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Policy Statement

A thesis is not an option for an AA/AS degree due to the skill specific nature of the degree program and the brevity of the degree program. A thesis may be submitted in partial fulfillment of a BA/BS degree. A thesis is required for a BA/BS candidate if transferring more than 12 credits or if it is a requirement for a specific College/Faculty degree programme. The only exception to this requirement is in the rare and unusual instance of YWAM transfer credits from a non-registered DTS/CDTS. Not more than 12 credits are granted for a BA/BS thesis.

A thesis is required for all MA/MS candidates. A minimum of 12 to a maximum of 48 credits are granted for a MA/MS thesis. Note that each 12 credits granted for work on a thesis requires full-time commitment for a 12 week U of N term (quarter), and regular one-on-one interaction between student and thesis advisor throughout the term.

The thesis work must be done under the direction of a thesis advisor in the appropriate College/Faculty, and must be applicable to the curriculum in which the degree will be awarded.


The purpose of this document is to provide the information needed for students planning on preparing a thesis project. Students should read this document carefully prior to beginning a project, and should refer to it throughout the process.

Definition of Terms

A thesis is an original, creative dissertation which includes the following aspects:

  • Original research: original: new, as an original idea, inventive, creative; research: a deep study or laboratory/field investigation, the quest for new information through examination of source material.
  • Synthesize: to integrate material: relate material from text, speakers, books, own personal documented experience.
  • Evaluate: assess the idea in terms of other conflicting points of view, experimental data, etc.
  • Analyze: break complex ideas down into their component parts.
  • Revelation: manifestation by God of His will and truths to persons.


  1. Before you begin:
    Begin thinking about a topic. This should involve: revelation, something related to your field of study, something you're motivated to pursue.
  2. Consultation with International Dean or Student Advisor of your College/Faculty:
    Consult with the International Dean or Student Advisor of your College/Faculty who will provide you with a "Thesis Checklist." This consultation should take place as early as possible prior to the term in which you begin the preparation of the thesis. During this consultation you will have initial discussions of your topic, your time schedule and any special considerations that need agreement. Most importantly, a thesis advisor will be selected by mutual agreement and arrangement between the student, the International College/Faculty Dean and the Student Advisor. The thesis advisor is the one who will supervise the thesis process. The MA thesis advisor may be qualified by broad experience in the field of the thesis topic which has been recognized at a level commensurate with a Master's or Doctoral degree.
  3. Prepare a thesis proposal:
    Follow these instructions for preparing a thesis project proposal to be presented to your thesis advisor for approval:
    1. Designate your field of study.
    2. Designate the concentration or specialization within that field of study.
    3. Outline your learning and research objectives and key concepts to be presented.
    4. Specify the learning resources and strategies you intend to use, including an initial working bibliography.
    5. Describe the manner in which you intend to present the results of your research. A thesis project prepared by a degree candidate can be an original research project which may be based on field experience, experimentation, writings, methods, or philosophies of recognized scholars, or it may be a special investigative project designed and implemented by the candidate. The U of N encourages non-traditional thesis projects such as researching, designing and implementing a pre-school, a global media village, a play, an art show, scientific studies, new inventions, or a collection of short stories. The options are as varied as God's creation. The creative work itself may represent the major work of the thesis, but must be accompanied by some written documentation, explanation and summary statement. In the U of N we emphasize seeking God for revelation throughout the entire thesis project process.

