This unit introduces the story of the 16th Century Anabaptist and 17th Century Baptist movements within the history of the Christian Church. It explores the factors that led to the development of Baptist identity. There will be a particular focus upon worship, congregational governance and leadership.

Unit code: CH0131W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Diploma

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the factors leading to and the main tenets of, the Radical Reformation.


Explain how Baptists developed their theology and practice of leadership and congregational governance.


Plan a congregational meeting in accordance with Baptist principles – assessment task.


Articulate the main features of Baptist belief and practice from their earliest beginnings until the present day.


Outline an approach to leadership in congregational conflict.


Explain and give reasons for the differences among Baptists in various cultural and historical contexts.

Unit sequence

Diploma core unit for non-English speaking background students


Lectures, small group work and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Baptist World Alliance, Study and Research Division. We Baptists. Franklin, TN: Providence House, 1999.
  • Beasley-Murray, Paul. Radical believers: The Baptist way of being church. Didcot, UK: Baptist Union of Great Britain, 1992.
  • Bebbington, David W. Baptists through the centuries: A history of a global people. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010.
  • Brackney, William H. The Baptists. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994.
  • Chatfield, Graeme, ed. Leadership and Baptist Church Governance. Sydney: Morling Press, 2005.
  • Deweese, Charles W. An introduction to Baptists. 2nd ed. Atlanta: Baptist History and Heritage Society, 2008.
  • Manley, Ken R. Shapers of Our Australian Baptist Identity. Parkville, Vic: Whitley College, 1997.
  • Murray, Stuart. The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2010.
  • Norman, R Stanton. The Baptist Way: Distinctives of a Baptist Church. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2005.
  • Petras, Michael. Australian Baptists: Past and Present. Eastwood, NSW: Baptist Historical Society of NSW, 1988.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Thematic essay (1000 words)

1000 35.0

Short paper meeting agenda (written, 500 words)

500 15.0

Essay resolving conflict (written, 1000 words)

1000 35.0

Short Paper presentation (500 words)

500 15.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 17 Oct, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2021-10-11 13:02:40 +1100