L1.4 Christianity through the Ages

This course provides an overview of the 2000 plus year history of the Christian church in chronological order. Church historians do not pretend to be omniscient gods of all histories. No one textbook has been able to accomplish the task of telling all the stories because history is constantly rewritten according to historians’ questions arising from their contexts. In recent decades, the scholarly field has seen remarkable changes. Following this trend, this course combines the fields of church history (which tended only to cover Western-centered institutional history); history of Christianities (which began to study the development of diverse traditions and voices globally); World Christianity (which examines the presence of various traditions); and social/postcolonial critical histories.

On the one hand, this course uplifts the larger themes of continuity and change in beliefs, practices, locations of power and structure, and debunking myths through historical evidence in our reading of grand narratives. On the other hand, it gives participants direct glimpses of individual voices preserved by communities of faith through primary source readings.




This course is designed to address the following Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers:

Spiritual Foundation for Ministry
2. Devotion to the word of God as revealed through Scripture and Christian traditions.

UCC Identity for Ministry
9. To articulate diverse histories that comprise the United Church of Christ, to situate them in the broader evolution of faith traditions and to relate them to the theology, polity, and practices of the Member’s local church, association, and conference.

Personal and Professional Formation for Ministry 
7. To affirm the identities of others, including others very unlike oneself.

Knowledge and Skills for Ministry, General Knowledge and Skills
3. To comprehend the impact of historical change upon the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals and societies.
9. To analyze social, political, environmental, and economic dynamics, using the tools of the social and natural sciences. 
10. to use respectfully and relationally a basic knowledge of specific human cultures.    

Knowledge and Skills for Ministry, Knowledge and Skills Specific to Authorized Ministry
2. Skill with methods of biblical interpretation, including the historic interpretative traditions of the church and contemporary methods, particularly those from historically underrepresented communities.
3. A deepening familiarity with the global history of the Christian churches through the ages and across cultures, including the newest Christian populations, and an understanding of the evolution of Christian communities in the United States.
4. A deepening familiarity with contemporary theological ways of thinking and with the rich and varied theological heritages, creeds, liturgies, and spiritual practices of the Christian churches.
5. An understanding of other religions and their foundational documents. 
7. To analyze, evaluate, and integrate the biblical, historical, theological, and pastoral disciplines and practices in ways that contribute to fruitful and faithful Christian ministry.
10. to engage in respectful ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.
11. to celebrate the unique features of local faith communities while encouraging them to be receptive to perspectives from the broader church and world.
12. to appreciate, practice, and pass on traditions of faith while interpreting them in light of the context of a diverse and changing world.
14. to discern God’s mission in the world and, in response, to lead ministries of compassion, nurture, justice, and proclamation that support fullness of life for all people.