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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Church Planting Methods and Culture

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

Course Description

This course combines study of various cross-cultural church planting methods with exegesis of North American culture. In specific, focus will be given to generational, ethnicity, and people group differences.





While the principles of the Word of God are timeless, ministry effectiveness must also give careful consideration to cultures and contexts. One model of ministry does not fit all people groups. We must learn to contextualize our ministry methods and models to match the needs and sensitivities of the people we are called to reach with the person God has made us into.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Assess various methods and models for church planting.
  2. Analyze the Missional Model of church planting.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the most common models of ministry used by churches in North America.
  4. Explain the distinguishing elements of each of the major church ministry models.
  5. Create a plan for implementing his/her personality, gifts, passions, and experiences with the most effective church planting model in order to successfully reach the desired church planting field.
  6. Develop a plan to plant a church or revitalize an existing church that will follow successful methods and models.

Course Resources

Required Resources

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

Malphurs, Aubrey. The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting: A Guide for Starting Any Kind of Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011.

Payne, Jervis David. Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting. Colorado Springs: Intervarsity Press, 2009.

Sjorgen, Steve, and Rob Lewin. Community of Kindness: A Fresh Approach to Planting and Growing a Church. Ventura: Regal Books, 2006.

Stetzer, Ed, and David Im. Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches That Multiply. Nashville: B &H Academic, 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:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings 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 (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 600 or 1,000 words (depending on the discussion board) and demonstrate course-related knowledge supported by at least 3 relevant citations. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 350 words and be supported by at least 2 citations. (Outcomes: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Self-Assessment Paper

Each student will write at least an 8-page self-assessment summary of the results found in the Discovery Tools Assessment. The paper must adhere to current Turabian style. (Outcomes: A, C, E)

4-MAT Book Reviews (3)

The student will write three 8–10-page 4MAT Book Reviews in current Turabian format that focus on the book identified in the course. The paper must follow the review system provided in the instructions and grading rubric. (Outcomes: A, B, C, D)

Ministry Application Proposal

The student will write a paper of at least 15 pages that demonstrates the ability to apply the principles and information learned in the course into a workable plan for a church plant or the revitalization of an existing church. The paper must include at least 10 references and adhere to current Turabian style. (Outcomes: A, E, F)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (4 at 50 pts ea)


Self-Assessment Paper


4-MAT Book Review (3 at 150 pts ea)


Ministry Application Proposal





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 610

Textbooks: Malphurs, The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting (2011).

Payne, Discovering Church Planting (2009).

Sjorgen & Lewin, Community of Kindness (2006).

Stetzer & Im, Planting Missional Churches (2016).


Reading & Study




Malphurs: chs. 1–8

Stetzer& Im: Sections 1–2

2 presentations

1 website

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Self-Assessment Paper





Malphurs: chs. 9–14 & Appendices I–P

Stetzer & Im: Section 3

2 presentations

4-MAT Book Review 1



Payne: chs 1–8

Stetzer & Im: Section 4

2 presentations

DB Forum 1



Payne: chs. 9–15

Stetzer & Im: Section 5

2 presentations

1 website

4-MAT Book Review 2



Payne: chs. 16–20

Sjorgen & Lewin: chs. 1–28

3 presentations

DB Forum 2



Payne: chs. 21–25

Sjorgen & Lewin: chs. 29–58

2 presentations

4-MAT Book Review 3

DB Forum 3




Sjorgen & Lewin: chs. 59–Appendix A

1 presentation

3 websites

DB Forum 4



1 presentation

Ministry Application Proposal




DB = Discussion Board

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