REL 491 - The Book of Acts, and the Early Christian Church

Course Description

This course is a Directed Study of the Book of Acts and the History of the Early Christian Church. The course will consist of a series of weekly units of study, covering the above topics.
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 schedule about 6 hours per week for 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.

Objectives of the Course

To enable the student :

  1. to gain knowledge of the history of the Early Christian Church
  2. to gain knowledge of the main persons and events in the Early Christian Church
  3. to gain knowledge of the conflicts and problems in the Early Christian Church
  4. to gain an appreciation for a variety of cultures, as represented in the Mediterranean regions in the first century
The Instructor and Office Hours

The instructor is available to meet with any student regarding any matter. The instructor will be available at the office hours posted, and at other times by appointment. Students may contact the instructor by phone 9 am to 9 pm. Office phone 575-562-2519, Home phone 575-763-0101, with answering machines to leave messages, or e-mail Dr. Rollinson
For a bio. of the instructor, go to Dr. Shirley's bio

Text Books
  • The Bible - students should use at least two translations of the Bible. A "traditional" version such as the King James' Version, which keeps close to the Greek and Hebrew texts; and a "modern" version, which is easier to read, but which is usually a less-exact translation.
  • The Zondervan Handbook to the Bible, edited by David and Pat Alexander, Zondervan, 199, ISBN 0-310-23095-0, available from the ENMU Bookstore or at general Bible Bookstores
Course Prerequisites : None

Suggested Background Knowledge/Skills : Students should be comfortable with reading and writing at College level, and should have sufficient word processing and library skills to be able to complete assignments without overstraining themselves.
Those who wish to improve their writing skills may wish to take advantage of the Writing Workshop which is offered free to all students of ENMU.
Check out the Proficiency levels Page
and the Edited Standard Written English Page for further details.

Course Organization

The course is divided into 15 units corresponding to the weeks of the semester.
Each weekly Unit will conclude with an assignment, which is to be completed and submitted via the BlackBoard-Turnitin page by 9 am on the following Monday.

  1. Assignments - The Assignments for each week are usually due by 9 am on the Monday of the next week. It is recommended that students try to send in their assignments a few days ahead of time in case there are problems with the computers over the weekend.
  2. Research Papers - There will be a Midterm Paper, and a Final Paper, both of which will count towards the Course Grade.
  3. Late Work - For work to be eligible for an "A" Grade, it must be submitted on time. Students may submit their assignments early, and are advised to do so whenever possible. Work may be sent submitted late, but will drop a letter Grade per week that it is overdue.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Student Expectations

Students are expected to read and reflect on the assignments from the text book and other sources, 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.
The Turnitin system will be used to ensure that students' work meets an acceptable standard of originality.
Grades will be based on Papers and weekly class assignments.

ENMU Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism and Cheating of any kind on an examination, quiz, or assignment will result at least in 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 will maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. In other words, don't cheat by giving answers to others or 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, please cite your sources! Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for information concerning plagiarism; action can include, but is not limited to failure of 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 Disability Services Office (DSO) to coordinate reasonable classroom accommodations, access to technology, or other academic assistance.
DSO 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.
You may contact DSO in room 186 Student Academic Services building, phone 575.562.2280
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.

ENMU Reasonable Accommodation statements :

  1. Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the beginning of classes.
  2. Instructors are to receive an academic accommodation form within the first two weeks of classes when there is an existing disability.
  3. If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic accommodations, please provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the semester.
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.


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

Grades will be based on : Papers + Assignments

Relative weighting% of Final GradeTotal
13 Assignments6% each78%
Midterm Paper10%10%
Final Paper12%12%


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

Further information is available on the "How to get an A" Page,
the Proficiency Levels Page,
and the Grading of Reports and Essays Page.

For work to be eligible for an "A" Grade, it must be handed to the instructor on time. Work may be handed in late, but will drop a letter Grade per week that it is late.

Anticipated Student Workload

5 hours per week reading, 1-2 hour per week writing, 1-2 hours per week library/computer

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Station 19, ENMU
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: July 27, 2015

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional   Valid CSS!