Did you know that top universities from around the world offer free online Christian courses? You even get a real certificate to put on your resume and show off your new skills with.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but it is not. The website Coursera has been offering a big variety of free and paid online courses since 2012, and some of them are connected to Christianity.
On the website, you learn through readings, video lectures, individual tasks and sometimes even group work with fellow students from all over the world.
Let us take a look at some of the courses from the Christian section.
A Journey Through Western Christianity: From Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200-1650)
The course is provided by the prestigious Yale University and is taught by Bruce Gordon.
During the 44 hours the course takes, you will dive into the incredible transformation Western Christianity has been through over the years.
From the persecution under the Roman Empire to its global expansion with the Jesuits of the early modern world.
You will hear personal stories about faith, violence, suppression and division, as well as you will be taught about the Crusades and the rise of Martin Luther’s Protestantism.
The course also touches upon Christianity’s similarities and fights with Judaism and Islam.
The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future
The course is provided by Emory University and is taught by Dr. Jacob L. Wright.
It is described as an illustration of the thoroughgoing manner with which Biblical authors responded to defeat by advancing a demotic agenda that places the community at the center.
The aim of the Biblical authors was to create a nation, and they sought to realize this goal via a shared text, which includes stories and songs, wisdom and laws. This corpus of writings belongs, without a doubt, to humanity’s greatest achievements.
Whereas the great civilizations of the Near East invested their energies and resources into monuments of stone that could be destroyed by invading armies, the Biblical authors left a literary legacy that has been intensively studied until the present day.
More important, these authors’ visionary response to defeat brought to light a radical new wisdom: the notion that a people is greater than the state which governs it, and that a community can survive collapse when all of its members can claim a piece of the pie and therefore have a reason to take an active part in its collective life.
Luther and the West
The course is provided by Northwestern University and is taught by Christine Helmer.
The 12-hour course centers around the German priest Martin Luther who brought the Reformation onto the world when he introduced Protestantism in the 16th century.
In the course, you will explore why Martin Luther thought the Bible was the most important book for anyone to have and to read. His idea of freedom, his understanding of freedom in Christ and how it has affected the way modern thinkers understand what being a human in a community is also touched upon.
When you talk about Martin Luther, it is hard to omit his anti-Judaism views, which has contributed to Western antisemitism. This is, of course, also part of the course.
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