Overview Objective Materials grading Exam ELI Policies and Procedures Contacting the Instructor Beginning the Course
REL 246: Christianity (3 Credits)
Instructor: Gail Dawson


This course examines the origins and historical development of Christianity, its basic metaphysical and theological assumptions and essential doctrines; also examines the present state of the church in the modern world.  




If you do well in this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between religious studies and theology

  • Discuss the origins and historical development of Christianity

  • Discuss and define relevant concepts, important historical figures, and key terms relating to Christianity

  • Demonstrate familiarity with Christianity’s basic theological assumptions and development of essential doctrines

  • Understand what principles contribute to unity and which to diversity among the various forms of Christianity

  • Understand the varieties of American Christian denominations and their history

  • Understand Christianity’s ongoing historical relationship with Judaism, Islam, and other faiths
  • Understand Christianity’s religious and historical influence on Western culture




The course requirements, taken together, constitute a possible 200 points that can be broken down as follows:

Class Participation (Weekly Updates on the discussion boards demonstrating that you have completed and engaged with the reading and DVD assignments) 30 points

4 writing assignments 40 points
major paper 30 points
3 exams 100 points total

Your course grade will be determined by number of points earned, per assignment, according to the following percentages.

Assignment Total Points Percentage of Grade
Class participation 30  15%

4 writing assignments (10 points each)

40 20%
1 major paper 30 15%
3 exams (34, 33, and 33 points each) 100 50%

Your final grade will be based on the following scale. You may earn, on each exam, up to 33 or 34 points (depending on the exam).  Please note that the exams are only half of the final grade; the other assignments combined have equal weight in determining your final grade..




A 180-200 90-100
B 160-179 80-89
C 140-159 70-79
D 120-139  60-69
F 0-119 0-59

If you are receiving financial aid, course withdrawal or a grade of F may impact your status. Please contact the Financial Aid office for further information.




There are 3 exams in this course. You are expected to take your examinations at one of the NVCC campus Testing Centers. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your exam before the Testing Center closes; Testing Centers have specific policies relating to the administration of ELI exams. You will need to take a photo ID, your NovaConnect empl ID number, and the appropriate Exam Pass when you go to the Testing Center.  

For Testing Center locations, hours of operation and policies, click here.

For information on taking exams outside of the metropolitan area, click here.


ELI Policies and Procedures

This is an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) course. ELI courses differ from campus courses in several important ways, including enrollment dates, communication with faculty, assignment completion requirements, and exams. You must follow ELI's policies and procedures if you take this course. Read (or review) ELI's Policies and Procedures before you begin the course. If you have questions, call ELI at (703) 323-3347 or (888) 435-6822.

Contacting the Instructor


I am here to help you succeed in this course. Occasionally questions or problems may arise. Here is how to contact me when they do:

E-mail : gdawson@nvcc.edu
Telephone :
(703) 679-5367
I do not have office hours, but you can contact me via e-mail at the address above


Beginning the Course


1. Use your web browser to connect to http://www.nvcc.edu/bbstart. Follow the directions to determine your email, Blackboard and VIVA account user names and passwords.
2. Access your email account and make sure you know how to use it; you will be required to use this account for all course-related email.
3. Log on to Blackboard at http://learn.vccs.edu.
4. Click on this course under "My Courses." Review the entire course to make sure you understand what will be required of you. Then start completing the assignments.

Please note that account generation takes approximately one week from the time of your paid registration. If you cannot log on after one week, contact the IT Help Desk. If you can log on to Blackboard, but your course isn't listed, please contact ELI or your instructor.