This course examines Christian history with attention to the socio-spiritual location of Indigenous peoples in the Missio Dei. Many versions of the Christian story have reduced that story to a self-narrative, treating it as through it were a history of our civilization. This approach too often reflected the motives of colonial advance and merged the transmission of the gospel with a Euro-centric view of the world. Contemporary historiography challenges this approach and highlights the polycentricity of Christian histories. This unit addresses Christian history from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and affirms the importance of local histories for growth in and witness to the gospel.

Unit code: CT9103W

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Organise a Christian history which attends to the polycentric and multiple nature of that history


Discuss theological developments through Christian history with reference to both a multi-denominational and international context


Drawing on the polycentricity of Christian history, discuss the possibility and importance of an indigenous Christian history


Develop historical and theological concepts for engagement in Indigenous ministry


Critique and evaluate beliefs, actions, and traditions of Christian communities with a view to better facilitate Indigenous learning

Unit sequence

Foundation unit in History and/or Theology


Face to Face: lectures, discussion groups Online: Reading comprehension quizzes, online discussions, following the intensive, bi-weekly online interaction for the duration of the semester

Indicative Bibliography

  • Andrews, Edward E. Native Apostles: Black and Indian Missionaries in the British Atlantic World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.
  • González, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: Volume 1, The: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.
  • Irvin, Dale, and Sunquist, Scott, eds. History of the World Christian Movement: Volume I: Earliest Christianity to 1453. New York: Orbis Books, 2001
  • Jenkins, John Philip. The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia--and How It Died. New York: HarperCollins, 2009
  • Peterson, R. D. A concise history of Christianity. Australia Belmont, CA, Wadsworth/Thomson, 2007.
  • Sanneh, Lamin O. Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • _________. Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Shenk, Wilbert R., ed. Enlarging the Story: Perspectives on Writing World Christian History Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002.
  • Tinker, G. E. Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native American Cultural Genocide. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993.
  • Yong, Amos and Barbara Brown Zikmund, eds. *Remembering Jamestown: Hard Questions About Christian Missio*n. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010.

Short Articles:

  • Perpetua, “The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas”.
  • Martin Luther, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520).” 1-34.
  • Philip Spener, “Pia Desideria,” Pietists, Classics of Western Spirituality, 31-49.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Project Report or Project Journal

Research Project (3000 words)

3000 40.0
Project Report or Project Journal

Mid-course project (2000 words)

2000 30.0

Contribution to online forums and discussions (1000 words) Class Discussions

1000 15.0

Summaries and Questions (1000 words)

1000 15.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 21 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-21 11:33:54 +1100