This unit introduces students to the main features of Baptist history and belief. Students will examine Baptist origins and developments within their historical contexts and give attention to the implications of the Baptist heritage for contemporary faith and practice.

Unit code: CH9704W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Identify the main political, social and cultural factors that gave rise to the Baptist movement


Outline key features of the Baptist heritage and trace their historical development throughout the world;


Critique some of the reasons for diversity among Baptists in Britain, North America, Australia and other selected parts of the world;


Critically evaluate factors leading to controversies among modern Baptists and assess their impact upon selected Baptist communities;


Analyse the influence of Baptist history and belief upon personal and professional life;


Respond critically and constructively to historical and theological themes identified in the unit.


Lectures, tutorials, videos, online forums

Indicative Bibliography

  • Beasley-Murray, Paul. Radical believers: The Baptist way of being church. Didcot: Baptist Union of Great Britain, 1992. (recommended for purchase)
  • Bebbington, David W. Baptists through the centuries. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010. (recommended for purchase)
  • Brackney, William H. (ed.). Historical Dictionary of the Baptists, 2nd edn. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2009.
  • Chute, Anthony L. et al. The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2015.
  • Cupit, Tony et al. ‘From five barley loaves’: Australian Baptists in Global Mission 1864–2010. Preston: Mosaic Press, 2013.
  • Fiddes, Paul S. Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2003.
  • Johnson, Robert E. A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Hayden, Roger. English Baptist History and Heritage. Revd edn. Didcot: Baptist Union of Great Britain, 2005.
  • Haymes, Brian et al. On Being the Church: Revisioning Baptist Identity. Milton Keynes: Paternoster Press, 2008.
  • Holmes, Stephen R. Baptist Theology. London: T&T Clark, 2012.
  • Leonard, Bill J. Baptist Ways: A History. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2003.
  • Lumpkin, William L. (ed.). Baptist confessions of Faith. 2nd revd edn. Valley Forge: Judson, 2011. (recommended for purchase)
  • Manley, Ken R. From Woolloomooloo to ‘eternity’. 2 Vols. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2006.
  • McBeth, H. Leon (ed.). A Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage. Nashville: Broadman, 1990.
  • Randall, Ian M. et al. Baptist Identities: International Studies from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006.
  • Rees, Frank (ed.). Baptist Identity into the Twenty-first Century. Parkville: Whitley College, 2016.
  • Williams, Michael et al. Turning Points in Baptist History. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2008.
  • Wright, Nigel G. Free Church, Free State: The Positive Baptist Vision. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay of 4,000 words

4000 50.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial paper of 2,000 words

2000 25.0

Seven online forum posts (2000 words total)

2000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 9 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:48 +1000