Church History 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation

Church History 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation

Taught by Everett Ferguson

Church History: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation offers an introduction to church history that integrates the events and developments of the church with the social, economic, and intellectual history of the broader world around it.

Course Details

  • 15 Units

  • Self-paced

  • 6 hours of video

  • Beginner

  • Church History Volume One: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation

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Course Description

Church History: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation, taught by Everett Ferguson, offers a unique contextual view of how the Christian church spread and developed. The church did so not in a vacuum, but in a setting of times, cultures, and events that both influenced and were influenced by the church. This course looks closely at the integral link between the history of the world and that of the church.

In particular, it explores the development of the church from the days of Jesus to the years prior to the Reformation. It offers overviews of the Roman, Greek, and Jewish worlds; insights into the church’s relationship to the Roman Empire, with glimpses into pagan attitudes toward Christians; the place of art and architecture, literature and philosophy, in church history; and much more, spanning the time from the first through the thirteenth centuries.

By completing this course, you'll gain:

  • familiarity with the most important figures, controversies, and ideas that defined the church during its first 1,200 years
  • an understanding of key turning points in church history, such as the Roman emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, the Great Schism between churches of the East and West, and the Crusades
  • insight into the dynamic relationship between broader world history and church history
  • confidence in your growing knowledge through personalized review sessions, including award-winning memory building tools, and unit assessments

Meet Your Instructors

Everett Ferguson

Ph.D., Harvard University

Everett Ferguson is Professor of Church History Emeritus at Abilene Christian University. His numerous academic and scholarly honors include an honorary John Harvard Fellowship (1956–57), a Harvard Graduate School Fellowship (1958–59), a Ph.D. "with distinction" (Harvard, 1960), and selection as the John G. Gammie Senior Lecturer by the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies, 1996–97. He is a member of the Council of the Association internationale d'etudes patristiques and past president of the North American Patristics Society. In 1998, he was presented with a festschrift, The Early Church in Its Context: Essays in Honor of Everett Ferguson, ed. Abraham J. Marlherbe, Frederick W. Norris, and James W. Thompson. Dr. Ferguson has been co-editor (with Elizabeth A. Clark) of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. His other publications include Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Recent Studies in Early Christianity, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, and Church History, vol. 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation.

Course Outline

  • The Setting for the Story’s Beginning; Jesus and the Beginnings of the Church

  • The Subapostolic Age and the Church and the Empire

  • Heresies and Schisms in the Second Century and The Defense against Rival Interpretations

  • The Fathers of the Old Catholic Church and Their Problems

  • Church Life in the Second and Third Centuries and Development of the Church during the Third Century

  • Diocletian and Constantine and the Church in the Fourth Century

  • Monasticism, Expansion, Life, and Worship

  • Christological Controversies to Chalcedon; Augustine, Pelagius, and Semipelagianism

  • Transitions to the Middle Ages; Eastern and Western Churches in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

  • The Eastern Churches from the Seventh to Eleventh Centuries

  • The Western Church from the Seventh to Ninth Centuries

  • Decline and Renewal of Vitality in the West: The Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries

  • The Papal Reform Movement and the First Crusade; Intellectual Revival

  • Monastic, Literary, Political, and Cultural Activities in the Twelfth Century

  • The Glory of the Western Medieval Church and Portents of Decline

 

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Earn a Certificate of Achievement

This course is part of the Biblical Studies Program. Programs are groups of courses that, when taken together, provide you with an in-depth knowledge about an area of study. When you pass the entire program, you’ll receive a personalized Certificate of Achievement. Learn more about this 5-course series.

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