This covers the purpose for human life; human nature; values, morality, and ethics; marriage and family, and career. Topics include values, beliefs, and mores; interpersonal communication, dating, courtship, marriage, and children. Upon completion, students should be able to explain and demonstrate a basic knowledge of practical Christian living. The lecture core is a set of contemporary lectures by Dr. Douglas Winnail dealing with the foundations of Christian living for successful life in today's world.


Christian Living is a survey course that reviews foundational principles essential to the Christian’s life. In this course students will delve into and review key truths that are critical to their faith. The reality of God’s existence and the validity of the Holy Scriptures are the starting point for the semester. Goal setting and the vital keys to true and lasting success will be covered, as will principles for successful marriage and family life. This entry-level course is designed to set the stage for further university study into both the Word of God and into the life of a true Christian. It focuses on the practical application of godly principles and knowledge that are essential in one’s Christian walk.

There are no Prerequisites or Corequisites for this course.

Winnail, Scott D.

Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty
Full Time
B.S. Ed. (1992), University of Georgia; M.S.P.H. (1994), University of South Carolina; Ph.D. (1998), University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Subject Matter: 
Health, Theology

Dr. Scott Winnail has taught in the university classroom since 1995. To Living University he brings teaching and committee experience, curriculum development, academic advising, professional writing and grants and contract work. Prior to working for Living University, Dr. Winnail served as a faculty member at the University of Wyoming in the area of Health Education and Public Health (1998-2005, tenured). His areas of research and publication have included: school health and coordinated school health programs, community development, community-based needs assessment, program evaluation, physical activity and nutrition, and parental involvement. Additionally, Dr. Winnail worked closely with State Departments of Health and Education, many other state health organizations in Wyoming, Alabama, and South Carolina. He was also very active in school health initiatives at the national level.

Dr. Winnail served as an unpaid elder for the Living Church of God in Wyoming and Colorado from 2000-2005. He then served as an employee for the Department of Church Administration for the Living Church of God headquarters in Charlotte, NC from 2005-2006. From 2006-2009 Dr. Winnail pastored congregations along the gulf coast of the southern US and served as an assistant pastor in Jamaica. He began serving as adjunct faculty for Living University in Fall 2008.

Dr. Winnail returned to Charlotte in 2009 to commence full-time service to Living University and for the first 3.5 years also served as a Regional Director for the Living Church of God congregations in the Caribbean. Dr. Winnail currently serves in both administrative and teaching roles for Living University and directs the on-campus program. He contributes regularly to Living Church of God publications and web productions and also serves in the Charlotte, NC congregation of the Living Church of God.

Course Credit: 
3 semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

As a result of participating in THL 200, students should be able to:

  1. Provide sound reasons for believing in God and for using the Bible as a guide for making fundamental choices in life.
  2. Contrast what the Bible reveals about the purpose and path of life with assumptions made by atheists about life and values.
  3. Describe biblical principles for setting goals and achieving success in life.
  4. Discuss biblical principles that promote health, the wise use of time and the choice and preparation for careers.
  5. Describe biblical principles for Christian social development, marriage, parenting and handling the challenges of family life.
  6. Discuss what the Bible reveals about aging and death.
  7. Describe what the Bible reveals about spiritual growth and maturity
Required Texts: 

The Bible – preferably the New King James version (also consult other translations)

The following booklets are available online in HTML and PDF format from the “Booklets” link on the website:
Winnail, Douglas S. The Real God: Proofs and Promises
Winnail, Douglas S. The Bible: Fact or Fiction
Meredith, Roderick C. The Ten Commandments
Meredith, Roderick C. Your Ultimate Destiny
Meredith, Roderick C. What is a True Christian?
Herbert W. Armstrong The Seven Laws of Success (available on the course web site for
download, or available for purchase through the internet).

There are many additional articles that will be used for your readings. These are listed by Title on the schedule below. Details and links are provided on the course web site.

