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17 CR301 Asia Pacific Religions Cults and Sects

Course Description

A study of Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Shintoism, and Animism with an emphasis on students’ ability to understand the basic concepts of each religion.

The overview will include views in these belief systems about origin, morality, meaning, hopes, destiny, and worship practices especially during major life transitions. Teachers are expected to focus most of their time on religions and cults from the student’s context with the aim to build bridges to people who follow these religions.

Course Rational

Christians in an area with a majority non-Christian religion often do not know or understand the practices of the people around them. Few have ever dialogued with their neighbors to discover points of contact. This course should help students discover points of contact and dialogue that will attract people to the person of Christ.

Program Outcomes


CN-19 Ability to assess relevant resources to respond to the primary concerns and objections to Christianity from a variety of global cultures, religions, and non-theistic positions.


CP-4 Ability to communicate the Gospel in biblical and relevant ways both in public and private settings.

CP-16 Ability to analyze the validity of arguments and to identify their presuppositions and consequences.

CP-17 Ability to think critically and communicate both gently and clearly the critical rationales of the Christian faith in postmodern, pluralistic, and multi-faith contexts.


CH-6 Ability to give value to all persons in all social contexts.


CX-1 Ability to identify and describe the events, personalities, social structures, and history that help shape the context in which we minister.

CX-6 Ability to compare between worldviews and values from the Bible, contemporary cultures, and the local context.

CX-7 Ability to respond with a biblical perspective about issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific context including issues like magic, spiritism, demonic possession, ancestral veneration, divine cure.

Activity Outcomes


ACC-3 Explain how Christ’s submission to the Father is the example for submission within human relationships.

Dealing Biblically with the Spirit World

DBS-1 Model Christ through personal victory over sin and confidence in dealing with the spirit world.

DBS-2 Identify and interpret accurately biblical passages appropriate for responding to the spirit world.

DBS-3 Articulate a clear understanding of the role of discernment in a spiritual power encounter. Explain how the Church has historically and biblically responded to the spirit world and other religions.

DBS-5 Explain how to distinguish between demonic or spirit activity in distinction to physical or psychological phenomena. Explain the most common ways that demonic activities are expressed in your culture / context. Prepare people to train effectively train people to adequately respond to the spirit world while clearly understanding of the role of prayer and fasting.


DIS-5 Explain the essential concepts of discipleship: what is a disciple, how to be a disciple, why would a person become a disciple, and how to make more disciples.


EVA-2 Demonstrate praying for not-yet-believers, developing contact points with them, and intentionally building and modeling strong and honest relationships with them, and teaching others to do the same.

Impact the Community

ICO-4 Tell several Biblical stories where the people of God made a positive or negative impact in the community. Identify vocational training opportunities the church can initiate in a given context in partnership with the community leaders. Explain the process and steps of organizing a culturally appropriate evangelistic outreach.

ICO-7 Describe the mutual impact of Christianity and the following; Islam, Buddhism, Tribal / Pagan Religions and Hinduism.


MIN-7 Compare and contrast the cultural background and the understanding of the universe presented in the Old Testament with the local culture, in the context of ministry and evangelism. Compare and contrast different ministry practices used by local congregations in different cultural contexts.

MIN-8 Tell historical stories of how ministry has changed in the history of the church or locally in a contextual way to the community and church and make local application.


PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.

PRA-3 Explain the difference between a Biblical prayer and prayers from other religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and folk religions, etc. Explain speaking in tongues from a Nazarene perspective. Explain various life situation prayers, and be able to list various kinds of historical prayers.


PRE-4 Compare and contrast the teaching of the book of Genesis regarding the nature of God, humanity, sin, and creation, with local beliefs and interpretation of these stories.

PRE-17 Demonstrate how to communicate orally and visually while adapting to the worldview, culture, sociological dynamics and trends of your audience.

Content 24%
Competency 32%
Character 16%
Context 28%

Course Textbooks

World Religions from a Christian Perspective. Walk Thru the Bible.

McDermott, Gerald. World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction. Thomas Nelson, 2011.

Smith, Huston. The World’s Religions. Harperone, 2008.

McCroskey, Robert D. Understanding Your Muslim Neighbor: Moving from Fear to Love. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2017.

Greeson, Kevin. The Camel: How Muslims are Coming to Faith in Christ. Wigtag, 2010.

Course Requirements

The teacher or assistant may group the students into groups of 2 or 3 for some assignments.

  1. The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
  2. Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Proverbs 17 – Isaiah 13 and Galatians 1 – Philippians 4. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on students’ response to God’s call to love others. Sometime during each week, in response to what God is peaking to them about, students should determine one tangible way to express love to others. This may be a family member, a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or stranger. Students will then write at the close of the week at least one paragraph of 200 words reporting their experience and what God taught them through this experience.

(Outcomes ACC-3, PRA-1)

  1. Quizzes over the various belief systems discussed throughout the course, including:
    1. Animism
    2. Atheism
    3. Buddhism
    4. Communism
    5. Confucianism
    6. Christianity
    7. Islam
    8. Shintoism

(Outcomes CP-16, DBS-2, PRA-3, PRE-4)

  1. Research Project, Team Project: 30-minute verbal (or 1,500 word written) team report to the class. Interview six church members about what they believed before coming to Christ and do a team report that compares and contrasts the member’s beliefs with the major beliefs of the religion they converted from.  Include the reason they came to Christ.

(Outcomes CX-1, CX-6, EVA-2, ICO-7)

  1. Culture Research Project: Choose one of the following topics that is relevant to the student’s ministry context and write a 1,500 word report (oral or written) that discusses: 1) the definition and description of the topic, 2) what the Bible says about the topic, 3) how the good news of Jesus Christ addresses that topic, and 4) how the Church of the Nazarene can make an impact in the ministry context in relation to that topic. Possible topics include:
    1. Demon possession or the spiritual world
    2. Idolatry
    3. Secularism or humanism
    4. Post-modernism
    5. Animism
    6. Or a special topic in consultation with instructor.

(Outcomes CN-19, CP-4, CP-17, CX-1, CX-7, DBS-1, DBS-2, DBS-3, DBS-5, DIS-5, MIN-7)

  1. Gospel Presentation: Work in teams of at least two people and write a one page strategy of how to share the gospel in the students’ religious context and present it to a not-yet-believer from this context. Write a one page reflection of how the presentation went. An oral presentation of the results may be given instead of a paper.

(Outcomes CP-4, CP-16, CP-17, CH-6, CX-7, EVA-2, ICO-4, MIN-8, PRE-17)

Course Evaluation

Journal                                                10 %

Quizzes                                               30 %

Research Project                                 20 %

Culture Research                                 20 %

Gospel Presentation                            25 %

Grading Policy

A         90-100%

B         80-89%

C         70-79%

D         60-69%

45-59%           (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)

If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to the Study of Religion
  2. Knowing One’s Context
  3. Overview of various religions
  1. Animism
  2. Atheism
  3. Buddhism
  4. Communism
  5. Confucianism
  6. Christianity
  7. Islam
  8. Shintoism
  9. Humanism and Secularism
  1. What the Bible teaches about other Religions
  2. How to Respond to Various Religions
  3. Presenting the Gospel to Other Religions