314: Syallabus

311: Ancient Church History
Credit hours: three
Lecturer: William VanDoodewaard
Course Description:
A study of the developing theology, ecclesiology, piety, and worship of the Christian church from the close of the apostolic age to 600 A.D. Special attention will be given to main figures in the patristic age.
Course Objectives:
In the ancient 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 the book of Acts to 600 A.D. This will include

(a) an understanding of the narrative or chronology of the history of the ancient church;
(b) an understanding of developments, continuities, and changes in doctrine and practice in the ancient church;
(c) an understanding of debates, divisions, reform, growth, and decline in the life of the ancient church; and an understanding of the life and theology of key figures in the ancient 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 Ancient church history of personal interest to the student. The paper may not exceed 4000 words. 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 in a seminar format.

Lecture 1: Introduction to the Course
Lecture 2: Introduction to Church History
Lecture 3: The Canon of Scripture
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Lecture 4:  Old & New Testament Background
Grade Breakdown:
Midterm exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Course Paper 50%
Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers.  here and here
– The Apostolic Fathers, trans. J.B. Lightfoot, updated by Harmer, more recently updated and edited by Michael Holmes. 2nd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992. (p.v-596)
– Athanasius, The Resurrection Letters. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1979. (p.13-197)
– Augustine, The City of God. New York: The Modern Library, 2000. (p.v-868)
– David Bercot, ed., A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1998. (p.vii-704)
– Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997. (p.1-93, 102-113, 127-139, 165-170, 203-210, 227-231, 259-269)
– Gerald Bray, Creeds, Councils and Christ. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1997. (p.vii-203)
– Geoff Bromiley, Historical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. (p.v-155)
– Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo. New York: Dorset Press, 1986. (p.1-452)
– F.F. Bruce, New Testament History. Garden City, New York: Doubleday-Galilee, 1980. (p.ix-438)
– F.F. Bruce, The Spreading Flame. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1964. (p.7-432)
– Earle E. Cairns. Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. (p.1-158)
– William Cunningham, Historical Theology. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994. (p.1-412)
– Ivor Davidson, The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004. (p.1-353)
– Ivor Davidson, A Public Faith: From Constantine to the Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004. (p.1-410)
– Hubertus R. Drobner, The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007. (p.xvi-604)
– Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, trans. C.F. Cruse. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. (p. xv-468)
– Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993. (p.1-612)
– Everett Ferguson, Church History: Volume One – From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (p.1-326)
– Michael Haykin, Defence of the Truth: Contending for the Faith Yesterday and Today. Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2004. (p.9-149)
– Joachim Jeremias, Infant Baptism in the First Four Centuries. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2004. (p.9-104)
– J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines. New York: Harper & Row, 1960. (p.vii-489)
– J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds. New York: Continuum, 2006. (p.vii-434)
– J.N.D. Kelly, Golden Mouth: the story of John Chrysostom. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1995. (p.1-310)
– J.N.D. Kelly, Jerome: his life, writings, and controversies. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1998. (p.1-353)
– John Anthony McGuckin, Patristic Theology. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2004. (p.ix-367)
– Melito of Sardis, On the Passover. (p.1-11)
– N. R. Needham, 2000 Years of Christ’s Power. Part One: The Age of the Early Church Fathers. London: Grace Publications Trust, 1998. (p.7-384)
– James Orr, Neglected Factors in the Study of the Early Progress of Christianity. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2006. (p.7-235)
– Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. (p.1-376)
– Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996. (vol. 1, p. 1-45; vol. 2, p. 1-73)
– Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrikson Publishers, 1996. (vol. 2, p.1-868; vol. 3, p.1-1040)
– Bruce Shelley, Church History in Plain Language. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1995. (p.ix-160)
– Roland Worth, Seven Cities of the Apocalypse & Greco-Asian Culture. New York: Paulist Press, 1999. (p.1-364)
– Frances Young, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and Its Background. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010. (p.vii-386)