TS 112 Church History

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Module Level


Time Allowance

3 hours on campus lectures during the weekend residentials (divided between 2 weekends) 3 hours live on-line lectures on Wednesday evening, 3 hours of self-directed learning, Assignment – 10 hours, Private Study – 20 hours.


Essay (1,500 words)

Module Aims

To provide students with the skills necessary to navigate early sources regarding Jesus of Nazareth.

  • To help students appreciate the various stages of development of the Christian Church from the first to the fourth centuries.
  • To introduce students to key personalities in the history of the early Christian Church.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Sources for the history of Jesus of Nazareth
  • Christianity in the first and second centuries: teething problems
  • Christians living in a pagan empire: principles and persecution
  • Constantine and imperial Christianity

Learning Outcomes

  • • Have a general knowledge of the relevant historical sources for the life of Jesus of Nazareth, an awareness of their strengths and limitations, and their enduring value for the historian, the theologian, and Christian believers more generally.
  • • Understand relations as they developed between Judaism and Christianity, two growing “siblings” in the first and second centuries.
  • • Appreciate how Christians had difficulty integrating into daily life in a pagan empire, and why bursts of persecution, both spontaneous & local, and systematic & empire-wide, erupted from time to time, and what impact this had on the development of Christian identity.
  • • Recognise the significance of the “conversion” of the emperor Constantine in the fourth century for the subsequent history of the Christian Church.


  • Kelly, Joseph F. The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: a History. Collegeville, MN:
  • Liturgical Press, 2009.
  • Lynch, Joseph H. Early Christianity, a Brief History. New York: Oxford, 2009.