Early Church History

The early centuries (i.e. to the 4th or 5th centuries) of the Christian church’s history were a formative period where the doctrine was consolidated and institutional structures were established. As such, this period is fundamentally important to an understanding of the subsequent history of the church. The introductory unit Early Church History provides an approach to the study of church history, with particular reference to the Early Church period. In doing so, it sets the context for doctrinal and institutional development, with an analysis of the various conflicts, challenges, and relationships that occurred and which set the foundation for the ongoing development of the church. The unit is an Elective unit within the Postgraduate awards.

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. assess the impact of cultural, political, and religious factors in the development of the early church;
  2. account for the development of ecclesiastical forms and practices in the Early Church;
  3. analyse the causes and outcomes of the major doctrinal challenges and controversies that arose in the Early Church period;
  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 interpret primary and secondary historical documents in their social/political context in the development of a coherent historical argument in written form.
Find a Course
Back to top