Fuller Logo

Spring 2013/Seattle



CH504: MODERN CHURCH HISTORY. Charles J. Scalise.

DESCRIPTION: An introductory overview of the history of Christianity from the end of the sixteenth century to the present. Students will be encouraged to explore aspects of the emergence of Christianity as a global movement, in addition to tracing the development of modern European Catholicism and Protestantism. The course will also involve students in opportunities for more intensive pursuit and presentation of their particular interests in the story of Christianity in the modern period.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Knowledge of major issues, movements, and events which shape the development of Christianity in the modern period is indispensable for any Christian minister who seeks to be a reliable interpreter of contemporary Christianity. Ministers who grasp the global nature of the Christian movement can become more insightful practitioners of cross-cultural ministry and more effective supporters of the worldwide Christian mission. Also, through improving their capacity for critical evaluation of historical sources, students will have the opportunity to acquire transferable analytical and writing skills, which will be useful in observing, understanding, and influencing contemporary situations of ministry.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: (1) Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with some of the major people, movements, issues, and themes in the global history of Christianity in the modern period (cognitive)—assessed by final exam. (2) Students will demonstrate some understanding of: (a) the development and decline of European Catholicism and Protestantism from the end of the sixteenth century to the present and (b) major historical factors leading to the emergence of global Christianity (cognitive)—assessed by final exam and historical figure presentations. (3) Students will appropriate 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. (4) Students will investigate in detail the life and thought of one non-North American historical figure from the modern period and present some aspect(s) of their study to the class (instrumental)—assessed by historical figure reading list and class presentation. (5) Students will engage in historical research focused upon constructing and defending a historical argument (thesis) based upon critical evaluation of sources (instrumental)—assessed by paper proposal and research paper.

COURSE FORMAT: Course sessions will include lectures, class discussions, student presentations, small group consultations, and historical document workshops. The class will meet for ten three-hour sessions (Thursdays 6-9 p.m., April 4-June 6).


Common reading:

Benjamin, Jules R. A Student’s Guide to History. Eleventh ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 286pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-312-53502-5. $29.95. It is also fine to use the new Twelfth ed., which is scheduled to be published in April 2013. ISBN-13: 9781457621444 . (For alternative options for advanced history students, see syllabus and writing resources list.)

Koschorke, Klaus; Frieder Ludwig; and Mariano Delgado, eds. A History of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 1450-1990: A Documentary Sourcebook. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007. 426 pp. ISBN-13: 9780195189612. $40.00.

Sanneh, Lamin D. Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity. Oxford Studies in World Christianity. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008. 384 pp. ISBN-13: 9780195189612. $19.95.

Choose one of the following two texts:

Mullin, Robert Bruce. A Short History of World Christianity. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008. 312pp. ISBN-13: 9780664226862. $29.95.

Norris, Frederick W. Christianity: A Short Global History. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2002. 304pp. ISBN-13 978-1-85168-296-6. $20.95.

Research reading:

Historical figure reading from primary and secondary sources--minimum of 250 pages; figure must not be a North American. One book related to historical figure must be taken from Church History Department regional Christianity bibliographies available at http://purl.oclc.org/net/jlt/CH504-bibliography and http://documents.fuller.edu/sot/faculty/thompson_john/CH504bibliog.pdf.

Reading for research paper critically evaluating primary sources.


Remedial reading:

Evans, G.R. The History of Christian Europe. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2008. 224pp. ISBN-13: 9780745952659. $34.95.

Optional extra credit reading: (Choose One)

Endo, Shusaku. Silence. Trans. William Johnston. Jersey City, NJ: Taplinger/Park West, 1980. 201pp. ISBN-13: 978-0800871864. $11.95.

Spence, Jonathan D. The Question of Hu. New York: Random House (Vintage Books), 1989. 208 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0679725800. $14.00

Recommended resources:

Livingstone, Elizabeth A., ed. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0198614425. $21.95.

Rampolla, Mary Lynn, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, 7th ed. Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2012. 176pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-312-61041-8. $22.95.

Historical maps at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical and interactive maps at http://mappinghistory.uoregon.edu/index.html.


  1. Historical figure reading list. 5% of final grade
  2. Research paper proposal. 10%
  3. Historical figure presentation. 20%
  4. Ten-page research paper. 30%
  5. Final exam. 25%
  6. Class attendance and participation. 10% (includes devotional leadership requirement)


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets M.Div. core requirement Church History "C" (CHC); 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.