History & Ecumenics

The History and Ecumenics Department has two areas of study—World Christianity and the History of Religion (WCHR) and the History of Christianity. Both are vital to the MDiv and PhD programs as students learn the inter-religious dimensions of Christianity from its earliest years to the present.


MDiv students gain a broad perspective in the historical tradition. Students are required to take twelve credits in the department, including one course in each of the following areas: Early and Medieval History, Reformation History, Modern European or American History, and World Christianity and the History of Religions, or Sociology of Religion.

Current Course Highlights

Women Leaders of the Medieval Church surveys specific women who influenced medieval Christianity: abbesses, educators, playwrights, mystics, reformers, mothers, legends, monarchs, martyrs, composers, saints, and other theologians.

Popular Religion and Popular Culture in Modern Europe offers a social and cultural approach to the history of modern European Christianity, with attention to popular religious practices and attitudes toward issues such as religion and gender roles and familial organizations, poverty, disease, death, and superstition.

Pentecostalism in the Americas explores the history and theology of the Pentecostal and Holiness faith traditions in the Americas. Examining the major movements, historical figures, and roots of the Pentecostal tradition, this course will give particular attention to the operation of race, gender, and class within the Pentecostal context. While considerable attention will be given to the historical origins of the Pentecostal and Holiness movements, there will also be significant time devoted to studying the contemporary outpouring of Pentecostal worship traditions across many denominations and faith traditions.

Global South Public Christianities reviews Christian public discourses from the Global South, as they reflect on the intersection between Christian faith, political action, and public policy. It examines theological responses to the challenges posed to Global South Christians as they engage the public square, through the lenses of Global South scholars. It explores different views about religion’s role in public life, highlighting critical issues, and offering a range of approaches and understandings of citizenship and justice in the Global South.

Complete Course Offerings

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

PhD Student

Isaac Kim, Class of 2015

“One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to be charitable to views other than my own. Christian charity was shown to me, not just in the readings for class, but from the professors, and the Seminary community.”