Distinctive Nature of the Church -- Credit Requirements


Welcome to SunsetOnline.org, and to the study of the Distinctive Nature of the Church! You have made an excellent decision in choosing this course of study; may you be richly blessed as you take the course.

The enrollment duration for this course is 120 days (approximately 4 months). This means you will have full access to this course for 120 days from the time you enrolled, and must complete all requirements within that time in order to pass the course. After 120 days, your enrollment will expire and you will no longer have access to the course.

To receive credit from Sunset International Bible Institute, you must complete and turn in all of the following requirements by the Final Exam. Failure to meet all requirements could result in not passing the course.

Lesson Video/Audio

This course is divided into lessons, each of which is offered in two formats: streaming video or streaming audio. You may choose the format that best suits the speed and quality of your internet connection.

Watch or listen to each of the lessons attentively as you go through the course. The video/audio of each lesson is presented side-by-side with a study outline, which you can scroll through and read as you follow along with the instructor.

Before each exam, you will verify -- in a short activity called a Progress Check -- that you have watched or listened to the lessons up to that point in the course. Each Progress Check must be completed with a "Yes" answer in order to pass this course and receive SIBI credit.


Two books are required reading for this course. Each of these books must be read in their entirety:

  1. The Church of Christ by Edward C. Wharton (available in the bookstore)
  2. The Deacon and His Work by James D. Bales (available in the bookstore)

In addition to reading each book, you must also complete and turn in a two-page evaluation of each one. These evaluations will be due before the Final Exam.

Memory Work

Throughout the course, you should be working on memorizing the assigned passages of scripture below. You will need to arrange with a friend or relative to be your memory work checker. You must either quote aloud or write from memory each passage listed below, and your memory work checker will check to make sure you accurately memorized each passage.

Please be diligent in doing your memory work. All memory work must be completed to pass this course.

  • Due before the mid-term exam:
    • Matthew 28:18-20
    • Mark 16:15-16
    • John 17:20-21
    • Acts 20:28
    • Ephesians 1:22-23
    • Ephesians 3:10-11
    • Ephesians 4:4-6
  • Due by the final exam:
    • Psalm 118:22
    • Isaiah 28:16
    • Jeremiah 31:31-34
    • John 4:23-24
    • Acts 2:38
    • Acts 22:16
    • Romans 6:1-4
    • Romans 6:17-18
    • Ephesians 5:19
    • Colossians 3:16-17

Research Papers

There will be two research papers required for this course, both of which are due before the Final Exam:

  1. Write a 5-page research paper on the Lord's supper. Answer these questions in your paper:
    • Why can't the Lord's supper be taken on some other day than Sunday?
    • What is the relationship between the Lord's supper and the Jewish Passover feast?
    • Why can't the Lord's supper be taken at three-month intervals?
  2. Write a 5-page research paper on music in the church. Answer these questions in your paper:
    • What kind of music is authorized in the New Testament?
    • Can/may mechanical instruments be used in the assembly in New Testament worship?
    • Does the Greek word "psalmos" in Ephesians 5:19 authorize mechanical instruments in worship to God?


There will be two major exams to complete for this course. The mid-term exam is to be done at the end of lesson 6 and the final will be done at the end of the study, after lesson 12. All assignments must be finished by the time of your final exam.

All exams are "closed book" and "closed notes," meaning you are to take the exam without consulting any course textbooks, course study guides, Bibles, notes you have taken, or any other resource (including the lesson pages or any other pages on the internet). In short, the exams are to be taken from memory.

Each exam must be passed with a 70% or better to pass this course. If you get a score lower than 70% on an exam, you will be allowed one re-take of the exam. You should contact SunsetOnline staff to ensure that a re-take will be arranged for you (you will not be able to re-take the exam right away). The maximum grade on a re-take is a 70%, meaning that if you score higher than 70% (and we hope you do), your score will still be recorded as a 70%. A score lower than 70% on a re-take exam will result in not passing the course.

Grade Composition

Readings and Evaluation Papers 6%
Memory Work 10%
Research Papers (5% each) 10%
Exams 74%
Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 1:41 PM