Certificate in Early Christian Studies

Add/Drop Certificate in Early Christian Studies

You can notify the Registrar’s Office and the director of the Certificate in Early Christian Studies if you wish to enroll or drop the certificate program.

Access the Drop/Add Form

Explore How Theology Relates to the World Today

The Certificate in Early Christian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that fosters the study of early Christianity as a source of wisdom for contemporary issues. It provides the most rigorous and integrative academic opportunity at Wheaton College for undergraduates to explore how theology relates to the world today.

“The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies has transformed both my vision of the Church and my understanding of what it means to serve the Church as a student of theology.”

–David Strickler

Martyrs, Monastics, and More

Early Christianity is the most fertile source of theological reflection and spiritual renewal after the Bible. It marks the era of the martyrs, the monastics, the formation of orthodoxy, the conversion of the Roman Empire, and the synthesis of theology and classical learning. Through this certificate, you will join with Christians throughout the centuries who have drawn on the early church to generate new expressions of faithfulness. Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer were all students of early Christianity who appropriated its teachings and practices to face the challenges of their day. The early church continues to attract interest across Christian traditions for how it embodied intellectual creativity, spiritual vitality, and concrete action in the midst of great social and political change.

An Integrated Approach

The Certificate’s academic home is the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, but it draws from several other departments, including Art, Anthropology, History, Christian Formation and Ministry, Modern and Classical Languages, and Sociology. Students from any major are eligible for the Certificate.

“The Center's diverse course offerings–including studies in ancient philosophy, historical theology, biblical interpretation, and Eastern Orthodoxy–provided a stimulating academic experience, one which, thanks to the many talented professors who taught these courses, captured my historical imagination and placed me squarely in the midst of the time period. The breadth of program was effectively balanced by in-depth study in such courses as Patristic Thought and Readings in Eastern Orthodoxy, which focused narrowly on topics central to Early Christianity. In short, I found all that I was looking for and more in the Certificate program.”

–Daniel Saunders


The Certificate requires 24 total credits. All students are required to complete 4 credits of a cross-disciplinary course or experience, and to take a 2-credit Early Christianity Integration Seminar. The Certificate culminates in a 2-credit Capstone Seminar where students will participate in the publication of annotated early Christian texts through a unique collaboration between The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies and Fortress Press.

View Full Requirements