Spiritan Hall, Room 204




CHURCH HISTORY                                                      






Course description


                Church History is a semester course requirement for the freshmen class. It is an introductory course designed to help students grasp the rich and profound history and traditions of the Catholic Church in particular and Christianity in general.   It  provides students with an over all view of major developments which have shaped the church and impacted the world. It is hoped also to help students understand both the church’s mission and their places within it. Overall, this course provides students with the basic introduction to church history and thus world history in order to help them arrive at a better understanding of how things came to be in the church, the essential outlines of the faith and a greater ability to understand and cope with changes.


Course objectives


Ø  To examine the early Christian church and its existence in a hostile environment

Ø  To examine and differentiate the forms taken by the church during major historical eras.

Ø  To introduce students to important personalities/ saints in the history of the church.

Ø  To explicate the causes, origins, and effects of both the East/West schism and the protestant Reformation.

Ø  To familiarize students with the development and effects of major church councils, especially Vatican II.



Critical Reading Skills

                In the area of critical reading skills, the church history class tries to harness the students’ ability to analyze, evaluate, synthesize, make inferences, detect bias,  and determine relationships between pieces of information, critique an author’s position, determine the literal and figurative meanings of words/phrase, etc…


Exercises to enhance students’ critical reading skills would include

Ø  Asking students to outline main ideas of reading assignments

Ø  Requiring students to define words from reading assignments

Ø  Asking students to write, in their own words, a summary of what they have read

Ø  Asking students to draw a concept map to illustrate what they have read and the relationship of the ideas therein

Ø  Asking students to write about the new insights they had as a result of reading a passage or piece.

Ø  Asking students to predict the outcome or next logical step in the argument



Probable homework assignments

Ø  Distributing a scholarly article and asking different students to summarize parts for the class

Ø  Defining new vocabulary words or discipline-specific terms for submission to teacher and following up with a quiz

Ø  Writing a reflection paper or a “Do you agree or disagree?” paper

Ø  Asking students to re-write something {perhaps to modernize it, e.g. a Biblical parable, put it in colloquial language, adapt it to another audience.




                The course will be taught through a combination of the following: lecture, class discussion, writing assignments, short research projects, group work and films, and PowerPoint presentations.





1)     The Catholic Church: Journey, Wisdom, and Mission. St. Mary’s Press, 1994.

2)     A notebook exclusively for the class.




Students will be assessed using variety of instruments like: tests, homework, writing assignments, research work, and class participation. Each assignment will be assessed a point value. Students’ grades will be determined by the total number of points they earn divided by the total of all assignments. Class participation is considered when semester grades are assigned. A final exam will be given. The instructor will review with students the nature of the exam in the weeks prior to it. The instructor will comply with the grading scale as published in the student handbook.




There will be no compromise for cheating or copying from others especially during exams.




The instructor is available for extra help but strictly by appointment.         


                                                               GOOD LUCK








Holy Ghost Preparatory School
2429 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA 19020
P 215.639.2102   F 215.639.4225

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