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Online · School of Divinity · Theological Studies


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

Course Description

A study of key issues related to eschatology such as heaven and hell, Israel, the church, the rapture, the tribulation, the millennium, the Book of Revelation, and Dispensationalism.



THEO 530


The purpose of this course is to examine the doctrine of eschatology or “last things” as reflected in Scripture and developed in Christian theology. This study highlights how God will accomplish His purposes for the world and humanity through future events such as the rapture, tribulation, second coming, millennial kingdom, and eternal state. It is designed for students wishing to secure advanced study in systematic theology in the M.Div. or the Th.M. degrees of the seminary.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Catalog the principal agents and ideas that shape Christian eschatology.
  2. Judge the relative merits of salient views concerning Christian eschatology in regard to Israel, the church and the eschatological kingdom.
  3. Evaluate the theological significance of contemporary evangelical debate concerning the nature and details of the Rapture and the Millennium.
  4. Compose a clear and compelling research question regarding the principle agents and ideas influencing present understandings of biblical eschatology.
  5. Design a research strategy as assigned to critique, interpret, and judge the relative merits of recent arguments concerning a critical issue in biblical eschatology.
  6. Construct an original and persuasive essay to resolve a theological question posed in regard to biblical eschatology.
  7. Correlate the relevance of biblical eschatology with a Christian worldview and ministry.

Course Resources

Required Resources

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

Benware, Paul. Understanding End Times Prophecy: A Comprehensive Approach. Moody Publishers, 2006.

Bock, Darrell, and Craig Blaising. Progressive Dispensationalism. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010.

Horner, Barry. Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2007.

Hultberg, Alan, ed. Three Views on the Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.

Jones, Timothy, P. Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy. Torrance: Rose Publishing, 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 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 (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread of 400–500 words in response to the provided prompt for each forum. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 3 other classmates’ threads in at least 250 words each. (MLO: B)

Annotated Bibliography

The student will submit an annotated bibliography comprising of 5 scholarly sources selected through Liberty University Online’s Library, “Christian Periodical Index,” or “ATLA Database.” These 5 sources should be related to the Research Project (see F Below). As with all assignments, this will be written according to current Turabian formatting. (MLO: A)

Position Paper

The student is to prepare a 1,000-word essay on the strengths and/or weaknesses of Dispensationalism, including Progressive Dispensationalism, in relation to Christian eschatology. This will function as a position paper concerning how the student views the theological system known as Dispensationalism. Interaction with other eschatological views is allowed (MLO: B).

Research Project

The Research Project will be submitted in 3 stages. In Module/Week 4, the student will submit a thesis statement, a summary of a research topic, a bibliography, and an annotation of the bibliography. In Module/Week 6, the student will submit the outline and introduction in preparation for the final paper. A template will be provided in the Assignment Instructions folder for these 2 portions of the assignment. In Module/Week 7, the student will submit the final submission, which will be 12–15 pages. (MLO: D, E)

Reflection Paper

The student will submit a 2–3-page reflection paper in which he/she will reflect on the 3 most important doctrinal issues relating to eschatology as they pertain to ministry and the Christian worldview. (MLO: G)

Exams (2)

Mid-Term Exam: This is an objective exam dealing with the principle agents and ideas shaping contemporary discussions in Christian eschatology as reflected in the assigned readings of Modules/Weeks 1–4 . (MLO: A, B, C)

Final Exam: This exam will include a series of focused objective questions and several short essay questions dealing with the principle agents and ideas shaping contemporary discussions in Christian eschatology as reflected in the assigned readings of Modules/Weeks 5–8. (MLO: A, B, C)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums

(2 at 50 pts ea)


Annotated Bibliography


Position Paper


Research Project:

Thesis and Summary

Outline and Introduction

Final Submission





Reflection Paper



(2 at 150 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


THEO 630

Textbooks: Benware, Understanding End Times Prophecy (2006).

Blaising, Progressive Dispensationalism (2000).

Horner, Future Israel (2004).

Hultberg, Three Views on the Rapture (2010).

Jones, Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy (2011).


Reading and Study




Horner: chs. 1–3

Jones: chs. 1–3

Benware: Intro, ch. 1

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1





Blaising & Bock: chs. 1–3

Horner: chs. 4, 6–8

1 presentation

Annotated Bibliography



Benware: chs. 18–19

Jones: chs. 4–5

1 presentation

Position Paper



Benware: ch. 4

Blaising & Bock: chs. 1,  4

Horner: ch. 9

Jones: chs. 6–8

1 presentation

Research Project: Thesis and Summary



Benware: ch. 15

Horner: chs. 10–12

Jones: chs. 9–10

1 presentation

Mid-Term Exam



Benware: ch. 6, Appendix 1, 2

Hultberg: Intro, ch. 1

Jones: chs. 11–15

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Research Project: Outline and Introduction




Benware: chs. 5, 7–8

Hultberg: ch. 2

Jones: chs. 16–20

1 presentation

Research Project: Final Submission



Benware: chs. 12–14

Hultberg: ch. 3, Conclusion

1 presentation

Reflection Paper

Final Exam







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.