Welcome and Ground Rules

Welcome and Ground Rules

by Brad Henderson -
Number of replies: 0

Hi, everyone! Great to have you in ML505, Caring for People in a Broken World. It's going to be a great course, with insightful lectures, helpful reading, and equipping assignments. ML505 will introduce you to the basic tools, skills, and practices that mark effective counseling, and you will emerge a more compassionate, effective minister others.

One thing I want to do up front is to to clarify practices and expectations. PLEASE READ  IT CAREFULLY. It's a much better experience when we all know what to expect. So let me touch on 3 things: discussion posts, my late policy, and original work:

Posts: Discussion forum posts are an important part of the learning experience, learning to put your thoughts into writing and interacting with the thoughts of others. Make your posts meaningful. I want you to demonstrate in your post that you have thought meaningfully about the subject at hand, and then done your best to articulate your thoughts clearly. I would like to see decent writing, grammar, etc..., but you don't need to edit it like you would a paper. Just do your best to be clear. Your original post will carry the most weight, but I want to see meaningful interactions with other students as well. That means several  sentences demonstrating original, critical interaction with each other. The specific expectations as to length, etc..., are spelled out in the directions for each post. Your grade will be a blend of your original post and your response to other students. 

Late Assignments: Here is my late assignment policy. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY:

Late assignments will be penalized 3% each day they're late, up to a maximum of 30 points (10 days). You can lose lot of points by not submitting work on time, so pay attention to those due dates.

I do not receive any assignments that are later than 2 weeks past the due date without some kind of reason AND communication.

I will only consider waiving or reducing late penalties when there are extenuating circumstances that are significant and totally unpredictable. If it's something you can put on a calendar, then it's predictable. So plan ahead for busy times, ministry crunches, babies, holidays, vacations, etc... This is good training for ministry life. If you have extenuating circumstances that are significant and totally unpredictable, the sooner you communicate these circumstances to me, the more likely I will be amenable to modifying/reducing any late penalty. Every semester I have students who do not do this and experience the consequences, so make it easy on all of us. smile

Original Work: ORIGINAL WORK: I expect everyone to do their own original work. If you rely on someone else's thoughts, you must credit them appropriately through footnotes or citations. If you're not sure about the proper use of sources, here's a helpful resource on what constitutes plagiarism. Use of AI (e.g., ChatGPT) is not prohibited, but remember that you're paying for an education, not a grade, and that your purpose at Western is to be equipped to help people, something you can't do if you shortchange the learning process. So if you do use AI, use it in a way that enhances your mastery of the material. You must properly document and credit any use of AI in your work. For example,

1 ChatGPT, response to “summarize the ethical teachings of Jesus,” September 8, 2023, OpenAI, https://chat.openai.com/chat.

For more on proper use and citation of ChatGPT, see: 


One last thing: the best way to reach me is via email, at bhenderson@westernseminary.edu. If you need anything, please let me know.

OK, we've got that out of the way! This is going to be a great experience. Please let me know how I can be of help to you. 

Dr. H