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History of the Church I: Beginnings Through the Medieval Period

Ended Feb 28, 2023

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Full course description

5-Week Course


featuring text by Dr. Kevin Hughes and videos of faculty for Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Church history tells the stories that are woven into the fiber of the church as people of God and as institution. The church’s beliefs, practices, and relationships have been formed by believers of every generation as they endeavored to live lives of faith in their own time and place. In this course we explore the people and events that shaped culture and society as well as the church across the centuries. We look at both the epoch forming events as well as the people behind them.

This course has a required text: Kevin L Hughes, Church History: Faith Handed On. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2002. (Loyola Press) (Amazon)


  • Week 1: Why Study Church History
  • Week 2: In the Beginning
  • Week 3: Establishing Faith in the Context of Culture
  • Week 4: Faith through the Early and High Middle Ages
  • Week 5: Faith in the Late Middle Ages

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Video clips;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • A weekly introduction and study guide; and
  • A regularly updated Resources page to use for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected website.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed

Kevin L. Hughes Church History: Faith Handed On. Loyola Press, 2002.

Time Commitment

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Content Scholars

  • Kevin L. Hughes, Ph.D. (text) was the editor of the journal Review for Religious as well as author of several books on Ignatian spirituality.
  • Francine Cardman, Ph.D. (video) Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
  • Catherine M. Mooney, Ph.D. (video) Associate Professor of Church History at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Certificate Requirement Categories

Themes of Our Christian Tradition

What is an STM Online: Crossroads course?

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