Doctrinal Assessment of Church Practice
This project provides an opportunity to experience the differences in church doctrine, church government, and sacramental practice.
Research and Observation
- Research a Christian denomination that has a different form of the doctrine of the church, different church government, and a different practice of the sacraments/ordinances (including baptism and Lord’s Supper/Eucharist/Communion) than your own.
- Solid understanding of your denomination is required. Visit a local church associated with this other Christian denomination two times. Go when you can observe some of these differences. Make note of denominational material such as doctrinal statements, prayer books, catechisms, or service books.
- Make an appointment to interview the minister of the church that you visited.
Set of Interview Questions
Based on your research and observations, prepare a set of 10-15 interview questions to ask the church’s minister about the doctrine of the church, church government, and sacrament/ordinances.
Using the set of 10-15 questions, interview the minister to help you understand the doctrine of that church, church government, and sacrament/ordinances.
This presentation must be academic and scholarly, designed for an audience from a specific church congregation from your denomination.
Create a 12-15 slide presentation that includes the following:
- In one to two slides, summarize of your observational visits, including a summary of interview questions and responses from the minister.
- In five to six slides, explain the differences in the doctrines of the churches and theological understanding between your denomination and the other denomination that lead to differences of practice(s) that you observed.
- In three to five slides, analyze what you perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of each denominations’ theology and practice. Do not just assert your preference or your denominational stance, but rather think theologically about the rationale of the distinctions in these churches’ doctrines.
- In addition, create a title slide, reference slides, and slide notes that provide a detailed explanation of your research, observations, and interview. Be sure to include the denominational material you noted.
Use three to five academic resources (preferably from the GCU Library) including the Bible and course material to support your explanations.
While GCU style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using GCU formatting guidelines, which can be found in the GCU Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.