Syllabus: Introduction to Church Education Program

Students in all of my classes are encouraged to access the following web sites for resources of various kinds and to understand better the assignments given and the philosophy of teaching and evaluation the professor employs.
Book or Article Review Guidelines
Research Grading Guide
MLA Supplement for Religious Writing
Grading Guidelines
Class Evaluation
This page provides the student opportunity to evaluate the class confidentially and anonymously at any time during the semester.
Anti-Plagiarism Guidelines
General Expectations
[apply to all classes unless the specific syllabus indicates otherwise]
Understanding Syllabus Assignments

Syllabus Contents
Textbooks | Course Description | Student Expectations | Goals and Objectives | Criteria for Evaluation | ADA Statement

Ohio Valley College
Bible Program, Practical Ministry Studies
Class Policies and Syllabus

Course: Introduction to Christian Education
Course #: Bible 321
Credit hours: 3 credit hour course
Instructor: Robert J. Young
Semester: Spring, 2002

This course is designed to help the student develop initial understandings of how the theoretical and factual knowledge gained in the classroom may be applied to the specific ministry task of Christian education. As such, while the course serves to introduce a variety of concepts and ideas relevant to Christian education, the course also seeks to initiate the student into practical applications of academic knowledge.

Required Textbooks

Catalog Description
The teaching program of the church is described and its organization studied. Emphasis is given to methods of teaching and characteristics of good Bible teachers.

Expanded Course Description
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the teaching program of the church has expanded immensely over the last 25 years. Thus, this course is charged not only with a description of traditional education programs and their organization, but also with a host of related matters. A partial listing of possible topics to be treated might include (1) a theology of education, (2) understanding of teacher training, (3) teacher development (including an understanding of the unique dynamics of volunteers), (4) faith formation, (5) spiritual formation, (6) teaching for values, (7) the connection betwen the Bible school and evangelism, (8) characteristics of effective Bible study, (9) lesson plans, (10) curriculum plans, (11) the dynamics and theories of education, (12) small group theory, (13) home Bible studies, (14) community Bible studies, and (15) special children's programs. Additionally, emphasis might be given to methods of teaching and characteristics of good Bible teachers.
As outlined below under objectives, no student can be expected to gain a complete understanding of all of these topics in a brief semester. Therefore, the class will seek a general understanding of these areas, with each student focusing on a smaller number of topics of special interest.

Student Expectations
[Student expectations are set forth in the catalog. These paragraphs clarify matters that pertain to this class. Students are encouraged to consult the expectations available on-line at (]
Attendance Policy
The school attendance policy will be followed with the exceptions noted. Studies show that the probability of success in academic endeavors is directly proportional to the regularity of class attendance. Therefore, evaluation criteria are weighted in favor of regular class attendance and the student may expect excessive absences to lower the student's final grade up to a grade point (see below under "criteria for evaluation"). Students in this class may be marked absent with three designations--unexcused, excused, excessive. All absences are unexcused unless backed up by a contact within 24 hours and a written excuse from school personnel. Excessive absences are generally those that exceed two weeks of class. Students are expected to attend class regularly.
Students whose unexcused absences exceed one week of class will be dropped. Students dropped are required to meet with the professor and submit their written plan for maintaining attendance and progress in the class before reinstatement. Reinstatement does not "start the clock," and further absences will again result in the student being dropped from the class.
The student should be aware that much learning takes place during class. Further, daily participation and quiz grades cannot be recorded for absent students. Students with excessive absences may not perform successfully on exams. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor in writing or by phone in advance or no later than 24 hours after an absence which is excused. The student is responsible for obtaining all assignments and completing any work missed by the next class period.
Classroom Conduct
Students must arrive at class on time (see catalog). Daily quizzes are usually administered at the beginning of class. A student who must arrive at class late is expected to enter class without being disruptive and wait until after class to explain the reason for his or her tardiness. Three tardies count as one absence for purposes of administering the attendance policy, except that students more than 15 minutes late receive only half-credit for attendance. Students leaving early are penalized by the same guidelines as tardies.
Late Assignments

  • Homework must be turned in on time or early. If you cannot turn work in on time, you must ask for permission to turn the work in late. This does not lessen the late penalty. The value of all assignments decreases by 10% of its value for each day it is late, including weekends. In some cases, late homework cannot be accepted since the answers are given in class. The grade reduction will be waived for excused absences if submitted by the next class period. Daily in-class work and quizzes cannot be made up.
  • Major assignments must be produced and submitted on the timetable set forth in class. Students who do not follow the timetable for identifying topics, researching sources, outlining, and otherwise producing an acceptable paper cheat both themselves and other students.
  • Major assignments that are to be presented in class must be presented on the day scheduled. Students who see that they will be unable to submit or present major assignments as scheduled must, no later than one week before the due date, ask for permission to submit or present the work late. Regardless, the work will be penalized 10% per day as outlined above.
    Students who do not produce and submit timely work will fail the class.
    Make-up Examination Policy
    Make-up exams are available only in extreme emergencies. Arrangements for make-up exams must be made with the professor prior to the exam. Students who score less than 70% on a major exam (other than the final) may petition to retake the exam; the exam must be retaken within one week after the graded exam is returned to the student. It is the student's responsibility to ask in a timely manner to retake the exam. The highest grade on any retaken exam will be C (75%).
    Group Work and Copying (when applicable)
    While students may work together in a group to complete a homework assignment, learning is often an individual process, and all students must participate in the process if learning is to occur. Do not allow a fellow student to participate in group work if she or he does not materially contribute to the learning process. Do not copy your homework from anyone else, do not allow anyone else to copy your homework. Homework exercises are generally a small percentage of the grade in a class. Satisfactory learning as demonstrated on pop quizzes and major tests is much more important. Do not cheat yourself or others. Learn the material.
    Withdrawal Procedure
    Class withdrawal procedures as set forth in the catalog must be followed. The student must initiate an official process. Non-attendance does not constitute official withdraw. The student who neither attends nor drops the class will ultimately receive an "F" grade.

