Students in this unit will be introduced to various ‘turning points’, or times of fundamental change, in the history of Christianity from the first century to the twentieth. They will be able to trace the development of the Western Christianity from first-century Palestine into the Roman Empire of the first five centuries of Christianity, and on to the Christian Church of the European Middle Ages. Students will be led through the critical turning points of change in modern Western Christianity, including the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and tensions between Church and state. After examining major turning points of change that influenced Western Christianity as it emerged following the Protestant Reformations of the sixteenth century. To avoid a completely western-centric history, students will also learn some of the watersheds of change in eastern and Asian Christianity.

Unit code: CH1321Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Wollaston Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe ways in which Christianity has been influenced and shaped by wider religious, social, economic, and political forces at various points during history.


Outline aspects of Christian faith that were important to Christians during these turning points in the history of the Christian Church.


Outline an awareness of the variety of scholarly interpretations of one period of Christian history.

Unit sequence

First-year undergraduate


Lectures and seminars or similar

Indicative Bibliography

  • Alister E McGrath, Christian History: An Introduction (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
  • Henry Bettenson & Chris Maunder, Documents of the Christian Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th ed 2011)
  • Diarmaid, McCulloch, A History of Christianity (London: Penguin, 2009)
  • Euan Cameron, Interpreting Christian History (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
  • Linda Woodhead, An Introduction to Christian History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • Mark Ellingsen, Reclaiming our Roots: An inclusive Introduction to Church History (Harrisburg PA: Trinity Press, 2 vols. 1999)
  • H Joseph H. Lynch, The Medieval Church (1992)
  • Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (revd edn., 1993)
  • Justo L Gonzalez, The story of Christianity vol 2: Reformation to the present day (rev. edn. 2010)


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 1000 40.0
Essay 2500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 18 Nov, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-11-18 10:41:24 +1100