Church History

Course Description

This course is a survey of church history from the early church to the modern day. It will highlight the key events, turning points, personalities, theological developments, and places in the development of Christianity. This course will also critique of the development Western Christianity from the context of the Black Church, its history, and theology.

Learning Objectives

To gain an overall chronology of the history of Christianity. To remember the key periods and persons shaping church history. To read and reflect upon some of the major documents of Christianity in the context of its history. To develop a critical and discipline approach to Christian theology in its historical content.

Course Outline

Part 1: The Early Church

Part 2: The Medieval Church

Part 3: The Reformation

Part 4: The Modern Church

Part 5: The Black Church


  1. Read Perspectives from Church History (ETA) in its entirety (20% of your grade).
  2. Complete all the questions from the ETA book (80% of your grade).
  3. Write a short 3 page paper on what event and person is most important to you in church history and your personal experience in the Black Church.
  4. Class participation is essential.
  5. Follow NLBI Summer Attendance Policy.
  6. Class notes will be posted to the web site:
  7. Use reliable online resources such as iTunes U which has free seminary, college, and university courses.
  8. Your grade will be determined by your completed reading and answers from the ETA book along with your short paper.



  • The Black Church in the African American Experience by C. Eric Lincoln
  • Fortress Intro Black Church History by Anne H. Pinn
  • Black Church Studies: An Introduction by Nancy Lynne Westfield, Juan M. Floyd-Thomas, Carol B. Duncan and Stacey Floyd-Thomas
  • When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection by Norman R. Yetman
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • The Negro by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • W.E.B. Du Bois : Writings : The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade / The Souls of Black Folk / Dusk of Dawn / Essays and Articles by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King and James M. Washington
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
  • God of the Oppressed by James H. Cone
  • A Black Theology of Liberation by James H. Cone
  • Black Theology and Black Power by James H. Cone
  • Martin & Malcom & America: A Dream or a Nightmare by James H. Cone
  • The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation by James H. Cone
  • For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church (The Bishop Henry Mcneal Turner Studies in North American Black Religion, Vol. 1) by James H. Cone
  • Risks of Faith: The Emergence of a Black Theology of Liberation, 1968-1998 by James H. Cone
  • My Soul Looks Back by James H. Cone
  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
  • Sisters in the Wilderness by Delores S. Williams
  • A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation by Gustavo Gutierrez