Research and Scholarly Capstone – RLGN 490

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will require students to resource the knowledge acquired from coursework completed in the undergraduate religious studies program. Christian formation of leaders in the local church will be explored. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills as well as producing scholarly research in various areas of theological importance. It will guide students in producing scholarly writing that adds to the body of knowledge and practice to further the mission of the church of Jesus Christ.


(RLGN 360 or RLGN 350) and (BIBL 360 or BIBL 350) and (THEO 360 or CHMN 387)


As the research and scholarly capstone course for the online Bachelor of Science in Religion degree, RLGN 490 maintains a dual emphasis—research and scholarship. The student will cultivate scholarly excellence while completing a major biblical and theological research project.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Create an academic portfolio/curriculum vitae.
  2. Produce a publishable exegetical research paper.
  3. Demonstrate how to accomplish biblical and theological research.
  4. Assess critical and evangelical biblical scholarship.
  5. Design a plan for a lifelong pursuit of scholarly excellence.
  6. Evaluate scholarly and popular writings related to Christian theology and cultural practice.

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 will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must demonstrate course-related knowledge and critically interact with scholarly sources. See the Discussion Board Forum prompts for the full set of instructions. (MLO: C, D, E)

Research Paper


The student will submit a 3–4 page proposal that will be a guide for the research process and provide the introduction to the paper. The proposal will declare the research topic and include 11 specific items per the Paper Proposal Instructions. (MLO: A, E)


The student will submit a complete bibliography consisting of at least 10 scholarly, research-oriented sources. Of these sources, 3–5 must be reference works. The remaining sources must be scholarly, research-oriented works that are directly related to the paper thesis and the particular biblical text being treated. The bibliography must be in current Turabian format. (MLO: A, E, F)

First Draft

The first draft is not simply a rough draft, but must be written and formatted as a finished product. It must contain 3,000–3,750 words (10–12 pages), include at least 10 acceptable sources, and be in current Turabian format. See the Paper First Draft Instructions. (MLO: B, C, D, E, F)

Final Draft

The student will submit a final draft of the research paper that has incorporated the instructor’s feedback on the first draft. The instructor will notify you in the event your research paper has been selected for submission to Diligence. See the Paper Final Draft Instructions (MLO: B, C, D, E, F)

Book Review

The student will write a book review consisting of 750–1,000 words and adhering to current Turabian format. (MLO: C, D, E)

Professional Portfolio

The student will build a professional portfolio that contains his or her curriculum vitae and formal writing samples. In the process of building the professional portfolio, the student will be guided through the steps of applying for admission to a graduate school and applying for an academic position. (MLO: A)

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. This exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 true/false and multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour time limit. (MLO: C, D)

Final Exam

The Final Exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. This exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 true/false and multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour time limit. (MLO: C, D)