EARLY CHURCH HISTORY
SPRING 2017 SYLLABUS
The emergence and growth of Christianity is probably the single most
important turning point in all of history. The spread of Christianity
in the Roman Empire ultimately brought about changes in virtually every
aspect of life, changes that continue to affect the world today.
This class will examine the process by which the Christian church grew
from a hated and persecuted fringe group to become the single most
powerful force within the Roman Empire.
The Bible (I prefer you use the KJV, RSV, NRSV, NKJV
The History of the Church (Eusebius of Caesarea)
New Testament Survey (Tenney)
The main text for this course, Tenney's New Testament Survey, will give
you a different perspective on the figures and events discussed in
class and serve as an excellent supplement to your lecture notes as you
prepare for your midterm and final exams. You should find the
outlines and time lines in the Tenney book particularly helpful. You
will not usually need to bring the Tenney book to class, and it doesn't
really matter whether you do the Tenney readings before or after the
The other readings (those from the Bible and from Eusebius of
Caesarea's History of the Church) must be done before class on the day
assigned. We will be discussing these works in class, and you
will be lost and confused if you haven't done the reading.
For each class day that includes a primary source reading
assignment(almost every day the class meets!), I would like you to add
an entry to the class blog, Early Church Keyline Blog 2015 (http://earlychurchkeyline2017.blogspot.com).
Since the goal of the “blog” is to make sure you are prepared for class
discussion, late blog entries will not be accepted. There will be
some extra credit blogs near then end of the semester, but it’s much
better to do the blogs on time and be ready for class discussion.
Your grade for this course will be based primarily on your midterm and
final exams, each of which will count approximately 25% when I
determine your final grade. In addition, I will take into account
attendance, participation, and quiz scores. I expect all students
to attend class faithfully, to keep up with the readings, and to
participate in class discussion. I do take attendance into account when
figuring out your final grade.
My grading method allows from improvement, and I frequently have
students who fail the first exam who nevertheless end up earning "A" or
"B" grades in the course. Please note, though, that I factor
"improvement" into your course grade *only* if you demonstrate your
commitment to the course through good attendance and other evidence of
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND READINGS:
1/10 Introduction (Tenney 1-5)
1/12 Roman and Jew in the time of Christ
(Matthew 1-14/Tenney 8)
1/17 The Gospel for Those Who Need No Gospel
1/19 The Gospel for the Gentiles (Luke
1/24 The Most Beautiful Book Ever Written
1/26 Professing Themselves to Be Wise...
1/31 ... The Glorious
Achievements of Modern NT Scholarship (Tenney 6-7)
2/2 Crooked Questions and Straight Answers
(John 1-11/Tenney 11)
2/7 The Rest of the Story (John 11-21)
2/9 *** MIDTERM I (Please Bring a Blue
2/14 (Acts 1-12/Tenney 13-14)
2/16 (Acts 13-28/Tenney 15)
2/21 An Undivided House (I Corinthians/Tenney
2/23 Who Really Knows? (II Peter and
2/28 Sin, Sins, and Sons (Romans/Tenney 16)
3/2 The Great Mystery (Ephesians/Tenney 17)
*** Spring Break: No Class ***
3/14 When the Going Gets Tough (James/Tenney 15)
3/16 The Tough Get Growing (I Peter/Tenney 19)
3/21 *** Assessment Day: No Class
3/23 Beautiful Things Are Difficult (Revelation
1-12, Tenney 22)
3/28 Difficult Things are Beautiful (Revelation
3/30 *** MIDTERM II (Please Bring a Blue Book
4/4 Eusebius as a Historian (Eusebius Chapters
4/6 The Formation of the Canon (Eusebius
Chapter III/Tenney 23)
4/11 The Lost Books of the Bible?
4/13 Persecution and the Church (Eusebius
4/18 Division in the Church (Eusebius Chapters
4/20 Division in the Church (Eusebius Chapter
4/25 Christian Philosophers (Eusebius Chapters
4/27 They Say That All Good Things Must End
(Eusebius Chapter X)
***** Final Exam: Friday, May 5 2:15-4:15 ******
Your grade for this course will be based primarily on your three major
exams and your blog entries, each of which will count approximately 20%
when I determine your final grade. In addition, I will take into
account attendance and participation.
Midterms and Final exam--8 ID's, 1 essay
ID's will be selected from the terms put on the board at the beginning
of each lecture. You will be asked not only to identify the
terms, but also to explain their historical significance. I am
impressed when students can include plenty of detailed information, but
I am even more impressed when students can show how the ID terms relate
to important themes discussed in this class.
Essay questions will deal with major themes discussed in the
lectures. Most often, the exam question will be a generalization
I have made in class with the additional word, "comment."
A student who studies hard and does the required reading should have
plenty to say in response to each of these questions. You will be
given 75 minutes for each midterm and two hours for the final
exam. Most students will need the full time to do a good job.
What is a good job? I tell students over and over again that a
good essay consists of a series of good generalizations based on the
exam question and backed up with specific support from the lectures and
the readings. I am particularly impressed when students include
in their essays references to primary source material.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT
Cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty and misconduct run
contrary to the purposes of higher education. Cheating
includes the use of any notes during the midterm or final exam.
Please place no marks of any kind on or in your blue book before I give
the signal to begin taking the exam. All exams must be taken on
blank bluebooks. On at least one exam, bluebooks will be checked
before the exam. Bluebooks that have not been checked, have
missing pages, or pages with large erasures will not be accepted.
It is not cheating to study with another student, to share notes, or to
prepare essays or ID's together. However, if you do study with another
student, be sure you do not sit next to each other during the exam.
Please be especially careful to observe academic integrity standards on
the blogs. The blog entries are intended to make sure you have done the
primary source readings, and your comments should be based on your own
observations, not someone else’s ideas. Plagiarism (e.g. copying
material from the internet or recycling work done by another student)
is not allowed.
Northern State University's official policy and procedures on cheating
and academic dishonesty as outlined in the Northern State University
Student Handbook applies to this course. Students caught cheating will
receive a zero for the assignment, and, since zeros are worse than
F[‘s, they are likely to fail the course as a whole.
NSU DISABILITY POLICY:
Northern State University recognizes its responsibility for creating an
institutional climate in which students with disabilities can
thrive. If you have any type of disability for which you require
accommodations, please contact the NSU Office of Disability Services
(626-2371, Student Center 217) as soon as possible to discuss your
BOARD OF REGENTS ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Under Board of Regents and University policy student academic
performance may be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on
opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views
offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of
opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any
course of study for which they are enrolled. Students who believe that
an academic evaluation reflects prejudiced or capricious consideration
of student opinions or conduct unrelated to academic standards should
contact the academic dean administratively in charge of the class to
initiate a review of the evaluation.
NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY DIVERSITY
Northern State University strives to build an academic community of
people from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are committed to
sharing diverse ideas in a mutually respectful environment. We value
open discourse and consideration of multiple perspectives on issues of
regional, national, and international importance, in which individuals
are free to express their points of view. Our goal is a diverse
learning community with equal opportunity for all.