RE223 Ancient Christianity

for S2M 2012

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


RE 223 Ancient Christianity


S2M 2012 CH


Andrews, Claude ("Tweetybird")


Senior Adjunct Faculty


B. A., M. Ed., M, Div.
All advanced work toward Ph. D. completed, pre-lims and research approval--except for dissertation (not completed due to family illness)

Office Location

Home office:  Creative Living Associates, 147 Hoop Pole Creek Drive, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

Office Hours

Place and time for individual consultation can be arranged by mutual agreement between the instructor and student upon student's request.

Daytime Phone

Phone cell number is 252-903-6666, and if Tweetybird is unavailable, please leave a very brief voice message with phone number and area code--he does not have a land-line phone.

Other Phone

Other possible contact and/or message through Park Admin Office at 252-466-2655


--Please use BOTH e-mail addresses when making any contact

Semester Dates

March 19-May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:30 - 10:00 PM


There are no prerequisites, although since this is a 200 course, good reading and writing skills and proper use of APA citations and references are important and required.

Credit Hours



Howard Clark Kee. (1993, 5th Edition) UNDERSTANDING THE NEW TESTAMENT.  Pearson Publishers, New York. (This edition was published in January, 1993 and is in textbook paperback format)  ISBN-10: 0-13-948266-0, ISBN-13: 978-0-13-948266-3
Although not required, the OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE (NRSV) would be highly recommended in terms of the academic translation from the Hebrew and the Koine Greek languages--plus it has good annotations from much
work that has come out of the more recent archeological studies that have been made of relatively recently discoveries.  This is available both in hardback as well as softback. 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Also, additional resources and readings and web-sites will be made available as we proceed through the class along with the possibility of supplemental handouts.   See also the citation below for helpful use of APA citations.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information   NOTE:  Be SURE to use APA citations

Course Description:
RE 223 Ancient Christianity (MGE): A critical exploration of the origination and development of Christianity with the larger historical, cultural and religious setting of the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Particular attention is paid to how early Christians understood Jesus of Nazareth, organized and regulated their churches, and dealt with important religious and social concerns. Significant parts of the New Testament are studied with regard to these matters. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The educational philosophy Tweetybird uses in this course is one of interactiveness based on weekly journaling, stimulus materials that the students and he will be presenting, along with story telling, student presentations, videos, possible guest speakers and writings.  Our learning experience is not only individual, but also group oriented.  Please note:  this course is developed as an "academic" course based upon academic research and is not meant to be a "faith" based course:  however, the task is not necessarily to "challenge" one's faith understanding, but rather to deal with the topic from the "academic" perspective--one's faith perspective is up to the individual.   Everyone is expected to contribute and has the opporunity to learn from each other.  The student's grade is dependent upon mastery of the material AND making use of it for life-long learning and living.  The student will not be "graded" upon his/her opinion or faith-based understanding--even if well developed--but on how well the student uses the learning experience, from the academic perspective.  There is a LOT of reading and academic reflecting for this class--so please keep up with the requirements in a timely manner.  Remember the "mini-semester" philosophy--each class is the equivalency of a regular one-hour class three times per week for one full semester.  Please note that not all material may be directly covered in formal class presentations, but the student IS responsible for the basic content of the handouts and books.  Another further note:  given Tweetybird's background in formal and informal education, private practice, consultation work with private, religious, and public agencies, as well as direct service with public safety (law, fire, communications, rescue, and emergency medical services) he has may varied experiences and "war stories" that illustrate many of the issues that are germane to this class.  Given the issues of professional and confessional confidentiality as well as HIPAA laws, the illustrations he uses and the various excercises have been heavily disguised to protect anonymity and confidentiality.  The stories and exercises may have the feel of "reality" because the situations are based on "real life."

