This unit introduces students to the study of the history of the Christian Church to 1500CE. It will address the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire to the middle of the Fifth Century and the expansion of Christianity beyond the Roman Empire to Britain, northern and eastern Europe, North Africa and Asia. It considers key movements within Christianity before the Reformation.

Unit code: CH1741Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Describe key aspects of the development of Christianity from the first century to 1500 CE


Identify and analyse the the key missional features of movement(s) in church history, including significant events and people, with explanation of associated major theological insights


Describe the relationship between Christian thought and practice, and the socio-cultural and political contexts at key points in Christian history to 1500 CE


Explain the importance of an historical understanding of Christianity for mission and ministry in twenty-first century Australia

Unit sequence

A Level 1 unit in undergraduate theology and ministry awards


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Davies, Oliver & Thomas O’Loughlin. Celtic Spirituality New York: Paulist Press, 1999.
  • Evans, G.R. The Church in the Early Middle Ages. The I.B. Taurus History of the Christian Church. London, UK: I.B.Taurus, 2007.
  • Gonzales, Justo L. & Catherine Gunsalus Gonzales. Heretics for Armchair Theologians. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
  • González, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. 2nd ed. New York: HarperOne, 2010.
  • Green, Bernard. Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries. London, UK: T&T Clark, 2010.
  • Guy, Laurie. Introducing Early Christianity: A Topical Survey of Its Life, Beliefs and Practices. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2004).
  • Johnson, Marshall D. The Evolution of Christianity: Twelve Crises that Shaped the Church. New York: Continuum, 2005.
  • MacDonald, Stewart. Erasmus and Christian Humanism. History Review (Mar 2000): 1-5.
  • McGrath, Alister E. Christian History: An Introduction Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2013.
  • Markschies, Christoph. Gnosis: An Introduction. (tr) John Bowden. New York: T&T Clark, 2003.
  • Maas, Robin and O'Donnell, Gabriel, Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1990.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

A series of short answer and reflective journalling tasks

800 20.0
Oral Presentation

A study of a significant historical moment

1200 30.0

Change Analysis

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 27 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:47:49 +1100