This unit will introduce students to some of the key themes in the development of the church from the second to the fifteenth century. Students will explore the spread of Christianity, the apostolic tradition, church-state relations, ‘heresy’, dissent and schism, Constantine and the 'Triumph of Christianity', monasticism, the rise of the papacy, Christian society, the Medieval church, John Wycliffe and Jan Hus.

Unit code: CH1011W (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Whitley College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Outline key aspects of the Christian story from early to late-medieval times


Identify some of the social, political, and cultural factors influencing the development of Christianity


Demonstrate basic skills in interpreting historical documents


Assess the significance of selected movements and personalities for the church’s history


Face to Face

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brox, Norbert. A History of the Early Church. London: SCM, 1994.
  • Chadwick, Owen. A History of Christianity. New York: Thomas Dunne, 1995.
  • Comby, Jean. How to Read Church History, Volume 1. London: SCM, 1985. (recommended for purchase)
  • Frank, Isnard W. A History of the Medieval Church. London: SCM, 1995.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Volume 1. New York: HarperOne, 2010. (recommended for purchase)
  • Guy, Laurie. Introducing Early Christianity. Downers Grove: IVP, 2004. (recommended for purchase)
  • Hall, Stuart G. Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church. 2nd edn. London: SPCK, 2005.
  • Hamman, Adalbert G. How to Read the Church Fathers. London: SCM, 1993.
  • Harries, R and H. Mayr-Harting (eds). Christianity: Two Thousand Years. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Hinson, E. Glenn. The Early Church: Origins to the Dawn of the Middle Ages. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.
  • McGrath, Alistair. Christian History: An Introduction. Wiley: New York, 2012.
  • Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. 3rd edn. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. 4th edn. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013.
  • Stevenson, James. Creeds, Councils and Controversies. Rev. edn. London: SPCK, 1989.
  • Stevenson, James. A New Eusebius. Rev. edn. London: SPCK, 1987.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay of 1,500 words

0 40.0
Document Study

Document study of 1,000 words

0 20.0
Short Answer Tests 0 20.0

Five 100-word forum posts or equivalent (or a 15-minute oral exam)

0 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-03-14 11:16:45 +1100