Baptist Stories, 1612-2012: Short Course Module


This is an Online course (in partnership with the Oxford Department for Continuing Education) which requires your attendance to weekly meetings which take place online using Microsoft Teams meetings.
This short course will combine independent learning with live, weekly, online meetings where discussion and debate will take place between students and the tutor.
This course will close for enrolment 7 days prior to its start date.



This Level-7 (Masters level) course will offer significant insight into some of the key stories, over four hundred years of those who claim the name Baptists. Starting with the beginnings of the Baptist movement in early 17th century to its expansion in America, Europe and around the world. The Baptist story is from a small group of exiles to diverse global alliance of over 50 million people. It will look at the key theological idea of covenant, before exploring stories of worship, doctrine, cooperation, and mission. A third part of the course will then look at stories of Baptist involvement in the anti-slavery movement, the role and place of women, and ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue. Supporting this course in studying the stories will be unique material from the Angus Library, a world-leading archive of Baptist related material from the 17th to the 21st century.

Programme Details

Course begins: 18th September 2023

Week 1: Origins, Influences and Early Years

Week 2: Expansion: Three Beginnings

Week 3: Covenant: A Theological Foundation

Week 4: Church: Word, Water and Table

Week 5: Doctrine: Confessions and Controversies through the Centuries

Week 6: Cooperation: Associations, Conventions and Unions

Week 7: Revival: Participating in and being shaped by ‘Evangelical Revival’

Week 8: Mission: The Origin and Development of Mission Agencies

Week 9: Transformation: Baptist and the Slave Trade, From Sam Sharpe to the Apology

Week 10: Freedom: Soul competency, religious toleration and church and state

Week 11: Women: The role of women from Dorothy Hazzard to Lynn Green

Week 12: Partnership: Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relationships



The course will require students each week to undertake a set of tasks — reading, listening, journalling, participating in an online forum — plus a two-hour online classroom with course tutor (the timing to be determined at the beginning of the course).

Required Reading:

Baptists Through the Centuries by David Bebbington (Baylor, 2018)

Also recommended:

Baptist Ways: A History by Bill Leonard
Baptist Theology by Steve Holmes (T &T Clark, 2012)


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.
To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.
Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.
Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed.


Course Fee: £650


Dr Andy Goodliff

Andy Goodliff is Lecturer in Baptist History at Regent’s Park College who specialises in 20th century Baptist history and theology. He is the author of Renewing a Modern Denomination, the co-editor of 4 books, and has written articles in the Baptist Quarterly, Journal for European Baptist Studies, and the Pacific Journal of Theological Research.

Course Aims

The course will give students a significant insight to some of the key events and ideas in the stories of Baptist.

Course Objectives

• to develop a sophisticated understanding of the overall sweep and pattern of 400 years of Baptist history.
• to explore the pattern of that history in a variety of countries, including UK and USA, considering a number of key events and themes in depth.
• to work with important primary historical documents as sources for Baptist history and theology.
• to consider contemporary implications of this history and to develop sophisticated connections between Baptist history and present theology and experience.

Learning Outcomes

A sound and accurate knowledge of the overall shape of the history of the Baptist denomination within a global perspective.
A detailed and critical knowledge of key events and themes within this overall history.
A greater understanding of the methods of historical enquiry and the impact of history in a contemporary perspective.

A clear understanding of the cultural and theological factors which led to the various origins of the Baptist denomination world-wide.
A clear understanding of the various cultural and theological factors which have shaped the development of the Baptist denomination over 400 years.
A clear understanding of the way our knowledge of this history has been shaped by engagement with primary historical and theological texts.

A greater ability to read, understand and interpret primary historical texts.
An increased ability to offer independent sophisticated critical analysis of key texts.
A greater ability to form critical historical and theological judgments.
An ability to engage with a variety of participants from around the world through an on-line medium as part of a learning process
An ability to offer a coherent and careful written independent argument at level 7.

Assessment Methods

Formative Assessment: Students will be asked to write a formative essay of up to 1000 words on Baptist origins set in week 2 and due by the end of week 4. Feedback from this will be designed to give an indication of progress and highlight areas that need more attention.

Summative Assessment: The first piece of summative assessment will be placed midway through the course (end of week 6) and the second summative assignment will be due four weeks after the end of week 12. Students will have two weeks to complete the first summative assignment and up to six weeks to complete the second summative assignment. The first piece of summative will be a shorter exercise designed to demonstrate their understanding of one particular concept or theme (up to 2,500 words and worth 40% of the marks). Feedback from this will be designed to give an indication of progress and highlight any areas that need more attention. The second piece of summative work allows students to demonstrate their learning on the course as a whole and focus on one aspect of it (4,500 words and worth 60%of the marks).


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please complete an application form.