This course covers the period of Church history that begins with the
persecution of Nero and ends with the rise of Islam in the eighth century.
The first two hundred years is the witness of blood, as the amazing story of
the courageous martyrs and the dynamic growth of the Church unfolds.
Then beginning with the Edict of Milan in 313, the Church faced three
additional threats. One was the all-powerful Christian emperors who
attempted to rule the Church and make it a department of state. The second
was the heresies that rocked the very foundation of Christianity. Finally,
the Church adapted to the collapse of the Western empire as barbarian tribes
swept into Italy, France, Britain, and Africa.
Woven into the narrative are inspiring biographical sketches of the great
saints of this period, who are the real difference makers in every age. It
is particularly encouraging to learn how grace overcame their human
Special attention is also given to the beliefs of the early Church. What
was universally taught and believed regarding: Sacred Tradition, the
Hierarchical Structure of the Church, Papal Primacy, and the Sacraments of
Baptism, Confession, and the Eucharist. Lastly, the course examines the
process that led to identifying the books that belonged to the Bible.
Speaker: Jim Seghers