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. 1.  At the completion of this course, students will be able to identify important geographic locations that pertain to early Christianity and how they influenced that time even up to the present.
  2. 2.  At the completion of this course, students will be able to understand the political and military transistions of that time and what influence it has had on ancient Christianity and even up to the present.
  3. 3.  At the completion of this course, students will come to a clearer understanding of the components that made up the cultural period of that time and how it has influenced early Christianity and continues even up to the present.
  4. 4.  At the completion of this course, students will be able to understand some of the early theological and ethical issues and debates of early Christianity and understand their roots up to the present time.
Class Assessment:
Individual class assessment is based on the following:
Participation  (represents 25% of grade)
     1.  Starting the second Monday class (by mid-night of that Monday as so noted on the e-mail that is received) each student is to e-mail to Tweetybird (to BOTH e-mail addresses) a half-page to one page summary of the previous two classes with a brief statement of what he/she learned new in terms of content (objective information) in one paragraph followed in the second paragraph with his/her reactions to the "new-found" knowledge (subjective) in how this could be used in his/her life. Note:  this journal is to be sent as an "attachment" in .doc format, NOT 'in-line" as an integral part of the e-mail.  This is to be done each week for a minimum of 5 consecutive weeks resulting in 5 journal reports.  The journals will not be "graded" as such, but will be attached back to the student with some very brief comments by Tweetybird.  Any information in the journal will be confidential unless Tweetybird obtains the student's permission to share.  If done in a timely manner and attached in proper .doc format, each journal is worth 3 points for a total of 15 for the semester. 
     2.  Each student is to be active in class by making appropriate comments, raising questions, and other supportive actions indicating he/she has read the material is is actively contributing to the class.  This is worth up to a total of 10 points to be recorded by Tweetybird at the end of the semester.  (Attendance IS an important component of the class.  There may be excused absenses in terms of TAD or other legitimate reasons cleared with the instructor, but these will only be used in terms of university attendance--in that a student may have up to three "un-excused" absences before automatically being dropped.   Participation in class is defined as first, actually BEING PRESENT in class and then by participating in the activities of the class.  Each student starts with 10 points in terms of attendance at the beginning.  For each absence--regardless of "excused" or "un-excused," the student loses .66 of a point for each absence and .33 of a point for being late to class or leaving early.  Please be observant of your attendance--it CAN make a difference in the final grade.) 
Writing Assignment  (represents 30% of grade)
     This core assessment will be achieved successfully by the student completing a two-part paper totaling 10 pages plus a title page and reference page (or pages) that is typed, double spaced, size 12 arial font, 1-inch margins--being sure to use APA styling for citations as needed with a minimum of 10 academic references (this means no use of "popular" media such as newspapers or magazines or websites).  If the student uses on-line materials, the proper citation is to go to the original source.  "Wickipedia" (or its look-a-likes) are NOT to be used as a reference, although it may be useful to point to a source or direction with proper APA documentation.  The two parts are further defined:
a.  The student is to research and write a 6-page paper on the chronological development of one (only) of the following topics: (1) How the early Christians understood the person of Jesus of Nazareth; or, (2)  How the early Christians organized and regulated their gatherings; or, (3) How the early Christians dealt with important religious, political, social, and ethical concerns of the time.
b.  The second part is to use 4 pages discussing an early church leader, theologian, political leader of that period who had great significance on the early Christians as they dealt with the particular issue you discussed in the first six pages.  There should be a "seamless" transition from the general issues you covered in the first six pages to the last four indicating a pivotal figure that may have been significant in what you chose above.
     Again, this is to be a total of ten pages (plus title page and reference page) using 12 pt arial font with one-inch margins using proper APA citations.  After completing the document, it is to be sent to BOTH e-mail addresses already stated above on the date as indicated in the class schedule.  It is to be sent as an ATTACHMENT in MicroSoft .doc (may also be .rtf) with your e-mail.  The timeline is mid-night of the day it is due.  Note carefully that the research hours and dates for the two research times MUST be listed as a requirment of time used.  Points will be deducted if NOT done in a timely manner or proper .doc (.rtf) format and otherwise does not conform to the requirements.
Class Presentation  (represents 15% of grade)
     This assessment will be achieved successfully by the student making a 15 + or - minute presentation using any format he/she wishes to the class.  The class will evaluate how well the presentation is by using an anonymous checksheet.  The sign-up for presentations will be made towards the end of the semester and will be done on a "first-come, first-served" basis.  (This means if the student is absent that class period, he/she may have to have whatever presentation time is "left over."  NOTE:  If a student has signed up for a particular time and cannot present at that time to which he/she agreed, and also has not worked out an agreement with another student to exchange times, then the student will lose points for not presenting "on time."  This also needs to be cleared by the instructor.)
Two Comprehensive Exams based upon the text and class (represents 30% of grade)
There will be two exams based upon the textbook (primarily) and class notes--one will take place about one half way through the semester covering the material to date and the other will cover the rest of the material and will be before presentations start--near the end of the mini-semester.  Each of these exams count up to 15% for a total of 30%.  These exams must be completed in a timely manner and will be evaluated in class.  


