General Style Guidelines
Mutuality Condensed Style Guide
Mission: To share egalitarian theology and explore its impact with everyday life. We want to educate, inspire, convict, prepare, and mobilize Christians to intentionally advocate for women’s biblical equality in the world. We want to move beyond theory to provide real-life, everyday engagement with egalitarian theology.
Readership: Mutuality readers are a mix of lay Christians, church leaders, and academics. Some are very familiar with egalitarian theology while others are just getting started. Our readership is ecumenical, with subscribers from over 100 predominantly evangelical denominations around the world. All are passionate about advancing women’s equality in the home, church, and world. The print edition of Mutuality is mailed and emailed quarterly to all CBE subscribers. Those interested in receiving print issues of Mutuality can subscribe online or call 612-872-6898. The online edition of Mutuality is published weekly and shared with all CBE subscribers at no cost. To receive the weekly Mutuality blog, subscribe online.
Themes and deadlines: Print issues of Mutuality are planned according to specific themes. Upcoming themes are available here. Mutuality online does not follow a theme schedule.
- Please send a completed article or query letter with a brief summary to email@example.com. Include your name, email address, headshot, and fifty-word biography. If accepted for publication, you will be asked to complete an author release form. Microsoft Word is preferred.
- Content should be original and created by you. It should not have been published (or be slated for publication) elsewhere. Any borrowed or quoted material should be documented as such. Articles that have been previously published on a very small personal blog may be considered; please include a link to the blog and a note on the size of the blog’s audience.
- Article length:
- Mutuality print: First-person narratives and feature articles should be between 800–1,800 words, but we are open to considering longer pieces. Book, movie, and music reviews should be between 500–800 words.
- Mutuality online: Blog articles should be between 600–1,500 words in length (longer or shorter posts may be considered or split into multiple parts).
- We are unable to consider or respond to authors who send us more than two articles at a time, whose submissions are substantially over 3,000 words, or whose submissions are not sent uniquely to Mutuality.
- It’s helpful to split articles into sections of 100–300 words each, with descriptive headings for each section.
- We attempt to respond to submissions as quickly as possible, but reviewing manuscripts sometimes takes four weeks or more. We appreciate your patience. If we like your article but do not have space for it on our current schedule, we may ask to hold it for possible future publication.
- You agree to actively participate in the editing process as the editorial team requests. Articles may need to be shortened/lengthened, edited for grammar and style, and/or adjusted for clarity and alignment with CBE’s mission and core values. Substantive changes made by the editorial team will be sent to you, the author, for comment and approval.
- Writers for the print edition of Mutuality will be thanked with a $40 gift card, a one-year CBE subscription, and three copies of the issue in which their article appears. Writers for Mutuality online will be thanked with a $20 gift card.
General Style Guidelines
- Mutuality uses The Chicago Manual of Style and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. Consult these for questions of style and usage, such as abbreviations, capitalization, and punctuation. One of the best ways get a feel for Mutuality’s tone and style is to read previous issues and articles.
- Mutuality uses Chicago notes style when necessary, but prefers in-text hyperlinks for online articles.
- You are welcome to use spellings customary to your region of the world (e.g., Savior or Saviour, evangelize or evangelise).
- Please keep in mind Mutuality’s mission to inspire and encourage through personal stories, biblical insights, and practical tips. Aim for an optimistic and positive tone. Avoid scholarly language and keep Greek and Hebrew to an absolute minimum.
- Be respectful. Address opposing viewpoints and persons graciously and fairly, and avoid stereotypes, slanderous language, and criticizing others in a non-constructive manner. Strive for an irenic tone at all times that respects the dignity of all people worldwide.
- Respect the privacy of others. Do not disclose personal information about others without their permission.
Below are some ideas of what we look for in Mutuality. If you’d like to write for the print edition of Mutuality, please also see the Upcoming Mutuality Themes.
- Commentary/analysis on biblical passages or topics related to women’s equality in the home, church, workplace, and world.
- Commentary on and critique of gender stereotypes and sexism in the home, church, workplace, and world.
- Examination of the influence and impact of patriarchy in culture, theology, organizations, and church.
- Personal stories about women’s inequality or equality and its impact.
- Practical strategies to foster women’s biblical equality.
- Reflections on relevant biblical passages or individuals.
- Reflections on female leadership in the past, present, or future.
- Analysis of arguments surrounding patriarchy and the Bible’s support for women’s equality.
- Reviews of pertinent books, movies, or music.
If CBE accepts your article for publication in Mutuality, it is for first rights. You are encouraged to share or publish your work elsewhere and keep any income. By publishing with CBE, you agree to the following regarding your material (including your name, picture, title, and short biography):
- You will not publish or grant permission for others to publish the material in any context or form that might be injurious or reflect unfavorably on CBE or its publications.
- If you republish or grant permission for others to republish the material, you will ensure that CBE is cited as the original publisher, and that a link to the original material on CBE’s website is included.
- If your material is copyrighted, CBE assumes you are authorizing us to publish it.
Further details about your rights and responsibilities as an author are outlined in the Mutuality author release form.
Disclaimer: CBE does not necessarily endorse an author’s entire body of work; individual articles are evaluated on their own merits and their agreement with CBE’s mission, core values, and statement of faith, whether or not the author has expressed agreement elsewhere or in other venues. Final selection for all material published in Mutuality is up to the discretion of the editor, publisher, and CBE’s president. Mutuality reserves the right to use or not use any story. Contributions will be edited to maintain the policies and positions of CBE International and to adjust for clarity, style, or length.
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Mutuality Condensed Style Guide
Mutuality uses The Chicago Manual of Style and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. However, we know that not everyone has easy access to these guides, so here is a quick run-down of some of the most important style and usage notes.
- Use gender-inclusive language (see CMS 5.46 and 5.221-30), as well as gender-accurate versions of the Bible. Mutuality defaults to NIV 2011, but you may also choose to use a translation like the NRSVue, TNIV, and CEB. Please note if you use a translation that is not the NIV: Galatians 3:28 NRSVue.
- Include Bible citations (with translation) in parentheses at the end of a sentence or quotation. But do not abbreviate books of the Bible in-text.
- Paul reminds us that we “are all children of God through faith” (Gal. 3:28 NRSVue).
- In Galatians 3 Paul discusses the depth of Jesus’s redeeming work in us.
- Do not italicize Bible or the title of any biblical book (e.g., Acts, John, Genesis).
- Use possessive forms such as Jesus’s and Moses’s, not Jesus’ and Moses’ (CMS 7.16).
- Capitalize Bible and Scripture. Lowercase biblical and scriptural, as well as most other religious terms (e.g., evangelical, gospel, kingdom, apostle).
- Lowercase divine pronouns (CWMS). For capitalization of divine titles (e.g., Comforter, Creator, Son of God, King of kings, Trinity), see CWMS.
- Use BC and AD over BCE and CE (using full capital letters and no periods). AD precedes the year (AD 70); BC follows the year (586 BC).
- Authors are welcome to use spellings customary in their region of the world (e.g., color or colour, rationalize or rationalise).
- Use one space after each sentence, not two.
- Include a comma before the last item in a list (Oxford comma/serial comma).
- Use italics rather than underlining (for titles) or bold (for emphasis).
- Contractions are fine—even encouraged.
- Avoid trite words such as “very,” “really,” “thing,” “nice,” “and/or.”
- Do use first (“I,” “we”) and second (“you”) person. Avoid using “one.”
- Limit use of hedging and self-referential statements such as, “In my opinion,” “I think that,” and “It seems to me.”