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Mobile Ed: CH241 The History of Christianity in the United States (10 hour course)

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In The History of Christianity in the United States, Chris Armstrong provides an introduction to the major movements, ideas, figures, and events in American church history, from colonization to recent decades. See how transplanted European churches took root, and American originals sprang up, over the course of five centuries of challenges and opportunities: early settlements, the expansion of the frontier, wars of independence and unification, slavery, immigration, intellectual challenges to the faith, and the new political and social realities of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Learn how the church reinvented and reaffirmed its central identity in the face of these social changes, and discover the implications of American church history for Christian life and ministry in today’s culture.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Describe the roots of American Puritanism in the English Reformation
  • Summarize major movements, ideas, figures, and events that affected the American church throughout its history
  • Evaluate how the church responded to unique social changes that arose in America
  • Discuss how Christians can live and minister more effectively in America and in the world today

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: European and Reformation Backgrounds

  • European Roots
  • Convictions of Early Protestants
  • The Word and the Reformed Tradition
  • Key Elements of the Reformed Tradition
  • The Purity of the Church

Unit 2: The English Reformation and the Roots of Puritanism

  • Introduction to the English Reformation
  • Two English Queens
  • Church Order in the Anglican and Presbyterian Traditions
  • Church Order in the Congregational Tradition
  • The Formation of Puritanism
  • The Failure of Puritanism in England
  • Introduction to American Puritanism
  • The Puritan Trajectory

Unit 3: Puritanism in America

  • The Puritan Dream
  • Key Themes in Puritan Thought
  • The Puritans’ Application of Covenant Theology
  • Reasons for the Puritan Decline
  • The Salem Witch Trials and the Halfway Covenant
  • The Puritan Legacy

Unit 4: The First Great Awakening

  • An Introduction to the Great Awakening
  • Traits of Evangelicals
  • The Progress of the Awakening
  • Heart Religion
  • Misunderstanding the Movement
  • The Evangelical Impulse for Social Reform
  • George Whitefield
  • Results of the Awakening

Unit 5: The Revolutionary Period

  • Religious Factors in the Revolution
  • Thomas Paine and the Language of Revolution
  • Involvement in the Revolution: Puritans and Anglicans
  • Involvement in the Revolution: Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians
  • Involvement in the Revolution: Catholics and Pacifists

Unit 6: Deism

  • An Enlightenment Worldview
  • Deism and the Founding Fathers: Thomas Paine
  • Deism and the Founding Fathers: Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson
  • Deism and the Founding Fathers: Conclusion

Unit 7: Catholicism

  • American Catholic History
  • Navigating a Protestant Context
  • Special Issues of an Immigrant Catholic Church
  • A History of Anti-Catholicism
  • Reasons for Anti-Catholicism
  • An Introduction to Americanism
  • The Irish Catholic Position on Americanism
  • The German Catholic Position on Americanism
  • Evaluating the Irish and German Positions on Americanism

Unit 8: The Church in the Early Republic

  • The Disestablishment of State Churches
  • The Rise of Religious Freedom
  • The First Amendment and the Public Role of Religion
  • Evangelicalism as a Radical Force
  • A Profile of Frontier Religious Groups
  • A Crisis of Authority
  • New Methods for a New Age

Unit 9: Social Reform

  • Charles Finney and the Birth of the Benevolent Empire
  • Aspects of Benevolent Reform
  • Other Benevolent Causes
  • The Benevolent Empire through the Civil War
  • Social Issues in the New Industrial Economy
  • Examples of Christian Social Action
  • Key Social Gospel Figures
  • Theological Dimensions of the Social Gospel
  • Twentieth-Century Developments
  • Assessing the Influence of the Social Gospel

Unit 10: Gender in Nineteenth-Century Christianity

  • Introduction to the Topic
  • Protestant Women and Ordination
  • The Changing Fortunes of Women Ministers
  • Roles of Women in the Church, 1860–1920
  • The Paradox of Conservative Feminism
  • Conclusion to the Topic

Unit 11: African-American Christianity

  • Black Christianity in America
  • Geographic Contexts of Slavery
  • The Apostolic Age of Black Christianity
  • The Slave Mission Period to Emancipation
  • Black Worship in the Time of Slavery
  • Black and White Spiritual Mutuality
  • Resources for Spiritual Mutuality
  • The Post-Emancipation Period and Historiographical Issues
  • Summary Thoughts on African-American Christianity

