Writing Competency Requirement for Biblical Studies

Biola University expects all of its graduates to write well. Therefore, before graduating, a student must pass the Writing Competency Requirement (WCR). This requirement is not offered apart from the required course work. Instead, the University has incorporated the Writing Competency Requirement within the regular curriculum. It is recommended that students plan to fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement during their junior year, before submitting their Graduation Petition.

Each department has the freedom to create a Requirement that suits the writing demands of its discipline. Bible majors may satisfy the Writing Competency Requirement by submitting a research paper that was written for one of the upper-division Bible courses (BBST 300-400). The Biblical & Theological Studies Division recommends that Bible majors submit their WCR paper during the second semester of his or her junior year. This will allow enough time for a second submission in the event that the first submission does not pass.

The WCR paper is due by 5pm on the fifth Friday of the semester. Submissions will be received anytime between the start of the semester and the deadline in Talbot East 211.

Guidelines to follow for preparing and submitting the WCR paper:

  1. Must be a research paper written for an upper-division Bible course at Biola. The paper must argue for a particular position on some issue. It can be an exegetical paper as long as it argues for a particular exegetical position.
  2. Must be written in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (e.g., follow Turabian formatting).
  3. Must be at least 8 pages in length; 8-12 pages is the preferred length.
  4. Must include a title page with the course name for which the paper was written, the professor name and the student’s ID#. It is imperative that the student’s name not be included anywhere on the paper, including the title page.
  5. Must submit 2 copies of the paper along with 2 copies of the assignment guidelines (usually found in the course syllabus).

After a WCR paper has been submitted, two Biblical & Theological Studies professors will assess it using the standard five-point rubric. A combined score of 5 or higher must be received in order to pass (if a disparity between the two scores is greater than 2 then it must be assessed by a third professor).

Students who do not pass the Writing Competency Requirement on their first attempt must reattempt to pass it during a subsequent semester. If not passed on the second attempt, that student must enroll in ENGL 210, Writing for Competency. A grade of C+ or higher in this course will satisfy the Writing Competency Requirement. Students may not enroll in ENGL 210 unless they have failed the Writing Competency Requirement twice. Delaying the fulfillment of the Writing Competency Requirement may jeopardize the student’s timely graduation. A notation will be made on the student’s transcript once the Writing Competency Requirement has been passed.

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