REL 402 - World's Living Religions


Contact Information

I am available to meet with any student regarding any matter.
I will be available at the office hours posted, and at other days/times by appointment.
Students may contact me by phone 9 am to 9 pm. Office phone 575-562-2519, Home phone 575-763-0101, with answering machines to leave messages, or send me an email, or send a message via the BlackBoard link.
For my bio., go to

I try to respond to phone and email messages within a day of receiving them.
Tests give a grade as soon as they are submitted
Discussion Boards - I try to start grading Discussion Boards on the Monday after they were due. For large classes this may take me more than one day.
Essays and Papers - I try to start grading these on the Wednesday after they were due. This may take me several days.
On some weekends during the semester I will be traveling and will have limited access to the InterNet - at such times feedback and grading may be delayed until Monday.

Office Hours

My Office is in JWLA 127-T.
Office hours during the 2018 Spring semester are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1pm-2pm, or at other days/times by appointment.

Required Materials
  • Text Book - "Invitation to World Religions", Jeffrey Brodd et al., 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-937836-4, available at the ENMU Bookstore.
  • Computer with basic audio/video output equipment. For students on the ENMU campus, there are computers available in the Computer Labs, and in the Golden Student Success Center and the Campus Union Building.
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • The Browser recommended for work with BlackBoard is Firefox, available for free download from Mozilla.
    Chrome and Explorer have some compatibility issues with BlackBoard.
  • Word-processing software capable of producing .doc .docx or .txt files
Course Description

This course is a comparative study of the great religions functioning in the world today.
The course will consist of reading and studying the textbook and other resources supplied.
It may also include assignments such as visiting places of worship associated with various religions and denominations in your local area.
It is important for the student to keep up with all reading and written assignments.
Since a large amount and a wide range of material will be covered each week, regular completion of assignments is necessary to do well in the class.
This is a 3-credit-hour course, so is the equivalent of 3 one-hour lectures per week with at least another 3 hours of individual study and class assignments per week. As a general guide, students should devote about 6 hours per week to this course, i.e. about an hour a day, Monday through Saturday, with Sunday for a brief review of the past week's work.
Students who work steadily for an hour-or-so each day on this course should have no difficulty in getting a good Grade.
Students who make a habit of leaving the week's work for an overnighter on Sundays will probably not do very well.

Learning Outcomes - Objectives of the Course

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to :

  1. Describe the various ways of expressing religious and spiritual beliefs.
  2. Identify the people and events associated with the main religions of the world.
  3. Discuss the literature associated with the main religions of the world.
  4. Compare and contrast the teachings and ethical standards of the main religions of the world.
  5. Compare and contrast the world-views associated with the main religions of the world.
  6. Describe the varieties of worship associated with the main religions of the world.
Course Prerequisites : None

Suggested Background Knowledge/Skills : Students should be comfortable with reading and writing at an upper-division College level, and should have sufficient computing, word processing and library skills to be able to complete assignments without over-straining themselves. Those who wish to improve their writing skills may wish to take advantage of the Writing Lab and Workshop which is offered free to all students at ENMU.

Course Grading

See the ENMU Catalog, pages 29-30 for the Grading System at ENMU.

Grades will be based on : Tests + Discussion Board items + Essays + Term Papers

PointsTotal Points%age
14 Tests20 points each28052 %
14 Discussion Board Threads4 points each5610 %
28 Discussion Board Replies1 point each285 %
1 Discussion Board self-introduction1 point1 
1 Discussion Board Final message1 point1 
5 Essays20 points each10018 %
3 Term Papers25 points each7514 %
Total541100 %


Computation of Grades
90 - 100 % = A
80 - 89 % = B
70 - 79 % = C
60 - 69 % = D
0 - 59 % = F
Student Expectations - Attendance / Participation

Students are expected to study the assignments from the text book and other sources given, and to complete the weekly assignments on time.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students should refer to the University catalogue for a definition of academic dishonesty and its penalties, or they should go to this Web Page and familiarize themselves with the relevant material.

Grades will be based on the term papers and class assignments (essays, discussion board items, and weekly tests).

Course Organization

The course is divided into 15 modules corresponding to the weeks of the semester.
Each weekly module will include a Discussion Board topic and will conclude with a Test, which is to be taken at least once before 9am on the Monday following the weekly assignment.
Some weeks will also call for an Essay or Reflection Paper.

