Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 246 Effective Summer 2015

Course Number:
HST 246
Course Title:
Religion in the United States to 1840
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers the basic features and effects of Native American religious revitalization movements, European backgrounds of Christian denominations, development of different religious groups, church-state relations, the struggle for religious liberty and how they shaped the beliefs, behaviors and institutions of colonial America and the early United States. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

After successful completion of HST 246 the student will be able to: 

· Articulate an understanding of the nature, key events and impact of religion on colonial America and early U.S. life and culture.
· Recognize and appreciate the value of a diversity of religious beliefs, behaviors and institutions and how they influenced churchstate relations and the struggle for the free exercise of religion.
· Identify culturally-grounded assumptions which have influenced the perceptions and behaviors of various religious groups in order to assess how beliefs affect behavior and institutions.
· Communicate effectively regarding issues in the history of religion in the United States.
· Connect religious heritage with contemporary religious issues to create a more informed
perspective and enhance civic engagement.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The SAC expects that instructors will assess student learning throughout the term using a variety of methods.  The SAC encourages instructors to consider the following in determining the achievement of course outcomes: 

  • Analyze primary and secondary sources of information.
  • Individual or team oral presentations.

  • Formal written papers that present and analyze historical topics or issues.

  • Participation in, and contribution to large and small group discussions and activities.

  • Quizzes, exams, and exercises.

  • Evaluate different interpretations of the same event.

  • Associate past events to contemporary times.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • The origins and development of religious beliefs or practices

  • Relationship between religion and politics

  • Religious movements, revivalism

  • Theological commonalities among religious faiths

  • Intolerance

  • Religion and social movements


  • Freedom of Religion

  • Civic religion

  • Religious pluralism

  • Self-understanding of the faithful (world view)

  • Millennialism

  • Syncretism

  • Social justice


  • Traditional religions

  • Freedom of Religion

  • Spiritual belief and individual conscience (dissension)

  • Ethnicity, gender and social class

  • Inter- and intra-religious controversies

  • Religious €œawakenings€

  • Religious acculturation

  • Proselytizing

  • Modernism


  • Critical thinking

  • Evaluate interpretations of historical events

  • Effective communication orally and in writing

  • Analyze the causal relationship between two or more historical events

  • Problem solving

  • Working collaboratively with others

  • Clearly articulate thoughts to a given audience

  • Close reading of primary and secondary sources by drawing on prior knowledge