Additional Readings: 

Additional readings will periodically come from church literature. The appropriate web links will be designated on the course web site.


Please note that this course will be overseen and offered by Dr. Scott Winnail, however, the majority of the lectures will be presented by Dr. Douglas Winnail.

Course lectures will be in a video format. PowerPoint slides may also accompany the lectures. See the course website for details.

Course Calendar: 
Week Topics
1 Choices in Life
God’s Existence
Proof of the Bible
2 Why Were You Born?
God’s Law: The Path for Life
3 Seven Laws of Success
4 The Spiritual Dimension of Life
5 Biblical Health Laws
6 Redeeming the Time – Using Your Time Wisely
7 Education and Careers for the Future
8 Christian Social Development
9 Christian Marriage
10 Children and Christian Parenting
11 Traits of a Christian Family
12 Challenges of Youth – Pitfalls of Life
13 Mid-Life and Divorce
14 Aging Gracefully
The Grave and Beyond
15 Continue to Grow
Life-Long Learning
16 Course Wrap-up
Course Requirements: 

Due dates and extensions
Submit assignments on or before the date due. No late or make-up assignments will be allowed accept for extreme circumstances (permission of instructor is necessary).

Reading assignments
Students will be responsible for the chapter readings that correspond with the class lecture. Be sure to read the chapter prior to logging in and completing the weekly assignment. Readings will correspond with in-class assignments and will help you be better informed. Completing the readings in advance will make the assignments make more sense to you!

Icebreaker assignment
All students are required to post a brief biography to the forum by Friday of the first week of class. In your forum post, briefly answer the following questions: (please limit your comments to 200 words). The assignment is worth 15 points.
a. Your Name and the Church area that you attend.
b. How long you have been part of/attending the church.
c. Why you are taking this particular course and what you hope to learn.
d. Whether or not you have taken any other Living University courses.
e. Where you intend to attend the Feast of Tabernacles this year (if you are able to attend).

Discussion forums 
Students are expected to participate in class discussions by posting weekly comments and questions they might have on the Discussion Forum (see the link on the course web site). Each week there will be one or two questions posted on the web page that related to that week. If there are “no unique discussion questions” posted for that particular week, you should choose from one of the following questions to write on and relate the question to one of the topics covered in the readings for the week. Also, make sure that your “comments” are more than merely “personal opinion.” Your comments should be grounded in your chapter readings, lecture notes, and based on scripture. These weekly discussions are very important and are designed to reinforce the weekly content in a unique way. So it is important to participate in the discussions.
a) What item from the reading this week was most interesting to you? Why?
b) How did the readings this week relate to, reinforce, or conflict with a Bible principle?
c) What implications does one of the items that you learned about have for your lifestyle or the future of your family?
d) How might something you learned this week be addressed similarly or differently in God’s Kingdom?

Minimal participation requires “one” posting per week. Postings are due on or before Friday at 6pm (in whatever time zone you are located in). Students should also take time at the end of each week (probably on Sundays) to read/review comments from their classmates and "comment" back to at least two classmates. Comments are due by Sunday of the same week, by 10pm. Class participation points will be assigned in accordance with your level participation, and will be a combination of student and instructor input. The rubric below, will be used for you and the instructor to determine a class participation score. 50 points is the total score available. Please note that these discussion posts will add to the interactivity of the class, allow you to know what your fellow classmates are thinking, and also get to know your classmates better. The more you are engaged in these class discussions, the more you will get out of the course and the more you will enjoy it. The rubric below illustrates how you will be asked to score yourself on class participation at the end of the semester.

