A survey unit at introductory level which covers the areas of the Early Church, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This course will include a study of the major movements within the church and society and how they have influenced current church practices, focusing in a special way on the developments during the first five centuries of Christianity while also considering the shaping of the Church from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In this context it will also consider the significant developments of theology during this period. (This unit may be offered in online mode.)

Unit code: CH1001C (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Situate significant people and events in chronological sequence through analysis of relevant primary sources.


Demonstrate the ability to articulate the historic context of some major events in the history of the Church during these ages.


Analyse the ways in which the visible church has been shaped by changing political, social, cultural and economic circumstances.


Identify the ways in which the church has articulated its central beliefs (doctrine/theology).


Critically evaluate and interpret a representative selection of primary and secondary sources, both written and visual, as evidence in the analysis of specific historical periods.


Self-directed and mentored apprenticeship in reading primary and secondary historical documents through targeted learning activities, lectures, formative and summative assessment tasks.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity. Melbourne: Viking, 2011.
  • Buckley, James J., Frederick C. Bauerschmidt, and Trent Pomplu, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007
  • Coakley, John W., and Andreas Sterk, eds. Readings in World Christian History: Volume I: Earliest Christianity to 1453. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
  • Comby, Jean. How to Read Church History. Vol. 1, From the Beginning to the Fifteenth Century. London: SCM, 1985
  • Gerhardt, Mary, and Fabian E. Udoh, eds. The Christianity Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. Vol. 1, The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. 2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
  • Harries, Richard, and Henry Mayr-Harting, eds. Christianity: Two Thousand Years. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. London: Allen Lane, 2009.
  • Wilken, Robert Louis. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. Yale: Yale University Press, 2012


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Short Answer Tests

2 x 250-word quiz

500 10.0
Document Study

2 x 250-word document study

500 10.0
Essay 2000 50.0
Written Examination

1-hour document exam

1000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-07-22 22:09:11 +1000