Christianity - The First Five Centuries (Diploma)

Field: Church History
Unit Code(s): CH0109T (online)
Unit value: 18 points
Level: Diploma only (AQF 5)
Delivery mode: Online
Prerequisites: None

This unit offers an historical theological study of the first five centuries of Christianity with an emphasis on the practice and belief of the community. It examines the formal clarification of doctrine through key primary texts in the light of the wider life of the church, offering an introduction to Christian traditions of theological reflection.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • outline a chronology of key events within the Christian community c.70–500 CE and describe their significance
  • identify key figures in the development of early Christian doctrine and practice, and the nature of their contribution
  • describe how politics helped form Christian belief
  • compare the variety of beliefs and practices within the early Church.
  • Two quizzes, equivalent to 500 words (20%)
  • 1,000-word critical review of a primary text (30%)
  • 1,500-word essay (50%)
Recommended Reading:

*set texts recommended for purchase

Bradshaw, P.F. The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Burrus, V., ed. Late Ancient Christianity: A People’s History of Christianity. Vol. 2 Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005.

Davidson, I. Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine AD 30 – 312. Oxford: Monarch Books, 2005.

Davidson, I. A Public Faith: From Constantine to The Medieval World AD 312 – 600. Oxford: Monarch Books, 2005.

Edwards, M. Catholicity and Heresy in the Early Church. Farnham, Surrey/Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009.

*Gonzalez, J. The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1.  Harper One, 2010

Hall, S. Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.

Humphries, M. Early Christianity. London: Routledge, 2006.

Miles, M. The Word made Flesh: A History of Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005 (ebook available on e-reserve).

Shelley, B. Church History in Plain Language, 4th ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013.