A survey unit at post-graduate level which covers the areas of the Early Church, Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The course includes a study of the major movements which shaped church and society and how they have influenced current church practices. The course focuses particularly on the developments in the first five centuries while also considering the shaping of the church from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In this context it will also consider the significant developments in theology during this period. (This unit may be offered in online mode.)

Unit code: CH8001C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Situate significant people and events in chronological sequence.


Articulate the historical context of some major events in this history of the Church in this period.


Identify the ways in which the visible Church has been shaped by changing political, social, cultural and economic circumstances.


Examine the ways in which the church has articulated its central beliefs [doctrine]


Demonstrate a capacity to research a specific topic in a rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.


Critically evaluate and interpret a representative selection of primary and secondary sources, both written and visual, as evidence in the analysis of specific historical periods.


Mentored apprenticeship in advanced critical reading of primary and secondary historical sources through targeted learning activities, lectures, and summative assessment tasks.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity. Melbourne: Viking, 2011.
  • Buckley, James J., Frederick C. Bauerschmidt, and Trent Pomplu, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007
  • Coakley, John W., and Andreas Sterk, eds. Readings in World Christian History: Volume I: Earliest Christianity to 1453. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
  • Comby, Jean. How to Read Church History. Vol. 1, From the Beginning to the Fifteenth Century. London: SCM, 1985
  • Gerhardt, Mary, and Fabian E. Udoh, eds. The Christianity Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. Vol. 1, The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. 2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
  • Harries, Richard, and Henry Mayr-Harting, eds. Christianity: Two Thousand Years. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. London: Allen Lane, 2009.
  • Wilken, Robert Louis. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. Yale: Yale University Press, 2012


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 6000 70.0
Written Examination

2-hour exam

2000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:51 +1000