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Online Course: JG-02 - "History, Polity and Ethos of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for Laity"

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This course explores the history and polity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from its origins in the early 1800s to the present. Emphasis focuses on the pioneer founders of the denomination, Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, and Walter Scott, and their influence on the movement that emerged out of their efforts. The growth of the denomination will be viewed in the context of national and international history as it grew to take its place among the established, mainstream churches of modern times. Attention will also be given to the Restructure of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that has shaped its modern identity, polity, ethos, and mission.

Disciples Pastors: Form Study Groups!

This is an excellent course for teaching congregations about the identity, history, polity, ethos, and mission of Disciples! The eleven in-depth lessons make excellent small-group studies of 12 weeks. Each member of a small group can have their own access to the videos to view study on their own. Then, meet once per week for a group discussion on the materials. Pre-programmed discussion points for each lesson are provided by the course professor and can be discussed online in the Class Forum and/or in person in the groups' meetings. Group discounts are are provided.

A New Low Price To Make The Course Accessible

We have made a special pricing of this non-credit version of this course in order to make this course available to lay leaders, teachers, congregants of churches and small study groups. Christian College and TransformingTheChurch have endeavored to make this course as RELEVANT and as ACCESSIBLE to as many people as possible. Our goal is foster an broad understanding of the history of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We offer this course to the Church and Her Servants with hopes that you can participate. Group discounts are also available for study groups of three or more.

Seminary-Quality Course

Despite its low price, this course contains seminary-level scholarship from a highly-respected professor. Dr. Jerry Gladson teaches the for-credit fully-interactive version of this course three times a year for Christian College to seminarians and clergy. The video lectures, reading assignments and pre-programmed discussion points are the same in both versions of the course. By dropping the class assessments, grading, assessments, exams, live sessions and the personal interaction with Dr. Gladson, we have been able to package a laity version of this course at an affordable price. Our hope is to make church history available to the broadest audience possible.

A Self-Paced Course of Video-on-Demand, Readings and Discussions

The course is composed of eleven online lessons containing a total of 29 online videos. There are also optional readings and pre-programmed discussions of subjects posed by Dr. Gladson. Typically each lesson will take about 90 minutes to complete, including viewing the lesson's videos and doing the optional readings and discussions. The lessons are completely self-paced and are typically completed at the rate of one per week. However, you control the pace and can go faster or slower.

A Ideal Course for Lay Leaders, Teachers, Congregants and Small Groups

This course is designed for the lay leaders, teachers and congregants of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who wish to learn more about the history, polity and ethos of Disciples. The course makes an excellent small-group study or a church-wide study.

Online Distance Leaning

This a distance-learning course that can be completed online without the need for travel. All you need is a web browser and a broadband Internet connection. The course can be successfully used by people with only the most basic of computer skills.

Additional Information About This History and Polity Course

In the sidebar on the right side of the page, there is additional information about this course. Please explore these pages for more information.

Course Instructor: Dr. Jerry Gladson

jerry_gladson_photo_200w.jpgFor more than a decade, Dr. Jerry Gladson has prepared and taught a foundational course for all those who enter ministry in Georgia: The Disciples of Christ -- History, Polity and Ethos.

Dr. Gladson has offered the for-credit version of this course, through Christian College, for those who were enrolled in the Institute for Christian Ministry and for Seminarians enrolled in five graduate theological seminaries in the Greater Atlanta Area. Many who have transferred their standing to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through the Region of Georgia have also completed the for-credit version of this course.

Dr. Gladson graduated from Southern Adventist University with a B.A. (cum laude) in Theology, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Vanderbilt University. He is the author of twelve books, including Who Said Life is Fair? Job and the Problem of Evil (1985), A Theologian’s Journey (2000), The Five Exotic Scrolls of the Hebrew Bible (2009), and The Strangest Books in the Bible (2010).