Church History

Church History


The candidate must earn at least 24 credits in the program, twelve of which must be in Church History courses. Six of those twelve credits must be earned through the three Church History Core Courses, and a further four of those credits must be earned through courses in a particular Church History sub-area. The other Church History credits may be earned in other courses, via a thesis (up to three credits), or via guided research (up to six credits). Each credit is earned by 45 hours of active learning. 

Introduction to the Church History Focus Area STM Degree 

The foundation of the STM degree with a focus in CH consists of courses which examine the development of Christian thought across three basic areas of history: the patristics and early medieval, middle and late medieval, and the enlightenment to the present. Students will develop their understanding and appreciation for Christian church history. They will develop and nurture an appreciation for the gracious care God displays for his truth and Church from the time of Christ the Redeemer until Christ returns as Judge. The program acquaints students with the study of Christian church history and with resources for the serious investigation, evaluation, confession, and transmission of Christian doctrine.  

Goals (Knowledge, Skills, Attitude) 

By the end of this program the student will have done the following:   

Christian Church History as an historical record: 

  • Explained the main theological trends and developments in the Christian church across the three eras of history the program examines.  
  • Identified key actors in the theological and Christological debates of the first millennium.  
  • Traced the development of the New Testament Canon. 
  • Defined the key differences between the expressions of Christianity in the west, east, and north Africa.  
  • Described the political makeup of medieval Europe in the 15th–17th centuries.
  • Explained the result of the reformation on European politics.
  • Traced the drift toward subjectivism in the centuries following the Reformation.
  • Identified the developments in Roman Catholicism across the three eras of history.
  • Outlined the developments in global Christianity across the three eras of history.
  • Demonstrate how God has continued to raise up teachers of biblical truth in every age in opposition to the manifold attacks of Satan on Christianity 

Christian Church History as a development of Christian Doctrine: 

  • Evaluated the orthodox response to Gnosticism, Marcionism, Montanism, Sabellianism, Samosateanism, and Roman paganism. 
  • Evaluated the positions of key actors in the theological and Christological debates of the first millennium.  
  • Appraised the theology of each of the Lutheran confessions. 
  • Evaluated the various theologies to which the Lutheran confessions are a reaction.  
  • Critiqued the Roman Catholic Response to reformation in Europe. 
  • Explain the drift toward subjectivism in the centuries following the Reformation.
  • Evaluated the confessional Lutheran response to Pietism, Rationalism, Liberalism, and Neo-orthodoxy.
  • Outlined various hermeneutical approaches to Scripture and theology with an eye to the importance of the historical-grammatical approach.
  • Described the appeal of Pentecostalism and American Evangelicalism.
  • Analyzed various approaches to truth in the 20th and 21st

Christian Church History as truths to confess and teach: 

  • Demonstrated the conviction that confessional Lutheranism is “Christianity done the right way.”
  • Formulated in layman’s terms why theological events and concepts in the history of Christianity are important for every Lutheran to know. 
  • Formulated artifacts that demonstrate the importance and relevance of confessional Lutheranism for our contemporary world.
  • Developed learning activities for congregation members to engage essential theological events and concepts from Christian church history.  
  • Investigated strategies for reaching the lost in a society dominated by modern and postmodern thought.  


Core Courses—all three are requisites for the CH STM Degree.

  • CH5056 Confessing the Ineffable: Who is God? (Patristics and Early Medieval survey) (2 cr)
  • CH5156 Confessing Justification by Faith Alone. (Middle and Late Medieval survey) (2 cr)
  • CH5256 Confessing the Power and Primacy of the Word. (Enlightenment to Modern survey) (1 cr)

Church History sub-area—at least 4 credits in one of these areas:

Patristics and Early Medieval area: any course examining primary source material, people, and events from the Intertestamental period through the Fourth Crusade. 

Qualifying courses (currently): 

  • CH5004 Readings from the Ante-Nicene Fathers (2 cr)
  • CH5006 From Nicaea to Chalcedon (2 cr)
  • CH5007 Post-Chalcedonian Christology (2 cr)
  • CH5088 Themes and Theologians of Eastern Orthodoxy (2 cr)

Middle and Late Medieval area: any course examining primary source material, people, and events from the rise of Scholasticism through the Thirty Years War. 

Qualifying courses (currently): 

  • CH5039 Post-Reformation Lutheranism (2 cr)
  • CH5037 Challenges Faced by the Post-Reformation Lutheran Church (1 cr)
  • CH5038 The Age of Lutheran Orthodoxy (1 cr)
  • CH5058 Chinese Church History (1.5 cr)
  • CH5024 1520: The Reformation Blossoms (1 cr)

Enlightenment to Modern area: any course examining primary source material, people, and events from the middle of the Seventeenth Century to the Present. 

Qualifying courses (currently): 

  • CH5066 America’s Homegrown Religions (1 cr)
  • CH5036 The Origin and Continuing Impact of Pietism (1 cr)
  • CH5060 Vatican II and Modern Catholicism (2 cr)
  • CH5363 History of Lutheranism in America: 1940-Present (1 cr)
  • CH5033 Cultism in America (1 cr)

Ways to Earn Credits (prioritized) 

  1. Summer Quarter Courses in even-numbered years
  2. Online Courses (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  3. Thesis 
  4. Winterim Courses in January
  5. Satellite Summer Quarter courses in odd-numbered years
  6. Lutheran Heritage Tour
  7. Guided research