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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Introduction to Church Planting
EVAN-505

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

An introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to plant a New Testament church “in culture.” A survey is given of the various schools of church planting with an evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. (Formerly EVAN 550)

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

The Great Commission requires followers of Christ to make disciples. There are many occasions in which there are not local churches to begin and continue the disciple-making process. Therefore, church planting is an essential activity requiring called and equipped leadership. This course will expose students to the biblical foundation of the local church, the need for new churches, current church models, and the practical aspects of a contextualized ministry. All assignments will deal with principles, practices, and processes involved in providing church planting leadership.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate the theological foundations and necessity of church planting.
  2. Identify the six major church planting strategies.
  3. Analyze the church planting field.
  4. Evaluate the major church planting strategies.
  5. Construct a church planning strategy proposal for a specific community.

Course Resources

Required Resources

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

Brown, William E. At Home in A Strange Land: Ministries That Are Transforming Communities and Planting Churches in North America. Lynchburg: LU Press, 2012.

Hesselgrave, David J. Planting Churches Cross-Culturally: North America and Beyond. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2000.

Searcy, Nelson and Kerrick Thomas. Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch. Ventura: Regal Books, 2017.

Stetzer, Ed and Daniel Im. Planting Missional Churches. 3rd ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2016.

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: https://www.liberty.edu/divinity/index.cfm?PID=28160

 

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 (3)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided topic for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words, have assertions supported with 3 citations in parenthetical format, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words with assertions supported with at least 1 source. (Outcomes: A, B, D)

Initial Essay

The student will write a 2–3-page essay describing his/her experience in secular employment, experience in ministry, exposure to and experience in church planting, and long term ministry goals. (Outcomes: A, B, D, E)

Book Critiques (3)

The student will complete 3 book critiques based on assigned readings for the course. The paper must comply with current Turabian writing style and be 6–8 pages in length. Each Book Critique must be submitted through SafeAssign. (Outcomes: A, B, C, E)

Church Planting Project: Community Exegesis

The student will submit a 4–6-page paper exegeting a community in which the student intends to plant a church. The student will use course readings, census materials, and other resources to present the church planting context. This assignment will build toward the Church Planting Project: Final Submission. (Outcomes: C, E)

Church Planting Project: Model Development

The student will write a 4–6-page paper articulating the major church models, or elements thereof, to which the student proposes. The Community Exegesis assignment will contextualize the corporate service and the resources to facilitate those services to be covered. This assignment will build toward the Church Planting Project: Final Submission. (Outcomes: C, E)

Church Planting Project: Final Submission

The student will submit a 4–6-page paper presenting the strategy and the associated landmarks for the Church Planting Project. This paper will be the culmination of the Church Planting Project: Community Exegesis and the Church Planting Project: Model Development. (Outcomes: B, C, D, E)

Course Grading

Course Requirement Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forum

 

          Threads (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

           Replies (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Initial Essay

100

Book Critiques (3 at 100 pts ea)

300

Church Planting Project: Community Exegesis

100

Church Planting Project: Model Development

100

Church Planting Project: Final Submission

100

Total

1010

Policies

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 https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. 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 http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

EVAN 505

Textbooks: Brown, At Home in A Strange Land (2012).

Hesselgrave, Planting Churches Cross-Culturally (2000).

Searcy and Thomas, Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch (2017).

Stetzer and Im, Planting Missional Churches (2016).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Brown: ch. 1

Hesselgrave: chs. 1–8

4 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Church Planter Test

Initial Essay

10

0

0

100

2

Brown: ch. 11

Hesselgrave: chs. 9–17

1 presentation

DB Forum 1 Thread

Book Critique 1

50

100

3

Brown: chs. 2–10, 12

1 presentation

DB Forum 1 Replies

50

4

Searcy and Thomas: chs. 1–4

1 presentation

DB Forum 2 Thread

CPP: Community Exegesis

50

100

5

Searcy and Thomas: chs. 5–10

1 presentation

DB Forum 2 Replies

Book Critique 2

50

100

6

Stetzer and Im: Select Sections

1 presentation

DB Forum 3 Thread

CPP: Model Development

50

100

7

Stetzer and Im: Select Sections

1 presentation

DB Forum 3 Replies

Book Critique 3

50

100

8

1 presentation

CPP: Final Submission

100

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

CPP = Church Planting Project

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.