Religious Liberty Law and Policy – GOVT 467

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course examines key public policy and legal issues, trends and strategies related to religious liberty. Students will also examine and articulate recommendations for policy in this context and identify future legal challenges and issues.

Prerequisite

GOVT 458

Rationale

In an increasingly secular society, religious liberty is an increasingly salient issue.  This course provides students with the key historical, Constitutional, and Biblical concepts relevant for understanding and defending religious liberty in today's legal, political, and public policy contexts.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify religious liberty.
  2. Explain the elements of religious liberty.
  3. Identify key public policies, legal issues and trends that are related to religious liberty.
  4. Articulate recommendations for policy improvements or changes which affect religious liberty.
  5. Identify future legal challenges and issues that may affect religious liberty.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, there are four Discussion Board Forums in which students will post a thread presenting their own opinion on the assigned topic, writing 450–500 words. Then students will post replies of 200–250 words each to 2 or more classmates’ threads. Each reply must be unique and must integrate ideas (and citations) from the required reading and additional research as relevant. Merely posting the same reply in 2 places is not sufficient and may be treated as a form of academic misconduct. The original thread must incorporate ideas and citations from all of the required readings and presentations for that module/week. The reply posts must also integrate ideas and citations from the required readings and presentations for the module/week, as appropriate, and at least two scholarly sources.

Case Analyses (3)

For Modules/Weeks 1, 3, and 6, the student will research and write a case analysis, in which he or she will apply the concepts from the assigned module/week’s readings and presentations to a contemporary legal issue.  In doing so, the student will have to answer the assigned prompts and also choose a relevant legal issue for the sake of meaningful analysis and application.

Research Paper

For this 8-10 page research paper using at least ten scholarly sources, the student will discuss and analyze the following items:

  • Free Exercise Clause;
  • Establishment Clause;
  • Right to life and marriage;
  • The application of these principles in predicting the effect upon public policy and
  • Meaningful biblical integration.

Since this is an upper division course, the student will note that he or she has broad discretion in discussing and applying these concepts; however, that must not be seen as an opportunity to ramble, pontificate, or philosophize.  Instead comments must be focused on application to specific legal, political, and public policy contexts.