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Church History 2

Course Level: Basic

Course Summary

There are two parts to our Church History courses: Church History I and Church History II. It is recommended that Church History I precede engaging in Church History II in order to understand the flow and development of the Church through her 2000 year old history.

Church History II navigates the student from the Reformation (where Church History I ended) through the Second Vatican Council into the 21st century. Students explore the cultural, political, social and religious factors which influenced the Church's journey. Significant men and women emerged to support and challenge the Church's understanding of herself and relationship with the world.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Explain the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church.
  • Understand the 16th and 17th missionary activities and the role of the Propagation of the Faith.
  • Identify founders and reformers of religious life.
  • Be familiar with the conversation around faith and reason in the Church.
  • Explain the meaning and purpose of Encyclicals, Ecumenical and Vatican Councils
  • Understand the factors which influenced the separation of the Church and State in Europe.
  • Name outstanding Catholic theological leaders in the Church.
  • Be familiar with the challenges of the American Catholic Church in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Understand the Church’s stance on Social Justice in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Explain the issues of Modernism for the Church.
  • Identify modern movements of renewal that emerged in the 20th century.
  • Explain the impact of the Second Vatican Council.
  • Identify the contributions of Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to the Church’s 20th century journey.

Course Materials

  • Required Book: McGonigle, Thomas A History of The Christian Tradition: From the Reformation to the Present Paulist Press. 1996. ISBN: 0809136481; ISBN-13: 978-0809136483
  • Course Materials available at the VLCFF Amazon Store.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: 16th and 17th Century: Reformation and Missions
    • Understand the factors which influenced the Reformation.
    • Identify the key historical figures who animated the Reformation.
    • Explain the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
    • Grasp the importance of the ecumenical movement of the Church.
    • Understand the perspective and problems faced by the 16th and 17th century missionaries and the role of the Propagation of the Faith.
    • Identify founders or reformers of seventh century religious communities of women and men and their contribution to the unfolding of the mission of the Church.
  • Week 2: 18th and 19th Century: The Period of the French Revolution and Enlightenment
    • Understand the influence of the conversation around faith and reason had on the Church.
    • Understand the meaning and impact of the French Revolution on the Church in Europe.
    • Explain the history of the Papal States.
    • Explain the factors which influenced the separation of the Church and State in Europe.
    • Identify significant religious leaders who impacted the movement of the Church in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
  • Week 3: 19th Century: Setting the Stage for a New Era and Structure of the Church
    • Understand the impact of expanding evangelical groups on the Church.
    • Identify significant Catholic church leaders that influenced the growth of the Church in America.
    • Explain the rationale for the Anti-Catholic sentiment in America.
    • Explain the Church’s stance toward slavery in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
    • Understand the contribution of Pope Leo XIII.
    • Understand the re-affirmation of St. Thomas Aquinas’s work on education and formation in the Church.
    • Explain the emergence of biblical studies in the Catholic Church.
  • Week 4: A Sentinel in Changing Times
    • Identify the role that Pope Leo XIII offered the Church.
    • Understand the stance the Catholic Church held on Social Justice.
    • Understand the perspective and focus of the Popes in the early 20th century.
    • Identify the impact that an immigrant population had on the evolution of the Catholic Church in America.
    • Explain the issue of Modernism for the Church.
    • Understand the loss of the Papal States.
    • Understand the impact of the First Vatican Council.
    • Identify the purpose and themes of early 20th century encyclicals.
  • Week 5: American Modern Movements and the Second Vatican Council
    • Familiar with outstanding Catholic thinkers of the 20th century who contributed to Catholic identity and culture in America.
    • Understand the characteristics of the Orthodox Christian experience.
    • Identify the modern movements of renewal in the Church that emerged in the 20th century.
    • Understanding the meaning and impact of the new theological discourse within the Church.
    • Name the purpose and goals articulated for the Second Vatican Council.
    • Name the Second Vatican Council documents and understand their differences as constitutions, degrees and declarations.
    • Identify the specific contributions of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to the Church’s 20th century journey.