for HX 7371

Fall Semester 2007
Wednesdays 3-5:50 
103 Selecman

The Rt. Rev’d. James M. Stanton, Bishop
Phone: (214) 826-8310
Email: (use both);


Episcopal Church History and Canon Law
HX 7371

Lecture notes and other materials will be found at  

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States from the colonial period to the present, and to study the development of the Canon Law of the Episcopal Church and its relation to the exercise of ministry.  


In general, the class will be structured as a discussion oriented lecture.  Questions from students will be expected and invited.  Participation in class discussions is encouraged and will form part of the evaluation for grading. 

Lectures will be oriented toward identifying the persons, events and issues which resulted in the development of Episcopal Church as a denominational entity, its Book of Common Prayer, and its Canon law against the broad backdrop of American history.

Participants in class discussion should be able to use specific materials from the current or previous weeks’ readings and their knowledge of American religious and secular history to engage the themes and issues under discussion.

Readings for each week are listed below.  Students are urged to read in the order listed.

Students will be required to submit two “briefs” or papers during the course of the semester.  These papers should be brief (not to exceed 1800 words in length - roughly six pages.)  These papers will be presented to the class as a whole as indicated in the following schedule. The purpose of these papers is to permit students to engage in research of some specific item, issue, person, event or movement beyond what is presented in the lectures and about which they are interested. These briefs will enable the students to engage and teach one another.

A list of suggested topics is to be found here: LIST A.

The model brief will describe or outline the main subject, analyze the antecedents that caused and/or the consequences that flowed from the subject, and reflect on the importance of the subject for the life of the Church today. Copies should be made available for each member of the class (hard copy or e-text), and additional materials or exhibits may be added at the discretion of the student.

An e-text version of the paper must be sent to Bishop Stanton’s e-mail address (above left) by 12:00 (Noon) on the day prior to the class in which the discussion is to be held.

Additionally, students will be expected to keep a chronological record (timeline, chronologically arranged list, or something more creative) of the key historical personalities, events, and documents discussed during the course. This record will be turned in with the final exam.

There will be a final exam for the course. The exam will consist of a selection of identifications and short essays.

The final grade for the course will be calculated as follows:

Short Papers  - 30%
Final Exam  - 35%
Chronological Record  - 15%
Class Participation  - 20%

As with all courses at Perkins, class attendance is required. If an absence is unavoidable, the instructor should be notified in advance if at all possible. Failure to attend class will have a negative impact on the grade for the course. Missing 25% of classes is grounds for automatic failure.

Class Schedule:   (See below for a detailed schedule)

8/22/2007 Colonial Era 1600-1775  

8/29/2007 Revolutionary War Era 1776-1830  

9/5/2007 Missionary Expansion 1830-1850  

9/12/2007 STUDENT PAPERS  

9/19/2007 Pre- & Post-Civil War 1850-1870  

9/26/2007 Turn of the Century 1870-1930  

10/3/2007 Study Day (Bishop Stanton will be in Uganda)  

10/10/2007 STUDENT PAPERS  

10/17/2007 Modern Shifts 1930-2007  

10/24/2007 Prayer Book Revision  

10/31/2007 Canon Law Development  

11/7/2007 Ministerial Practice (Parish, Diaconate, etc)  

11/14/2007 The Anglican Communion  


Required Texts:

Pritchard, Robert. A History of the Episcopal Church, rev. edition. Harrisburg PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1999.   (click here for a link to

The Book of Common Prayer 1979.  

Constitution and Canons of the General Convention, 2006:
This document can be downloaded at the following link:  

The document is 1.04 mb in size.

You can open the document by clicking the link at the top of the page:
2006 Constitution and Canons Download.

You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in stalled on your computer in order to do so. Once open you can click  “Save this file”. Alternatively, you can right-click on the link and select “save target as” and save the document on your computer (in Windows).

The link to obtain Adobe Acrobat Reader:    

Detailed Schedule:  

(Readings are highlighted in red)

8/22/2007 Colonial Era 1600-1775
Exploration and settlement of the colonies
Political and ecclesiastical developments in England
Effects of the former on Anglican churches in colonies
Relations of Anglicans with other religious bodies  
Pritchard, chapters 1-3.

8/29/2007 Revolutionary War Era 1776-1830
Issues leading up to Revolution
Aftermath of Revolution for Anglicans
Development of an autonomous Church
First General Convention and the Episcopate  
Pritchard, chapter 4

9/5/2007 Missionary Expansion 1830-1850
The Episcopal Church develops a missionary mentality
Effects of mission
Maturing of the Church  
Pritchard, chapter 5

9/12/2007 STUDENT BRIEFS                
List A

9/19/2007 Pre- & Post-Civil War 1850-1870
Issues leading to the Civil War
Division in the Episcopal Church
Reconciliation following the War
Further expansion of the Church  
Pritchard, chapter 6

9/26/2007 Turn of the Century 1870-1930
Prayer Book Revision
Diocese of Dallas
Development of a Corporate mentality
Social conscience
More Prayer Book Revision  
Pritchard, chapters 7-8

10/3/2007 Study Day (Bishop Stanton in Uganda)    

10/10/2007 Modern Shifts 1930-2007
Theological developments
Civil Rights cause
War and Anti-war
Theological disputes  
Pritchard, chapters 9-11

10/17/2007 STUDENT BRIEFS  
List B

10/24/2007 Prayer Book Revision
Overview of the Revision Process 1789-1979
Examination of BCP and rubrics  
Book of Common Prayer

10/31/2007 Canon Law Development
Overview of Canon Law development
Examination of Canon Law  
Constitution and Canons

11/7/2007 Ministerial Practice (Parish, Diaconate, etc)
Panel discussion on Episcopal “ethos” and practice of ministry    

11/14/2007   The Anglican Communion
Development of the Anglican Communion
Instruments of Unity
Extent and character of the Communion
The Windsor Report (2004)     (click here)

12/3/2007 FINAL EXAM