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Dissertations & DMin Projects: Formatting Guidelines


Because your project is a publication, it:

  • Must comply with all publication standards and protocols to avoid copyright infringement of other intellectual property
  • Must be print-ready and reflect careful organization, scholarly expertise, and editorial professionalism
  • Cannot be edited after it is submitted

The generally accepted manuals for preparation of dissertations and theses are linked in this LibGuide's Research tab. These manuals provide formatting guidelines and suggestions for footnotes, bibliographies, and other composition standards.

For an overview of our preferred institutional style please see the CST Guidelines for Formatting Dissertations document in the Links and Resources box below. Note that to comply with applicable laws and regulations, some disciplines or degrees may impose additional requirements and specifications for academic publications. Please consult with your dissertation adviser about the requirements specific to your discipline.

Title Page

Title: Your title should reflect the subject or focus of your manuscript and will be the basis for keywords for internet and library searches as previously approved in your Advancement to Candidacy Form. 

When degrees are conferred by two institutions: When the degree is awarded jointly by two institutions, both are listed on your title page. For example, the line might read “Claremont School of Theology and University of the West.”

Committee Page

The Committee Page replaces the page formerly used to collect and document the written approval of the members of the dissertation committee. In compliance with best practices intended to curb the potential for identity theft, signatures are not included in the published version of the manuscript. However, a declaration of the Committee’s approval and a listing of all dissertation committee members are required.

When there are multiple chairs: Multiple chairs may be listed in one of two ways.  (1) The chairs may be listed on the same line as illustrated below. (2) If a single column listing is used, verify with your committee chairs whether the chairs should be listed alphabetically or if a primary chair should be listed first. In either case, the individuals would be listed as Co-Chairs.

Typed name, Co-Chair                           Typed name, Co-Chair

Institution                                                Institution

Title                                                            Title



No page number is printed at the bottom of the Committee page.

Abstract Page

The following requirements apply to the composition of your abstract:

  • List the following items on the first page of your abstract.
    • Title of the dissertation
    • Your name
    • Claremont School of Theology
    • Year your degree will be awarded
  • The abstract must be double-spaced.
  • The abstract recommended length is no greater than 750 words of text.  
  • The  abstract  should  provide  a  narrative  explanation  of  the  nature  and  scope  of  the problem or topic of your dissertation, the method employed in developing your dissertation, and a summary of your conclusions.

No page number is printed at the bottom of the Abstract page.

Paginating Your Manuscript

The table below lists the accepted order of the pages or sections of your manuscript. It also indicates when a page number should be displayed and when both Roman and Arabic numbering begins in your document. Refer to the document “Dissertation Formatting Guide” for more information. 

If possible, place Roman numeral page numbers at the bottom center of the page and Arabic numeral page numbers at the top right of the page. Check out the "Using and manipulating page numbers" link in the Links and Resources box on this page or the “Dissertation Formatting Guide” to learn how to format your page numbers in Word.

Note that some of the items listed in this table are optional. Consult with your committee chair for standards appropriate to your discipline.

Manuscript Order & Numbering Protocol

Page Count Print Type
Title Page Yes No N/A
Copyright Page (optional) Yes No


Committee Listing Page Yes No N/A
Abstract (for Dissertations) Yes No N/A
Dedication (optional) Yes No N/A
Acknowledgements (optional) Yes Yes

First Page with Number

Small Roman numeral, start with page v*

Preface (optional) Yes Yes Small Roman numeral
Table of Contents Yes Yes Small Roman numeral
Table of Figures or Plates (optional) Yes Yes Small Roman numeral
Introduction (optional) Yes Yes

First Arabic Page Number

Arabic, start with page 1

Chapter One Yes  Yes Arabic, start with page 1 if there is no Introduction

*While the title page and other preliminary pages do not have numbers printed on them, these pages are, nevertheless, counted. The first page on which a number is actually printed must take into account the number of pages that preceded it. For example, the table suggests that the acknowledgments page be numbered v. This page number is based on there being a title page (i), a copyright page (ii), a committee listing page (iii), a one-page abstract (iv), and a dedication page (v). If you do not have all these pages or if your abstract is two pages long, your acknowledgments section may begin with a different page number.