Paper Guidelines
             Living, Loving, and Learning Today
The questions we seek to pursue at this conference are "what should we be paying attention to in modern relationships?"  

Our keynote speaker, Emily Reimer-Barry, PhD, will be presenting a response to the HIV/AIDS problem we currently face, as well as offering thoughts on the exploding use of porn by young people.  

We welcome you to submit both academic papers and creative works this year that fit within our theme.

Presenting Your Paper
You will be given 10-15 minutes to present your paper/thesis

A Q&A session will follow paper presentations; please be prepared to answer questions about your paper.       

Guidelines for Submitting a Paper
The purpose of this conference is to have students write, submit, and present papers focusing on theological inquiry into relationships, marriage, and sexuality. Both presenting and attending the conference offer valuable experience for students who are working with theological topics and research methods. Though preference will be given to papers that pertain to our chosen theme, other paper topics will be considered as well.

Please fill out the paper submission form (link above) then email your paper to the conference team at as a MS Word document.

Please label your file with your name.

We are excited to announce this year we will be incorporating a creative arts portion to the conference. Please feel free to submit works of art, poetry, creative narrative projects, multi-media projects, dances, ect.

If you are interested in submitting a creative piece for the conference, please email us at with a brief description of your piece.


Some things to consider while writing the paper:
1. What’s the point?
  • A good essay has a thesis (a particular proposition which is to be argued).  It is not a general discussion or personal reflection on a subject (although it may include personal reflection).
  • It is an attempt to convince others in the academic community that your way of thinking about something is defensible.
  • An essay in theological ethics is an attempt to argue from within a religious tradition (or at least in a tradition’s own terms) that a certain norm or practice is or is not morally acceptable or that a certain practice will or will not help people grow in virtue.

2. How to begin?

  • You begin by doing extensive reading on a specific question or problem to get a sense of what the issues are. 
What do you read?
    •  Aim for scholarly articles or book chapters written in the last 10-15 years. Most of the authors you consult should be experts in the academic study of religion or theology (i.e., professors teaching at universities), and their works should be found in a university library.  Strong publishers of theology books include: any university press, Crossroad, Continuum, Paulist, Orbis, Pilgrim, Liturgical, Fortress, Westminster, Abingdon, and Eerdmans.
    • You can access full-text journal articles online via the database ATLA on the Pius library’s homepage.
    • Papal documents are available at
  • Once you have one good book or article, scan the footnotes for additional sources.  Try to get a sense of which authors are most significant for your topic. 

What NOT to read or reference:
    • Random articles on the Internet are not good resources for theology papers; neither are most books from public libraries or Christian bookstores.
    • In most cases, you should not use popular Christian books, the Catechism, the bible (without critical commentary), newspaper/magazine articles.
MORE QUESTIONS? Ask a professor!!!! 

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