The Early Church: The Bible to the Nicene Creed
The Bible and The Early Church is for the middle school student who is interested in learning about the sweeping story of the Bible and how exactly the Lord Jesus fulfilled His promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail” against the church. The student in this class should be able to read at a middle school level, form paragraphs easily, follow instructions on how to mark a book, writing summaries, taking notes, and writing short essays.
While Canterbury House is a program of studies dedicated to rediscovering and renewing a lively Anglican heritage of theology, Scripture reading and prayer, this course in Early Church History is the study of a time when the church was undivided in the sense of modern “denominations,” but when there was still a diversity of opinions about the theological and doctrinal meaning of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. It is a course that would appeal to anyone interested in a survey of the Bible and the development of the beliefs, rites and practices of the Early Church. We will be looking at Biblical interpretation in a way that is as true to the Patristic (Early Church) understanding as possible.
The course starts with reading significant portions of the Old and New Testaments to trace the story of creation, fall and redemption. They will discover the Biblical message about God’s goodness, human sin, and the need for a Savior. Students will learn key terms (covenant, exodus, law, sacrifice, prophet, disciple, apostle, passion, great commission, etc.), key figures (Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, Ruth, Mary, Zachariah, Elisabeth, John the Baptist etc.), and important theological ideas (creation, fall, sin, atonement, incarnation, resurrection, grace, charity, etc.). They will learn about the fourfold sense of scriptural interpretation and the importance of each: the literal, allegorical, tropological (moral) and eschatological.
The second part of the course looks at the history of the Church from the time of the apostles through to the ecumenical councils of the 4th and 5th centuries: the teaching of the Apostles, the conversion of the Gentiles, the practices of the early church such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, persecution and martyrdom, the successors to the apostles (known as the Church Fathers), the Apostles Creed, the establishment of the canon of scriptures, the controversies over the nature of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity to the final form of the Nicene Creed. Marcellino D’Ambrosio’s book When the Church Was Young will provide our entry into this time. Occasional supplemental material will be provided, such as the writings of the Church Fathers (all of which are available online or in book form, if desired).
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
- Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Be able to deductively apply content and previously learned mathematics skills and processes to the understanding of newly introduced content.
- Understand that arriving at the correct answer is not the goal of mathematics review and practice, but rather understand that consistent application of the correct processes are the goals of review and practice.
- After the instructor has provided instructions – the student should be able to use Wacom tablet (or other like iPad) to actively solve math problems during class, viewable to the instructor on Ziteboard.
COURSE TEXTS TO PURCHASE:
1. ESV Bible
2. When the Church Was Young by Marcellino D’Ambrosio
3. Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen
OTHER READINGS SUPPLIED BY THE TEACHER WILL INCLUDE:
1. Copies of the Apostles’ Creed, Didache, Nicene Creed, and other related documents
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High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Scanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.
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