Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Liberty University logo

Online · School of Divinity · Theological Studies

American Christianity

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A study of the beginnings of Christianity in America to the present. Includes the European background, colonial Christianity, the first Great Awakening, the rise of the United States, the separation of church and state, the second Great Awakening, the development of religious diversity, the impact of the Civil War on religion, denominational development, the impact of immigration and industrialization, and the modern period. (Formerly CHHI 692)



CHHI 510 or 525


A study of the Christian movement in America is essential to a proper understanding of this nation. This course is designed to give ministry students an appreciation for their heritage by linking the present with the past, which formed it.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the major people, places, events, and issues in the history of American Christianity.
  2. Explain the historical and doctrinal developments of the major denominations in the United States.
  3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of American Christian leaders and movements.
  4. Distinguish the challenges of Christianity in various sub-cultures of the United States.
  5. Propose strategies for effective ministry in the various sub-cultures of the United States.

Course Resources

Required Resources

The resources below are provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Gaustad, Edwin S., & Leigh E. Schmidt. Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word
  5. School of Divinity Writing Guide:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

The student will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums throughout this course. The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–600 words in length and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply should be at least 200 words.

Biographical Research Paper

This paper will consist of 2 parts:


The student will write a 300–700-word proposal in current Turabian format that address the topic of his/her research paper. The proposal must include at least 10 references, not including the course textbooks and the Bible.


The student will write a 4,000–5,000-word research paper in current Turabian format that focuses on a person who had a direct and profound effect on American Christianity. The paper must include at least 10 references, not including the course textbooks and the Bible.

Local Church History Report

The student will write a 1,200–1,500-word report in current Turabian format that details the history of a local church. The report must include at least 2 references in addition to the class textbook and the Bible. The sources must include at least 1 interview and 1 written source.

Exams (7)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes; contain 25 true/false, multiple-choice, and matching questions; and have a 60-minute time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

Discussion Board Forums (4 at 50 pts ea)



Biographical Research Paper:





Local Church History Report


Exams (7 at 50 pts ea)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


CHHI 660

Textbook: Gaustad & Schmidt, Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today (2004).



Reading & Study




Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 1–3

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

Exam 1






Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 4–6

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Exam 2




Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 7–9

1 presentation

Biographical Research Paper: Proposal

Exam 3




Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 10–12

1 presentation

Exam 4



Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 13–14

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Exam 5




Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 15–16

1 presentation

Local Church History Report

Exam 6




Gaustad & Schmidt: chs. 17–18

1 presentation

DB Forum 4

Exam 7




1 presentation

Biographical Research Paper: Submission




DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.