Introduction to the Study of Church History

The Christian church is an evolving institution, which has constantly acted and reacted in terms of its own developing sense of identity, and in terms of its historical and social context. In this way, the theology and the ecclesiology of the church have come to assume their current shapes.

The unit Introduction to the Study of Church History equips students with methods of historical inquiry applied to an analysis of the church’s doctrinal and institutional evolution as a framework for other theological study and more advanced historical study. It is a Core unit and forms part of a Major in Church History within the Master of Divinity award.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points






Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. identify the major developments and critical turning points in the history of the Christian churches from their origins to the present;
  2. explain the causes and outcomes of significant historical events and trends within the Christian churches throughout history;
  3. analyse the problems, opportunities, and attitudes of past Christians in their interaction with the societies in which they lived;
  4. evaluate the contribution of selected people and movements to the development of the church’s thought and structures;
  5. interpret primary and secondary historical documents in their social context in the development of a coherent historical argument in written form.
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