This unit will explore the controversial developments which led from early Christian proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Lord to the later trinitarian doctrine of God as one substance in three persons. The foundations of this development and the controversies which accompanied it will be studied. Against this historical background, the re-emergence of the doctrine of the Trinity in the twentieth century will be explored through reference to several contemporary texts. Attention will be paid to the role which this doctrine is playing in the church’s encounter with modern atheism, religious pluralism and theological politics.

Unit Code: CT9009P

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Systematic Theology

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Identify the key developments in the emergence of the doctrine of the Trinity


Evaluate the sense(s) in which the doctrine can be described as ‘biblical’


Explain the different trajectories of the doctrine in the Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity


Explain the reasons for the re-emergence of the doctrine in the twentieth century


Evaluate the key ideas of one significant contemporary text on the Trinity


Assess the contributions of this doctrine to the church’s encounter with one or more of modern atheism, religious pluralism or politics

Unit sequence

Either CT8000P:Faith, Belief and Doctrine) or CT8010P: Culture, Belief and Theology


Online guided reading materials, tutorial forums


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

1500 word online blog journal on set readings

0 25.0

1500 word essay or group study resource on the biblical origins of the doctrine of the Trinity or the patristic trinitarian debates.

0 25.0

3000 word essay or annotated sermon on the contribution of doctrine of the Trinity to Christianity’s encounter with one or more of atheism, religious pluralism or politics.

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 3 Aug, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-04-26 09:28:44 +1000