Explore Christian History Track

Explore Christian History Track

Taught by Everett Ferguson, Frank A. James III, John D. Woodbridge, Stephen Backhouse, Ryan Matthew Reeves, Jemar Tisby , Thomas S. Kidd

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Course Details

  • 5 course series

  • Self-paced

  • 30+ hours of video

  • Beginner

  • Full price: $979.95

36 Month Access
$649.99 USD

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Course Description

Christianity is the greatest movement in world history. But it’s not just an idea—it’s the real story of real Christians in other times and places. Exploring the history of the church both acquaints us with their experiences and enlarges the perspective of our own.

The courses in this track will introduce you to the riches of Christian history. You’ll learn how the church developed and spread. You’ll learn about the key people, events, places, and movements. You’ll also discover connections between the church’s history and the cultural, political, and intellectual movements from the broader world history. In addition to its triumphs, you’ll also explore the church’s struggles and mistakes.

You will learn:

  • The main threads and issues running through each century of Christian history
  • Explanations of key historical developments
  • The key people, ideas, and events that have shaped Christian history
  • An understanding of the turning points in history, such as the Roman emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, the Great Schism between churches of the East and West, and the Crusades
  • The relationship between church history and broader world history
  • The roots and development of American religion, along with insight into the relationships between race, immigration, denomination, and culture and how they have impacted American religion
  • The history of racism in the American church with attention to how people of the faith have both worked for and against racial justice

Key Benefits

  • Get immediate access to all 5 seminary-level online courses in the track
  • Access 30+ hours of video lectures from Stephen Backhouse, Everett Ferguson, Frank A. James III, John D. Woodbridge, Thomas S. Kidd, and Jemar Tisby
  • Work through the courses at your own pace—take up to 36 months
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion
  • No prior coursework or prerequisites are required

This Track Includes the Following Courses

Introduction to Christian History

Essentials of Christian History
  • Taught by Stephen Backhouse
  • 20 units
  • 5 hours of video lectures
Church History 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation
  • Taught by Everett Ferguson
  • 15 units
  • 6 hours of video lectures
Church History 2: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day

  • Taught by Frank A. James III and John D. Woodbridge
  • 15 units
  • 9 hours of video lectures
America's Religious History: Faith, Politics, and the Shaping of a Nation

Wistia video thumbnail
  • Taught by Thomas S. Kidd
  • 16 units
  • 6 hours of video lectures
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

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  • Taught by Jemar Tisby
  • 12 units
  • 4 hours of video lectures

Designed to Help You Succeed

  • Work at your own pace.
    Take as much time as you need to work through each course and each lesson—up to 36 months. We’ll walk you through every lesson, step-by-step, to make sure you understand each concept before you move on. Pause and rewind video lectures, work through the review sessions as many times as you’d like, and study at the times of day that work best for you. With this program, you’ll get the flexibility to learn in a way that’s best for you.
  • Learn from seasoned teachers and scholars.
    Your instructors have taught the material for decades both in traditional classroom settings and online. Everything has been expertly designed and time-tested.
  • Get access to tools proven to help you learn.
    Take advantage of the most sophisticated adaptive learning technology that will help you retain and remember what you learn.
  • Get digital access to all course materials—anytime, anywhere.
    Get access to 30+ hours of video materials, plus all textbook readings, exercises, quizzes, and more.

How to earn the Certificate

  1. Achieve an 80% or higher grade in each of the eight required courses.
  2. Complete all coursework within 36 months of enrolling.
  3. Notify us of completion.

When we have confirmed you have satisfied the program requirements, we will issue a Certificate of Completion.

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.

Frank A. James III

PhD, Oxford; PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary

Frank A. James III is the president of Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of numerous works on the Reformation and has been a consultant and script writer for a historical documentary film series.

John D. Woodbridge

PhD, University of Toulouse, France

John Woodbridge is research professor of Church History and History of Christian Thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1970. He was previously a senior editor of Christianity Today and is the author of Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal and coauthor of Letters Along the Way. He is the editor of Great Leaders of the Christian Church and coeditor of works including The Mark of Jesus. Woodbridge is the recipient of four Gold Medallion Awards.

Stephen Backhouse

D.Phil., Oxford

Stephen Backhouse is the Lecturer in Social and Political Theology at Mellitus College, London. He studied at the University of Oxford and McGill University. He has published a number of critically well-received books and articles on religion, history, and Kierkegaard, from the popular Kierkegaard: A Single Life published by Zondervan, to the academic Kierkegaard’s Critique of Christian Nationalism for Oxford University Press.

Ryan Matthew Reeves

Ph.D., Cambridge University

Ryan M. Reeves is Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Dean of the seminary’s Jacksonville campus. Also a visiting lecturer at Reformed Theological Seminary, Reeves has written English Evangelicals and Tudor Obedience and co-written The Story of Creeds and Councils (Baker, 2018). He hosts the Historical Theology for Everyone blog at The Gospel Coalition.

Jemar Tisby

MDiv., Reformed Theological Seminary

Jemar Tisby is president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also cohost of the Pass The Mic podcast. He speaks nationwide at conferences, and his writing has been featured by the New York Times, the Atlantic, and CNN. Jemar is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Mississippi, focusing on race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.

Thomas S. Kidd

Ph.D., Notre Dame

Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University. He has written many books, including America’s Colonial History and The Great Awakening, and also writes and appears regularly in mainstream media. A past winner of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, he tweets at @ThomasSKidd.

Church History Certificate Details

Upon completing all five of these courses, you will need to click the below link to apply for your Church History Certificate


Apply for Certificate


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