To help elders, cell group leaders and church planting pastors in newly responsive areas to connect the history of the church in their community with the history of the universal Christian community.
This course traces the history and worldwide development of the Christian Church in all of its major branches from the death and resurrection of Christ through the year AD 2000. The outline includes (1) the early expansion from the first to fourth centuries, (2) the origins of the main divisions of the church on doctrinal issues, (3) church growth and development in different areas of the world and (4) the major missionary movements of Christian History.
Course Learning Outcomes
Content: By the end of the course, the student will be able…
- To identify five stages in the development of the Church, from the Early Church to present day.
- To describe the expansion of the church across the stages of Christian History, and to recognise the role of Christian witness and mission as integral part of that expansion.
- To give examples of the missionary movement, and its contribution to the expansion of the Church throughout the world.
- To understand the nature of the universal church and the local church, and to outline three models by which these two relate.
- To describe the important doctrinal differences between the Catholic Church and the Protestant and Evangelical Churches.
- To describe the history of their own congregation within the development of the church within their country and region.
Character: By the end of the course, the student should…
- Give supreme importance to the teaching and the practice of the Word of God in his own life and in the Church.
- Be ready to face persecution (which any member of the Church of Christ will have to face sooner or later) and remain firm in his faith.
Competencies: By the end of the course, the student will be able …
- To identify five heretical traditions and five modern sects and will be able to indicate where their beliefs differ from the biblical doctrine.
- To trace the history of the origins of various denominational traditions, particularly Catholic, Reformed, and Charismatic, and to identify key theological distinctions between those traditions.
- To organise house churches following the model of the early church.
- To recount three examples of the church’s endurance in the face of suffering across the centuries, to show how we model that endurance in the face of modern challenges.
- To show ways in which they might be a part of the future expansion of the church in their community through witness and through church planting.