BIB 451.01 Senior Seminar (2 credit hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community
that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: MW 4:00-4:50 pm
Location: Stotts, Room 127
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: Stotts, 123
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M  3:30-4:00pm
T  1:00-5:00pm
W 3:30-4:00pm
Th by appointment only
F  by appointment only

I. Textbooks:

II. Course Description:

BIB 451 Senior Seminar (2 credits) A review of the content of the student's studies in the Bible program, with a special emphasis on reviewing and processing the content of the Biblical text. The student will produce a portfolio, resume, and senior research project. The oral examination required for a degree in Bible is given as a component of this course. A practical ministry course. Prerequisite: senior standing or permission of the instructor.

This course reviews and integrates the material in the Bible program and provides the student with an opportunity to reflect on the material and how it might be used in ministry. As a part of the course, the student is asked to put together a portfolio and revise a paper previously done into a senior project. In addition, the course contains two oral exams: the Bible exam over the content of the biblical text and the exit exam which asks the student to should his ability in integrating text with experience in practical situations. The student will also be asked to produce a written review of the Bible program.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the School of Biblical Studies:

Faith and Learning Objectives

Course Objectives For Majors

Career Objectives

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To provide a capstone experience for the student in the Bible program.
  2. To aid the student in reviewing the biblical text.
  3. To help the student reflect on the material covered in the Bible program and begin to integrate this material into a useful tool for ministry.
  4. To help the student grow in his personal faith.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant research on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by several typed papers and a portfolio; research skills as evidence by an interview project; and memory organization and retention and integrative reasoning skills as evidenced by oral exams.

The grade will be based on two oral exams (including a written Bible exam if the oral Bible exam is failed), fourteen one-page chapter reports on the textbook readings, a five-page reflection paper over the Bible program, elements of a portfolio of the student's work over the years, and participation in class (including attendance). Bible exam questions can come from any place in the Bible. In addition, students will be expected to do a professional research project which will consist of one-page write-ups of eight interviews with ministers, and a synthesized list of five positives and five negatives that the student has learned from the interviews.

The papers should be typed. The number of pages listed for the typed papers refer to full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide.

A portfolio should include at least the following: a resumé, statements of philosophy of ministry, your spiritual journey, and your views on ethics and integrity, a bibliography of important works in Bible and ministry (with items owned marked with an asterisk), examples of your academic work (including a copy of the research paper or exegesis produced for this class), examples of lessons and/or sermons from your internship or other ministry, recommendations, any diplomas and/or certificates, material from mission workshops, lectureships, or campaigns, and a global component. The first five elements will be produced in this class.

Class may be dismissed if there are classroom conflicts during Lectureship week April 8-11. In such a case, students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class or lecture for each hour missed and turn in notes on the class or lecture attended. The notes will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for class participation. Failure to bring a textbook that is being discussed in class will result in the loss of one-third point on that day. One point will be deducted for each class missed. Absences due to illness will be counted as excused, but only if I am notified of the illness in a timely manner. Do not come to class sick. Another excused absence will be those missed on official school business with an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework can be found on the Internet at: "http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/seniorseminar/". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in up to a week before the due date if the student knows of an absence that is coming up. Late homework is accepted for no more than half credit.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late reading reports will be accepted for only half credit, since the readings will be discussed in class. Reports which are both late and short will be accepted only for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than three weeks late will only be accepted for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than six weeks late will only be accepted for one-tenth credit. The graded papers turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-half letter (5%) per class period late.

All papers must be turned in to receive credit in the course. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and up to (but not exceeding) a letter grade on mechanical errors; however, in this class most papers may not be rewritten. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by two letter grades. It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check!

Students who fail the oral Bible exam will be asked to take a comprehensive written exam over the Bible. Students must make a grade of 70 to pass. Gradewise the written exam is worth 60% of the oral exam's points. Any retakes of the written exam drop the value by 10% each. Either the oral or written exam must be passed to pass the class.

Definition of a Credit Hour

In 2011, the US Department of Education and OVU's accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, established requirements regarding how much time is required to be spent on a course for each credit hour earned. As a result, all colleges and universities have been required to establish policies that adhere to this definition. In keeping with this requirement, OVU expects you to spend a minimum of two hours outside of class doing course work (reading, doing homework, writing papers, reviewing for tests, etc.) for each hour you spend in the classroom. Because this is a 2-credit hour course, you should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours each week outside the classroom doing work for it.