Unit 12: Holiness and Pentecostalism

  • Those Embarrassing Emotionalists
  • Pentecostalism’s Role in the History of American Evangelicalism
  • The History of the White Holiness Movement
  • The Map of Expected Spiritual Experiences
  • The Postbellum Holiness Movement
  • Black Holiness Groups
  • The Roots of Pentecostalism
  • The Development of Pentecostalism
  • Restorationism and the Pentecostal Hermeneutic

Unit 13: Fundamentalism

  • Introduction to Fundamentalism
  • Fundamentalist Roots in Protestant Orthodoxy
  • The Princeton Seminary Dynasty
  • The Early Decades of Fundamentalism
  • The Scopes Monkey Trial
  • Common Features of Fundamentalist Theology

Unit 14: From World War II to the Twenty-First Century

  • Introduction to Post-World War II Christianity
  • The Map of Post-War Religious Normalcy
  • Seekers
  • Ethnic Religious Communities
  • Religion in the Public Square
  • Final Reflections and Questions in American Church History


  • The History of Christianity in America

Product Details

  • Title: CH241 The History of Christianity in the United States
  • Instructor: Chris Armstrong
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 10
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About the Instructor

Dr. Chris Armstrongis the founding director of Opus: The Art of Work, a new institute at Wheaton College dedicated to understanding God’s call for work in the world. Prior to taking this post in 2014, he was director of Bethel Seminary’s Work with Purpose initiative while serving as a professor at Bethel. His training is in the field of American church history, and his areas of interest include religion and emotion; Christianity and literature; the holiness, Pentecostal, and charismatic movements; the Christ-and-culture conversation; and the “ancient–future” and “new monastic” movements within evangelicalism. He received his BA from St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia (Canada), his MA from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his PhD from Duke University, where his research focused on the 19th-century holiness movement.

Dr. Armstrong wrote over 70 articles as the former managing editor of Christian History & Biography magazine, and he continues to contribute to Christian History & Biography and other publications, including Christianity Today and Leadership Journal. He has contributed chapters to Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land (edited by Mark A. Noll and Edith L. Blumhofer) and Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders (edited by James R. Goff Jr. and Grant Wacker). Dr. Armstrong’s book, Patron Saints for Postmoderns, was published in 2009 by InterVarsity Press, and his forthcoming book, Getting Medieval: An Exploration with C. S. Lewis, will be published by Baker Academic.


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 was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



2 ratings

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  1. Kelly Fleming

    Kelly Fleming


  2. Noah77abc



    Great teacher, great content. After about 1/3 of the way through these video lectures I am angry at my public school education, graduation from high school in 2001, for reference. I was also taught evolution as fact, which later on after converting from atheism to theism (NDE/OBE) I realize I was never taught the huge problems with evolutionary theory, but instead simply hand-waving just-so stories with nice diagrams. Being taught this type of American historical content, with criticisms and views, as well as real rigor in logic, rational thought and critical and scientific thinking--not anti-religion BS--would have way better prepared me for life as a human on this planet.
  3. Dr. James E. Groshong Sr.
    I can not wait to see this produced and would love to see it also expanded into maybe a four part series course, this is a great starting point. I call this a LOGOS "must have course" for anyone Born in the USA! Many Thanks to Chris Armstrong and Lexham Press, by Teaming up with LOGOS MOBILE ED. - WOW.
  4. Mark Cannon

    Mark Cannon


    Holy Cow! (or divine bovine), so many religious groups that were and are influential in the history of Christianity not even mentioned in the chapter headings. Instead he seems to stay with the trope of usual participants. Wondering if this is more about numbers than actual influence. Acknowledging that there is a diverse field of groups, me thinks logos might have considered breaking this into a two session set, rather than diminishing the potential value of the project to the potential student by simply crushing the timeline into a singe session. Looking forward to reviews from those who take the plunge. Also, nothing against Mr. Armstrong personally (I don't know him), perhaps Logos could contract with a few less voices from Wheaton College. I appreciate they have a particular view of things, but more diversity, like more facets in a gem, will help lift the beauty of God's story, message, and plan.
Save extra on academic resources through June 7


Regular price: $379.99
Save $266.00 (70%)
Payment plans available in cart