Anglican Studies

The Church of England and the Anglican Communion Since the Reformation

Taught by Dr. Samuel Fornecker
Runs 9/26 – 12/10/22
$225.00 – $399.00


Anglicanism was given its definitive and normative shape by the English Reformation, and yet religious identities develop over time, even while they maintain characteristics of earlier identities. This course will examine the evolution of Anglicanism from its Erastian identity at the time of the English Reformation to its diverse and global identity in the twenty-first century, paying special attention to both the continuity and discontinuity in this fascinating process.

Deadline to register: Wednesday, September 14th




Auditing ($225):

participate in readings and live class sessions, but no graded assignments and no course credit

Full course (Full-Time Discount) ($275):

for-credit courses (at least four per term) toward our Certificate or M.Litt in Classical Protestantism

Full course ($399):

individual classes on a for-credit basis; you can later apply them toward a Certificate or Degree



Enrollment for this course has closed.


This Anglican Studies course will be taught by Rev. Dr. Samuel Fornecker, and will run from September 26th through December 10th. The syllabus is available here.

The tradition known as “Anglicanism” was given its definitive and normative shape by the English Reformation of the Tudor period. Yet religious identities develop over time, even and especially as they lay claim to continuity with earlier identities. This course will examine the development of the Anglican tradition from its beginnings as a Tudor ecclesial project, rooted in royal supremacy, vernacular liturgy, and the abolition of medieval piety, following it through the cataclysmic events of the seventeenth-century, up to its present state as the diverse, global family of churches into which it has proliferated in the twenty-first century. 

Special attention will be paid to those aspects of continuity and discontinuity that serve to equip students with a theologically textured and historiographically considered understanding of the post-Reformation Anglican tradition. Among these aspects will number influential characters, crises, and developments which shaped the Church of England from the late Elizabethan period to the advent of global Anglicanism. Attention is given to key controversies of the late sixteenth- through the early eighteenth-centuries over ecclesiastical divisions, soteriology, Trinity, reason, and revelation. Students will assess the major reception movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—evangelicalism, pre-Tractarian High Church, and the Oxford Movement—and consider their development and maturation throughout twentieth and twenty-first century Anglican theological reflection.

The successful student will have cultivated the skills necessary to (i) assess the role that historical context played in the development of divergent Anglican traditions of reflection and practice; (ii) identity key moments, people, and places in the maturation of these traditions in the interval from Richard Hooker to global Anglicanism; (iii) understand Anglicanism, not merely as a homogeneous “common denominator,” but as a family of traditions of reflection and practice with distinctive historiographical and theological pedigrees; and (iv) discover ways in which understanding of complex reform movements of the mid sixteenth- through early eighteenth-century serves to clarify and refine contemporary formulations of Anglican theological self-understanding.


The Rev’d Dr Sam Fornecker (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Associate Rector at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Mount Pleasant, SC, Director of Seminary Programs at The Ridley Institute, and author of Bisschop’s Bench: Contours of Arminian Conformity in the Church of England, 1674–1742 (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology, 2022). He is the host of The Ridley Institute Podcast, including its bimonthly series, The New Parker Society. He lives in Charleston with his wife, four children, and zoological menagerie. Find Sam on Twitter @Sfornecker.




Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion on the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.


This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.