VIII. Grading System:

            Class Participation                            10%
            Interview Project with Summary (3 points each) 27%
            Chapter Reports (1 point each)                 14%
            Reflection Paper                                9%
            Portfolio Elements (2 points each)             10%
            Oral Bible Exam                                15%
            Exit Exam                                      15%

Extra credit in these areas will not be allowed to exceed these percentages. Extra credit in the course will be given for up to three two-page reports on the textbook chapters not covered (1 point each). Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

IX. Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards, as is falsifying records such as those kept for field experiences, practica, internships, etc. Students who engage in these behaviors in a course in which they are enrolled will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, being placed on restricted status (i.e., the student will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities, including intramurals, and may not represent Ohio Valley University in public events, including athletic competitions, performances, and presentations), or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University.

Students who engage in these behaviors when they are unrelated to a course in which they are enrolled will also face appropriate consequences, which could include being placed on restricted status or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. If a student believes he or she has been falsely accused of academic dishonesty, or if the student believes the consequences of an incident of academic dishonesty are unjust, the student may ask that the situation be reviewed. To ask for a review, the student should give to the Provost written notice of the appeal and the reasons for it within three business days of being informed of the consequences of the alleged incident; detailed instructions about the appeal procedure are available in the catalog or from the Provost.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVU is expulsion from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

Professional Dress

Students should dress modestly regardless of the type of clothes that they choose, and be aware that first impressions count and are often dictated by clothing choices. Specifically, members of the University community should avoid clothing that is revealing and/or features offensive slogans, language, or advertisements. Examples of revealing clothing include but are not limited to: midriffs or halters, mesh or netted shirts, tube tops, low cut blouses, short skirts and shorts exposing the upper thigh. Very tight clothing should be avoided. Examples of offensive slogans, language or advertisements include but are not limited to: curse words, sexually suggestive language or gestures, and references to alcohol or drugs.

Electronic Devices

Please turn cell phones OFF or ON SILENT before entering class. You may place your cell phone on your desk as a clock; otherwise, keep it put away. The use of cell phones, computers, and tablets for texting, calling, emailing, googling, checking the internet, tweeting, using facebook, and/or playing games is not permitted; such is distracting both to the students doing such and the students around them. Please put these electronic devices away. Do not use your device out of sight under the desk. If you should use your device in class without the teacher's permission, you will be asked to put it in the teacher's basket for the duration of the class period. I reserve the right to count you absent wholly or partially should you disregard this. Cell phone or tablet use for voice, text, or data during a test will result in failure of that test!

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. There is the potential for learning during each class session, and these opportunities are irreplaceable. By attending class, students have a deeper and richer learning experience, and they are often exposed to others' viewpoints. Instructors are responsible for recording attendance in each of their classes.

Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy for each course and clearing excused absences with the instructor. Although students involved in Ohio Valley University activities may need to be excused from a class session, it is the student's responsibility to request the absence from the instructor and to discuss with the instructor how the absence may affect the student's ability to meet course requirements. While instructors should make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class because of Ohio Valley University-sponsored activities (e.g., academic competitions, performances, and athletic competitions) or other sound reasons (e.g., illness or family emergencies), students should recognize that not every course can accommodate absences and that neither the absence nor the notification of the absence will relieve the student from meeting course requirements.

A student who stops attending class sessions (or participating in an online course) for three consecutive weeks without a justifiable reason will be dropped from the course and given a grade of W (Withdrawal) if dropped before the 12th week of the semester; if the student is dropped after the 12th week of the semester, the grade will be F-IW (Failure-Improper Withdrawal). If the course in question is a course from which a student may not withdraw, the grade will be F-IW regardless of when in the semester the student is dropped.

Bible Class attendance policy

A student who is dropped from a required Bible course for violating the university's Class Attendance Policy will receive a grade of F-IW. If this is the first time a student has received a final grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be placed on Bible Course Probation for the next full semester. While on Bible Course Probation, a student will not be allowed to participate in university-sponsored activities, including student organizations and intramurals, and may not hold an elective campus office. In addition, a student on Bible Course Probation will not be allowed to represent Ohio Valley University at various events, including performances (except those required as part of a course), intercollegiate athletics, and other competitions. If this is the second time a student has received a grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be suspended from the university for one semester. See the catalog section "Bible Class Attendance Policy" for additional details.

