Survey of Church History

Welcome to Survey of Church History, an online graduate-level course designed to expand your understanding of the first 2,000 years of the history of the Christian church.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

He has been called one of the most brilliant men ever born on American soil. In this course, learners will examine the theological insights of Jonathan Edwards. Taking a topical approach, the course covers Edwards’ teachings on all the major points of systematic theology, giving particular emphasis to his unique theological contributions. Topics such as the place of reason, the decrees of God, the nature of justification, and the extent of sanctification are presented and analyzed with the goal that students apply new insights to their own lives and ministry.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

The Ancient Church

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.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

Reformation Church History

The Reformation changed the world spiritually, socially, and politically. In this course, learners trace the historic development of the Protestant Reformation from its 16th-century background to its impact on the world and the church today. The course examines the lives and teachings of the leading Reformers (Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Knox) and traces the Reformation movement in various nations. In addition, students study the rise of the major Protestant movements (Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anabaptism, and Puritanism) and the Roman Catholic reactions to those movements. The goal of the course is to apply the Reformation battle cries of faith alone, grace alone, and Christ alone to life and ministry.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

The History of Christianity in America

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” So said George Washington, reflecting early America’s regard for divine providence. This course examines the church in America from its continental beginnings to the current day, emphasizing the influences that have forged the contemporary religious scene. Starting with the nature of Christianity in British colonies prior to the Revolution, the course traces the development of Christianity throughout its tumultuous history in America, including the effects of the Civil War and the Great Awakenings. The goal of the course is to see the workings of God throughout American history and to gain insight into the state of Christendom today.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

Church History to the Reformation

Nearly every major doctrine of the Church was established before the Reformation. In this course, learners discover how the Church’s doctrine, faith, and practice developed from Pentecost to the time of the Protestant Reformation. The lectures focus on the cultural, political and economic backgrounds of both the Patristic and Medieval periods of church history, and emphasize the contributions of key figures up to the Reformation. The course culminates with the Renaissance, which was the cultural context for Luther’s Reformation. From Augustine to Wycliffe, students will see how God graciously used human people to accomplish divine purposes.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

The Theology of Martin Luther

“On this I take me stand. I can do no other. God help me.” Those words of Martin Luther reflect the unswerving commitment to Scripture that permeated his theology and sparked his Reformation. In this course, learners survey the background and setting of Luther’s thought, as well his teaching on a range of topics that form Christian theology: his understanding of sin and grace, justification and faith, and law and gospel. The course also emphasizes Luther’s view of the workplace as an arena to serve God. The goal of the course is for students to appreciate Luther’s steadfast commitment to the cross of Christ and the authority of Scripture and to apply such commitment to their own lives and ministry.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

The Radical Reformation

Where the Protestants wanted reform, the Radicals wanted separation. This course examines those groups of the Reformation era that sought a complete break from the Catholic Church. Following a topical and historical progression, learners study the beginning of the movement, its development, and its various manifestations. Students gain insight into the tension between the Radicals and the Reformers that led to the rise of divisions within the church. The goal of the course is to understand more fully the shifts that have formed within the history of the church, enabling them to minister more effectively to contemporary church audiences.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

Church History Since the Reformation

Nearly every major doctrine of the Church was established before the Reformation. In this course, learners discover how the Church’s doctrine, faith, and practice developed from Pentecost to the time of the Protestant Reformation. The lectures focus on the cultural, political and economic backgrounds of both the Patristic and Medieval periods of church history, and emphasize the contributions of key figures up to the Reformation. The course culminates with the Renaissance, which was the cultural context for Luther’s Reformation. From Augustine to Wycliffe, students will see how God graciously used human people to accomplish divine purposes.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.

Karl Barth and Neo-Orthodoxy

Through the years, the church has been greatly influenced by theologians. Augustine shaped the church’s understanding of orthodoxy. Aquinas brought philosophy and theology together. Luther reclaimed salvation by faith alone; and Calvin reminded believers of God’s sovereignty over all things. In a postmodern world, the church continues the process of knowing God in the wake of the teachings of Karl Barth. In this course, Dr. Lubbertus Oostendorp explores the impact of Barth’s influence on Neo-Orthodoxy. Developed shortly after the Age of Enlightenment, Neo-Orthodoxy provided the springboard for today’s theologians as believers seek to be both biblically true and culturally relevant.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.