    The proposal should be typed and submitted to your thesis adviser. The thesis advisor will be the one to recommend any changes required to bring the project into conformity with basic research methods. When your proposal is accepted, you will be notified by your thesis advisor and may register for the Undergraduate Thesis (XXX 399) or Graduate Thesis (XXX 499) and proceed with the project.
    a. Undergraduate Thesis Project (XXX 399):
    In general, the thesis project at the undergraduate level will be a researched topic related to what the student has learned and applied during his training. Original research is encouraged, but not required to the degree that is done on the graduate level. Documentation need not be as thorough as for a graduate thesis, but should demonstrate a familiarity with what others have done in the subject area. On the undergraduate thesis, there is an emphasis on knowledge, comprehension, application, and synthesis to be demonstrated in the thinking processes and content. The scope of the undergraduate thesis must be sufficiently narrow to permit the student to prepare a thorough paper in the time allowed. A traditional written thesis should be grammatically correct and well written, so as to be of publishable quality. The length is not an important criterion for grading the thesis. A typical length might be 50-100 pages but of course, longer papers would be accepted. Non-traditional thesis projects should demonstrate the same weight in research and substance.
    b. Graduate Thesis Project (XXX 499):
    The graduate thesis is a good, solid piece of original research. It should be well documented from the pertinent literature in the field, and have a detailed bibliography. It is expected that the student will seek God for revelation regarding the topic of choice. It is also expected that the higher levels of thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) will be demonstrated in the content of the project. It needs to be grammatically correct and well written so as to be of publishable quality. The number of pages matters less than the quality of the research, and a well-done thesis can be shorter than a poorly done one. Some people say that a couple hundred type-written, double-spaced pages are the norm for a graduate thesis. Non-traditional thesis projects should demonstrate the same weight in research and substance.
  4. Registering for a Thesis Project:
    A person preparing to work on an Undergraduate Thesis (XXX 399) or a Graduate Thesis (XXX 499) does so in consultation with the University of the Nations International College/Faculty. A student registration fee is charged by the College and tuition fee as deemed by the College. A Form B is submitted to the International Registrar and at the completion of the Thesis the Form C1 is submitted to the International Registrar or Provost Representative.
    1. Undergraduate Thesis Project (XXX 399):
      A full-time student will be expected to complete a 12 credit thesis within three months/one term. If the student extends the thesis beyond the three months, additional charges could be assessed. A student desiring an extension must have the thesis advisor's approval. A "deferred" grade will be issued until the thesis is completed and the student is examined by the thesis advisor and committee. U of N students who have transferred in more than 12 undergraduate credits are required to complete a 12-credit thesis. This requires full-time study for a minimum of one quarter. Requiring the transfer student to do a thesis creates an avenue through which the student and the Student Advisor can quickly establish a coaching/mentoring relationship. This will enable the Student Advisor to monitor the transfer student's academic progress, skill level, help them with their organizational ability and spur the student on to take more and more initiative in their studies. The thesis counts toward the total credit requirement for a degree.
    2. Graduate Thesis Project (XXX 499):
      The graduate thesis project can be taken for 12-48 credits, depending on the topic and the Advisor's recommendation. A maximum of 12 credits is applied for each quarter the student works full-time on the thesis. A "deferred" grade is to be submitted by the Advisor each quarter if there is satisfactory progress and until the thesis is completed. The student may be required to spend twelve weeks in residence during the thesis preparation, in order to have adequate communication and consultation with the thesis advisor.
  5. Research and prepare the thesis project:
    1. Students will conduct the research segment of the project as indicated in their proposals making alterations when approved by their advisors. The student is encouraged to seek out information from as many sources as possible. Different systems of recording facts and quotations may be used by the student.
    2. Thesis students, whether full-time or part-time, are required to report and discuss progress each week with their thesis advisor or as arranged by their advisor. At this time students may discuss their concerns, questions regarding structure and/or content, or seek advice.
    3. Draft copies should be given to the advisor section by section, discussed and revisions made as needed. Be prepared to make as many revisions as is needed to produce a document that is of publishable quality.
    4. Prepare a final photocopy for the thesis advisor who will review it with the thesis committee. The committee is composed of at least one (for a BA/BS candidate) or two (for a MA/MS candidate) additional people who are approved by the advisor to review the thesis and evaluate the finished product.
  6. The oral exam:
    A time will be set for an oral defense of the thesis to discuss the implications of the thesis and to defend the principles and data contained therein. The oral defense is made to the thesis committee. Be prepared to discuss the implications of the thesis and to defend the principles and data contained therein. Note: substitutes on the committee must be approved by the International College/Faculty Dean.
  7. Final revision and publication:
    After the oral exam, final adjustments are made. Then, submit final, bound copies of the thesis as specified in the thesis checklist: at least one to the Campus Library, one to the International College/Faculty Office, and one to the Campus College/Faculty Office.
  8. Sample Structure:
    The structure, format and presentation media of the thesis should be determined by subject matter and the student's and thesis advisor's approach. The features are decided by an agreement between the thesis advisor, the student and the thesis committee. The following is only a sample of how a written thesis project could be structured.

