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Mobile Ed: CS251 History and Theology of the African American Church (7 hour course)

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Carl Ellis is uniquely qualified to teach about Christianity in an African-American context and his depth of experience makes him an ideal guide for relating how theology developed over time within the African-American church. For thousands of years, God has mightily used many Africans to advance his kingdom. In this course, Ellis delves into Scripture and Church history, describes important movements—like African American missions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the civil rights movement—and analyzes important events happening today.

Study a rich heritage of culturally and ethnically African models of faith for modern believers. This course draws on Old Testament examples, like Ebed-Melech from Jeremiah chapter 38, New Testament Christians like Simon the Cyrene, initial African believers in Acts chapter two, and the church in Antioch where Paul based his ministry. Furthermore, many of the early Church Fathers, like Augustine, were themselves African. Viewers will better understand parallels between initial Greek Christians and modern day African-American Christians in, two populations that Ellis refers to as similarly sub-dominant.

As application, Ellis advocates for a modern-day reformation among African-American Christians instead of revival, citing the present need for a radical reassessment and revitalization of modern faith. Reframing the concept of righteousness into a covenantal setting, he emphasizes relationship between God and the individual Christian. The task of modern believers is to display the gospel by emphasizing social justice and social Godliness, personal justice, and personal Godliness in all aspects of life. The Bible has much to say about social justice and this course equips Christians to recognize societal, systemic examples of injustice and to address them via a God-honoring model for the African-American church. African-American believers should readily express their faith beyond merely personal Godliness, bringing to bear ethical and relational values of God's kingdom in every modern setting.

Resource Experts

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Describe the impact of the gospel in private and social dimensions
  • Trace the influence of African believers throughout church history
  • Identify areas where reformation can revitalize the modern African-American church

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: From Africa to America

  • Africans in Scripture and Early Church History
  • The African Church under Slavery
  • The Early American Experience
  • Theological Development among African-Americans
  • Life Concerns
  • Southern Antebellum African-American Theology
  • Resistance to Oppression
  • Characteristics of Resistance
  • The Slaves and Christianity-ism
  • Central Themes in the African-American Experience

Unit 2: Phases of African-American Church Development

  • The Peanut Gallery Phase
  • The Soul Dynamic
  • The Plantation Phase
  • Slave Revolts
  • The Indigenous Phase
  • Indigenous African-American Churches (Part 1)
  • Indigenous African-American Churches (Part 2)
  • Indigenous African-American Churches (Part 3)

Unit 3: Black Missions

  • Theological and Missional Developments
  • Divine Significance
  • Black Missionaries Not from America
  • America’s First Missionary
  • Nineteenth-Century African-American Missionaries
  • African-American Theologians of the Antebellum North (Part 1)
  • African-American Theologians of the Antebellum North (Part 2)
  • African-American Theologians of the Antebellum North (Part 3)
  • Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization

Unit 4: Before and After the Civil War

  • Events Leading up to the Civil War (Part 1)
  • Events Leading up to the Civil War (Part 2)
  • The African-American Church after the Civil War
  • African-American Church Growth
  • Economic Development in the African-American Church
  • The End of Reconstruction in the South
  • The Industrial Revolution in the North
  • The Consolidation of Colonialism in Africa
  • The Marginalization and Expulsion of Black Missionaries
  • Effects of the Three Great Traumas on the African-American Church
  • Attempts to Fill the Theological Vacuum
  • The White Church at the End of the Nineteenth Century

Unit 5: The Twentieth Century

  • Approaches to Theology
  • The Window of Theology
  • Pentecostalism (Part 1)
  • Pentecostalism (Part 2)
  • The Diminishing Prophetic Voice of the African-American Church
  • Two Great African-American Migrations
  • Challenges that Arose from the Great Migrations
  • The Urban Church
  • The Separational and Sociological Church Models
  • The Associational Church Model
  • Nontraditional Church Models (Part 1)
  • Nontraditional Church Models (Part 2)

Unit 6: The Civil Rights Movement

  • The Struggle for Civil Rights
  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • What Made the Civil Rights Movement Effective
  • The Peak of the Civil Rights Movement
  • A Dysfunctional Bible-Believing Church
  • Civil Rights and the Gospel

Unit 7: African-American Cults

  • Christian Cults
  • The Black Jews
  • The Moorish Temple of Science
  • The Temple of Islam
  • The Nation of Islam

Unit 8: Current Challenges and New Models

  • Today’s African-American Cultural Crisis (Part 1)
  • Today’s African-American Cultural Crisis (Part 2)
  • Disconnected Generations
  • Developing an Authentic African-American Theology
  • Opportunities for Ministry
  • The Dominion Church Model
  • Discipleship
  • Kinship Compassion
  • What a Reformation Would Look Like

Product Details

  • Title: CS251 History and Theology of the African American Church
  • Instructor: Carl Ellis
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 7
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About the Instructor

Carl Ellis is the associate pastor for Cultural Apologetics at New City Fellowship. In addition to a D.Phil. from Oxford, Ellis holds a Master of the Arts from Westminster Theological Seminary and is also a graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. He has served as adjunct faculty and as dean of Intercultural Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary, still serving there at the center for Urban Theological Studies.

Getting the most out of Mobile Ed

Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course comes with an Activities resource that functions as a type of “workbook” for the course. This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. A link to open the Activities resource is conveniently placed at the end of every segment.



3 ratings

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  1. Steve Cordle

    Steve Cordle


    I can't access the course. How do I do that?
  2. Fredd



  3. Danielle Laroque
    How do you access the actual course? I'm having trouble getting to it
  4. Angela Meister
    This course was up on Mobile Ed last quarter and it turned out to be one of my favorites. Given what is going on right now, I will boldly say the entire church in America needs to understand this information. My prayer is that we will all shine the light of Christ in this situation.
  5. John Krueger

    John Krueger


    I bought this course during Black History Month because I was intrigued by the sample videos. My "black history" education up to this point consisted simply of a few highlights on the civil war followed by a few highlights on civil rights. This series does a great job filling in the gaps. I highly recommend to anyone of any race or denomination, whether your church has multiple ethnic groups or not.
  6. Jerome Jenkins
    If you're looking to learn more about Africans in the bible, this course does not cover the subject with any repleteness.....not what I expected. Probably would seek other sources for more in depth for coverage of that subject.


Collection value: $384.99
Save $125.00 (32%)
Payment plans available in cart