course outline

Module 1 - Storytelling ~ 15 hour

Students start by learning to create & tell stories. 

  • They will learn 7 of the best tips any storytellers ever heard. 

  • They will explore their own emotional background and seek to use that knowledge to tell stories

  • They will explore the “Domino Effect” in “Star Wars”

  • They will write a short story as a group exercise

  • They will study elements of suspense in Dr. Who's “Blink” or “A Quiet Place”

Module 2 - God & Stories ~ 9 hours

Students will gain insight into how God speaks to us. 

  • They will learn the 7 points of “Experiencing God”

  • They will examine history and the story of “Elijah & The Prophets of Baal”

  • They will look at the ways people try to communicate with various ‘gods.’

  • They will survey the way God communicated with people in the Bible. 

  • They will discover 4 arguments that show that God often teaches through stories

Module 3 - Blocking ~ 8 hours

Students will improve the impact of their photographs & videos. 

  • They will learn all about blocking, space, shapes, and lines.

  • They will discover interesting locations they have access to and gather photographs for their portfolio.

  • They will learn the 180 Degree and 15 Degree Rules as these apply to dialogue in movies.

Module 4 - Worldview ~ 15 hours

Students will learn to think in terms of worldviews. 

  • They will be able to define worldview and the sociological concept of reification

  • They will listen to the contrasting stories of Abraham and Jacob

  • They will discover an Old Testament worldview

  • They will explore the 4 tasks that God gave us at Creation

  • They will see how The Fall corrupted our calling. 

  • They will understand the legacy of the Tower of Babel

  • They will see which nations are represented by Daniel’s statue

  • They will explore what the New Testament adds to our OT worldview

  • They will learn how Jesus’ death provided a giant leap forward for mankind

  • They will understand the 3 opponents we still face (the world, the flesh & the Devil)

  • They will see from Scripture that our real battle is with Satan

  • They will learn 6 ways in which Jesus battled and overcame Satan.

  • They will realize how essential the Holy Spirit is to our lives

  • They will study the difficult passage in John 6

  • They will examine evolution, communism, Buddhism & paganism

  • They will learn some basics about the Trinity

  • They will grasp why the Trinity is the most important of Christian teaching

  • They will be able to refute 2 false pictures of the Trinity

  • They will watch “The Case for Christ” and examine in what way it has a Christian worldview (if time allows)

Module 5 - Cinematography ~ 23 hours

Students will improve the quality and appeal of their photographs. 

  • They will learn “The Rule of Thirds” and “Leading Lines”

  • They will learn about framing, distance, angles and various other factors      

  • They will critically examine pictures taken by others as well as their own.

  • They will discover the hidden controls on their cell phones, like aperture and shutter speed.

  • They will spend many hours in groups taking photographs and fulfilling assignments

  • They will see the results of these assignments appear in their portfolio

Module 6 - Secret Weapon - 12 hours

This module is all about “the secret weapon” (stories) that if used right, can dramatically impact both the church and the world. Through Bible studies, surveys, stories, video clips, various teaching methods, watching a low budget movie (“The Scarf”) and noting the wisdom of Michael Gurian, Blaise Pascal, and Suzanne Wesley, the student will: 

  • Understand why people learn best through stories

  • See how ignorance and selfishness cause most of our problems

  • Learn how God offers help for these issues

  • Understand how worldviews frame and control our lives

  • Realize that our worldview is formed largely through stories

  • Learn to see the dangers of sin and know how to define sin.

  • Appreciate how movies can change minds and open hearts.

Module 7 - Screenwriting - 8 hours

This module is a continuation of the storytelling modules. In this module, students will learn ten different ways a story can be told and that a screenplay is just one of those forms of storytelling. They will then become familiar with the structure and terminology of a script and learn to think in terms of “turning points” when they watch a movie. They will obtain the necessary resources to continue to grow in their skill as a screenwriter.


Several movies will be utilized or watched in this section: 

     “Tangled” ... to discover turning points.

     “Black & White” ...  to learn terminology

     “Star Wars” ... to illustrate screenplay structure.  

Module 8 - Telling a micro-story ~ 10 hours

Using a gallery or montage of about 12 – 16 pictures, the students will display a simple story. Each of these pictures will be framed with the rules learned in the previous section. The emphasis here is still cinematography with some introduction to storytelling. Being able to lay out photographs to tell a story is a big step toward movie-making.


While only 10 hours are allocated for this module, it would be better to have up to 15.

Module 9 - Reification ~ 3 hours

Two powerful concepts (or tools) are presented in this module. First, there is the sociological concept known as “reifying the transcendentals”. Apologist Dr. Richard Park will outline this concept with a special emphasis on the arts. Learning this crucial concept will change how the students view everything they do and see. The second tool in this module is a test of a grid of ten (10) areas in which a movie can have a Christian worldview. The students will examine these areas through Bible studies.


This module is very powerful and could easily be extended to 12 hours. If that is the case, then the grid will be used to watch and analyze the movie “Flywheel”. 

Module 10 - Other Elements of Movies ~ 6 hours

A course of this nature can not cover everything about making movies. That’s what this module is all about: it introduces many other aspects involving essential aspects, like how making low budget movies can impact culture, as well as various optional ones

like lighting, acting, budgeting, story-boarding, and prop-making.


There is sufficient material here for 15 hours if desired. This includes 5 different evaluation forms/methods with several movie suggestions for deeper learning, like “12 Angry Men” & “Time Changers”. 

Module 11 - Final Project ~ 15 hours

This module is an extension and expansion of the “mini-story” module. Here the students will use a series of about 60 pictures, which will be set in various locations where they will convey a compelling narrative, that is a mini-story with a twist.

Module 12 - Parent's Day ~ 1 hour prep time

This will be a day scheduled after the students have finished their final projects. Friends and family can come and see the projects displayed. The students should be there to talk about their projects. This could be made into an event with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes given for creativity, presentation, best photography, best story, and best twist. One session could be used for setup.




This course was designed and written by John Martens in conjunction with Creation Point Ministries (CPM) and International Christian Ministries Services. This course is meant to be a 4 credit course (125 hours in the classroom + some homework). The material found in this course features a small portion of what students at CPM would obtain if they studied in Vancouver.  

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