Embark on a captivating journey through the annals of Church history as we investigate the truth behind controversial events and questions about our past as Catholics. Join Christendom College history professor Dr. Christopher Lane for a thought-provoking exploration that will give you the tools to understand and defend Church history. From the early Church’s Catholicity to the complex relationship between temporal authority and Christianity, from the motivations behind the Crusades to the corruption that plagued the Catholic Church in the late Middle Ages, this class will provide you with key insights so you can explain difficult questions from Church history.


  • Unravel the mysteries of the early Church and learn how today’s Catholic Church is a continuation of its ancient roots, as established by Christ himself.
  • Gain a deep understanding of the complex relationship between temporal authority and the Church, tracing its evolution from the reign of Emperor Constantine and beyond.
  • Uncover the true motivations behind the Crusades, an often maligned and misunderstood epoch of Christian history.
  • Understand the shocking events of the Fourth Crusade, including the sack of Constantinople and the conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 1204.
  • Examine and contextualize the corruption of leaders within the Catholic Church in the late Middle Ages, setting the stage for the explosive rise of Protestantism.
  • Acquire the tools necessary to approach other challenging questions in Church history with confidence and clarity.
Prepare to have your preconceptions challenged and your understanding of the Church’s past transformed as you embark on this unforgettable educational experience.
John A. Cuddeback


Christopher J. Lane, Ph.D., is a Professor of History at Christendom College. His doctoral dissertation at the University of Notre Dame focused on the history of vocational discernment and of lay vocation in early modern France. He is a member of the American Catholic Historical Association and the Society for French Historical Studies and has presented at numerous conferences speaking on the topic of Vocations and Divine Providence. He is the author of Callings and Consequences: The Making of Catholic Vocational Culture in Early Modern France.



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