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Online · Helms School of Government · Government

American Government

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

The issues, interests, and institutions of American politics, emphasizing the struggle between liberalism and conservatism.


For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The primary purpose of this course is to train the student for effective citizenship. No one can be an effective citizen without an understanding of how his/her government operates. This is especially true today because the growth in size of government at all levels has increased its impact on our daily lives. No one can avoid involvement with government. As both Christians and citizens, the student needs to understand his/her duties to the government and how he/she can defend the heritage of liberty.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the extent of Christian influence on the underlying principles of the US Constitution and the way recent Supreme Court rulings have limited this influence.
  2. Apply the Christian principles and general practices for effectively engaging people from different social and/or cultural backgrounds.
  3. Identify the main provisions of the US Constitution, the meaning of important constitutional provisions, and the constitutional powers granted to each branch of government.
  4. Identify characteristics of liberalism and conservatism.
  5. Differentiate between formal and informal changes made to the Constitution.
  6. Identify ways in which citizens can effectively participate in the political process.
  7. Identify the main features of a worldview assessing cultural political economic and industrial implications.
  8. Relate government and/or culture to various aspects of life.
  9. Relate the human experience within various civic and global structures to participation in the redemptive work of God.
Foundational Skills Learning Outcomes (FSLO): Civic and Global Engagement (CGE)
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to: 
1. CGE1: Identify the main features of a worldview, assessing the cultural, political, economic, and industrial implications. 
2. CGE2: Relate government and/or culture to various aspects of life. 
3. CGE3: Apply the Christian principles and general practices for effectively engaging people from different social and/or cultural backgrounds. 
4. CGE4: Describe the impact of a person’s global perspective on evangelism and cross-cultural engagement.
5. CGE5: Relate the human experience within various civic and global structures to participation in the redemptive work of God.

Course Resources

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Canvas recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word
  5. U.S. Constitution including the Bill of Rights
  6. APA Writing Guide:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each Discussion will be divided into 2 parts: a thread of at least 300 words and 2 or more replies of at least 125 words each. (FSLO: CGE 2, 4, 5)

Presentation Assessment Assignments (2)

After viewing the assigned presentations, the student will answer questions about the presentations in a 3 – 5 page paper. Answers must be well organized and use proper grammar. (FSLO: CGE 1, 2, 3, 5)

Research Paper: Becoming and Informed Voter Assignment

The student will write a paper of at least 6 pages (not including the title page or reference page) adhering to the format specified in the Writing Style Guide. The purpose of this paper is to provide practical application of Reading & Study materials by developing concepts discussed in the presentations. The paper must demonstrate mastery of material from the lectures as well as presentation of factual materials from peer-reviewed sources. (FSLO: CGE 4)

Quizzes (12)

The student will complete 12 quizzes - one per chapter - based on the required reading. 

The quizzes are open-book/open-notes, consist of 30 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour. Students may take each quiz twice. 

Quiz: World View I and II (2)

The student will view Watch: World View I and Watch: World View II in the Learn items for the assigned module: week. The Watch items will discuss the link between competing worldviews and various political ideologies. The student will then complete Quiz: World View I and Quiz: World View II. Each quiz will consist of 25 multiple-choice questions, is open-book/open notes, is limited to 2 hours, and allows for 2 attempts. (FSLO: CGE 1, 3)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussions (2 at 100 pts ea)


Presentation Assessment Assignments (2 at 95 pts ea)


Quizzes (12 at 30 pts ea.)


Research Paper: Becoming an Informed Voter Assignment


Quiz: World View I and II (2 at 25 pts ea)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussions, 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 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 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 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

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

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


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Technology Integration Set-Up
Prepare: Cengage MindTap
Module 1: Week 1

Read: 2 items

Watch: 5 items

Explore: 1 item


Presentation Assessment: Biblical Origins of the Constitution Assignment

Quiz: Study of American Government

Module 2: Week 2

Read: 4 items

Watch: 3 items

Explore: 1 item


Presentation Assessment: Attacks on Christianity Assignment

Quiz: Federalism
Quiz: The Constitution
Module 3: Week 3

Read: 4 items

Watch: 2 items

Explore: 2 items


Discussion Thread: Applying Concepts of Conservatism and Liberalism

Quiz: Civil Liberties

Quiz: Civil Rights
Module 4: Week 4

Read: 2 items

Watch: 1 item


Discussion Replies: Applying Concepts of Conservatism and Liberalism

Quiz: The Judiciary

Module 5: Week 5

Read: 2 items

Watch: 1 item

Explore: 2 items


Research Paper: Becoming an Informed Voter Assignment

Quiz: Congress
Module 6: Week 6

Read: 4 items

Watch: 3 items


Quiz: The Presidency

Quiz: The Bureaucracy

Quiz: World View I

Quiz: World View II

Module 7: Week 7

Read: 4 items

Watch: 2 items


Discussion Thread: State Party Platform

Quiz: Political Parties

Quiz: Interest Groups

Module 8: Week 8

Read: 2 items

Watch: 2 items


Discussion Replies: State Party Platform

Quiz: Elections and Campaigns