The Church Through the Ages

The history of the Catholic Church is not merely a recitation of names and dates, but a living testament of God working in and through people to further His Kingdom.The Church Through the Ages

Simply understood, Church History is the remembering of stories, about people, who reacted to the Gospel, in their times. The study of Church History encourages:
  • Understanding – history liberates us from self-centeredness to see the long view
  • Appreciation – of how God continually works His will through the life of the Church
  • Spiritual Growth – promotes a developing and deepening of faith
  • Participation – more fully witnessing Jesus in word and deed for the sake of His Kingdom

Session Information:

  • Sessions were held January - March, 2020
  • Presentation Slides available below
Questions? Please contact Maureen Michaels at [email protected] or (262) 691-9170.

Presentation SlidesChurch History Study St. Anthony on the Lake

The Early Church (33 - 476 A.D.)
The First Christians: The Age of Apostles and Martyrs
The Roman Church: Christianity on the Rise

The Medieval Church (476 - 1400 A.D.)
Christendom: The Church Comes of Age Part 1
Christendom: The Church Comes of Age Part 2

The Church in the Modern World (1400 A.D. - Present)
The Dam Breaks: Reform and Renewal
Coping Amid Crisis: The Search for Identity and Relevance

Session Details

The Early Church (33 - 476 A.D.)
How the early Church survived centuries of persecution and internal dissent only to emerge as the most powerful force in the Western world is nothing short of miraculous. We will explore the Church’s earliest struggles, examine the councils and creeds which shaped Church doctrines, meet the major figures of the age including apostles, popes, emperors, and martyrs, and discover the lasting impact of Christianity even to the present day.

The Medieval Church (476 - 1400 A.D.)
Historically referred to as the “Dark Ages,” this important era has frequently been misunderstood and mischaracterized. While often brutal and harsh, these centuries also saw the emergence of monastic spirituality, pious missionary efforts, the rise of magnificent Gothic cathedrals, and the birth of vital religious orders which lived out the Gospel call to act with charity. Regrettably, these years also witnessed an emerging conflict with Islam and an increasingly powerful papacy that would descend into corruption, setting the stage for revolution.

The Church in the Modern World (1400 A.D. - Present)
The idea of reform had been raised for centuries leading up to Martin Luther’s protest in 1517. Fueled by new technologies and old resentments, the Catholic Church faced the greatest challenge to its authority in its 1,500-year history. We will investigate the decisive elements that brought such immense change in the Church and meet the individuals who forced reform. We will also explore how the Catholic Church responded to the religious, political, and scientific revolutions that dominated this era by reforming its practices, affirming its doctrines, and developing a missionary spirit. From the First and Second Vatican Councils to the clergy sex abuse scandal and the recent election of Pope Francis, we will also investigate how the Church has grappled with its identity and position in an increasingly modern (i.e.: secular, violent, scientific, industrial, technological,) world.

Church History Study St. Anthony on the Lake