Course Description

History of Christianity I is the first of a two course survey (3 credits each) on the history of Christianity over the last 2,000 years.

The course aims to identify the significant historical movements in the first 1,500 years of church history and consider their influence and relevance for contemporary Christians, especially those living in Asia.

We begin with the theological, historical and spiritual developments in what John Calvin calls the ‘Golden Age of the Church’, that is, the age of the church fathers (2nd to 5th centuries). From here, we then examine the history of three major streams of Christianity, namely the Orthodox, Oriental and Western (Latin) Christianities, from the Middle Ages right up to the pre-Reformation period.

Topics to be discussed include the formation of the biblical canon and how this affects our Christian beliefs, the challenge of evangelism and Christian living in a multi-cultural and religious society like the Roman Empire, the insights that we may gain from the Nestorian evangelization of China in the 8th century, and the legacy of medieval theology and spirituality for modern day Christianity.

The guiding principle is to consider the relevance of these historical movements for contemporary Protestant / Evangelical Christianity.


Dr Tan Kok Choon

Associate Lecturer

Kok Choon is a graduate from Regent College (MCS, History) and has completed a Ph.D researching on the conversion narrative and teachings of John Sung at Liverpool Hope University.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • BGST Overdrive

    • Digital Theological Library

    • BGST Library VLIB

  • 2


    • History of Christianity 1

    • All Audios

    • Topic 1.1-1.2 Lecture Notes

    • 01a-Historiography

    • 01b whirlwind tour of history CH101 2022

    • Whirlwind tour of church history

  • 3

    Patristic Christianity

    • Session 2: Zoom

    • Audio Files for Session : Zoom

    • Session 3: Online

    • Patristic Christianity II - online

    • Session 4: Course Materials

    • How to Write Historical Paper Lecture Slides (2022)

    • How to write Historical Paper

  • 4

    Byzantine Christianity: the Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent

    • Session 5: Online

    • Session 5 & 6 Readings (Online Exercises & Presentation)

  • 5

    Christianities in Asia


    • Session 7 & 8 Readings (Online Exercises & Presentation)

  • 6

    Medieval Christianity in the West

    • Session 9 & 10

    • Session 11 & 12 : Medieval Christianity in the West II

    • Topic-6