This course deals with the history of Christianity from the time of the Reformation to the present. It focuses on the Protestant Reformation, Roman Catholic reform, Protestant liberalism and fundamentalism, the ecumenical movement, Christianity in developing countries, and the Christian decline of the industrialized West. Noted are basic theological developments in these systems and the social, political, and economic forces influencing them. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the modern history of Christianity as a global religion and to show the diversity of its beliefs and practices.


This course begins with the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and continues to the present. The focus is on the people and events shaping ideas of Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy during this period. Noted are basic theological developments in these systems and the social, political, and economic forces influencing them.

Completion of THL 421 or consent of instructor

Frank, Jr., Kenneth L.

Registrar and Director of Admissions
Full Time
B.A. (1973), Ambassador University; M.A. (2014), Grand Canyon University.
Subject Matter: 

Mr. Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA where he attended Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) for one year, majoring in history and government. Following that, he attended the three campuses of Ambassador College (later Ambassador University) in Big Sandy, Texas, USA; Bricket Wood, England; and Pasadena, California, USA.

In the summer of 1971 he participated in an archaeological project jointly sponsored by Ambassador College and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Upon graduation from Ambassador College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, he trained for the ministry in Canada and was ordained an elder in 1975. He pastored Canadian congregations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario for twenty-six years before returning to the United States where he served as a Living Church of God pastor in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. He is married, father of four children (one of whom is Living University faculty member, Annette Triplett) and grandfather of seven. In 2014, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Pastoral Ministry at Grand Canyon University. Presently, he serves at the Living University campus as instructor, Registrar and Director of Admissions. 

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Define basic terms and develop basic research skills in the field of Christian history;
  2. Demonstrate ability to trace the major themes, issues, and personalities of church history from the Reformation to the present;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the main events and persons in the course of church history from the Reformation to the present day;
  4. Show understanding of the development of Christian thought and the formulation of doctrine; and
  5. Demonstrate the skill of applying church history to contemporary ideas and issues.
Required Texts: 

The textbook for this course is:

  • González, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Vol. 2. San Francisco: Harper One, 2010.

The three books you are to review in this course are provided below:

  • Ball, Bryan W. The Seventh-Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800. Cambridge, UK: James Clarke and Co., 2009.
  • McGoldrick, James E. Baptist Successionism: A Crucial Question in Baptist History. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2000. 
  • Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. 3rd ed. USA: Oxford University Press, 2011.


Students may order these through the University Bookstore. The books used in this course are commercial publications. They represent the views and ideas of their authors, editors, and publishers. Living University does not endorse these texts nor vouch for their accuracy. We simply employ them in helping you master the content of the course.

Course Calendar: 
Topics Reading
Lesson 1 The Reformation - Part 1, Section 1
Topics 1-6 González 7-76
Writing Assignment 1 (Analysis of a Significant Individual)
Research Discussion 1
Lesson Discussion 1
Exam 1
Lesson 2 The Reformation - Part 1, Section 2
Topics 7-14 González 77-166
Writing Assignment 2 (Analysis of Michael Servetus’ Trinity Doctrine)
Research Discussion 2
Lesson Discussion 2
Exam 2
Lesson 3 Orthodoxy, Rationalism, and Pietism - Part 2
Topics 15-25 González 167-291
Writing Assignment 3 (Critique of The Seventh-Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800 by Bryan W. Ball)
Research Discussion 3
Lesson Discussion 3
Exam 3
Lesson 4 Beyond Christendom - Part 3, Section 1
Topics 26-31 González 293-398
Writing Assignment 4 (Critical Book Review of Baptist Successionism: A Crucial Question in Baptist History by James E. McGoldrick)
Research Discussion 4
Lesson Discussion 4
Exam 4
Lesson 5 Beyond Christendom – Part 3, Section 2
Topics 32-38 González 399-532
Writing Assignment 5 (Critical Book Review of The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Philip Jenkins)
Research Discussion 5
Lesson Discussion 5
Exam 5
Course Evaluation
Course Requirements: 

Due dates and extensions
Submit assignments on or before the due dates. Students must complete the course by the last official day of instruction as set forth in the academic calendar.

To begin this course officially, you must complete an icebreaker assignment by which you introduce yourself to your classmates through posting a short autobiography on course Icebreaker discussion forum. A student can earn points by posting the Icebreaker assignment on time. These points could make the difference between an A or a B, or passing or not passing this course.

  • The icebreaker assignment must be submitted not later than the eighth day of the semester.
  • Post your biography as a reply to the "Icebreaker" discussion forum associated with the “Welcome and Overview” lesson.
  • Please read and comment on at least two other bios by the due date in order to get credit.
  • Full credit for this assignment will only be given if all three of the above requirements are met.

Do NOT create a NEW discussion. Simply tell the class about yourself and your goals. This is not the place for a profession of faith, or the details of your conversion experience, or problems you have had with previous fellowships, as that information is more of a private nature. Here you are to inform your classmates what you would like them to know about you. As we have people from all over the world enrolled in this course, each autobiography will help us to know, understand and appreciate each other.

Reading assignments
Refer to “Course Calendar” section for reading assignments. When you undertake your critical book reviews, you may find the reviews of these titles on helpful.

Discussion forums
There are ten (10) discussion forums in this course, consisting of two types of discussions. Each of the five (5) lessons in this course will consist of a lesson discussion topic (worth 15 points) and a research discussion topic (worth 20 points). Each discussion will require one original response to the instructor’s question, and two reply posts to fellow students. In order to earn full credit, all three posts must be made by the deadline, and all word count minimums must be satisfied.

Writing Assignments
All writing assignments in this course should follow the MLA 8 format. Instruction materials for this format will be provided in the course. Please cite your sources and use quotation marks where needed. To submit your work, select the appropriate assignment from the Assignments tab to go to the Assignment Submission page. Use the Attach a File feature below the text box to upload your WORD document. Please do not use the textbox to "post" your assignment: the textbox is used for student/instructor communication only, pertaining to the assignment.

There are five (5) exams in this course. Each exam is closed book and closed notes. Only Exam 5 requires a proctor. A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual (called a proctor) who monitors or supervises a student while he or she is taking an exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. In order for a proctored exam grade to be recorded, a signed Proctor’s Signature Form (PSF) must be sent to the University. Be sure to see your course syllabus for information about your proctoring options.

A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:

  • Icebreaker Assignment (30 points)
  • Writing Assignments (five, each worth 75 points, for a total of 375 points)
  • Discussion Lesson Forums (five, each worth 15 points, for a total of 75 points)
  • Discussion Research  Forums (five, each worth 20 points, for a total of 100 points)
  • Exams (five, each worth 80 points, for a total of 400 points) [closed book, Exam 5 is proctored]
  • Course Evaluation (20 points)
  • TOTAL 1,000 points

Grades are in the traditional American style of an A, B, C, D, or F. In distance learning, we believe that the measure of mastery of course subject matter is completion of 80% of the objectives for a course. That means that we want students to earn at least 800 points in this course. If they do not do so then they have not achieved the level of mastery we would like them to have. We want this course to be competency-based and so it is possible for the entire class to receive an A or a B. There is no artificial curving of scores in the assignment of grades. Mastery of the material is what one’s goal should be.

Grades, assigned by points, are as follows:

A 900-1000 points
B 800-899 points
C 700-799 points
D 600-699 points
F Below 600 points

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.