The Lives of the Saints: Then and Now*

CH/TH 3XL3/5XL5/6XL6

Last Revised: December 14, 2020

This course examines the lives of the saints (“then”) and their relevance to life and ministry today (“now”), primarily through a reading of their (or their follower’s) writings. It is concerned with the historical and theological development of the saints, the role of hagiography in the life of the church, and the appropriation of the lives of the saints for life and ministry today.


  • to provide an understanding of the historical development of saints, the theological diversity of saints, and the role of the saints in the life of the three main traditions of the church
  • to understand the various forms of ministry practiced by saints over the centuries


  • to explore (and ultimately appreciate) the different expressions of spirituality and models of ministry as practiced by the many saints of the church
  • to provide “friends and mentors” for life and ministry 


  • to develop a pattern for one’s own vocational direction
  • to develop a spiritual disciplines based on the lives of the saints
  • to develop in each student an ability to assess hagiography and situations from an historical perspective