Course Summary

Understanding the early church

An analysis of the sources that reveal the history and nature of the church from its inception in about 29 C.E. to the end of its ninth decade, 119 C.E.  The course focuses on the history of the church, the events that surrounded its formation, theological concepts and application of the content found in New Testament documents.  3 semester hours of graduate credit.


• Relate the story of the church through succeeding decades from 29-120 C.E.

• Evaluate the impact of the political, social, and religious environment on the early church.

• Analyze challenges to the church as it spread across the Roman world

Credit.  Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of 3 multiple choice examinations and two essays. Each graded element will count 20% of the course.  A sample exam problem is given below:

A unique characteristic of the God who reveals himself in the New Testament is his (A) distance from mankind, (B) identification with mankind through Jesus, (C) plurality, (D) association with a specific place.


The Electronic Collection contains an e-book without cost to the student.  Should hard copy books be preferred, the following are recommended: 

Ferguson, Everett. The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997. 463 pages. $31.50. ISBE: 978-0802841896

Wagner, Walter H. After the Apostles. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1994. 304 pages. $20.12. ISBN: 978-0800625672