should follow the latest edition of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian. Please use footnotes where appropriate.

The preferred length of articles is between 1,500 and 6,000 words. Contributors should send their submissions to the editor ( as Word documents. The author's name, address, and e-mail address should appear only on a cover sheet for the article. Authors should also include an abstract of the article (100 words or less). Before acceptance, submissions will be reviewed by appropriate referees. If accepted for publication, we reserve the right to edit for usage and style.


Research articles

o Theological/Philosophical foundations and issues impacting educational and ministry practice
o Historical perspectives on adult education or ministry that shed light on current issues in those fields
o Empirical research that furthers our understanding of sound practice

General articles

We're interested in anything that DMin directors and faculty and students would find helpful. Some areas of interest include:

  • Teaching/Preparing people for effective ministry
  • Effective models of education and/or ministry
  • Assessment of congregational/parachurch ministry trends and needs
  • Cultural analysis with implications for educational practice
  • Response/Dialogue with issues or ideas in the broader field of religious education
  • Reviews of contemporary ministry models in schools, churches and/or parachurch organizations
  • Professional reviews of research, with implications for educational ministry or teaching
  • An extended summary of an outstanding D.Min thesis-project that has been recently completed

Characteristics of the articles we publish

1. The content is clearly relevant to Doctor of Ministry directors, administrators, faculty and/or ministry practitioners.
2. The article has not been submitted elsewhere. We will not accept previously published articles.
3. The article presents a clear idea and develops the idea in a logical and coherent manner.
4. The article is well supported with academically credible evidence.
5. The position/perspective of the article encourages theological reflection and integration.
6. The article is respectful of readers within the broader Christian community, including Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and others.
7. The article demonstrates significant breadth and depth of understanding of the issues it addresses.
8. The article explores its topic in new ways. It makes a fresh contribution to our understanding, not just reviewing or repeating things that have been addressed in other publications.
9. The article presents a position/perspective compatible with Christian theological traditions.
10. The article treats other positions in a fair and respectful manner.
11. The author develops reasonable implications for educational and/or ministry practice. We want to see how the issues addressed in the article make a difference for those seeking to carry out their ministries well. This is a critical part of each article!
12. The writing style of the article communicates well to the journal audience (D.Min directors, administrators, faculty, students, and thoughtful ministry practitioners.)
13. The article employs gender inclusive language.
14. The subject of the article is compatible with the theme of an upcoming edition of The Journal of Christian Ministry.


Our book and resource reviews are intended to help the broader ADME community remain on the cutting edge of ministry by identifying and interacting with significant new educational and ministry literature. We want to draw attention to the best new books and resources.

To accomplish this ambitious goal, we invite our readers to partner with us by becoming book reviewers. The information below clarifies the procedures and guidelines for writing book reviews


If you are interested in becoming a book reviewer for The Journal of Christian Ministry, please express your interest to the editor at and include a copy of your updated CV/resume. (Normally reviewers will have earned at least a masters degree in a theological area and will be members of ADME.) Be sure to include complete contact information (email, mailing address, and home and work phone) and indicate the area(s) related to your expertise.


Feel free to email the Editor with the book's bibliographic information and a brief note explaining why you think it is worthy to be reviewed in The Journal of Christian Ministry. Only books that have been published for two years or less are eligible for review.

Please do not submit an unsolicited review. (In some cases that particular book may have already been commissioned to be reviewed by someone else.) Please do not submit a review to The Journal of Christian Ministry that you have submitted elsewhere. We will not accept previously published book reviews.


Book reviews will vary in length from 1,000-2000 words and should accomplish two things. First, it will give readers the central thesis of the book and a description of its main structure and approach so readers can understand the book's content, flow, and argument. Second, the review will interact with and evaluate the author's major ideas and compare them to previous literature. A significant part of the review should be evaluative, perhaps one-third to one-half of the review. The review will relate the book to the concerns of the greater Christian community and keep in mind our particular readership: professors, educational administrators, practitioners, and students.

Book reviews should be thoughtful and fair. You are welcome to disagree with an author, but be sure that you do so in a professional and respectful manner.

Please follow the guidelines, formatting, and deadlines described below. Attending to these important details will increase the likelihood of having your book review accepted at first submission. Submissions may receive some editing prior to publication. Occasionally a review may be delayed in publication so the reviewer can respond to more substantive editing comments. In some cases a review may not meet the editorial policies of The Journal of Christian Ministry. In this case, the review would be returned to the author who would then be free to submit it elsewhere.

Major questions that could guide the reviewing process appear below. Make your review purposeful. To launch your review, get to the point. Carefully craft your opening sentence and first paragraph. Readers will judge whether they wish to continue with your review based on the first paragraph.


Of course, not all of the following questions need to be addressed since space is limited.

A. UNDERSTANDING. Before evaluating a book, we first must understand it. This aspect is more descriptive and factual-perhaps up to 50% of the review. Summarize the subject matter and contents of the book. Give the reader a sense of the scope of the whole work.

Overview: What is the main subject matter or topic of the book? Provide a brief overview (by chapter if possible) of book contents (scope). How is the book organized (sequence) (e.g.,chapters grouped together within parts?) Is there a main organizing framework or model being followed, explicit or implicit? What kind of book is it (e.g., scholarly-technical? textbook? trade/popular?)

Main Thesis, Conclusion(s): What is the main problem/question being addressed? What main claim/conclusion is proposed? What argument is offered to support these proposals? What are the major sub-claims of the book? Have the author's intentions been clearly understood?

