Ecclesiology – THEO 620

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

Course Description

This course is a study of the origin, nature, purpose, mission, polity, and ministry of the church; a major emphasis will be on Baptist ecclesiology.


THEO 530


This course provides the student with the opportunity to explore the biblical and theological issues involved in the doctrine of the church in a deeper and more extensive manner than possible in the introductory systematic theology course. One benefit of this course is the practical preparation of the student for effective ministry in local churches based on a biblical understanding of the local church.

In addition, the course challenges the student to think of the church in biblical terms, measuring its contemporary expressions against biblical concepts. The student will also be challenged to think broadly about how his/her own church reflects a biblical model and how, as a church leader, he/she can encourage the congregation in this direction.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify major issues in ecclesiology.
  2. Defend Baptist ecclesiology.
  3. Describe the nature, purpose, organization, and ministry of the church from a biblical perspective.
  4. Relate biblical teaching regarding the church to the various expressions of the church throughout history.
  5. Understand how various denominations resolve ecclesiological concerns in their current expression of Church life, while being able to defend Baptist ecclesiological commitments.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. The student will submit a thread of 300–400 words in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be supported by the assigned readings, Scripture, and an example from either the student’s own experience or from an outside source. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to at least 2 peers’ threads in 100–200 words. (MLO: A, B, D)

Book Review and Analysis

The student will write a review and analysis of John. S. Hammett’s Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches: A Contemporary Ecclesiology. This will be 2000–2500 words. This is not to be a summary of the book, but rather an analysis of major points Hammett emphasizes. These will be considered in light of biblical teaching, historical development, and practical application in churches. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Covenant Essay

Baptist Churches come together in covenant, usually expressed in a written document. Using material from Allison’s book, the student will write an essay of 600–900 words describing the role of a written covenant as a basis for Church unity and polity. The paper must consider ways a church might use a written covenant in its worship, teaching, discipline, and organization. (MLO: B, E)

Exams (2)

There are 2 exams in this course: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams are open-book/open-notes and have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit. The Midterm Exam will cover material from Modules/Weeks 1–4. The Final Exam will cover material from Modules/Weeks 5–8. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)