Build your future on two millennia of Christian history. History of Christianity (M.A.)

When you study the history of Christianity at the Wheaton College Graduate School, you’ll have unprecedented access to expert faculty, impressive research facilities, rich hands-on learning opportunities in method and content, and a vibrant alumni community whether in-person, hybrid, or remote.

Receive training in the discipline of Christian history by equipping yourself with a comprehensive knowledge of the Christian story across two millennia as it has intersected with social, political, economic, racial, gender, and cultural factors in the context of global history. To that end, you’ll explore social history, historical theology, and the history of biblical interpretation.

Credential Type

  • M.A.

Major Credits Required

  • 44


  • 2 years


  • Hybrid

25+ Christ-committed faculty members

Learn the history of Christianity from committed Christ-followers.

25+ Books by faculty members

Our faculty are engaged in publishing and research for the academy and church.

Inheritance Conference

Opportunities for Grad Student Research and Presentation.

Request Information

Or reach out to us anytime at

Wheaton College IL Timothy Larsen Professor of History and Christian Thought

Meet the Program Director and Professor of Theology and History of Christianity Jennifer Powell McNutt, Ph.D.

I would love to connect with you! Email me at to explore pursuing your M.A. in History of Christianity.

Email Jennifer McNutt

Jennifer McNutt headshot

Prepare for where God's calling you next Why Study the History of Christianity at Wheaton?

Knowing Christian history is vital to serving the global church, no matter what your professional calling is. That’s why a master’s in church history is appealing to students of all academic backgrounds. 

This advanced degree emphasizes historical research and writing, critical reading and analysis, and faith integration—all of which can be applied to careers in the church, academics, and society. Whether you’re looking to enrich your current career, want to seek advancement opportunities, or wish to pursue a new path, an M.A. in the History of Christianity can prepare you for where God’s calling you next.

Integrating Faith and History

Our program models and encourages methodologically sound integrative thinking for Christians in the field of history. Throughout the program, students will have opportunities to reflect, discern, and prepare for their calling. Through mentoring, they will be encouraged and equipped to use their gifts as faithful scholars in a variety of contexts, whether for the academy, for the church, or for society. We believe that knowing Christian history is vital to the Christian faith, life, and ministry.

Develop Expertise in a Specific Era of Christianity

Students will thrive in our program by receiving a foundation in core areas of study including global church history, theology, and biblical studies. Advanced seminars across the periods of Christian History as well as training in historiographical method will enable students to excel and develop focused expertise. For those interested in pursuing a doctorate, be sure to ask about our teaching/research assistant opportunities, MA thesis option, or participation in the Inheritance Conference for example. We are committed to helping you advance from our MA program to the next stage whether that means in the academy or the workforce.

Our Curriculum

The M.A. in History of Christianity has a shared core as well as distinct course requirements for each concentration area. In addition to completing required coursework, M.A. in History of Christianity students must also pass a graduate comprehensive exam.

Please see the graduate course catalog for current requirements as well as the most up-to-date course numbers, titles, and descriptions.

Sample Courses

History of Christianity core and elective options include:

  • Global Church History
  • Historiography
  • Reformation
  • Christian Thought
  • Seminars in Early Christianity, Medieval/Reformation/Early Modern, Enlightenment, and Modern
  • Seminars in Theological Doctrine or Theologians
  • History of Christianity in North America
  • MA Thesis or Independent Studies

Highlighting Christianity’s past as an invaluable resource for today’s Christian Noll Lecture

Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt launched this annual lecture to raise the profile of the field of Christian History and bring attention to Christianity’s past as an invaluable resource for Christians in the present. Since then, the department has welcomed accomplished scholars in the discipline to share their expertise and wisdom in historical research with the campus community and beyond. In 2017, the lecture was named in honor of Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Noll and as a way to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

History in Action Engage in Experiential Learning and Independent Research

Studying the history of Christianity at Wheaton College gives you access to primary research resources, professional development activities, and experiential learning opportunities.

Tel Shimron Excavation - Wheaton College (IL)

Cross-Cultural & International Experiences

ChicagoLand is full of ways to experience the history of Christianity in the flesh through art and cultural exhibits. One example is the Art Institute of Chicago, which is home to first-rate reformation art and medieval artifacts. Or you can participate in Tel Shimron Excavations, a summer archaeology field study in northern Israel.

