The TOW Project aims to provide the most trusted, highest quality resources on applying the Bible and other resources of the Christian faith to ordinary work. Our resources are meant to be theologically rigorous and genuinely practical. The most distinctive aspect of this goal is our process. We put every TOW biblical article and TOW topical article through an extensive process of development, review and revision. Each article must pass muster by a minimum of 15-20 expert reviewers from around the world, including final approval by the Theology of Work Project Steering Committee. Every article is reviewed by scholars from the biblical, theological and professional fields; pastors; faith-and-work ministry leaders; and "workplace Christians" from a variety of professions.
Each Article Goes Through Successive Stages Of Development.
- Scoping Sheet - A subcommittee of the TOW Project Steering Committee develops a scoping sheet to define the content, organization, approaches, key biblical passages and bibliography for the article. The Executive Editor ensures that points of overlap with other articles are sorted out. Experts in the subject of the article may be asked to assist. This process typically takes 1 to 3 months.
- Research Draft - The Executive Editor and/or appropriate biblical section editor identifies a researcher/writer to research the best resources available on the subject matter and to write a first draft of the article. The researcher/writer is not trying to advance a new theory but to integrate the most rigorous existing materials. The researcher digs into these resources, applies his or her own expertise, and assesses the state of consensus (or lack of it) in the field. The researcher/writer may ask for input from other experts. Then he or she writes a Research Draft of the article and submits it to the editor. The editor may request additional information and/or make content and stylistic modifications. This process typically takes 3 to 6 months, although some articles require longer
- Discussion Draft - When the researcher/writer and editors have completed the Research Draft, it is sent to the TOW Project Steering Committee as a "Discussion Draft." Twice a year (usually in January and August) the Steering Committee meets to discuss new Discussion Drafts. The Steering Committee discusses each article in depth, and questions, disagreements, requests for additional research, and proposed modifications are raised. The discussion can be intense at times. Sometimes, the Steering Committee invites additional experts to participate in the discussion and/or to provide input in writing. This process usually takes 3 to 6 months.
- Approval Candidate - The Executive Editor incorporates the results of the Steering Committee's discussion into a revised draft. He may seek further input from the original researcher/writer or from TOW Steering Committee members, other experts, potential users and anyone else who may be able to help improve the draft. The TOW Project's Consulting Editor, Research Assistants, and Proofreaders also contribute to the style, rigor, and accuracy of the draft. When it is complete, the draft becomes an "Approval Candidate" and is submitted to the Steering Committee for a vote of adoption. This process may take anywhere from two weeks to two years.
- Adopted Article - The Steering Committee votes on the Approval Candidate. If a simple majority approves, the Approval Candidate is adopted as an official article of the Theology of Work Project. Often, a last round of modifications is made during the final adoption process.
- Website Resource - The adopted article is posted on the TOW website and is available for general use. Adopted articles may used for any purpose allowed by the Theology of Work Project's Creative Commons license. In general this means articles and excerpts may be viewed, downloaded, printed, copied, quoted, and incorporated into sermons, classes, Bible studies, group materials and other writings free of charge. Proper attribution to the Theology of Work Project must be given, and all copyright notices in the materials must be are included in any reproductions of or selections from the article.