Church History (Part 1)

Course Fall 2018

Los Angeles School of Missions and Ministry

Dr. John Oakes (ICOC) Reese Neyland and Dr. Gregg Marutzky (ICOC)

November 31 - December 1, 2018 (Friday & Saturday)

Course Description: 

Church History is a necessary subject to master for all serious students of the Bible. Being informed by church history allows students to recognize the heritage of biblical interpretation to assure Christian orthodoxy and define false doctrine. Knowing church history provides the basis for understanding the difference between church doctrine and religious traditions by pinpointing when certain traditions are introduced to the church. Church History details a timeline of God glorifying obedience and scandalous rebellion of followers of Christ. Christian history does not gloss over the highs and lows of the church throughout the ages. A clear reading of history informs the conscientious student who to proceed forward to build up the Kingdom of God and glorify our Heavenly Father. 

Aquinas and Augustine, Baptists and Anabaptists, Wyclyffe and Wesley, homoiousios versus homoousios, Councils and Creeds, Reformation and Counter-Reformation–a lot of information–probably too much for most believers to sort through. Why would anyone want to take on the overwhelming subject of church history? One good response is to remind ourselves of the famous motto: "Those who do no learn from history are doomed to repeat it." If church history is a litany of mistakes and false starts then it offers an unlimited number of opportunities to learn; it is a great source of practical advice on what not to do. No sect of Christianity is without fault. All of us need significant midcourse corrections to the path our own particular local congregation, denomination or church movement is following. At the risk of offending the reader right from the beginning, all of us teach at least some false doctrines, no matter what religious group we associate with. Church history tells us this has to be true. How are we to determine which changes are most needful right now? What practical steps do we need to take to pursue these changes? Of course, the divinely inspired word of God is the first rule for determining our steps. In this course you will learn about: • Beginnings: the New Testament record • Christian writings before AD 150 • Early church fathers: setting a cannon, and fighting heresy • The Gnostics: their text and beliefs • Important church fathers from the early third century • Heterodox theological movements in the early church • Persecution and its impact on the church • Developments in worship, teaching and practice • The relationship between Christendom and the Roman Empire • The early ecumenical councils: their purpose and impact

This course is part of the Certificate in Practical Evangelism from the LA School of Missions and Ministry which is a three-year program. An Advanced Certificate in other specialties including Campus Ministry, Youth and Family Ministry, Missions, Pastoral Counseling, Old Testament, New Testament, Church Leadership, Church Growth, Discipleship, Hebrew, Greek, Church History and Spiritual Formation are also being developed.

Course Dates, Times and Location:

The course will be held on Friday and Saturday on November 31-December 1, 2018, Friday & Saturday at the Lighthouse Building, 3508 East Temple Way, West Covina, CA 91791 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm both days. 

Cost: The cost for the course will be $200/student for tuition. Text books will be required and purchased by the students. Housing and transportation will be the responsibility of the student. 

Required Textbooks:

  1. Oakes, John. The Christian Story - Finding the Church in Church History (Illumination Publishers (2012) ISBN-10: 0984908749

Pre-class Assignments:

  1. Begin reading course textbook.