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Winter 2013/Seattle




DESCRIPTION: An introductory overview of the history of Christianity and historical theology from the end of the sixth century through the middle of the sixteenth century. In addition to providing a basic narrative history of Christianity in the West during this period, the course will involve students in opportunities for more intensive exploration of their particular interests in the story of Christianity during the medieval and Reformation periods.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Knowledge of the history of Christianity during the Middle Ages and Reformation is foundational for understanding the development of Protestant religious traditions, modern methods of biblical interpretation, higher education, systematic approaches to Christian doctrine, the relationship of church and state, different views of the sacraments, and the historical formation of Christian spirituality. Also, through improving their capacity for the critical comparison of primary sources, students will have the opportunity to acquire transferable analytical and writing skills, which will be useful in observing, interpreting, and evaluating contemporary situations of ministry.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: (1) To introduce students to some of the major people, movements, doctrines, and themes in the history of Christianity in the Middle Ages and Reformation (cognitive)—assessed by midterm and final exam. (2) To assist students in appropriating some of the spiritual insights and resources from the history of the church for their own Christian growth and ministry (affective)—assessed by devotional leadership. (3) To enable students to explore in detail the life and thought of one specific historical figure from the period surveyed in the course (cognitive/affective)—assessed by historical figure reading list and question on final exam.(4) To engage students in historical research focused upon critical comparison of two (or more) sources from the medieval and/or Reformation periods (instrumental)—assessed by research paper. (5) To offer students the opportunity to become familiar with the shape of medieval Catholicism and the formative contexts and early development of Protestant religious traditions (cognitive)—assessed by midterm and final exams.

COURSE FORMAT: Course sessions will include lectures, class discussions, and document workshops. The class will meet for ten three-hour sessions, Thursdays, 6:00-9:00 p.m., January 10 - March 14.


Bettenson, Henry, and Chris Maunder, eds. Documents of the Christian Church, Fourth ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011 (pp. 98-261). ISBN-13: 978-0199568987. $29.95.

Chenu, Marie-Dominique. Aquinas and His Role in Theology. Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier (Liturgical Press), 2002. 149 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0814650790. $19.95.

Lindberg, Carter. The European Reformations. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell (Wiley-Blackwell), 2009. 472 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1405180672. $56.95.

Logan, F. Donald. A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 2013. 360 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0415669948. $37.95.

Oden, Amy, ed. In Her Words: Women’s Writings in the History of Christian Thought. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1994 (pp. 87-215). ISBN-13: 978-0687459728. $30.00.

Historical figure reading from primary and secondary sources--minimum of 250 pages.

Reading for research paper comparing primary sources.


  1. Historical figure reading list (evaluated by exam)

  2. Research paper proposal (10% of final grade)

  3. Midterm exam 20%

  4. Ten-page research paper 30%

  5. Final exam 25%

  6. Class attendance and participation 15% (includes devotional leadership requirement)


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets M.Div. core requirement Church History "B" (CHB); M.A.T.: Church History/Theology.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.