This unit will explore the history and impact of councils in the life of the Catholic Church from Nicaea (325) to Vatican II (1962-65). The unit will give an overview of the historical and theological contexts of councils against wider social, cultural and political forces operative at the time. The councils determined much of what the Church believes and how it articulates and lives its rich and diverse theological heritage across history. Various council texts will be examined in order to highlight the development of key theological ideas throughout the Christian tradition.

Unit Code: CH3183C

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate a critical understanding of the key primary texts of the councils and their wider significance in Church history


Formulate a coherent historical argument for the distinctive place of councils in the life of the Church


Evaluate the principal achievements of these councils in shaping what the Church believes and how this is articulated in Christian history


Identify some of the key personalities and the historical contexts that shaped them in terms of understanding their place in conciliar history


Critically examine and contextualise the key theological ideas of various councils that contribute to debate and reflection on contemporary ecclesiastical concerns

Unit sequence

36 points of Church History


Lectures and seminar discussion


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper

Tutorial paper

500 10.0
Tutorial Paper

Tutorial paper

1000 20.0


3500 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Carolyn Alsen on 20 Jul, 2019

Unit Record last updated: 2019-09-06 10:27:41 +1000