All readings should be completed before submitting weekly assignments. Some of the assigned readings include full chapters; others only portions of a particular chapter: therefore please pay close attention to the assigned readings and the corresponding page numbers. Be sure to see the assigned readings listed in the Content area under each week’s Assignments and in the Course Schedule listed below.
The following reading plan is recommended. First, read the weekly Overview found in the Content Area. Second, read the Gonzalez assigned readings. Third, read the White assigned readings. On some occasions White will provide additional insights on material covered by Gonzalez; on other occasions you will find ‘new’ material not covered in the Gonzalez readings. Fourth, watch the assigned videos. Although this reading plan is purely a suggestion, your instructor believes this plan offers the essential material relevant to your weekly topics and discussions.
As noted, there will also be videos during the week to watch that will assist you with comprehending some of the topics and concepts we will be discussing in class.
Each week in the Content area of the course you will find additional resources such as flow charts, timelines, charts, and additional readings. These additional resources will be listed as Instructive Supplements. Most of these supplements will augment your discussions and/or exams.
There will be nine (9) Discussions in the course. Discussion 1 is a personal introduction discussion and will be worth five (5) points. Beginning with Discussion 2 all discussions will have two (2) parts and you must answer both parts. Discussion 2 will be worth twenty (20) points and all subsequent discussions will be worth twenty-five (25) points.
Writing history is an exercise in discernment and will be practiced in this course. Although there is no word limit per se, you are should write posts that are detailed yet germane to the topics. Do not attach files to be opened as part of your posts. Do not cut and paste your responses from outside sources. All posts should be written in your own words. If outside sources are used they must be cited. In order to simulate a class discussion, you are expected to interact with one another and respond to your classmates’ posts and responses.
Effective participation includes answering all aspects of the question(s) posed (this is regarded as your main post), responding to at least three (3) of your classmates’ posts, and reading the majority of your classmates’ main posts and responses for each topic. Student interaction with other discussion posts is a principal part of the class and will be considered in evaluation.
Begin posting early in the week, even if it is not your main post. Check in each day to see what other students are saying. Your main post must be posted by Friday at 11:59 pm Central Time (CT). Do your best to complete the weekly assignments by Friday or Saturday evenings. The grading rubric for discussions may be found in the Content area of the course.
You are required to write one reading review, three to four (3-4) pages in length and formatted according to an accepted collegiate manual of writing. Please provide a title page and a works cited page for your review. Your reading review will focus on Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels. This review will be valued at fifty (50) points. This review will be due by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT at the end of Week 3. Late reviews will receive a one-time 20% deduction. Late Reading Reviews must be submitted to the Late Drop Box. The rubric for your reading review may be found in the Content area of the course.
You will select two of the following three chapters and review them according to the guidelines provided. Before selecting your two (2) chapters read both the Introduction and the Conclusion sections of the book. Doing so will be of enormous value to you.
The three chapters you must select from are:
- Chapter I ‘The Controversy over Christ’s Resurrection: Historical Event or Symbol?’
- Chapter II ‘One God, One Bishop? The Politics of Monotheism’
- Chapter V ‘Who’s Church Is the True Church?’
Review Guidelines: Do not provide full summaries or overviews of the two (2) chapters you have selected; instead, your review should focus on the following questions:
- What do the chapters you have selected tell us about Gnostic beliefs?
- What insights as to the evolution and/or nature of early Christianity can be gleaned from the chapters you selected?
- In the chapters you are discussing, what does the author suggest about conflicts between proponents of ‘orthodox’ beliefs and ideas and those deemed to be advocates of ‘heretical’ beliefs and ideas?
- Does the author seem to have a particular audience in mind?
- Why did you select the two (2) chapters you selected?
By the end of Week 7, you will be required to submit a Research Paper. For your Research Paper, you are free to choose any topic you desire as long as your choice is relevant to the course time-frame and is approved by your instructor. Your topic must be submitted to the Research Paper Topic Dropbox for instructor approval.
This assignment presents an opportunity to take an in-depth look at a particular topic and develop your research and writing skills.
Your 12 – 14 page paper should include the following:
- A well-constructed thesis statement.
- A critical investigation and use of at least three (3) primary sources.
- A discerning use of at least three (3) secondary sources.
- Well-constructed paragraphs.
- Proper use of language, spelling, punctuation, etc.
- Double spaced with one inch margins.
- An introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Use of the Chicago Manual of Style for documentation.
- Both a Title Page and a Bibliography page listing primary and secondary sources.
Please be vigilant in using internet sources. Many internet sources are not reputable sources. Many historical journals are now online. A significant number of sources are available in JSTOR through the Columbia College Stafford Library.
You must submit your topic to the Research Paper Topic Dropbox folder during Week 3. The Research Paper Dropbox folder will not be released to you until you have submitted your topic for review.
The value of the Research Paper is two-hundred fifty (250) points and must be turned in to the Research Paper Dropbox by Sunday, 11:59 pm CT at the end of Week 7. All late papers will receive a twenty (20) percent grade reduction. The grading rubric for this paper can be found in the Content area of the course.
There will be a Midterm and a Final Exam, each valued at two-hundred fifty (250) points.
The Midterm Exam is an open book, computerized exam, and will be available through the Quizzes area of the course. The Midterm Exam will have twenty-five (25) Multiple Choice questions valued at two (2) points each and two (2) essay questions, each worth one-hundred (100) points. You must complete the Midterm Exam no later than Sunday of Week 4 at 11:59 pm CT.
The Final Exam is a closed book, computerized, and proctored exam, and will be available through the Quizzes area of the course. The Final Exam will have twenty-five (25) Multiple Choice questions valued at two (2) points each and two (2) essay questions, each worth one-hundred (100) points. The use of books, notes, the Internet and/or flash drives during the Final Exam are not allowed. You will need to make arrangements with your proctor to complete the Final Exam no later than Saturday of Week 8 at 11:59 pm CT.
The rubric for the exam essays can be found in the Content area of the course.
Study guides for both the Midterm and Final exams will be provided the Sunday prior to the exam.