American Exceptionalism – GOVT 329

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course introduces the student to the idea of “American Exceptionalism” – the notion that the United States of America has played and continues to play a key role in advancing justice and freedom throughout the world. The course examines the unique biblical foundation of American government and politics which in turn has made America a bastion of liberty and freedom. In turn, America’s impact on world politics and history is discussed. Students will also be challenged to thoughtfully examine ways in which America has not lived up to its highest ideals and to formulate strategies for ensuring that America stays on course to uniquely support liberty and freedom throughout the world.

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


American Exceptionalism is a course designed to introduce and affirm the importance and unique role that America has and will play in modern history. The course examines the principles and history of America’s founding, ways that the country has overcome past mistakes such as slavery, and provides discussion of what can and needs to be done in the future to keep America great.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Defend the notion of American exceptionalism from a biblical and historical perspective.
  2. Explain the role that evangelical Christianity plays in revitalizing American exceptionalism.
  3. Articulate the importance of American exceptionalism in the post-Cold War global arena.
  4. Discuss historical and current challenges to American exceptionalism.
  5. Describe the cultural traits which characterized American exceptionalism.

Course Assignment

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, there will be 5 opportunities for discussion participation on topics provided in Blackboard. Student participation is required and will be graded. The student must use proper netiquette in the discussion; quality as well as quantity counts. The student will present his or her own informed opinion on the assigned topic in a minimum 400 word thread (with citations to support assertions for full credit). Then, the student will submit 2 replies to at least 2 other students’ threads (the student must not let the minimum be his or her maximum—minimal participation means a minimally passing grade). Each reply must be at least 200 words and must bring in new ideas and analysis. The student must cite course-specific and non-course-specific material in the thread and the replies. Each post must be in current Turabian format.

This assignment will be completed in 3 distinct parts: a Topic Brief, an Annotated Bibliography, and a Research Paper - Final.

Research Paper – Topic Brief

The student will write a topic brief of 2 pages, with a minimum of 3 scholarly sources, choosing from 1 of 4 topics pertaining to the traits of American exceptionalism. The topic brief will be the basis for the final research paper at the end of the course. The topic brief must be in current Turabian format.

Research Paper – Annotated Bibliography

The student will develop an Annotated Bibliography to jumpstart his or her research into the topic selected for the topic brief for the final research paper. The student will use the sources/information recorded in the Annotated Bibliography as they develop their paper. The student will submit the annotated bibliography, citing a minimum of 8 scholarly sources in current Turabian format (this includes the 3 provided in the topic brief) with 1–2 paragraphs of summarized notes under each source listed.

Research Paper – Final

The student will write a 6–8-page Research Paper with at least 10 scholarly sources, discussing the topic chosen with the Topic Brief. Scholarly sources used must include those previously indicated in the Topic Brief and those from the Annotated Bibliography. This assignment must be completed in current Turabian format and include an abstract, title page, and bibliography.

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain 50 multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Each quiz has a 2-hour time limit and multiple retakes are allowed.