Course Policy:

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence. I do count half and other fractional absences.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 30% of the hours of the course (i.e., as many as 10 class hours, counting each class as 1 hour). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning at any time once you have at least 5 total absences or 3 unexcused absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.


If (and only if) you are unable to complete assigned work for the class because of an extraordinary life-event, you may request a grade of Incomplete. The request must be made through the registrar's office seven calendar days prior to the last day of class, and the Provost reviews these requests. The procedure is defined in the OVU catalog.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, inform your instructor and your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:

Students should include their own bibliography of important books and books that they own in their portfolio.

XIII. Course Calendar:

WEEK ONE: First Class and Group Work
1/11/21--Introduction of the Class
         homework: develop seven (7) questions
1/13/21--Group Work developing questions for Interview Project

         homework: Extra Credit chap. 1-5 of Redigging the Wells due
1/21/21--Two Pitfalls for Ministers

         homework: Portfolio: a resumé due
1/25/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 6 of Redigging the Wells due(#1)
1/27/21--Discussion: Chap. 6 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Portfolio: a philosophy of ministry due
2/ 1/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 7 of Redigging the Wells due(#2)
2/ 3/21--Discussion: Chap. 7 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Portfolio: your spiritual journey due
                   Interview #1 due
2/ 8/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 8 of Redigging the Wells due(#3)
2/10/21--Discussion: Chap. 8 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Portfolio: your views on ethics and integrity due
                   Interview #2 due
2/15/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 9 of Redigging the Wells due(#4)
2/17/21--Discussion: Chap. 9 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Portfolio: a bibliography of important works in Bible and ministry (with items owned marked with an asterisk) due
                   Interview #3 due
2/22/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 10 of Redigging the Wells due(#5)
2/24/21--Discussion: Chap. 10 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Interview #4 due
                   chap. 11 of Redigging the Wells due(#6)
3/ 1/21--Discussion: Chap. 11 of Redigging the Wells

         homework: Interview #5 due
3/ 8/21--Budgeting and Ministerial Taxes
         homework: chap. 12 of Redigging the Wells due(#7)
3/10/21--Discussion: Chap. 12 of Redigging the Wells

WEEK NINE: Bible Oral Exams begin
         homework: Interview #6 due
3/15/21--Discussion of Questions
         homework: Extra Credit chap. 13-16 of Redigging the Wells due
3/17/21--Discussion of Questions

         homework: Interview #7 due
3/22/21--Discussion of Questions
         homework: TBD
3/24/21--Discussion of Questions

         homework: Interview #8 due
3/29/21--Discussion of Questions
         homework: Summary of Interviews due
3/31/21--Discussion of Questions

         homework: Introduction of Surprising Insights due (#8)
4/ 5/21--Discussion: Introduction of Surprising Insights
         homework: Chap. 1 of Surprising Insights due (#9)
4/ 7/21--Discussion: Chap. 1 of Surprising Insights

WEEK THIRTEEN: Bible Oral Exams End; Oral Exit Exams Begin 
         homework: Chap. 2 of Surprising Insights due (#10)
4/12/21--Discussion: Chap. 2 of Surprising Insights
         homework: Chap. 3 of Surprising Insights due (#11)
4/14/21--Discussion: Chap. 3 of Surprising Insights

         homework: Chap. 4 of Surprising Insights due (#12)
4/19/21--Discussion: Chap. 4 of Surprising Insights
         homework: Chap. 5 of Surprising Insights due (#13)
4/21/21--Discussion: Chap. 5 of Surprising Insights

         homework: Chap. 6 of Surprising Insights due (#14)
                   Extra Credit chap. 7-12 of Surprising Insights due
4/26/21--Discussion: Chap. 6 of Surprising Insights
         homework: Five-page Reflection Paper Due

WEEK SIXTEEN: Oral Exit Exams Completed

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


This syllabus is on-line at http://bterry.com.

Bruce Terry's Home Page
Bruce Terry's Home Page   Class Index Page
http://www.bterry.com/sylbi451.htm hosted at http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/sylbi451.htm
Last updated on January 8, 2021
Page maintained by Bruce Terry