313: Syllabus

313: Reformation Church History
Credit hours: three
Lecturer: William VanDoodewaard
Course Description:
Traces the historic development of the Protestant Reformation from its background prior to the sixteenth century to its impact on the church and world of today. The lives and teaching of the leading Reformers will be examined along with the course of the Reformation in Germany, England, Scotland, France, and the Netherlands.
Course Objectives:
In the Reformation church history course the student will become acquainted with:

(1) Christian historiography: a biblical and theological approach to understanding history, with particular focus on church history.
(2) The history of Christianity from AD 1517-1650. This will include

(a) an understanding of the narrative or chronology of the history of the Reformation and early post-Reformation church;
(b) an understanding of developments, continuities, and changes in doctrine and practice in the Reformation church;
(c) an understanding of debates, divisions, reform, growth, and weaknesses in the life of the Reformation church; and an understanding of the life and theology of key figures in the Reformation church.

The student will be able to analyze and evaluate the above biblically and theologically, as well as comparatively within the context of ancient church history. The student will also develop the ability to make comparative applications to later periods of church history up to the present day. The course includes a strong focus on student interaction with, and discussion of, primary source documents.

Course Requirements:
Midterm and final exams
Research paper

The research paper is a 3000-4000 word paper which will explore in depth a historical or theological topic from Reformation church history of personal interest to the student. It will reflect a thorough grasp of the relevant source documents and their history. It will also reflect an awareness of continued scholarly discussion on the topic expressed in journal articles and books to the present day. The paper will conclude with an assessment of the importance of its conclusions for the present day life and ministry of the church. Students may be required to present these papers to the class for discussion. The due date is listed in the class schedule.

Grade Breakdown:
Midterm exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Course Paper 50%
Text:

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Lessons:
Lecture 1: Introduction to Church History
Lecture 2: Christianity after the Fall of Rome; early Medieval Europe
Lecture 3: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 4: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 5: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 6: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 7: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 8: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 9: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 10: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 11: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 12: The Expansion of Christianity
Lecture 13: The Expansion of Christianity
Bibliography:
– Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997. (p.114, 140-144, 171-179, 211-213, 232-234)
– Geoff Bromiley, Historical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. (p.159-208)
– Earle E. Cairns. Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. (p.159-279)
– William Cunningham, Historical Theology. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994. vol. 1 (p.413-458); vol. 2. (p.1-154)
– Tim Dowley, ed. The History of Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. (p.226-347)
– G.R. Evans, ed. The Medieval Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Medieval Period. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2001. (p.1-373)
– Everett Ferguson, Church History: Volume One – From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (p.327-523)
– F. Donald Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 2002. (p.1-357)
– N. R. Needham, 2000 Years of Christ’s Power. Part Two: The Middle Ages. London: Grace Publications Trust, 1998. (p.8-460)
– Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300). vol. 3. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. (p.1-326)
– Jaroslav Pelikan, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700) vol. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. (p.1-126)
– Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrikson Publishers, 1996. (vols. 4-6)