  • Tests : Each weekly module concludes with a Test, to be taken at least once before 9am of the Monday following the weekly assignment.
    You will have 1 hour to complete each test.
    You may take a test as many times as you like before the cut-off time.
    Questions will vary each time you take a test.
    Your highest score on each test will count towards your course grade.
  • Discussion Board - In each module/week of the course, by 9am Wednesday, students should post a thread that addresses the topic provided by the instructor. They should also respond with meaningful replies to at least 2 classmates' threads by 9am Friday. Discussion Board threads and replies will count towards the Course Grade.
  • Essays - there are five essays or reflection papers, due at various times during the semester, which will count towards the Course Grade.
  • Term Papers or Final Project - There will be a Final Project, consisting of three research papers, which will count towards the Course Grade.
  • Late Work - For work to be eligible for an "A" Grade, it must be submitted on time. Students may submit their Tests and Essays early, and are advised to do so whenever possible. Essays may be submitted late, but may drop a Letter Grade per week that they are overdue. Discussion Board postings and Tests must be submitted by their due dates - late postings will not be eligible for a grade except in the case of students who enter the course during the Drop-Add period.
  • Makeup - Because of the nature of this course, in which students do not have to attend classes at particular times on particular days, there is no provision for "make-up" work.
  • Extensions - Extensions will only be granted under grave extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor. If you think that you may need an extension, you should contact the instructor ahead of time with your request, and explain the situation.
ENMU Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism and Cheating of any kind on an examination, quiz, or assignment will result in at least an "F" for that assignment (and may, depending on the severity of the case, lead to an "F" for the entire course) and may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. See the Student Handbook for further information. I expect that you will adhere to the academic creed of this University and that you will maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. In other words, don't cheat by giving answers to others or by taking them from anyone else. I will also adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity, so please do not ask me to change (or expect me to change) your grade illegitimately or to bend or break rules for one person that will not apply to everyone. Plagiarism is a serious offense. When in doubt, cite your sources!
Please visit the 2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog online at; page 30, for information concerning Academic Integrity.
Action can include, but is not limited to, failure for the assignment; failure of, or a reduced grade for the course; suspension or dismissal from your program of study.

Disability Statement

If you have, or believe you have a disability, you may contact the Accessibility Resources and Testing Center to coordinate reasonable classroom accommodations, access to technology, or other academic assistance.
The Accessibility Resources and Testing Center serves students with a wide range of disabilities including but not limited to medical or health impairment, vision or hearing disability, physical disability, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, or mental health impairment.
All information will be treated confidentially.
Accommodations are not retroactive. They begin only after :

  • Appropriate documentation has been received and accepted by the Coordinator of Disability Services
  • Letters of Accommodation (LOA) have been prepared
  • You have delivered your Letters of Accommodation to your instructors

Appropriate academic accommodations may then be provided for you.
You may contact the Accessibility Resources and Testing Center in room 186, Student Academic Services building, phone 575.562.2280

FERPA and Privacy

As a student, your educational records are considered confidential. Under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your records are confidential and protected. Under most circumstances your records will not be released without your written and signed consent. However, some directory information may be released to third parties without your prior consent unless a written request to restrict this is on file.
You can learn more about student rights to privacy at
In this course, we may be working with third party applications online (i.e. wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0 applications). The different proprietors of these sites may or may not have privacy guarantees and the FERPA policy at ENMU does not apply to these sites. It will be your responsibility to read the privacy documentation at each site. There are many other options to protecting your information at these sites. If you have filed the paperwork and are classified as protected under the ENMU FERPA qualifications, it will be acceptable for you to use an alias when using the Web 2.0 sites required for this course. If you still have concerns, please e-mail me as soon as possible to discuss your options.


This course may contain copyright protected materials such as audio or video clips, images, text materials, etc. These items are either linked to or are being used with regard to the Fair Use doctrine in order to enhance the learning environment. Please do not copy, duplicate, download or distribute these items. The use of these materials is strictly reserved for this online classroom environment and your use only. All copyright materials are credited to the copyright holder.

Title IX

ENMU is committed to fostering a safe, productive learning environment and we comply with all aspects related to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and 34 C.F.R. Part 106. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination to include sexual misconduct defined as harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Incidents of harassment or assault can be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at 575.562.2991 or
Reports can also go to the ENMU Police Department by calling 575.562.2392.
If you wish to receive fully confidential support and victim's advocacy you can contact Arise Sexual Assault Services at 575.226.7263.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting
As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus.
I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility. I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on ENMU's campus with the Title IX Coordinator and/or the ENMU Police.
Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting Arise at 575.226.7263

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Station 19, ENMU
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated : January 10, 2018

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