The Fundamentals of Government
The course has been laid out as a 34 week course to match a school year. However, it can be delivered sooner than that if need be. The moderator of the course can contract the course in time if needed. The course challenges the student will all aspects of using learning attributes. The student will answer open ended questions, do essays on various topics, create training manuals, create a presentation from a consultant point of view, prepare two side of debate topic, develop organization charts, preform research, do analytical processing, time management, relationship building, interviewing skills, logical thinking, community awareness, biblical study and application and decision development and processing.
The detail course syllabus is as follows.
Phase One - Learning about God’s Governmental Authority Structure
Book – God’s Governmental Authority Structure
Week 1 – Read Chapter 1 from book and complete assignments.
Week 2 – Read Chapter 2 from book and complete assignments.
Week 3 – Read Chapter 3 from book and complete assignments.
Week 4 – Read Chapter 4 from book and complete assignments.
Week 5 – Read Chapter 5 from book and complete assignments.
Week 6 – Read Chapter 6 from book and complete assignments.
Week 7 – Read Chapter 7 from book and complete assignments.
Week 8 – Read Chapter 8 from book and complete assignments.
Phase Two – Information Gathering Regarding Your City or County
In this phase you will gather information about the structure of your city or the county if you live in a rural community controlled by county government.
In this phase of the course you are going to define and flowchart the civil government structure of your city/county. You are going to flowchart the organization chart of the various governing components of you city/county government.
You will start with the Mayor Office and everything that reports through that office.
You will also layout the organization structure of the School System from School board to all the schools and ending with the Principle of each school.
You will also layout the organization structure of the Hospital Board.
You will also layout the organization structure of the Sheriff Office to the first tier of officers reporting to that office.
The organization flowchart will include the name of the person, title and picture. Create a divider for each office being flow charted with a tab on the divider identifying the organization. Once you have completed the organization chart or an office print out, if applicable, and three hole punch the paper and file away in the section within your three hole binder.
You should complete this organization development part of this phase by the end of week 11.
Once you complete your organization charting you will then begin your information gathering on each individual identified within your organization chart. This part of the assignment should be up to your course moderator nut should include any the data you can gather on each individual – the more the better.
This personal data needs to be organized for easy access within your three ring binder(s). It is suggested you develop your own system of filing consistently for each individual that you can retrieve easily for future assignments. Some of the information will be printed pages and some will be information you either hand write on paper or use a word processing system and print out for your binder.
Phase Three – Interviewing and Documentation
Week 17 through Week 25 will be used to develop interview questions, schedule interviews, perform the interview, document the interview, attend at least one board session and document each attended board session.
One of the reasons we did such an extensive background approach to the individuals is for you to learn as much about the person you will be interviewing as possible to make the interview not about a question and answer session but more of a get to know you meeting and assessment as to the individual you are having a conversation with.
What you want to get from your interview includes the following:
Who is this person?
What are their beliefs on they role in government?
What is their ideology about government?
What are their beliefs about the Bill of Rights and all the rights that go with them?
Are they influenced by money from others or are they able to stand alone in making the right decision based upon the fats of any issues without any preconceived outcome?
Did they follow through on their election platform with results in the way they are voting?
How is the makeup of their home and faith?
Their view on the political position they hold and the work they are doing?
How do they seem their board and even them being held accountable to the people electing them to the office?
What are their thoughts on how to make better the board they serve on?
With your interview strategy in place schedule an interview with as many of each person as will allow you the interview time. Make sure and ask at the end of the interview if it would be ok if you came to one of their board sessions. Do not discuss with the people you interview that you are interviewing more on the board than them. You can use the cover for this as just letting them know you are taking fundamentals of government and you would like to get a perspective of someone who is currently serving their community. If asked if you have or are scheduled to interview more than them on their board you should indicate yea so that you can get a few perspectives about politics and the area this particular board or counsel serves the community. In order to get a good perspective on the interview outcomes is would better that no one knows of the other interviews. After each interview come back and document the details of the interview and file in your three ring binder.
Select the board or counsel session(s) you would like to attend and make sure you place that on your calendar. Attend the session and get copies of any and all information available that was used in and presented to the board or counsel. When you have attended you session document everything that went on in the session including what was presented, who presented an issue, the discussion around the issue and the vote and who voted which way. Then file within your three ring binder.
Phase Four – Analysis and Conclusions
In this final phase of the course you will take all that you have learned from the book and the documentation gathered and information from the interviews and board sessions and analyze them collectively by looking at what is current the makeup and practices of government and what God has defined that government should be. This analysis will be done on an individual level and a body as a whole and then within a system of government.
There will be one final interview you will make in this part of the course as well. It will be with the pastor of your local church.
This phase begins in Week 26 and ends in Week 34.
Your first task is to use all that you learned in the first phase of this course to prepare a final document on each person within the organization chart. In this document you will analyze all the information you have obtained from your documentation gathering and your interview and then from attending a board session to make your conclusions, You will use the details learned in phase one and compare it with the details you have gained from your research and prepare a conclusion analysis as to whether the individual elected official is following God’s governmental Authority Structure and present the details if affirmative or the details if not.
Once you have completed this on all individuals who are then ready to proceed to the collective whole of the board. You should take all that you have documented and determine if the board as a whole is following God’s Authority Structure or not. Present the details if affirmative or the details if not. You are asked to add one more step here. Take a big picture look at the board itself and determine if there actions represent the good of the community or not and document your reasoning.
Once you have completed the previous step you need to determine if in the system of your city governmental structure if the individual boards are working with and consistent alignment with the other boards to better the community as a whole or are they working for their own agenda. This should be in a final document that compares the system to God’s system and reflects the differences.
Now the final piece to the course
Once you have completed all the assignments in all four phases set up a meeting with your pastor at your local church. You should tell your pastor you are taking fundamentals of government course and the last assignment is to get the perspective of the church community on local government. You should tell him that you have studied the entire system of your city government and the last assignment is to review your findings to establish what the church could add about what God and His principles are on the subject. Ask for an hour for the meeting and see where it takes you. Be prepared for an extended meeting for those that will get engaged and even shorter for those that will not.
When you get to the meeting do not present the details of your findings but a conclusion only. This conclusion could or could not include the comparison you have made about God’s Authority Structure. What you seeking from your pastor is what he understands the church position on civil government and its role in the establishment and accountability of those elected into those officers.
After your meeting with your local pastor prepare the final document for your class work. This document will consist of all the details of the interview with your local pastor and the conclusion you have drawn from that meeting.
When all of your assignments have been concluded review this with your course moderator and discuss.