Jonathan Blanchards Diary - Housed in Archives and Special Collections
Christ the Vine Full Icon

Center for Early Christian Studies

This multidisciplinary academic center focuses on teaching, research, and publication related to the early church. The Center for Early Christian Studies publishes books, hosts lectures and conferences, and provides research opportunities to faculty fellows and graduate students. 

Our Faculty Compassionate and Intelligent Educators

Our faculty of Christ-following historians includes experts in a range of eras and topics, including church fathers, history of theology, history of the Bible, religion and literature, global Christianity, ethics in the early church, Reformation studies, Enlightenment studies, nineteenth-century Britain, and history of faith and science. Our faculty are also internationally recognized as elected Fellows in the Royal Historical Society.

Timothy Larsen, Ph.D., D.D. Headshot

Timothy Larsen, Ph.D., D.D.

Carolyn and Fred McManis Professor of Christian Thought and Professor of History
Jennifer Powell McNutt, Ph.D. Headshot

Jennifer Powell McNutt, Ph.D.

Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Professor of Theology and History of Christianity, Director of M.A. in History of Christianity, Director of M.A. in Theology
Biblical and Theological Studies women enjoying a day out in Chicago

BTS Grad Women's Fellowship

The Biblical and Theological Studies (BTS) Grad Women’s Fellowship was started over a decade ago to provide a space for female graduate students in the department to meet together regularly throughout the year with female faculty, build relationships, provide support, and enjoy each other’s company. The group was started by Dr. Karen Jobes (Faculty Emerita) and is led today by Rev. Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt and Rev. Dr. Amy Peeler. Food, fellowship, and prayer are the focus of our time together. If you are a female Bible and Theology student in an M.A. or Ph.D. program, please join us! Feel free to email with any questions.

Success After Wheaton What Can You Do With a Master's in the History of Christianity?

Our students come to us at all stages of their professional lives, from recent college graduates to mid-level professionals. No matter where you were before Wheaton, earning an M.A. in History of Christianity can help you thrive in your current career or open new doors.


Graduates of our M.A. in History of Christianity succeed in a variety of industries, from journalism and publishing to education and healthcare. Our alumni hold titles such as: 

  • Professor of History
  • Professor of Philosophy
  • Professor of Theology
  • Classical Christian School Teacher
  • Bible and Logic Teacher
  • Communications Officer in Higher Education
  • Coordinator of Metadata Services at University Library
  • Copy Editor in Christian Publishing
  • Dean of Students at Classical School
  • Director of Content for Church-Planting Organization
  • Director of Digital Learning at a Christian College
  • Managing Editor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Regional Manager with a Manufacturer
  • Software Developer
  • Worship Pastor

Companies & Organizations

And they’ve worked for organizations, institutions, and companies such as:

  • Wheaton College
  • Gordon College
  • Regent College
  • Hope College
  • University of Denver
  • Christianity Today
  • Museum of the Bible
  • Trinity Forum
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • Moody Press
  • InterVarsity Press
  • B&H Academic
  • Crossway Publishing
  • The Gospel Coalition
  • Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
  • Christian Classical Schools
  • Lancaster Bible College
  • Life360
  • Averett University
  • Mount Mercy University
  • Musicnotes
  • New Identity Magazine
  • New York City Department of Design and Construction
  • Preaching Today
  • University of St Andrews
  • Anglican Church in North America
  • Bethany Lutheran College

Continued Study

Additionally, some History of Christianity M.A. students go on to pursue doctoral degrees at institutions such as: 

  • Baylor University
  • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of St. Andrews
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Knox Theological Seminary
  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Toronto School of Theology
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • Rice University
  • Drew University

Alumni Perspective

"The History of Christianity program at Wheaton College provided opportunities to explore the richness and complexity of the history of the church."

- Allison Brown M.A. '15, Baylor University, Ph.D. Student

Wheaton College Graduate School Graduate Student at Commencement with His Mom
Investing in You

Financial Wellness

All incoming M.A. in History of Christianity students are automatically considered for department-based scholarships. Additionally, you may be eligible for other financial aid options including graduate assistantships, loans, payment plans, and outside scholarships. 

The Wheaton College Graduate School Student Financial Services team can help you understand how much your graduate studies will cost and what aid may be available to you. 


Learn About Graduate Financial Aid

Next Steps

Interested in earning a church history master's degree? The M.A. in History of Christianity at Wheaton might be right for you. Request more information or start your application today.