Scale Criteria
5 Volunteers to share quality ideas/thoughts/findings from readings and experiences with peers frequently. In addition, presents questions to peers and instructor regarding ideas presented. Student is always prepared for class, having completed readings and assignments ahead of time. Comments are well grounded in readings, lecture notes, and scripture (when applicable). Usually posts “replies” to comments made by classmates.
4 Volunteers to share quality ideas/thoughts/findings from readings and experiences with peers frequently, but comments may not be solidly based upon readings, lecture notes, and scripture (when applicable). Usually prepared for class, having completed readings and assignments ahead of time. Posts “replies" to classmate comments some of the time.  
3 Volunteers to share quality ideas/thoughts/findings from readings and experiences with peers less frequently than required. Generally prepared for class, having usually completed readings and assignments ahead of time. Comments are often based on opinion and rarely on readings, lecture notes, and scripture (when applicable). Infrequently posts “replies” to classmate comments.
2 Shares ideas/thoughts/findings from readings and experiences as directed, but little effort is put into insuring that they are of quality, and usually comments are much more “opinion” than based on fact and readings, lecture notes and scripture (when applicable). Occasionally prepared for class, rarely having completed readings and assignments ahead of time only occasionally. Does not post reply comments to classmate comments.
1 Is unable to share quality ideas/thoughts/findings from readings and experiences with peers consistently. Seldom or never prepared for class, failing to complete readings and assignments ahead of time. Does not post reply comments to classmate posts.

Writing assignments
You will be asked to complete a Personal Goals essay, a Time Log Activity and three additional essays. All writing assignments should be written using MLA format. Examples of MLA formatting can be found beneath writing assignment descriptions.  

Personal Goals Essay: This assignment is designed to reinforce the concept of true success and requires you to compile a list of major, personal, life goals for yourself. These goals can include the following areas of life: spiritual, financial, career, family, hobby, etc. You should address major 1-year, five-year, and 10-year goals. In other words, where do you want to be one year from now, five years from now, and ten years from now. Be sure to include introductory and concluding paragraphs, and a brief descriptor with each goal of “why” it is important to you and to God. This assignment should be 2-3 pages in length (double spaced). The assignment is worth 50 points and will be graded base on: a.) the degree to which you completed the assignment, b.) clarity of goals, c.) detail of description of goals, d. clarity of introduction and conclusion, and of course, e.) spelling and grammar. 

Time Log Activity:  In conjunction with the lesson on Redeeming the Time, you are being asked to log and then analyze your time over a two day period. Pick two “regular days” within a week. Divide the day into half-hour segments and keep a log of your activities – what you do – during each half hour segment during your “waking” hours of the day. You may want to plan to record your activities every two or three hours. Be sure NOT to wait until the end of the day to do this, because you will not remember the details. For this assignment, the details are what are important. After recording your activities during two consecutive days of “waking hours,” you then need to write up your log, as well as a reflection on this experience. This write up should be 2-3 pages and is worth 50 points. In your reflection, be sure to answer the following questions: a) What are some of the strengths of your use of time? In other words, how did you use time wisely?  b) Did you notice any ways that you waste time? c) What is your overall reaction to or thoughts about this activity? Did anything surprise you? d) What changes, if any, might you make as a result of this activity?

Three Additional Essays will be due throughout the semester. All essays should be developed in the format of a letter and can be selected from the list of topics below. You should use a formal introduction and closing in your letter. For example: “Dear Mary,” and “Sincerely, Scott.”  Each letter should be 3-5 pages, double-spaced and typed. The letter should have a friendly and helpful tone, but should also clearly articulate the correct godly and biblical perspective on the topic. The aim of the assignment is to learn to clearly give feedback and advice that is supported with a strong rationale and also scripture. Use of church publications and of course the Bible will greatly assist with these assignments. Each essay is worth 50 points and will be graded based upon the following criteria:  a) Thoroughness of your answer to the questions posed, b) Strength of arguments put forth, c) clear use of logic instead of “just” an emotional appeal, d) Objective use of scripture to support what you try to say, e) proper Grammar and syntax, f) Positive tone of the letter (it should be encouraging and helpful and should not put down a person for their misunderstanding of issues). Essays/Letters are due on or before the due dates. See the list below for Essay/Letter topics.

