Coordinator, George Kalantzis
Certificate in Early Christian Studies (PDF)
Certificate Add/Drop Form (PDF)
The Certificate in Early Christian studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce undergraduate students to the systematic study of the broad fields of patristic and early Christian literature and help them investigate historical and theological questions related to the early Church. One of the primary goals of the program is to foster and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history, theology, literature, and worship of the multifaceted world of early Christianity through the close study of textual and material resources in thematic and group study sessions.
The program’s academic home is the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, with a number of courses offered through other academic departments including, but not limited to, History, Christian Formation and Ministry, Foreign Languages, Art, Sociology & Anthropology.
Students from any major are eligible for the 24-hour Certificate in Early Christian Studies. Students will complete a ten-hour core of courses that investigate the historical and theological foundations of early Christianity. This core will include a capstone course designed to integrate approaches from several key disciplines. In addition, students will select 14 hours of classes from a variety of offerings from different departments. These classes will be distributed among three main areas: ecclesiastical, contextual, and textual.
Beginning in spring 2015, students enrolled in the capstone Patristic Theology course will be involved in a unique, cooperative project between The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies and Fortress Press. Along with the professors, students will work with, edit, and annotate original Patristic texts that will be published by Fortress Press as part of the series.
Requirements for a Certificate in Early Christian Studies and Courses Offered
Core Requirements (10-12 hours)
BITH 371: Early Christianity: From Rome to Byzantium (4)
BITH 349: Reading Scripture with the Fathers (2)
BITH 388: Christology (2) or BITH 385: Doctrine of the Triune God (4)
BITH 489: Advanced Topics in Christian Thought: Patristic Thought (2)
Elective Requirements (14 hours)Students select at least one course from each of the following areas:
BITH 381: Spiritual Classics (2)
BITH 385: Doctrine of the Triune God (4)
BITH 388: Christology (2)
BITH 389: Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (2)
BITH 396: Roman Catholic Theology (2)
BITH 398: Eastern Orthodox Theology (2)
BITH 378x: Origins of Early Christian Worship (2)
CE 457: Lectio Divina (2)
CE 459 / CFM 694 Recovering Monastic Wisdom: Ancient Spirituality for Contemporary Evangelicals (4)
PHIL 311: History of Philosophy (4)
ART 352: Medieval Art: Early Christian to Gothic (2)
HIST 344: Ancient Rome (4)
BITH 354: Women in the World of the New Testament (2)
BITH 357: Women in the Early Church (2)
LATN 333: Advanced Latin Readings: Latin Fathers(2 or 4)
LATN 495: Independent Readings (with the approval of the instructor and the coordinator of the Certificate program)
GREK 332: Advanced Greek Readings: Sacred Songs (2 or 4)
GREK 33X: Advanced Koine Readings: Greek Old Testament (2)
GREK 33X: Advanced Koine Readings: The Apocrypha
GREK 495: Independent Readings (with the approval of the instructor and the coordinator of the Certificate program)
BITH 349: Reading Scripture with the Fathers (2 or 4) (may be repeated with a different topic)
BITH 397: Readings in Roman Catholic Theology (2)
BITH 399: Readings in Eastern Orthodox Theology (2)
BITH 483: Theology of Augustine (4)
BITH 489: Advanced Topics in Christian Thought (2 or 4) (may be repeated with a different topic)
Flexible course additions (2–4 hours). On a case-by-case basis, the Certificate in Early Christian Studies can include courses and independent study work in which students participate in a class with related topics and/or pursue work directly related to the issues addressed in the certificate program.
Special Topics Courses that are offered on an occasional basis and address topics related to the early Church (such as readings in patristic literature in primary languages) may be petitioned for acceptance as partial fulfillment of the elective requirements in either the Church, Context, or Text category.
With the permission of the coordinator of the Certificate for Early Christian Studies, students are urged to consider expanding coursework into an undergraduate honors thesis.