The Catholic University of America

Early Christian sarcophogus




The Center for the Study of Early Christianity is an interdisciplinary research center of the Catholic University of America reporting directly to the Provost. It administers its own graduate program and awards Mellon-Helis Fellowships in Early Christian Studies. It also sponsors a broad range of related scholarly activities, including lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, publications, and networks of affiliation.  The Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professorship of Early Christian Studies is integral to the functioning of the Center, and the Distinguished Professor who occupies this endowed chair fulfills its expectations – through teaching, research, and publication – within the framework of the Center.

Our Goals
  • To foster an interdisciplinary approach to the study of early Christianity across the whole University.
  • To provide the setting and the resources, and to create regular and special events, that will help all faculty and graduate students in the field to share their interests and enthusiasms, build on what they have achieved, and develop new ideas and projects.
Our Governing Principles
  • We believe that the development of early Christianity has to be studied in its social, political, and cultural context.
  • We emphasize the importance of the ancient languages of the early Christian era - Greek especially, but also Latin, Syriac, and Coptic (along with several other languages of the Christian Orient).
  • We aim to develop within each student the skills proper to a range of disciplines and methodologies. 

History of the Center.

NEW! Graduate Admissions Portal.

 News and Announcements

The Inaugural Bellet Lecture of the Dept. of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures will take place on Thurs. Oct. 27 at 5:15pm in 102 Aquinas Hall. The lecture will be delivered by Prof. Mark Sheridan, OSB (PhD, Semitics '90) on "Late Antiquity in Upper Egypt: Rufus of Shotep.”

The Center congratulates Dr. Joel Kalvesmaki (PhD, ECS '06), Editor in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, and Dr. Robin Darling Young, Associate Professor of Spirituality, on the publication of their co-edited book, Evagrius and His Legacy (Notre Dame, Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2016).

The Center congratulates Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM, Doctoral Candidate in Early Christian Studies, on her recently-published article, "Mary as Un-tier and Tier of Knots: Irenaeus Reinterpreted," Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.3 (Fall 2016): 337-361.

The Center congratulates Dr. Susan Wessel, Associate Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, on the publication of her most recent book: Passion and Compassion in Early Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016).

The Center congratulates Dr. Christian Hornung, Visiting Scholar, on the publication of his most recent book: Apostasie im antiken Christentum: Studien zum Glaubensabfall in altkirchlicher Theologie, Disziplin und Pastoral (4.-7. Jahrhundert n. Chr.) (Leiden: Brill, 2016). 





Prof. Philip Rousseau, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Early Christian Studies

"Jean Mabillon and monastic renewal"

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Open to the public

Herzfeld Auditorium  (108 Hannan Hall)



To be announced. 

Seminars are restricted to invited guests and members of the ECS/CUA community. Please direct inquiries to Center for the Study of Early Christianity. 



Prof. William Klingshirn
211 McMahon Hall
Mailing Address:
211 McMahon Hall 
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington DC 20064