Church History Courses

HST 511 Patristic Church Required Theology I

A general survey of the history of the Church in the Patristic period; highlights Tradition as “all that the Church is and believes" (DV 8); gives special attention to seminal contributions of the Fathers. Envisioned outcomes: a deeper understanding and love of the Church as it is today; a habit of reading critically, with a sense of history; an understanding and love of the Fathers of the Church, and of their seminal contributions to the Church’s life; an understanding of the Church’s everyday dynamism and struggles in these eras, especially with heresies and various types of movements; a sense of the importance of the councils in the history of the Church, as an example of the bishops exercising their office in communion with one another, a pattern which endures to this day. Format: lecture and discussion. Van Slyke; three semester hours

HST 512 Medieval and Reformation Church Required Theology I

A general survey of the history of the Church from Charlemagne to the Reformation. Envisioned outcomes: an understanding of the Muslim invasion of the west and the influence of Feudalism on the church; an appreciation of the rise of religious orders, the beginnings of the university system, and the great scholars; an understanding of the causes of the Western Schism, the rise of Protestantism, and the church’s reformation. Format: lecture and discussion. Witt; two semester hours

HST 513 Modern and Contemporary Church Required Theology III

A general survey of the history of the Church in the Modern and Contemporary periods. Envisioned outcomes: an understanding of the historical roots of the present divided state of Western Christianity; an appreciation of the social, devotional, and theological currents arising from the late medieval struggle for reform; a sense of the complexity of the Church’s interaction with absolutism, scientism, rationalism, and enlightened thought; an understanding of 19th century movements such as liberalism, nationalism, and ultramontanism, and of their effect on the Church; an understanding of the 20th century modernist crisis and its aftereffects; an appreciation of the historical developments leading up to the Second Vatican Council. Format: lecture and discussion. Witt; two semester hours

HST 514 The Catholic Church in the United States Required Theology IV

A general survey of major trends in the history of religion in the United States, with specific attention to the religious and social experiences of Roman Catholicism. Envisioned outcomes: a sense of the indigenous religious pluralism that has existed from the beginnings of the American nation; an understanding of the differences between the American and the European models of denominational life and polity; a familiarity with the major representative figures, institutions, movements, events, and significant trends of U.S. religion and U.S. Catholicism. Format: lecture and discussion. Witt; two semester hours

HST 552 The Golden Age of the Fathers

An overview of the first six centuries of Church history, focusing on the relevance of the Fathers for today’s Christian and Church. Topics: history, liturgy, the interpretation of Scripture, homiletics, and ecumenism; special attention to the contribution of the great Eastern and Western Fathers to the development of doctrine and practice. Envisioned outcomes: see HST 511. Seminar with introductory lectures. Staff; two semester hours

HST 554 Saint Augustine and His Influence

An overview of the life and thought of Augustine of Hippo, with attention to his extraordinary and enduring influence in the life of the Western Church. Envisioned outcomes: an understanding and appreciation of Augustine’s theology and influence on the early church. Format: seminar, with introductory lectures. Staff; two semester hours

HST 574 From Desperation to Hope:  Contemporary Papal History

A history of the contemporary church from the end of the Second World War through the challenges of communism, secularism, and globalization.  This course will explore the major papal deeds and teachings in the last decade of Pius XII's pontificate, the pontificates of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Envisioned outcomes: an ability to read and interpret the writings of contemporary popes, an understanding of the influence of the popes on contemporary society, an appreciation of their contributions. Format: seminar in which the class will explore first through lecture a general survey of the period, directed research by the students, and a formal presentations of this research. Staff, two semester hours

HST 582 Church in the Age of Revolution: 1648-1815

An exploration the Church’s role in an age of ideologies, differing political, social and economic philosophies, and violent revolutions. Envisioned outcomes: familiarity with the issues and personalities of the age; a critical assessment of the Church’s critique of developments in the Western world; an appreciation of the roots of present-day society found in the world of the eighteenth century. Format: lectures and in depth reading followed by focused research and seminar. Staff; two semester hours

HST 591 The Second Vatican Council and the Contemporary Church

An historical survey and assessment of the conciliar and post-conciliar developments related to the Second Vatican Council. Envisioned outcomes: a thorough knowledge of the documents of the Council, especially of its four constitutions; a sense of the complex evolution of these documents during the work of the Council; a sense of the playing-out of Tradition and transition in the life of the Church today. Format: seminar, with introductory lectures. Staff; two semester hours