History of Christianity in Scotland

Christianity has played a pivotal role in shaping Scotland from its arrival. This course explores these enigmatic origins and charts:

  • the history of the Christianity in Scotland,
  • the role of Medieval Catholicism in shaping and consolidating the medieval state,
  • the transformation of society through the Scottish Reformation and its role in shaping national identity,
  • the diversification of Protestant traditions, the role of Scottish Christianity in British imperialism,
  • the development of deeply rooted sectarianism, and the rapid and significant secularization of Scotland in the last fifty years.

Thus the course represents a traditional Church History approach, shaped by recent developments in cultural and social history. For those interested in the history of Christianity in Scotland and its global significance, this three-week intensive summer school will provide a rich and broad overview.

Moreover, the course will provide an opportunity to visit some of the key sites first-hand.

For North Americans coming from universities with religious affiliations, this course has been taken to fulfil core-requirements in Religious or Christian studies. 

What you will learn

The course will provide the opportunity to:

  • examine the beliefs and practices of Scotland’s inhabitants from the introduction of Christianity to the present
  • critically assess some of the historical and cultural influences of Christianity on Scotland
  • identify the ongoing development of these traditions and compare them with modern influences of secularization.

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • describe and analyse some of the main features of Scotland’s Christian history
  • evidence an appreciation of Scotland’s diverse traditions and their distinct contributions to Scottish culture
  • discuss some of the historical and contemporary challenges that have shaped religion in Scotland
  • articulate some of the particularly Scottish expressions of global religions traditions.

Teaching pattern

  • Mondays: AM and PM sessions (2.5 hours)
  • Tuesdays: AM and PM sessions (2.5 hours)
  • Wednesdays: field trips
  • Thursdays: AM and PM sessions (2.5 hours)
  • Fridays: Independent study days.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
  • you should be currently enrolled at an international higher education institution.

If your first language is not English, you must meet our minimum proficiency level:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) overall score of 6.0, with no sub test less than 5.5
  • we also accept equivalent scores in other recognised qualifications such as ibTOEFL, CAE, CPE and more
  • visit eligibility

This is a guide, for further information email internationalsummerschools@glasgow.ac.uk 

Why Glasgow?

The University of Glasgow has been teaching religious history since its foundation in 1451 and is rare in holding an academic post designated specifically for the teaching and research of Scottish religious history. Glasgow hosts the Scottish Religious Cultures Network, which is a pioneering endeavour to consolidate expertise in Scottish religious history across academic staff in archaeology, art history, history, Scottish literature and theology.

The city hosts a number of important sites, including the 12th century Glasgow Cathedral, Govan Old Parish Church with its early medieval carved stones, and the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.