Church History I-Introduction

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6 Weeks





This course is a broad survey of the history of Christianity from the first century to the Pre-Reformation period. Students would be introduced to various periods/eras of history analyzing the factors that paved way for the expansion of Christianity and also the factors that paved way for the expansion of Christianity in different parts of the world and how did it face the onslaught of Islam. 

Moreover, students would be made aware of the historical developments of the Church in the West with Rome as center with all the councils and schism. Number of personalities and major events would be studied in detail. 

During the course they would encounter the personalities and movements those influenced the spread of Christianity.  The study would identify the context in which the Christian faith developed.  They would be made aware of the present condition and would be challenged to take their place in the history of Christianity. 


At the end of the course, students will be able to gain:

A. Knowledge:

  1. To provide an overview of the various developments that shaped the course of the church and of Christian faith. 
  2. To invite people on a journey where one can relate with the roots and origins of Christianity and reaffirm their faith.
  3. To create an awareness among men and women on how Christianity brought transformation within the world.

B. Skills:

  1. To be able to demonstrate leadership qualities in regards to church community and Christian life and ministry.
  2. To be a faithful witness for the Lord and His church while maintaining the church’s duty towards the society.
  3. To defend the Christian faith in an ever changing multi-cultural and religiously pluralistic context.

C. Attitude:

  1. To be able to understand the purpose of God and how God has placed the church in the community to continue His redemptive work.
  2. To be able to understand and teach others about the formation of church, theology and different practises concerning church and ministry. 
  3. To give glory to God on preserving the church through different times of trials and tribulations.


Required Reading

Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through The Centuries. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Michigan, 1981.

Gonzalez, Justo L, The Story of Christianity, Vol 1. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1984.

Gonzalez, J.L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. Vol. 1&2. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984.

Kenneth Scott Latourette. A History of Christianity Vol 1 Beginnings to 1500. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1975.



Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through the Centuries. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Michigan, 1981.

Dowley, Tim, Robert D. Linder and David F Wright, comps. EERDMANS Handbook to the History of Christianity. England: Lion Publishing, 1977.

Ferguson, Everett. Church History, Volume One: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Press, 2013.

Gonzalez, J.L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. Vol. 1&2. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984.

Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: Volume 1. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 2014.

Kenneth Scott LaTourette. A History of Christianity Vol 1 Beginnings to 1500. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1975.


Students are encouraged to have an open mind as they deal with this course. We anticipate our students to have varied viewpoints which will enrich the discussions in our learning process. Therefore, each of our student are requested to be enduring and respectful in their interactions with each other, and to remain focused on the topic of discussion, out of respect to others who have committed to being a part of this learning journey.

Areas of Evaluation
Grade A
Grade B
Grade C
Grade D
Completeness of post
Addresses all parts of question; meets and did not exceed word limit; comprehensive response
Addresses all parts of question; respectable length & did not exceed limit; somewhat comprehensive
Addresses some parts of question; shorter length; incomplete post
Rarely addresses question; far too short or far too long; incomplete post
Clarity of post
Clear and concise posts; grammatically correct with rare
Clear, but can be more concise; a few grammatical or spelling errors
Somewhat clear, but with significant number of errors in spelling and grammar
Unclear, poor spelling and grammar in most posts
Critical engagement with class material (lectures, readings)
Thoughtful; opinions and ideas are substantiated with class material and additional resources (quotations and/or references); active reflection & questioning; obvious integration with one’s context
Thoughtful; opinions and ideas are occasionally substantiated with class material; some reflection & questioning; some integration
Less thoughtful; opinions and ideas are sometimes substantiated with class material; insufficient reflection & questioning; less integration with one’s context
Opinions and ideas are not substantiated with class material; no reflection & questioning; no integration with one’s context
Promptness & quality of responses
Posting on time; responds to all group members’ comments on your post, interacting with other students’ postings in timely manner; thoughtful responses
Posting on time; responds to some of group members’ comments on your post, limited interaction with other students’ postings in timely manner; somewhat thoughtful responses
Posting mostly on time; interaction with only 1-2 students’ postings; less thoughtful responses
Late posting; rarely responds to group members’ comments on your post and/or students’ postings; responses not thoughtful

A. Weekly Discussions and Written Responses: 250-350 Words each (32 Marks)

Late responses are not accepted. Each week’s initial response is due on Wednesday (11:59pm) and interactions with other responses are due on Saturday (11:59pm).

Attendance in this course is demonstrated by regular log-ins and up-to-date participation in forums.

Every Friday a weekly discussion question will be made available. Students are advised to read through the question and take time to formulate a response.

The student/s must formulate their responses that display a thorough understanding of the subject and must engage with the class discussions and lectures, especially demonstrating your understanding of each week’s themes that have challenged, changed, and/or enriched you. This is not a summary of the readings and the lectures, but a response to particular themes/arguments. Be specific and brief, but not superficial.

