The field of ecclesiastical history employs common methods of cultural and intellectual history to study, interpret and represent the two thousand year history of Christianity, its forms of ecclesiastical organisation, its theologies and creeds, its institutions, ways of life and the history of its effects. Given the scope and the vastly differing source materials and states of research, ecclesiastical history is usually covered by several professorships in the Faculties of Theology. The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has three professorships in the Faculty of Theology: the chair for Early Church History, the chair for Medieval and Modern Church History/History of the Reformation (Prof. Dr. Dorothea Wendebourg) and the chair for Church and Denominational Studies/Eastern Church Studies (Prof. Dr. Heinz Ohme).
The institute primarily offers traditional lecture series in the field at regular intervals over the course of five semesters (four-hour sessions with tutorials and field trips):
KG I: Early Christianity
KG II: The Middle Ages
KG III: The Reformation and Catholic Reform
KG IV: The Modern Age (Baroque and the Enlightenment)
KG V: The Modern Age, Modern History and Contemporary History
In planning (for the first time in 2015) is lecture KG VI: Church History Outside of Europe
Additional two-hour lectures covering the background of ecclesiastical history, Christian mysticism and theologians of the Christian Orient will be held as well, for example. Advanced seminars (Hauptseminare) examine classical texts from the Christian tradition. Graduate seminars (Oberseminare) deal with current research problems. Exercises provide linguistic enrichment for understanding essential primary texts or adding depth to particularly interesting research questions. A seminar for advanced students and postgraduates is held each month and once each semester in the form of a block seminar. There is also an introductory seminar (Proseminar) focusing on one particular Early Christianity-related topic. Activities with peers from other disciplines are held from time to time as well. Field trips provide a complementary component to the program.