This unit introduces students to the study of the history of the Christian Church with particular focus on Christian mission to 1500CE. This will include consideration of the impact of that mission on Australia, both in history and as it relates to contemporary issues. 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: CH8741Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


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


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


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


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


Employ knowledge and skills developed in the unit to critique and develop resources suitable for selected ministry context(s)

Unit sequence

A Level 8 unit in postgraduate 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

1000 10.0
Oral Presentation

A study of a significant historical moment

1000 15.0

Change Analysis

3000 50.0
Learning Resource

Professional Practice Application

2000 25.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:49:20 +1100