The standard is:
- "be able to recognize how Christianity’s internal struggles have impacted the church."
Here are three proficiencies that students should achieve to meet this standard:
- Identify the two main perspectives on any divisive issue around which a group formed in opposition to the prevailing orthodox view (example: the appropriate age for baptism in the sixteenth century)
- Identify a new independent grouping that formed as a result of these differences
- Express in written or verbal form an understanding of the significance a breakaway sect or denomination
- A one-page reflection paper on how a specific historical instance of factional division within the church had a long-term effect or legacy
- A series of questions on the mid-term exam that probe specific knowledge of important instances of sectarian formation
- Observation of student answers and engagement during class discussions which address the existence of opposition from within the church to some aspect of the subject under consideration (there are many instances)
- An in-class reading and discussion of a primary document such as a section of a formally adopted confession of faith addressing an issue on which groups split irreconcilably
- An in-class “Socratic Dialogue” in which we seek to arrive at a consensus answer to a question around which historical divisions were apparent, such as the appropriate age for baptism.
- An in-class debate between students representing the views of specific historical leaders, one side from the church hierarchy and the other spearheading a breakaway grouping.