Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module TMMC2047: Topics in Church History

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

TMMC2047: Topics in Church History

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to gain a critical understanding of selected key historical movements or traditions of the church.
  • To nurture students’ ability to read, analyse and evaluate primary historical sources.
  • To enable students develop critical awareness of historical methods.
  • To enable students to make connections between historical movements or traditions and contemporary life and thought.
  • To enable students to integrate critical historical thinking further into their own spiritual formation and ministerial development.


  • This module offers students an in-depth introduction to selected key movements or traditions in the history of the church, and will include
  • Study of relevant primary texts (in translation where not originally in English) and other sources (eg. art, liturgy, hymnody or material evidence).
  • Consideration of the connections between these movements or traditions and contemporary church practice and experience.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Give a detailed account and analysis of one or more major developments in Christian history, in their historical contexts.
  • Discuss intelligently some key questions and issues in contemporary scholarly debate about these developments.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Critically analyse aspects of the relationship of church history to experience and practice in the context of discipleship, mission and ministry, engaging with the questions to which these give rise.
Key Skills:
  • Identify, gather and evaluate source materials for a range of purposes.
  • Undertake a critical analysis of information and arguments, communicating the results effectively, showing critical awareness of their own beliefs, commitments and prejudices.
  • Take responsibility for a task that involves independent inquiry; the management of time, resources and use of IT; meeting deadlines, evaluating the task and learning from it.

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
Lectures 8 1.75 hours 14
Personal Study 86
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 1,500 words 100%
Component: Written Theological Reflection Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Theological Reflection 1,000 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