    Goals and Objectives: Areas of Study
    The student will choose two areas for in-depth study. The student will also choose six additional areas will provide general (secondary) studies with exposure to another six areas limited to a more superficial (tertiary) study and surveys. The areas of study are (1) a theology of education, (2) understanding of teacher training and teacher development, involving the congregation in Christian education, including an understanding of the unique dynamics of volunteers, (3) characteristics of good Bible teachers, (4) faith formation and spiritual formation, (5) teaching for values, (6) the connection betwen the Bible school and evangelism, (7) characteristics of effective Bible study, (8) lesson plans, (9) curriculum plans, (10) the dynamics and theories of education, (11) small group theory, (12) specialty Bible studies, including youth, women, camp, etc. (13) integrating Christian education into the life of the church, and (14) special children's programs, including VBS, camp, etc.

    Criteria for Evaluation
    My goal in this class is that you will have some measure of success in most or all of the above objectives or areas. Little is accomplished if students can pass a class but ignore some objectives entirely. Therefore, our goal is not to master some of the objectives while ignoring others, but to make progress in each objective. The successful student will collaborate with the professor in a mutually stimulating and exciting learning experience. Evaluation will be based upon mastery of these goals and objectives as reflected in class participation, quizzes, homework and other various assignments and examinations as agreed upon by the professor and the students.
    The approach to this class is somewhat non-traditional. It is my intention to facilitate learning, and to evaluate that learning as grades are assigned. To this end, we will agree together throughout the course of the semester on structures and materials. We will develop learning objectives together, defined by the students' concepts of desires outcomes and the professor's awareness of the required knowledge base. These will be consistent with the goals and objectives above but may be both broader and narrower. This approach will focus both on acquired knowledge and the development of skills and abilities which encourage continued learning.
    The student will be given the opportunity to help define what is to be learned and then to demonstrate what has actually been learned. The goal is to stimulate and support learning both individually and collectively. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their learning, including mistakes, and such efforts at learning and growth will be noticed and rewarded in the grade assigned.
    This requires that each student develop an agenda with the help of the professor, and that the non-critical environment of the class will use mutual discovery, student learning, and agreed upon objectives. Such objectives will be clearly stated so students will know their progress without the professor's input. Essays in the class will encourage a focus on the students' progress and grasp of the material.
    Exams will require thoughtful essay responses to topics agreed upon as objectives, with such questions and concepts clearly stated in advance of the tests. Students will be asked to help develop the learning base for the class and held accountable for that base.
    What is to be tested then is the ability to write clearly in a way that applies concepts and reflects awareness of the knowledge base. Each student should seek understanding as well as rote knowledge.
    This mutual collaboration is designed to create both teaching and assessments that will stimulate learning, with a student-centered result.

    Criteria for Evaluation

    Grading Scale [% of possible points]

    Please Note: This syllabus is an agreement between the student and the instructor of BIB 321. The professor reserves the right to amend any or all of this syllabus as deemed necessary during the course of the semester, and will promptly notify all students involved of the changes.


    Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.


    Course Calendar Organized by Topics and Resources
    Readings will progress through approximately 600 pages of material at a rate of approximately 40 pages per week, 20 pages per class period. Students should come to class with an outline or summary of the reading ready to be handed in. These will be returned for inclusion in the class notebook/portfolio. The reading order is Richards, Downs, Hendricks. (15 points)
    The student should attend class regularly, participate in discussions, be prepared for pop quizzes over the reading, etc. (15 points)
    The student will prepare two primary papers in the two primary areas of study, one for each 8 week period. (30 points)
    The student will prepare a notebook containing materials for the 12 secondary areas of study. Half of those materials should be completed at the 8 week period. This will contribute to the mid-term grade. (30 points)
    The student should be prepared to write paragraphs of at least 3-4 sentences of tertiary areas of study, 1-2 page summaries of secondary areas of study for the final. (10 points)
    The class will use the following reading schedule for the course textbooks:

    The class will discuss each of the areas agreed upon at the rate of about one per week to provide background and materials. The professor will put these in order of study after the students indicate their primary areas of interest. The professor will attempt to schedule these so that students are not overwhelmed with consecutive primary studies. The following tentative schedule is subject to change:

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