The Art of Academic Writing; June 5-23

This intensive course is designed to orient students to the primary types of academic writing generally assigned at PSR and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), including reflection papers, research papers, critical essays, and exegetical papers. The course is intended to help students learn or “dust off” the writing skills they will need to succeed academically while in seminary. Through lectures, online discussions, written exercises, reading assignments, and one-on-one check-ins with the instructor, participants will learn the art and technique of composing critical writing in a U.S. academic setting.


Among other topics, this course will cover: developing a topic; identifying reliable resources; reading and note-taking; constructing a thesis; writing and revising the outline, body, introduction, and conclusion of a paper; and formatting footnotes and bibliography. Participants will also learn how to identify and use online resources available through the GTU library. Finally, the course will introduce PSR’s Plagiarism Policy and will offer strategies for avoiding plagiarism in a U.S. context. Please note: This is an intensive course. We will be covering seven weeks of material in just three weeks. Successful learning in this course will require a significant daily time commitment-up to three hours some days-from participants. This ONLINE course meets asynchronously using Moodle.  High-speed internet connection required.

About the Instructor

Christina Fetherolf has been teaching the Art and Technique of Academic Writing since 2015. She has a PhD in Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible) with a concentration in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.  Her dissertation was entitled “Lamenting Abuse: Reading Psalm 22 as a Response to Intimate Partner Abuse.” She received her Masters of Divinity and Theological Studies (Biblical Languages) from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (Delaware, OH) and her Bachelor of Arts in Religion (with a minor in English) from Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH).  She also spent an academic year studying at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University of Jerusalem while completing her master degrees. When she’s not busy teaching undergraduate and seminary students, she enjoys painting and teaching K-1 Sunday school.


Dates: June 5-23, 2017, M-F
Location: PSR
Room: Online
Instructor:  Fetherolf
Credits: 1.5

To Register

Current Pacific School of Religion or Graduate Theological Union students: Please search for the course on WebAdvisor in your student planning. Search for IDS 8100.

For those who wish to take this course for academic credit who are not current GTU students: Please fill out this form to apply for Special Student Status.

Alumni/ae, PSR faculty, PSR staff, Field Education Mentors/Supervisors, Emeriti Faculty, student spouses, and special guests of PSR: You may qualify for a discounted rate. Fill out this form and our Registrar will be in touch.

Questions? Contact Lyndsey Reed, Registrar, at lreed@psr.edu or 510-849-8285.

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