A three-credit survey course in Jewish history will be offered at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington beginning Tuesday. The 16-session course, entitled "History of the Jewish People 1," covers the social, economic and demographic characteristics of the Jewish people between the years 1800 B.C. and 1096 A.D.

The course is conducted by the University College of the University of Maryland and credits are transferable to other colleges. Tuition will be $34 per credit hour. Classes will meet at the center, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville on Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Call 881-0100 for information.

Three resident lectureships, accredited college courses in Judaism, have been endowed by the Jewish Chautauqua Society for the 1977-78 academic year. The courses are located at American University, Howard University and Trinity College.

Eleven Seventh-Day Adventist elementary schools in the metropolitan area will open Tuesday. School registration begins Sunday, with classes starting the following Tuesday. Call 270-6600.

The Seventh-Day Adventist education structure is the largest worldwide Protestant system and second only to the Lutherans among Protestants in the United States.

"Understanding the Old Testament," a college-level introductory course to the Old Testament, will be offered by the University of Richmond on Tuesdays, starting Sept. 13. The classes, which offer two hours of credit, will be held at the McLean Baptist Church, 1326 Calder Rd., McLean. Call 356-3384.