Topic 1: Success  A friend in the church just wrote you a letter asking for advice with his/her career. This person is considering a course of study in college and wants to know what you think they should study so that they can make a lot of money when they graduate. Using the knowledge you have gained in the course so far (and what you have learned from some of the booklets), write your friend a letter that is both encouraging and that also outlines important principles for success, as you give this person career advice.

Topic 2: Finding a mate and a fulfilling life You have a friend who is “floundering” with their life. This person has good character, gets along well with others, seems converted, and is fun to be around, but they appear quite aimless and are frustrated by this. This person is 35 years old and works at a fast food restaurant, while living at home with his/her parents. He/she would like to be married, but seems to waste his/her time when not working – watching TV, spending hours on FaceBook and Twitter, playing video games, and the like. This Christian person has asked you for advice on what they can do to be happier and ultimately find a mate. You realize they need to get their life in order “before” looking for a mate, but you also do not want to completely discourage them. Using lessons you have learned is the last three classes (Week 6, 7, 8) and the corresponding readings, give this friend sound and encouraging direction on how they might move toward a more fulfilling life and even marriage. 

Topic 3 Advice for Marriage Problems You have a friend or family member who has come to you with marriage problems. This person believes that the Bible IS God’s inspired word and knows you are a Christian who has dedicated your life to living by “every word of God.” This person respects you and also your understanding of the Bible. This person has been married for two years. He/she loves their mate and their mate loves him/her. They have in infant child and both believe in marriage “till death do us part.” However, the marriage has problems that have caused your friend/family member to contemplate the “D word” – “Divorce.” They know divorce is wrong, but they do not know what to do. This person’s mate seems to work all the time and does not appear to want to communicate. And, your friend is afraid to bring the subject up for fear of getting his/her mate angry. The mate is also moody and distant. There is no concern about infidelity, but there is concern over whether the mate still loves your friend/family member or not. The mate does recognize there is a problem and has suggested seeking council, but your friend/family member is not in favor of “involving” anyone in their internal marriage problems. Based on your readings and class lectures for the last 5 weeks (Weeks 9-13), what advice will you give your friend/family member in a letter you will write? Write a letter encouraging this person to hold fast and give him/her several sound suggestions for actions to take to help improve the marriage.

Quizzes and examinations
TWO exams will be given throughout the semester- One at Mid-Term and another at the end of the semester. The mid-term exam will cover notes, lectures, and readings from the beginning of the semester through the point of the mid-term. The Final Exam is also cumulative and will cover material covered FROM the point of the mid-term through the end of the semester. Both exams will be “open book” and “open note book”. IMPORTANT NOTE: Although the quizzes are open book and notebook (NOT proctored), you really need to “study” ahead of time for these assessments. If you study ahead of time by reviewing your notes and the readings covered, it will greatly expedite your exam time on task. If you do not study ahead of time, the exams will end up taking a great deal of time. Each exam is worth 100 points.

A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:

Summary of Course Requirements Point Value   Letter Grade Total Points
Personal Goals Essay 50   A  464 points and above
Time Log Activity 50   B 412-463 points
Essays/Letters (3 @ 50 pts each) 150   C 361-411 points
Icebreaker/biography post 15   D 309-360 points
Class participation 50   F 308 points and below
Exams (2 @ 100 pts each) 200      
TOTAL 515      


Academic Irregularity
Students have the responsibility for conducting themselves in such a manner as to avoid any suspicion that they are improperly giving or receiving aid on any assignment or examination. An academic irregularity not only includes cheating, but also includes plagiarism (taking another’s ideas and/or words and presenting them as if they were the writer’s own) and the submitting of the same paper in separate courses without prior consent from the faculty members concerned. In cases of suspected academic irregularity, faculty members may refuse to grade such papers or examinations, completely or in part, and to record each of them as a failure. If an academic irregularity is sufficiently serious, the University may take one or more of, but not limited to, the following actions:

  1. Drop the student from the course with a grade of F; 
  2. Place the student on academic probation; and/or 
  3. Dismiss the student from the University


Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.