The initial response should be 250 words but there is no set limit on words for the subsequent interactions between students. In order to maximize the benefit of this element of the course, the student should post his/her initial response by 11:59 pm on Thursday of the week and then spend the remainder of that week interacting with their colleagues in the class until Saturday at 11:59pm.

Each weekly questions and themes will be discussed on following week during optional class meetings

B. Weekly Assessments (Primary Source): 500-750 Words (32 Marks) 

Students are advised to attend all the class contents before they attempt to solve the questions. These questions are based on the class lectures and additional reading content can be referred by the students. 

In the section, the students must include a contextual reflection from their observation comparing with their church or cultural surroundings

All of this information will shape your analysis and reaction, and will provide an argument for the questions asked.


C. Live Class Attendance 12 Marks  

D. Course Completion    12 Marks  


E. Research Paper 1500-1800 Words (12 Marks)

Topic: Humanism and its impact on Biblical Interpretation: Investigate the contributions of humanist scholars, such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, to the field of biblical studies and their influence on the interpretation of scripture during the Renaissance period.

A few pointers to help you write your paper: 


Provide an overview of the Renaissance period and its intellectual climate.

Introduce the concept of humanism and its influence on various aspects of society, including biblical studies.

Historical Context:

Explore the historical context of the Renaissance, emphasizing key cultural and intellectual shifts.

Discuss the state of biblical interpretation before the Renaissance and the role of the church in controlling biblical scholarship.

Introduction to Humanism:

Define humanism in the context of the Renaissance, emphasizing its focus on classical learning, critical thinking, and the value of human experience.

Key Humanist Scholars:

Provide biographical information on prominent humanist scholars, with a special focus on figures like Erasmus of Rotterdam.

Discuss their contributions to the field of biblical studies, such as their textual criticism and efforts to revive classical languages.

Erasmus and Biblical Interpretation:

Dedicate a section specifically to Erasmus.

Examine his approach to biblical interpretation, including his emphasis on the original languages, textual criticism, and historical context.

Discuss specific works where Erasmus applied humanistic principles to biblical studies.

Impact on Scriptural Interpretation:

Explore how humanist principles influenced broader trends in biblical interpretation during the Renaissance.

Discuss the shift towards a more critical and scholarly approach to the Bible.

Challenges and Controversies:

Address any challenges or controversies that arose from the application of humanist principles to biblical interpretation.

Consider how the church and religious authorities reacted to these changes.

Legacy and Continued Influence:

Discuss the lasting impact of humanism on biblical studies, including how it paved the way for future developments in biblical scholarship.


Summarize the key points discussed in the paper.

Reflect on the broader implications of humanism for the field of biblical interpretation and its enduring influence.


Provide a comprehensive list of sources used in your research, including works by humanist scholars and relevant secondary literature.

Remember to support your arguments with specific examples, quotes, and references to primary and secondary sources. 

This structure should help you create a well-organized and thorough exploration of the impact of humanism on biblical interpretation during the Renaissance period.

For clarification, please discuss with your Course Instructor. Please use the research and Writing techniques that you have been taught previously.


Submission Method and Late Submission
Submission: Papers to be submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format via Global Classroom

Late Submission Penalties:

  1. Weekly Responses and Primary Source Analysis Paper will NOT be accepted as late.
  2. All other late assignments will be penalized 1% (1 point) per

Citing References

In all assigned work, proper style guidelines must be used and followed exactly; failure to do so will render the submitted assignment unacceptable.

For proper citation style, consult the Chicago-Style Quick Guide or the full edition of the Chicago Manual of Style Online, especially ch. 14. For citing scripture texts, refer to sections 10.44 to 10.48 and 14.238 to 14.241.

Academic Integrity

Integrity in academic work is required of all our students. Academic dishonesty is any breach of this integrity, and includes such practices as cheating (the use of unauthorized material on tests and examinations), submitting the same work for different classes without permission of the instructors; using false information (including false references to secondary sources) in an assignment; improper or unacknowledged collaboration with other students, and plagiarism.

Global Classroom takes seriously its responsibility to uphold academic integrity and to penalize academic dishonesty. 


Global Classroom values quality in the courses it offers its students. End-of-course evaluations provide valuable student feedback and are one of the ways that Global Classroom works towards maintaining and improving the quality of courses and the student’s learning experience. Student involvement in this process is critical to enhancing the general quality of teaching and learning.

Before the end of the course, students will receive an email with a link to the online course evaluation. The link can also be found in the left column on the course page. The evaluation period is 2 weeks; after the evaluation period has ended, it cannot be reopened.

Course Evaluation results will not be disclosed to the instructor before final grades in the course have been submitted and processed. Student names will be kept confidential and the instructor will only see the aggregated results of the class.

Please Note: Students are advised to work on their research paper from week one onwards and these research papers must be completed by the seventh week. NO EXTENSION


The readings can be found as PDF files on the course web page at under “Materials”.

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