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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Evangelism and the Growing Church

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

Course Description

An introductory study in evangelism and church growth principles, stressing the biblical and theological basis of evangelism as reflected in and through the local church.





Recognizing that students come from various church backgrounds and preparations, this course is designed to orient all students to the biblical and practical expression of church growth. The student will want to capture the zeal and philosophy of church growth with the view of incorporating them into the churches where he or she will worship or pastor.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze various church growth models for consistency with biblical expectations of evangelism, discipleship, worship, and community building.
  2. Develop a model of church growth suited for the context and target group of his/her individual ministry setting.
  3. Explain and discuss the current literature in church growth.
  4. Incorporate principles from the fields of church growth, sociology, and theology into a comprehensive method for reaching a targeted audience in his/her community through his/her local ministry and assess the potential effectiveness of this method.

Course Resources

Required Resources

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

Falwell, Jonathan. Innovate Church: 8 Innovative Ways to Lead and Grow the Church. Nashville: B&H Books, 2008.

Hemphill, Kenneth. Splash. Tigerville: Auxano Press, 2007.

Rainer, Thom. Scrappy Church: God's Not Done Yet. Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2018.

Rainer, Thom. Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.

Robinson, Darrell. Total Church-Life: How to Be a First Century Church in a 21st Century World. Nashville: B&H Books, 2011.

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, online articles, and lecture presentations

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 (7)

In Modules/Weeks 1–7, the student will participate in Discussion Board Forums. First, the student must post a 400-word thread answering all of the questions in each forum based on that module/week’s textbook readings and/or presentations. Then, the student must reply in 200 words or more to at least 1 classmate’s thread. Each reply must demonstrate analysis of a classmate’s thread and extend meaningful discussion by building on the thread.

Book Critique

The student will write and submit a critique of the book Scrappy Church by Thom Rainer. It must be a 4-page paper that adheres to current Turabian style and includes a summary of contents, a critical evaluation of concepts, and some brief remarks about personal application.

Final Paper Abstract

The student will write a 1-page abstract for his/her Final Paper. It must include a topic statement which relates to the topics covered in this course as well as brief summary of the Final Paper and relevant materials to be used in the paper. While the student is not expected to have made his/her final decision yet on these components, he/she will need to demonstrate thought about and preparation for the Final Paper.

Final Paper

The student will write and submit a Final Paper that adheres to current Turabian style and contains 12–14 pages. He/She must combine all of the principles and ideas from the course and discuss how he/she plans to apply them in his/her current or future ministries.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (7 at 80 pts ea)


Book Critique


Final Paper Abstract


Final Paper





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


EVAN 510

Textbooks: Falwell, Innovate Church: 8 Innovate Ways to Lead and Grow the Church (2008).

Hemphill, Splash (2007).

Rainer, Scrappy Church (2018).

Rainer, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them (2008).

Robinson, Total Church-Life (1997).



Reading & Study




Rainer (2008): chs. 1–6

Rainer (2018): chs. 1–6

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

DB Forum 1




Falwell: chs. 1–4

Rainer (2008): chs. 710

Robinson: chs. 4–5

DB Forum 2



Rainer (2018): entire book

2 presentations

Book Critique

DB Forum 3




Falwell: chs. 8–9

Robinson: chs. 8–10

3 presentations

Final Paper Abstract

DB Forum 4




Falwell: chs. 6–7

Robinson: chs. 6–7, 11, 13

3 articles

DB Forum 5



Falwell: chs. 10–11

Hemphill (entire book)

4 presentations

DB Forum 6



Review Rainer (2018)

2 presentations

DB Forum 7



1 presentation

Final Paper




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.