B. INTERACTION AND EVALUATION. This aspect involves your professional judgment regarding how well the author carried out his or her project, related to the intentions of the author. This aspect is an essential contribution that transforms a plain ";;book summary";; into a ";;book review.";; This task is the more difficult one, yet it can become easier with increasing breadth of knowledge of the field and depth of critical thinking.

Author's Qualifications: What is important to tell us about the authors qualifications to write this book?

Assessment of the Argument: How well did the author develop the argument to support the main conclusions, claims, proposals? How well does the author deliver on his or her promises to address the problem(s) posed? [Also see ";;B5";; below.] Any strengths of the argument to highlight? Any weak elements or limitations to note? For points of important disagreement, did you offer a reason: (a) if the author was uninformed (unaware of relevant information)? or (b)
misinformed (in error)? or (c) illogical (a conclusion that does not follow)? (Is the book title accurate? Can you suggest a better title?

Compatibility within an Christian Perspective: What theological or worldview
perspective is/seems to be evident in the book? From what perspective is the author addressing the issue?

Contribution: Is there a real need for this book? Why? Any distinctive or novel
contributions/proposals in the book worth mentioning? conceptually? practically? (of personal interest to you?) Any quotes worth including? How does the book and its specific contents relate within the broader context of books from the same field of study? Is the treatment of concepts, issues, authors cited, subject matter similar or different? How so? What is the quantity and quality of the citations?

Reviewer's Conclusions: Do you finally agree or not with the conclusion? Have you indicated either (a) general agreement with major proposal(s)? (b)
agreement as far as the argument was developed? (c) agreement in the main with only minor disagreements? Or (d) disagreement with the main conclusion(s).
For whom do you think the book was written/target audience or for what
use (e.g., undergraduate, masters, doctoral, layperson; as a primary text or supplemental)? Was the book well-written, or did you experience any difficulty in reading the book? Can you recommend the book? Any qualifications to note?

A final note: Do you have any personal reactions to the book? From what specifically? Also be careful that underlying reactions do not pervade the texture and tone of your review. Be honest, yet fair and gracious.


1. The Journal of Christian Ministry is published annually in the spring. To be considered for publication, commissioned book reviews must be submitted to the Editor by November 15.

Late submissions will be considered for the next issue. Occasionally additional editing of your review may be requested which would then delay publication for a particular issue. Earlier submissions would permit more time for the editing process.

2. Reviewers are requested to submit reviews in electronic format (Word docs preferred) as an e-mail attachment (see form guidelines below).


1. Book reviews will normally be between 1,000 words and a maximum of 2,000 words.

2. Please use the latest version of Word (12 pt. Font, Times New Roman). In matters of format, submissions should follow the latest edition of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian. The text should be double-spaced and include one-inch margins. Minimize software codes embedded in the text (i.e., use left margin justification only, do not use headers or footers except for page numbers). Be sure to use your spell-checker and grammar checker, but do not rely on these to be the only kind of proof-reading done.

3. The headline bibliographical data for the review should place the book title first in italics, author's name [first, middle initial/name, last name; no titles], place of publication and publisher, year, number of pages, and price, followed by ";;paper";; if a paperback [otherwise hardback will be assumed]. It is important to include number of pages and the retail price of the book.

4. On a new line, following the information about the book and before the review begins, list the reviewer's name, position, institutional affiliation, and location; or position title, name of local church or parachurch organization, and location.

5. When quoting directly from the book being reviewed, only provide page-number citations in parentheses after the quotation mark and before the period [e.g., ";;that is ridiculous";; (17)]. Do not include ";;p.";; or ";;pp.";; in the page number citation or the author's last name.

6. For editorial purposes, at the top of the review itself, include the date of submission and the word count. Then submit the document as an email attachment. Please list your name and the book reviewed in the message line itself. If your e-mail software does not support attachments, paste the review into the body of your e-mail.




Section Policies

Note from ADME

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Lead Article

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

General Articles

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Book and Resource Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Noteworthy Student Work

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

The process:

Once your article is submitted, it will be subject to a blind peer-review. The people chosen to review your article are selected according to the following criteria:

  • Has published articles on the kinds of topics she/he will review
  • Has previous study and current knowledge of the areas addressed in the article being reviewed (familiarity with current discussions)
  • Has taught on the kinds of topics being addressed in the article
  • Has personal experience with the topic/issues addressed in the article
  • Not necessarily a technical editor, but able to give feedback on how well someone is communicating his/her ideas.
  • If the article presents empirical research, the reviewer needs to be experienced with the type of research conducted and able to evaluate the soundness of the research process, data analysis, and conclusions drawn from that data.
  • A person who agrees to review articles for The Journal of Christian Ministry should be prepared to review the articles assigned and return reports within four weeks of receiving them. Articles are normally sent one at a time for review. Prompt communication with the editor regarding availability or problems due to other work/personal demands is critical.

The blind peer-review process gives credibility to our journal and helps make sure that your article is as good as it can be. It does, however, take time. Please make sure that you submit your writing in a timely manner. It is often impossible to accept articles that are not received by the deadline established by the editor.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...


The Purpose of The Journal of Christian Ministry

The Journal of Christian Ministry is a publication of The Association for Doctor of Ministry Education (ADME) that exists to encourage the practice of Christian ministry at the highest level through theological reflection, research, and excellence in teaching.