PHIL1103 Reading Comprehension and Understanding


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This course briefly surveys the history of Biblical interpretation before focusing on the procedures, tools, and skills necessary for responsible Bible interpretation. 


Christopher Cone, Th.D, Ph.D, Ph.D 

John Oglesby, MA 

Daniel Starcevich, Th.M, Ph.D 

Stephen Lewis, Ph.D 



Module 1 – Intro to Reading Comprehension and Understanding – John Oglesby 

A brief introduction to the discipline of reading comprehension and understanding exploring definitions and origins of understanding, language, and interpretation. This module concludes with a brief overview of the history of reading comprehension from Greek interpretation to modern day post-modernism.  

Reading: Adler, ch. 1–3 

Zuck, ch. Forward–2 


Module 2 – Three Levels of Reading – John Oglesby 

An in-depth study of the three levels of reading presented in Adler’s book, How to Read a Book. 

Reading: Adler, ch. 7–9 


Module 3 – Meaning and Communication – Christopher Cone 

A brief exploration of the relationship between meaning and communication. 

Reading: Adler, ch. 10–13 


Module 4 – Comparative Models for Understanding – Stephen Lewis 

A comparative module working through various models for understanding including the normative, allegorical, trajectory, etc.  

Reading: Zuck, ch. 3 


Module 5 – Hermeneutic Principles for Understanding – Daniel Starcevich 

An in-depth study of a proposed model for understanding working specifically through hermeneutical principles one should utilize whenever approaching written communication.  

Reading: Zuck, ch. 4–6 


Module 6 – Case Studies in Meaning and Understanding – John Oglesby 

An overview of various Biblical and extrabiblical examples of meaning and understanding.  

Reading: Bible, Books Genesis and Revelation 


Module 7 – Observation – Daniel Starcevich 

An examination of various principles for observation, the first step of reading comprehension. Examples will be provided and basic principles explored.  

Reading: Zuck, ch. 7–9 


Module 8 – Interpretation and Verification – Stephen Lewis 

An examination of various principles of interpretation and verification, the second and third steps of reading comprehension.  

Reading: Zuck, ch. 10–11 


Module 9 – Application – Christopher Cone 

An exploration of the relationship between “is” and “ought” within worldview. This module will view this topic in light of how one should apply principles found within written communication. 

Reading: Zuck, ch 12 


Module 10 – Writing for Understanding – John Oglesby 

As reading comprehension implies someone has written, the task of writing for understanding is necessary. This module will explore various steps for insuring one is writing with the intention of another gaining understanding.  

Reading: Adler, 14–17 



Required Texts:

  1. All CBU courses use the Bible as a primary textbook. Translations used for coursework include any of the following: NASB, ESV, KJV, and NKJV. Other translations/versions may be used for complementary study and research.  
  2. Adler, Mortimer, Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (New York: Touchstone), 2011. ISBN: B004Z0TU0W $10.99. [Electronic copy of older edition provided] 
  3. Zuck, Roy, Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook), 1991. ISBN: 978-0781438773. $20.04.



      Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

      1. To establish a foundational knowledge of language, understanding, and interpretation for all written communication.  
      2. To provide principles for effective writing with the goal of the transference of knowledge and understanding.  
      3. To explore the history of reading comprehension from ancient times to contemporary settings.  
      4. To provide basic principles for understanding written communication.

      Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
      PLOs for A. Ed:  

      1. To prepare Learners for specialized undergrad study in transformative education theory and in leadership strategies.
      2. To provide Learners key worldview foundations for critical thinking and study.  
      3. To provide Learners with practical experience germane to their transformative learning and leadership.  

      PLOs for B. Ed: 

      1. To prepare Learners for roles in transformative education teaching and service.
      To provide Learners a foundation for effective individual and organizational leadership in diverse environments.  
      3. To ensure Learners demonstrate worldview foundation for empowering people and building communities.  
      4. To develop Learners who formulate the Biblical approach to transformative learning and leadership 


      CBU Learning Outcomes (CBULOs)

      1. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Research – Learners will demonstrate ability to think critically, solve problems, and conduct interdisciplinary research at a level appropriate to their program.
      2. Personal Growth – Learners will understand how learning is related to personal growth, and will be challenged to grow in their thinking, communication, conduct, and engagement with others.
      3. Skills Development – Learners will advance in skills related to their area of learning, demonstrating a level of competency appropriate to their program.
      4. Social Responsibility – Learners will appreciate the diversity in and value of others as designed by our Creator, and will grow in willingness and capability to serve others.
      5. Worldview Applications – Learners will become capable at thinking from a worldview perspective and will understand the relationship of description and prescription, so that they can ground their actions in sound principles.


      Assignments and Grading (1000 Points)

        1. Module Assessments (25 points each x 10)                                250 Points (Video) 
        2. Course Content Assessment                                                         250 Points (Essay) 
        3. Reading Content Assessment                                                       250 Points (Written Summary) 
        4. Competency Assessment –  
                                  a. Writing: Write a 2000 word paper explaining your understanding of a literary passage of your choosing. 
          Interview: Read a book of your choosing, followed by a 1000 word paper which contains (1) a summary of the contents of the book and, (2) an                                explanation of the impact those contents have on your life.
          Recorded Presentation: Give a 45-60 minute presentation on a topic related to reading comprehension and understanding.  

                                                                                                                       250 Points 

        Grading Scale

        91-100%          A

        81-90%            B

        71-80%            C

        61-70%            D

        0-60%              F


        Carnegie Unit Credit Hour Equivalent

        Total Hours of Module Content: 20 hours  

        Total Hours of Reading Content: 40 hours 

        Total Hours of Minor Assessments: 40 hours 

        Total Hours of Major Assessment: 35 hours 

        Equivalent of 1 Credit Hour (135 hours of total course time) 



        Course Duration Policy

        Learners may complete the course in as few as four weeks and in as many as sixteen weeks from the date of enrollment. 

        Writing Style Policy

        All written assessments must follow the style guide appropriate for each course subject as listed below:

        • PHIL/HUMA/HIST/LANG/BIBL – Chicago Style (The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, Seventeenth Edition)
        • EDUC/SCIE/MATH/PSYC – APA Style (The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition)
        • ENGL – MLA Style (MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition)
        Standard of Intellectual Honesty

        By enrolling in a CBU degree program, Learners commit that they will not give or receive aid in any work that is to be used by the professor as the basis of grading, and that, and will do their part to ensure that other Learners uphold CBU's Standards of Intellectual Honesty.

        The CBU faculty manifests its confidence in the honor of its Learners by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent intellectual dishonesty.

        While the CBU faculty alone has the right and obligation to determine academic requirements, Learners and faculty collaborate to establish the conditions for learning that is worthy of the worldview that CBU represents.

        Intellectual dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

        1. Copying from another’s work or allowing another to copy from one’s own work
        2. Representing as one’s own work the work of another
        3. Other forms of plagiarism.
        4. Unpermitted collaboration or provision of aid on an academic assignment
        5. Using the same paper or other coursework too satisfy the requirements of more than one course or degree

        The standard penalty for a first offense may include a failing grade for the course in which the violation occurred. Repeated offenses may include academic suspension or dismissal.