This unit introduces students to the study of the history of the Christian church from 1500CE to the present day. It will explore the social, political and cultural milieu in which new ideas and religious impulses have arisen, from the 16th century reformations in Europe, through revival, missionary and ecumenical movements across the global church. It will consider the writings and evidential records of some of the leading figures, as well as less dominant people and groups. The unit will examine some of the important issues, theologies and practices that continue to shape and challenge Christianity in Australia and the Pacific Rim today.

Unit code: CH8743Z

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


Critically review some of the key social, political and cultural influences that have inspired new ideas and impulses within Christianity since 1500


Evaluate how a new idea and/or impulse during this historical period reshaped Christian thought and practice at the time


Analyse the significance of leading and less dominant figures and groups as demonstrated by primary and secondary resources (their own documents and those created by others)


Critically discuss how issues, theologies and practices arising from 1500-2000CE continue to shape and challenge Christianity in Australia and the Pacific Rim today


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

Unit sequence

A Level 9 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

  • Daughrity, Dyron B., Church History: Five Approaches to a Global Discipline. New York: P Lang, 2012.
  • Dewerse, Rosemary (ed.). Adventures with the Spirit: Stories of Mission in South Australia. Black Forest: Uniting Church of South Australia Historical Society, 2014.
  • Janz, Denis. A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions. 2nd Ed. Minneapolis: Fortress PRess, 2008.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Volume 2. Rev edn. New York: HarperOne, 2010.
  • Matheson, Peter (ed.) Reformation History (A People’s History of Christianity, Volume 5). Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.
  • Muir, Elizabeth Gillian. A Women's History of the Christian Church: Two Thousand Years of Female Leadership. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019.
  • Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. 3rd edn. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Schjørring, Jens Holger, Norman A Hjelm, Kevin Ward and David Orton. History of Global Christianity. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
  • Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. 4th edn. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013.
  • Stjerna, Kirsi. Women Reformers of Early Modern Europe: Profiles, Texts and Contexts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2022.
  • Tipson, Baird. Inward Baptism: The Theological Origins of Evangelicalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • Wilfred, Felix. The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Short Answer Responses - Responses to set readings across the semester 1500 20.0
Essay - Research Essay 2500 35.0
Case Study - Analysis of historical influences on a contemporary context

Critically discuss how the influences on, and the theology and practice of a new idea or impulse since 1500 reshaped Christian thought and practice at the time and continue to shape and challenge a named area of Christian life/expression in Australia or the Pacific Rim today. This may be presented within class time (equivalent 15 min presentation).

1500 25.0
Learning Resource - A resource suitable to apply knowledge gained for a named contemporary context 1500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 27 Mar, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-03-27 14:38:27 +1100