Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module TMMC3151: Church History in Focus

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

TMMC3151: Church History in Focus

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students critically to analyse one or more major areas of Christian history.
  • To nurture students’ ability to read, analyse and critically evaluate primary historical sources.
  • To enable students develop critical awareness of historical methods.
  • To enable students to integrate critical historical thinking further into their own spiritual formation and ministerial development.


  • This module will explore one or more important areas of church history (for example, Early Church and Patristics; Continental Reformation, with options to explore Calvin or Zwingli or the Anabaptists through their writings; The English Church in the 16-17th centuries; Protestantism in the 19th century; 20th Century theology after Barth; The Eastern tradition until Chalcedon; post-colonial Christianity in the majority world) and will include:
  • In depth exploration of the chosen area.
  • Study of primary theological texts and other sources (eg. art, liturgy, hymnody or material evidence) related to the doctrine. Particular attention will be paid to at least one major historical primary text, which may be studied in the original languages.
  • Consideration of this area’s connections to the wider history of Christian life and thought.
  • Attention to the relationships between this historical area and contemporary Christian practice and experience.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Offer a coherent and detailed account of one or more major areas of Christian history exploring questions about how they relate to aspects of faith, church and society.
  • Discuss intelligently some key issues and controversies in contemporary Christian thought about these areas of history, drawing on some current scholarship.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Critically analyse aspects of the relationship of Christian history to experience and practice in the context of discipleship, mission and ministry, showing sensitivity to the problems of religious language, experience, and the limits of knowledge.
Key Skills:
  • Identify, gather, analyse and critically evaluate textual source materials, including material from primary sources and scholarly research, and communicate their findings with clarity and fairness.
  • Critically evaluate ideas, arguments and assumptions, using them to construct and communicate coherent and well-reasoned arguments, showing critical awareness of their own and others’ beliefs, commitments and prejudices.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching methods to be specified by each TEI, selecting from the following:
  • Lectures provide content, a conceptual framework and a survey of approaches within a subject area that enable students to locate their learning in a wider context, to make connections with other disciplines, and to evaluate and apply their learning to different contexts.
  • Seminars offer students an opportunity to present, evaluate and apply their knowledge to specific contexts, and to engage with teaching staff and peers in debate and reflection.
  • Guided reading in conjunction with lectures encourages independent learning and underpins the knowledge and understanding gained in lectures and seminars.
  • Small group learning creates an environment where students learn to articulate their knowledge and understanding effectively and in a way that is relevant to the group and its context.
  • Tutorials enhance learning by offering feedback and encouraging students to reflect on their own response to the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
  • Programmed online learning materials guide students through knowledge content, its wider framework and different approaches to its application.
  • Virtual discussion forums offer students the opportunity to articulate the knowledge and understanding they have acquired to others and to engage in informed debate.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be expected to demonstrate engagement with the subject matter and the learning outcomes throughout the module by suitable formative assessments that encourage integrative and reflective skills.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University