Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 246

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. 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