1. Title page:


Submitted to fulfill the thesis requirement for a Bachelor's (Master's) Degree

College/Faculty of XXX

Student's Name


2. Blank page:

3. Signature approval page:

STUDENT'S NAME has successfully passed the thesis requirements for the completion of the Bachelor's (Master's) Thesis.

Thesis Committee:

______________________________ Date:__________

Thesis Advisor

______________________________ Date:__________

Committee Member

______________________________ Date:__________

Committee Member

4. Acknowledgements:

It is appropriate to acknowledge assistance from individuals and institutions that have given significant support.

5. Abstract:

An abstract is a short, concise statement in 150 to 600 words that provides an understanding of the entire thesis.

6. Table of contents:


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 1

Section One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5

Chapter I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 6

Chapter II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 15

Section Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 30

Chapter III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 31

Chapter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 50

Section Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 78

Conclusion and Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 98

7. The text:

The text could be organized in either of the following two sample ways or in an alternative style agreed upon by the student and the advisor.

1. Sample #1 - The Research Paper

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Statement of the problem

Importance of the problem

Definition of any specialized terms

Limitations to the study of the problem

Chapters 2-? - A very well documented review of the literature

Present various aspects of the problem

Express original revelation

Document, if applicable - case studies, examples, etc. encouraged

Last Chapter - Summary

Conclusions: Does this study tend to support or contradict the findings of other researchers?

Recommendations: Are the results suggestive of other research that is needed, or are there implications for revising the current body of knowledge in this area?

2. Sample #2 - The Research Project Report

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Statement of the topic

Importance of the topic

Definition of any specialized terms

Limitations to the study of the topic

Chapter 2 - Review of the literature

In this chapter, a review is made of the writings of the other authors who have written on the subject. Both positive and negative views can be presented, and credit should be given for former research that has led to the development of your thesis.

Chapter 3 - Methodology

Describe the methods used in your study, including research design, hypothesis, any special tests, questionnaires, any statistical procedures used, how the data was gathered and analyzed, and description of the populations, or other data, if applicable.

Chapter 4 - Results

In this chapter, state what the results were, use tables, charts and figures if necessary. Present statistical findings if applicable.

Chapter 5 - Summary

Conclusions: Does this study tend to support or contradict the findings of other researchers?

Recommendations: Are the results suggestive of other research that is needed or are there implications for revising the current body of knowledge in this area?

8. References or Bibliography:

Center and capitalize the word "References" or Bibliography" on the top of the page. References are single spaced for each reference, and double spaced between references. List in alphabetical order by author.

9. Footnotes:

Documentation of sources of information gathered in research is vital to any thesis. When you wish to give credit for an idea or to refer the reader to a reference, place the number of the reference in parenthesis, or as a superscript in the body of the text on the same line and at the end of the statement or quotation. Footnotes should be organized numerically for each chapter and reported at the foot of the page where the reference is found. Alternatively, the footnotes can be organized numerically at the end of each chapter or of the entire text if agreed upon by the writer and the advisor.

For examples, see: Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 5th ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Preparing a Thesis; App'd: ILT, Colorado, April, 1994; Printed July 12, 2005 Page 9 of 9 2005 U of N Reference Guide. Copyright © 1995 by YWAM/U of N; revised 1997, 2000, 2005 All Rights Reserved. Page 326