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Early Church History
THE 390 - Early Church History and Doctrine (3 credits)
Instructor: Bob Zomermaand
CLA Volunteer Teacher Assistant: Chileshe Mulenga
Overview: This course looks at significant events, key persons, and important trends in the first four centuries of the Christian church, the period from Jesus' resurrection through Augustine of Hippo. Such study helps us to see God's faithfulness in the past and to better understand the church's present challenges and opportunities.
- Know essential events, persons, and trends in the earliest centuries of church history.
- Discern God’s purposes and faithfulness to his people during those years.
- Understand developments in early Christian doctrine and church government.
- Be encouraged by past heroes who withstood persecution and resisted error, and emulate them in the present.
- Identify false ideas and evil conduct in those centuries and avoid similar things in the present.
Resources: James Orr, The Early Church: Its History and Literature (Provided online; no book purchase is necessary.)
- Watch the videos for each unit. Professor Bob Zomermaand lectures about the early church.
- Read book chapters. Our textbook is The Early Church: Its History and Literature by Dr. James Orr.
- Read articles. These readings are primarily from the archives of Christian History magazine. Thanks to CLI's partnership with Christian History Institute, you have access to great material from excellent church historians without needing to purchase any books. The readings include source materials, covering topics such as the Didache, Constantine's conversion, the Council at Nicea, and the teachings of Augustine. Most excerpts from source documents were chosen and introduced by church historian Stephen Tomkins. You can use them to teach in a class or small group study.
- Use the discussion forum to ask questions and exchange ideas with others.
- Take the online quiz for each unit. You will have 75 minutes to answer 20 multiple-choice questions for each quiz. Once a quiz starts, you must finish it and can't retake it. So be ready ahead of time. Each quiz covers readings and video lectures for that unit. While taking the quiz, you may use your notes and refer to articles and other materials. Tip: First, answer all the questions you know. Then try to look up answers to questions you don't know. When you have entered an answer for every question, submit the quiz for grading before the 75-minute limit.
*The course has a total of 240 points: 20 points for each of the twelve quizzes.
A 95-100% A- 90-94% B+ 87-89% B 83-86% B- 80-82% C+ 77-79% C 73-76% C- 70-72% D+ 67-69% D 63-66% D- 60-62% F 0-59%
Your average for the course must be at least 60%. Otherwise, you will fail the class and will receive no credit.
Deadline: You have 180 days to finish the course. Complete all assignments before the final deadline, or you will be automatically unenrolled, and all coursework will be removed. You will have to start over and take the class again to receive credit.
Course Forum: Each course forum is at the beginning of the course, right before the first course content section, and has comments and questions from other students in the class. The forum is a great way to post a question or comment for other students who are currently enrolled in the course to see. Additionally, you can search the forum to see if anyone in the past has addressed or discussed the issue, question, or comment you were wanting to post about.
Suggested books for various ages to learn Early Church History:
- Christian History Magazine (free articles online)
- Christian Classics Library (many writings from the past 2000 years)
- Trials and Triumph (ebook with interesting, readable stories)
Day 1 - 10
Unit 1: The Church Begins
Day 11 - 20
Day 21 - 30Unit 3
Day 31 - 40
Unit 4: The Age of the Apostolic Fathers.
Day 41 - 50Unit 5: The Age of the Apologists
Day 51 - 60
Day 61 - 70
Day 71 - 80
Day 81 - 90
Day 91 - 100
Day 101 - 110
Unit 11: Athanasius, Desert Fathers, and Nicea
Day 111 - 120
As you complete this tuition-free course, let's pray for and thank the Vision Partners! Their sacrificial giving supports these tuition-free courses so that those will little or no extra resources can assess high-quality ministry training.
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Unit 12: Augustine of Hippo
Day 121 - 150
Read the Testimony of a Christian Leaders Institute Student!
CLI Student Diane Alford
"Hello, My name is Diane Alford of California. I am a fellow believer in Christ Jesus raised in a Pentecostal church. I accepted the Lord as my savior at the age of 12 years old admittedly I have made many missteps along the way. It has been in my failures that the love of God through Christ has been so apparent to me. Although I have felt the call of God on my life from a child, the enemy has used my failures and the abuses in my life to make me feel disqualified from being used by God in a real way. I never left the physical church however, right within the wall at times I have been MIA often asking God to heal me of my pain.
I am the mother of four beautiful children who God help me to raise in church and who love the ministry. They have witnessed my service within the church all their lives, serving as Praise and Worship Leader and Sunday School Teacher for many years. What they didn't see was the enormous amount of self doubt that loomed within me although I heard the Holy Spirit call me to ministry.
For the past 8 years God has been realigning me to his purpose and will for my life, to a higher calling outside the walls of the building. He reignited a desire in me to reach the lost for Christ. In an effort to educate myself in service, I completed my Bachelors in Christ Ministries in 2017 followed by a Masters in Organizational Leadership. As I prayed about what to do next I realized that there is a need for specific training such as that of Women's Ministry and Life Coaching as God has opened a door to coach at this time. With a desire to return to school without the funds, the Lord allowed me to see Christian Leader Institute as I googled the topic of Christian Ethics, Thank You Lord.
I'm excited about the courses that are available on my path to expanding my skills in services and pursuit of a Masters in Divinity."
Please pray for Diane and her ministry!
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Day 151 - 180
The course has ended. Please make sure all quizzes have been completed. If your work is incomplete, it is considered a drop, and you will have to take the class again in order to receive credit.
Our staff will be using this time to review your work. Your grade should appear on your "My Home Page" in the "Course Overview" section. Please contact Helpdesk if you have any questions or did not receive your grade.