"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

Baptist History and Polity (ONLINE)



Registration Information:

ABSW/GTU Students: Follow regular registration dates and procedures.

Non-ABSW/GTU Students:

- Complete an ABSW Special Student Application Form and request this course as either an Auditor or for course credit.

  • Click here to be directed to our application forms. Then see left-hand column for downloadable .pdf file. 
  • Tuition: This is a 3-unit course.  Click here for applicable tuition for full academic credit or auditor's fee. 
  • Official transcripts can be requested at the completion of the class for a fee.

- Registration Opens July 1.  Registration Deadline August 15

- Contact the Office of Admissions if you have other questions.   



Ordination Requirements:

This course may fulfill the Baptist polity course requirement for ordination in the American Baptist Churches, USA and other Baptist denominations; ordination candidates seeking to take this course outside of a degree program are advised to consult with your ordaining body for instructions on fulfilling your history/polity requirement before registering for this class.


 * * * * *  

FALL 2013 SEMESTER - Registration closed.

Course Calendar:       Begins Sept. 3rd - Dec. 13 (14 wk period)
Course Credit Hrs:      Three (3) semester hours
Instructor:                   Rev. Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble,
ABSW Visiting
                                   Professor, Ministerial Leadership and Functional Theology
                                   (510) 841-1905, Ext 235

Course Description:

Beginning in Europe and tracing its development in America, this course will survey the history of the Baptist traditions that contributed to the present theological and ethical principles understood as Baptist polity. To identify oneself as Baptist is not a monolithic understanding. Students will find a very diverse practice.

In this online course, attention will be given to prominent persons who helped shape the tradition as well as key social and theological issues that help define Baptists over the years. The exchange should be a fun learning experience through committed readings and invigorating exchange among the students with input from the professor.

Course Objectives:

1. The aim of the course is to encourage students to increase awareness of historical roots of the Baptist tradition; students will be able to articulate the distinctive precepts of the Baptist tradition and be able to identify their own theological context.

2. To foster an online community of respect for diverse perspectives, students’ online exchange of weekly discussion posts will demonstrate comprehension of readings and an understanding of differing contexts that contribute to diversity in the Baptist tradition.

Computer Requirements:

Students must have sufficient access to a computer to participate in online learning.
·    A computer with Internet access and printer
·     Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater or comparable alternative access on Firefox, Safari, etc., so that the GTU MOODLE** system can be utilized. ·        
Adobe Reader software for viewing .pdf attachments that might be provided as part of Faculty Notes.
·    Microsoft Office Word software 2004-2007 or later for PC or Mac OS10
·    PowerPoint or comparable viewer 

**Once registered, basic MOODLE access instructions will be provided for students to follow steps and become familiar with navigating the system for posting and exchange. 

Textbook: Baptist Ways: A History (2003), Bill Leonard – ISBN 0-8170-1231-1