Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module THMN44230: Growth and Decline in British Christianity from 1945 to the Present Day

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

THMN44230: Growth and Decline in British Christianity from 1945 to the Present Day

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To gain in depth understanding of the nature and patterns of growth and decline of British and global Christianity within recent history and apply that understanding to the context of the contemporary local church: to think globally and locally about the nature of the church.
  • To engage in a piece of research in the history of contemporary British Christianity, enabling students to engage in such research in future, particularly with regard to the local church
  • To acquire the research skills which will be of use both in the practice of Christian ministry and for future study beyond level 4.


  • Patterns of growth and decline within British Christianity since 1945
  • The global context within which such movements have happened
  • Exploration of the local dynamics of such changes, with particular use of the techniques of ‘history from below’
  • The situating of this discussion within the broader historical, theological and sociological discussion of what constitutes growth within an ecclesiastical context

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • an advanced grasp of patterns of growth and decline in contemporary Christianity within local, national and global contexts
  • an in depth understanding of interdisciplinary study of contemporary Christian history
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to evaluate critically growth and decline within a scriptural framework
  • the ability to uncover and appreciate critically the history of the grassroots church
Key Skills:
  • the research skills required for level four study of contemporary Christian history
  • the ability to use primary sources in an academically rigorous manner
  • an understanding of how churches can turn a cycle of decline into a cycle of growth

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

  • enter text as appropriate for the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Seminars 9 Weekly 1 hour 9
Fieldwork 1 3 hours 3

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Two formative assessments: a 2500 word review of a key text a student led seminar which focuses on a particular local church context, utilising a variety of historical sources, which could be preparatory to the summative essay. Feedback to students will comprise dialogue in seminars and written feedback on formative work. Staff will be available for individual consultation.

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