Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 16 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giuseppe Antonio Tovini
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Take this free online class from Yale on the history of Christianity


Public Domain

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/14/20

The course covers the story of the Church from its persecution under the Roman Empire to its global expansion with the Jesuits.

The continuing coronavirus crisis presents the perfect opportunity to take one of the many free university-level courses that are offered online.

One such course that has caught our eye is “A Journey through Western Christianity: From Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200-1650). Offered by Yale University through the Coursera website, the 11-week course surveys the history of the Church from its early persecution under the Roman Empire to its global expansion in the early modern era. One caveat: this is not Church history taught by the Church, but is meant for a broader audience.

Taught by Bruce Gordon, Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the Yale Divinity School, the class, made up of video lectures, readings and quizzes, takes about 46 hours to complete. Deadlines are flexible and can be adjusted to work with the student’s schedule.

Here’s an outline of the course, taken from the syllabus:

Week 1: Introduction: From Persecution to Empire

Week 2: Augustine and the North African Church

Week 3: Monastic Lives: Desert Fathers to Celtic Christianity

Week 4: Reformers and Crusaders

Week 5: Learning and Light

Week 6: Three Religions: Christians, Jews & Muslims in Medieval Spain

Week 7: Medieval Devotion

Week 8: Luther’s Reformation

Week 9: Fragmenting Reformation

Week 10: Catholic Reform

Week 11: Jesuits and Missions

To register for the free course visit the Coursera website here.

Church HistoryEducation
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.