The items in each of the four areas count up to a 100% in terms of the final grade.
The grading scales are as follows:
               93%-100%   = "A"
               85%- 92%    = "B"
               77%- 84%    = "C"
               69%- 76%    = "D"
                 0%- 68%    = "F"  
One bonus point on the overall average may be earned by the following:  Going on-line toward the end of the semester and completing a course evaluation--but the student has to be SURE to bring a printed last page (that "thanks" the student for participating) BEFORE you close or sign off, showing that you were there for the evaluation.  This will give +1% point on the student's overall evaluation.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

If material is submitted late (electronically--midnight of the day due as determined by the e-mail server), five points is  counted off of the original score earned for each late 24 hours.  DO plan ahead and let Tweetybird know, if for some reason you will be absent--he may be willing to work with the student.
Please note:  No excuses are allowed for technology, ie. "my printer died, my e-mail server was not working, I accidentally dropped my computer...."  Plan ahead for contingencies and schedules.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This is meant to be a sharing, learning environment where the students and educators respect the process of learning and sharing--thus at all times we will adhere to proper classroom decorum.  An expanded copy of our agreement for our classroom rules of conduct is added as an attachment, along with an educational contract, plus a brief bio-sketch of the instructor.  The first two attachments are part and parcel of our contracting together--the bio-sketch is for informational purposes only.  

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

These are the dates that we will attempt to cover the themes--although there may be variations in our schedule as needed. NOTE:  add/drop ends March 26, and last withdrawals from class date without grade penalty is March 27-April 22.
Mar.  19    Spring 2 begins
Mar.  19    First class, orientation to syllabus and class, nature of the class "Community and Identity"
Mar.  21    Continuation on Chapters 1 and 2
Mar.  26    Research Work--to be documented on Reference page ***Journal #1 due by midnight***  
Mar.  28    Continuation on chapters 3, 4, 5, 
Apr.    2     Continuation on 6, 7, ***Journal #2 due by midnight***
Apr.    4     ***Electronic Exam due***   grading and start 8  
Apr.    9     From inclusive community toward unified institution, Start 8 ***Journal #3 due by midnight***
Apr.   11    Continue 8, 9
Apr.   16    Continue through chapter 10, 11   ***Journal #4 due by midnight***
Apr.   18    Community organizes for survival and stability, finish 11 start on 12
Apr.   23    Research Work--to be documented on Reference page***Continue on 12-14, covering Q sources, synoptics, cannonization of New Testament ***Last Journal #5 due by midnight***
Apr.   25    ***Electronic Exam due***   further discussions, grading
Apr.   30    ***Presentations***   ***NOTE: Electronic core assessment due by midnight***
May    2     ***Presentations***         
May    7     ***Presentations***
May    9     ***Presentations***  Last class, wrap-up, in-class evaluations.  If the student has all his/her work completed
                  and turned in, then--if the student is willing to wait for a few minutes, he/she may be able to know his/her final
                  grade.  The grades will be posted on Midnight, May 11.  
----Thanks for being a part of this class!  'Have a good school "summer" break.  'See many of you next semester.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Class room Courtesy

Student/Educator Educational Contract

Educator's Brief bio-sketch


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Last Updated:3/12/2012 11:05:36 AM