This unit introduces students to the main features of the history and theology of the Baptist movement from the 17th century to the present day. Students will examine Baptist origins, the development of Baptist convictions in various historical contexts and consider the implications for contemporary faith and practice.

Unit code: CT3004W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

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;


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


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.

Unit sequence

15 points in CH and 15 points in CT


Lectures, tutorials, videos, online forums

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bebbington, David W. Baptists Through the Centuries. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010. (recommended for purchase)
  • 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.
  • Ellis, Christopher. Gathering: A Theology and Spirituality of Worship in Free Church Tradition. London: SCM, 2004.
  • 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.
  • Holmes, Stephen R. Baptist Theology. London: T&T Clark, 2012.
  • Leonard, Bill J. Baptist Ways: A History. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2003.
  • Manley, Ken R. From Woolloomooloo to ‘Eternity’. 2 Vols. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2006.
  • Rees, Frank (ed.). Baptist Identity into the Twenty-first Century. Parkville: Whitley College, 2016.
  • Wright, Nigel G. Free Church, Free State: The Positive Baptist Vision. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay - One 2,500 word essay 2500 50.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial paper of 1,500 words

1500 40.0

Five 200-word online forum posts

1000 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 14 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-14 09:50:45 +1000