Academic Programs

Historical Studies

H 101 & H 101-O HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY I

This course gives an overview of the history of Christianity from the apostolic period to the eve of the Reformation. Topics addressed include theoretical issues in studying the history of Christianity, early Christianity, the Constantinian shift, Augustine's influence, asceticism, the Middle Ages, Medieval lay piety and dissent, monastic orders, the papacy and the beginnings of the Renaissance. This course may be taken in a traditional classroom format (H 101) or online (H 101-O).
3 semester hours.

H 102 AND H 102-O HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY II

The course continues the overview of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present. Topics of study include the Magisterial Reformation, the Radical Reformation, Roman Catholic reform, Protestant Orthodoxy, Pietism, and the Evangelical Awakening, the impact of Enlightenment rationalism, missionary expansion, Protestant liberalism and fundamentalism, the ecumenical movement, Christianity in developing countries and the Christian decline in the industrialized West. This course may be taken in a traditional classroom format (H 102) or online (H 102-O).
3 semester hours.

H 201 AND H 201-O HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

This course investigates the history of the Brethren from their beginning as a movement amidst German Pietism to their transplantation and spread in America, major divisions, mission work, and interactions with wider Christianity and surrounding cultures, attending to their development from a rather homogeneous to a somewhat more ethnically diverse group. Along with theological concerns, the course will investigate social historical contexts for the Brethren story. This course may be taken in a traditional classroom format (H 201) or as a combination of weekend seminars with online learning (H 201-W).
3 semester hours.

H 202-S PRAYER, PIETY AND PRACTICE

This course combines historical studies and a focus on spirituality to investigate the Pietist movement in both its churchly form with Spener and Francke and its radical form, with various dissenters. Special attention will be given to various groups arising from Pietism, such as the Kelpius community, the Brethren, the Inspirationists and the Moravians. In addition to examining the history of Pietism, the course will also explore the spirituality of Pietist devotional life. The course is designed for those with little or no previous acquaintance with Pietism. This course is offered at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

H 203-S RADICAL REFORMATION

Focusing primarily on 16th-century European dissent, this seminar examines Anabaptist, Spiritualist, and rationalist dissent leaders and groups, taking the work of George H. Williams as the point of departure. The course will also investigate selected social historical issues related to these groups, such as communal economy, marriage patterns, and militancy and pacifism. Students will discuss the interaction between religious and social concerns and the legacy of radical reform in contemporary world views. This course is offered at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

H 208 BRETHREN IN MISSION

The course gives an overview of significant endeavors in foreign mission by the Church of the Brethren, with some attention to the wider context of Christian missions. The course will also focus on intercultural issues. Students will work on developing theologies of mission and evangelism that are inter-culturally sensitive.
3 semester hours.

H 390 SEMINAR IN HISTORICAL STUDIES

Specialized advanced courses developed on the basis of faculty and student interest. Offerings could focus on methods of researching the history of Christianity or on a particular topic.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: H 101 or 102.

H 370-T NEW STUDIES IN RADICAL PIETISM

The past few years have witnessed the publication of important new studies of Radical Pietism and the religious situation in Germany out of which the Brethren movement emerged. This course examines some of these works, comparing them with selected journal articles and the relevant sections of older studies by the late Professor, Donald Durnbaugh and others. The course considers the variety of Radical Pietism, its similarities with and differences from the established churches, and its views on particular issues such as church-history, eschatology, non-violence, property, and the family.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: H 101 or 102 or : T 101, T 101-O, TS 101, or TS 101-O or permission of the instructor.