Course Outline & Assessment Information


This class is designed to provide an overview of the major doctrines of Grace Communion International. Students will be introduced to the GCI Statement of Beliefs and spend time with the scriptural passages and the theological background behind key statements contained within it.

On completion of this class students should be able demonstrate a basic understanding of the core beliefs and teachings of Grace Communion International as evidenced by written responses to assigned exercises.


The course content includes the GCI Statement of Beliefs and 15 written Lectures and with response questions.

Be sure to look up and read each of the scriptural references following each of the Statements in the Statement of Beliefs.

Class 1 - Theology: What Difference Does It Make?
Faith seeking understanding
Dynamic theology
Listening to God
Karl Barth
New creation
New creation in freedom
Class 2 - An Introduction to God
His existence
Class 3 - Who is this man?
Fully human—and then some
Acting like God
Who did he think he was?
Previous life
Worthy of worship
Truly human, truly God
How can this be?
Class 4 - The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God
The Spirit is personal
The Spirit in the Old Testament
The Spirit and Jesus
The Spirit and the church
The Spirit and believers today
Class 5 - The Trinity: Just a Doctrine?
Does it make any difference?
A God who wants to share
Showing us the Father
Reconciliation for everyone
Key points
Class 6 - The Present and Future Kingdom of God
First-century Jewish expectations
Present condition of the kingdom
The kingdom of God is yet future
The kingdom of God in the past
The kingdom and the gospel
Perspective from the future
Class 7 - Can We Still Trust the Bible?
But does the Bible contradict itself?
So can we still regard the Bible as a reliable guide to all aspects of life today?
So are you saying that the Bible is not historically reliable?
Are you saying it doesn’t all apply to us?
Isn’t that encouraging a "pick and choose" approach to living by every word of God?
So what advice do you give to someone who is reading some of these things for the first time?
But once you say that Scripture has limitations, don’t you open up a Pandora’s Box?
Class 8 - The Christian Church
Jesus is building his church
Why we need the church
Descriptions of the church
Working together
Purposes of the church
Class 9 - Believing the Gospel
Fear of the gospel
Trusting God
Class 10 - What is Salvation?
What humans are
The center of the plan
A new start
Class 11 - Getting a Grip on Repentance
Common mistake
Repent and believe
Not about morals
God’s initiative, not ours
Two sides of the same coin
Corpses don’t improve
Behavior not a measure
Class 12 - Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
Baptism pictures the gospel
Raised with Christ
Into one body
Teens and children
By immersion
What is the meaning of the Lord's Supper?
Is it wrong to use the term "Lord's Supper"?
What kind of bread and wine?
Who should partake of the Lord's Supper?
What is our position on transubstantiation?
Class 13 - Where Are We Now in Prophecy?
What does Jesus say?
What do the apostles say?
Focus of prophecy
Everyone in the end time
What to do

Texts and Supporting Materials

Provided Readings

  • Michael Jinkins, Invitation to Theology. Chapter 3: I Believe in God. *
  • Robert Farrar Capon, The Mystery of Christ Chapter 2: The Mystery and Guilt. *
  • Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ Chapter 4: The Meditation of Christ in our Human Response. *
  • James Torrance, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace Chapter 3: Baptism & the Lord's Supper - the Way of Communion. *

*All of the related chapters are supplied on in the Doctrines' resource library section (along with any other supporting materials).

Recommended Reading

  • Michael Jinkins, Invitation to Theology
  • James Torrance, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace
  • Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ
  • Robert Farrar Capon, The Mystery of Christ
  • Karl Barth, Christ in Adam
  • Ray Anderson, Theology, Death and Dying
  • C. Baxter Kruger, The Great Dance
  • C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
These texts can be purchased from most online bookstores (we recommend Book Depository which offers free shipping) or from select Christian book retailers. 


The components of assessment for this class are all listed below. You are encouraged to work through the class notes and readings before launching into the assessments. Assessments must be submitted before the due dates outlined in the course syllabus you received upon registration. Do not submit more than three assessments before receiving feedback from your teacher. The assessments are as follows:



Assessment for the doctrines course involves answering two questions after each class, one must be submitted, the other will be a Zoom discussion question or self reflection if you are not studying in a cohort.


Assessment 1: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. What is theology and why is it important?

Assessment 2:
Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. In what ways does God describe his relationship with humans?
  2. What do we learn about God from the crucifixion of Christ? (Zoom discussion/self study question)

Assessment 3: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. Who did Jesus believe he was?
  2. How can Jesus and the Father both be God, if there is only one God? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 4: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. Why do Christians believe in the Holy Spirit?
  2. What is the meaning of the Greek word parakletos?


Assessment 5: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. How does the doctrine of the Trinity give Christians assurance about their salvation?

Assessment 6:
Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. How can believers be certain of salvation?
  2. Why should Christians avoid a life of sin? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 7: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. What is wrong with ‘taking the Bible literally’?
  2. What is the purpose of the Bible? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 8: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. In what way is the church ‘the body of Christ’?
  2. Why should Christians of different traditions seek to cooperate? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 9: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. Can a human live without sin?
  2. What is the meaning of ‘grace’ in terms of the gospel? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 10: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. What do humans need saving from?
  2. Why does God make salvation available? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 11: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. How do repentance and faith work together?
  2. Why can you trust God with your salvation even though you are not perfect? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 12: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. What does baptism teach us about the gospel?
  2. What does the Lord’s supper teach us about the gospel? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


Assessment 13: Short Answer (300 words per question)

  1. What is the true focus of Bible prophecy?
  2. What are some of the dangers of obsessing on prophecy? (Zoom discussion/self study question)


More about the Lecturer, John McLean

Grading System

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Class Notes - Conventions

As you work through the class notes, you'll have opportunities to complete exercises, reflect on particular points and take special note. These are clearly indicated, with relevant instructions alongside



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