Jurisprudence/Legal History – JURI 610

CG • Section • 12/17/2019 to 05/25/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the many schools of jurisprudence. Jurisprudence is the study of legal philosophy. An examination of the nature and meaning of the legal past, particularly the Western legal tradition, with a primary focus on the historical relationship between church and state; and the biblical and theological foundations of the Western legal tradition and the English Common Law heritage. Particular emphasis is given to formulating principles of a distinctively Christian jurisprudence and on reading primary materials.




Fundamental theological and philosophical presuppositions shape the way human beings understand social institutions, including the law. This includes the view of the nature of the law; the place of positive norms; natural law, and historical ideas in the establishment; and development of legal institutions, principles, and norms. The Christian worldview integrates diverse legal ideas and serves as a foundation for jurisprudence.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Compare and contrast diverse jurisprudential perspectives.
  2. Analyze the philosophical and theological presuppositions that serve as foundations for the main legal theories.
  3. Evaluate diverse schools of jurisprudence in light of the Christian worldview and the historical influence of Christian ideas.
  4. Understand the historical origins and development of legal ideas and institutions.
  5. Analyze the justice of legal norms consistent with fundamental principles of Divine Law.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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 (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to post a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and be supported by 3 sources in current Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–200 words and include 2 sources.

Research Papers (3)

The student will write three 2,800–3,000-word research-based papers in current Bluebook format that focus on the following topics: natural law and positive law, modern perspectives on legal theory, and integrative jurisprudence. Each paper must include at least 10 references drawn from at least 5 separate sources. The word count does not include citations.

Note: LL.M students must add an additional 2,500 words of writing in their final paper. This is a Pass/Fail component of this assignment. This is not required of the JM students.

Video Lecture Quiz

This quiz will cover the Reading & Study presentation for the assigned module/week. It will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 25 minutes.

Quizzes (3)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each quiz will be open book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple choice and/or true/false questions, 5 short answer questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.