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The Growing Church: Medieval World

The Growing Church: Medieval World is a gentle survey course that offers a journey through the Middle Ages for Catholic families in the Aquinas House of Studies. The course will cover the Age of Christendom starting with the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) and ending with the Council of Trent (1550s). 

It is the hope that students will build a scaffold of medieval history plus walk away with a deeper love, understanding, and appreciation of the Catholic Church.  Students will learn through many different humanities including: History, Literature, Geography, Sacred Art, and Theology. Students will read through The Story of Civilization Volume 2._ _This series does an excellent job at explaining the basics of each time period plus highlighting stories of Saints, leaders, and events of the Catholic Church in a very readable narrative; it reads more like a storybook than a textbook. Students will additionally read one novel during the fall semester and one novel during the spring semester about medieval life. See the Required Resources for a list of novels. These novels have been selected for their Catholic themes.

During class time, students will be viewing sacred art, reviewing and discussing the readings for the week, participating in small and large group discussion, memorizing a medieval timeline, playing geography games (Where in the World?), and viewing primary sources (History Detectives). 

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • The Story of Civilization Volume 2: The Medieval World by Phillip Campbell
  • Choose one novel for Fall Semester:
    • _Fingal’s Quest _by Madeline Polland 
    • _If All the Swords in England _by Barbara Willard
  • Choose one novel for Spring Semester:
    • _The Door in the Wall _by Marguerite de Angeli
    • _Adam of the Road _by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • Notebook or print out of PDF note template provided for notes

Tisha Frost has been teaching in a variety of settings over the last 20 years after following one of the best pieces of advice she was ever given, “Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire” (attributed to St. Catherine of Siena). This inspired her to study both history and theology during her undergraduate years.
She obtained a B.A. in American Studies, with a minor in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Middle School and High School Social Studies. Through her experiences of teaching many students, including her own children, she has seen the need for restful education that is focused on the true, good, and beautiful.
Tisha resides in Northern Minnesota with her husband and six children. When she has a moment to herself, she enjoys children’s literature, British mysteries, good movies, and baking.

Quarter 1

  1. Q1W1:Introduction

    1. Read Introduction in Class
  2. Q1W2: Christendom 300s

    1. Early Christian
    2. Ch. 1: Christian Empire
  3. Q1W3: Fall of Rome 400s

    1. Early Mosaics
    2. Ch. 2 End of Roman World
  4. Q1W4: Byzantine Empire 500s

    1. Byzantine Architecture
    2. Ch. 3 The Age of Justinian
  5. Q1W5: Monasticism 500s

    1. Byzantine Icons
    2. St. Benedict, Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Patrick, St. Brendan
    3. Ch. 4: Rule of St. Benedict & Ch. 5 Irish Missions
  6. Q1W6: Christianity Spreads 600s

    1. Illuminated Manuscripts
    2. St. Clotilde
    3. Ch 6 Church’s Eldest Daughter
  7. Q1W7: Rise of Islam 600s

    1. Principles of Medieval Artwork
    2. St. Isidore
    3. St. Martin of Tours
    4. Ch. 7 Coming of the Moors
    5. Ch 8: Carolingians
    6. In class: Battle of Tours
  8. **Q1W8: REVIEW WEEK: **Timeline & Project

Quarter 2

  1. Q2W1: History of France

    1. Carolingian Art
    2. St. Boniface, St. Anskar, St. Cyril, St. Methodius
    3. Ch. 9 Conversion of Europe
  2. Q2W2: History of Britain

    1. Norman Architecture
    2. St. Augustine St. Aubert
    3. Ch. 10 Anglo-Saxon England and Ch 11. The Normans
  3. Q2W3: History of Britain cont.

    1. Anglo-Saxon Tapestries
    2. Ch 12. Norman Conquest of England
  4. Q2W4: The Great Schism & Crusades 1000-1300

    1. Heraldry and Symbols
    2. Ch. 13 Crusades
  5. Q2W5: Medieval Warfare

    1. Heraldry and Symbols
    2. St. Louis IX
    3. Ch. 16 Knighthood & Medieval Warfare
  6. Q2W6: Medieval Works

    1. Romanasque Cathedrals
    2. Ch. 18 Literature & Ch. 20 Architecture
  7. Q2W7: Medieval Life

    1. Gothic Cathedrals
    2. Ch. 19 Farms, Villages, Cities & Ch. 26 Medieval Law
  8. **Q2W8: REVIEW WEEK: **Timeline & Book Club (_Fingal’s Ques_t or If All the Swords in England)

Quarter 3

  1. Q3W1: New Orders 1100-1200s

    1. Giotto
    2. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
    3. Ch. 14 Investiture Controversy and Ch. 15 Medieval Church
  2. Q3W2: Scholasticism 1200s

    1. Giotto
    2. St. Francis, St. Dominic
    3. Ch. 21 The Mendicants
  3. Q3W3: Problems in the Church

    1. Fra Angelico
    2. St. Thomas Aquinas
    3. Ch. 22 Medieval Universities
    4. Extra: Biography of St. Thomas Aquinas
  4. Q3W4: Problems in the Church

    1. Fra Angelico
    2. Ch. 23 The Heretical Movements
  5. Q3W5: Great Western Schism 1300s

    1. Donatello
    2. St. Vincent, St. Elizabeth of Portugal, St Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Siena
    3. Ch. 24 Church and State
    4. Ch. 25 Avignon and Western Schism
  6. Q3W6: Black Death 1300s

    1. Mantegna
    2. Ch. 27 Black Death
  7. Q3W7: War France & England 1400s

    1. Boticelli
    2. St. Joan of Arc
    3. Ch. 28 100 Years War and Ch. 29 War of Roses
  8. **Q3W8: REVIEW WEEK: **Timeline & Project

Quarter 4

  1. Q4W1: The Fight for Spain

    1. Da Vinci
    2. St. James
    3. St. Fernando III
    4. Ch. 17 Reconquista
  2. Q4W2: A Changing World 1400s

    1. Da Vinci
    2. Ch. 30 Inventions
  3. Q4W3: Age of Exploration

    1. Michaelangelo
    2. St. Ignatius
    3. Ch. 31 Traders and Explorers
  4. Q4W4: End of Middle Ages 1500s

    1. Michaelangelo
    2. Ch. 32 Fall of Constantinople
  5. Q4W5: The Renaissance 1500s-1600s

    1. Caravaggio
    2. Ch. 33 Renaissance
  6. Q4W6: Reformation & Counter Reformation

    1. Caravaggio
    2. St. Thomas More
    3. Readings provided by Mrs. Frost
  7. **Q4W7: REVIEW WEEK: **Timeline & Book Club (_Adam of the Road _or A Door in the Wall)
  8. **Q4W8: REVIEW YEAR: **Art History, Timeline

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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