The Ancient Church


Number of Lessons: 24Avg. Lesson Length: 44 MinutesTime Required: 35 Hours MinimumLevel: Advanced


We are indebted to the Church Fathers for the lasting influence of their lives and their works. This course covers the history of the ancient church (Pentecost to AD 500) and the men and writings of that era. Following a historical progression, the course covers the development of doctrine and the main figures in the Patristic Age. Lectures focus on the influential men like Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, Athanasius,and Ausgustine. Significant creeds are also analyzed for their intentions, influence, and correctness. Throughout the course, students are prompted to evaluate their own beliefs as compared to historical orthodoxy.


ProfessorRichard C. Gamble, ThD
  • Universitat Basel, Switzerland, ThD
  • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, MA
  • Westminster College, BA


  1. Understand the historical development of doctrine and how we came to believe what we do today.
  2. Know the creeds of the church and how they came to exist.
  3. Understand the theological mistakes of the past so as to prevent those errors from happening today.
  4. Understand the history of interpretation of the Scriptures.
  5. Appreciate the roots of today’s church.
  6. Appreciate the relation between church and state.
  7. Understand church government and its different shapes.