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 First Millennium Network presents its second seminar on work-in-progress Friday, Feb. 23, 9am-4:15pm at George Mason University. Lunch will be served. Participants should register online no later than Feb. 19.

Congratulations to Dr. Robin Darling Young, Associate Professor of Spirituality, who has been elected Vice President/President Elect of the North American Patristics Society.

Congratulations to Dr. Yuliya Minets (Ph.D., 2017) on the publication of "Palladius of Helenopolis: One Author, Two Ways to Write," in the Journal of Early Christian Studies 25.3 (Fall 2017): 411-40.

Congratulations to Dr. Dana Robinson (Ph.D., 2016) on the publication of "Shenoute's Feast: Ideology, Lay Piety, and the Discourse of Food in Late Antiquity," in the Journal of Early Christian Studies 25.4 (Winter 2017): 581-604.

In collaboration with the Department of Greek and Latin at the Catholic University of America and the Department of Classical Philology at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, the Center will host a conference on "Classical and Christian Education" the week of March 19-23, 2018.Both universities are members of the newly-founded Catholic Consortium for International Higher Education Collaboration (CCIHEC).

Spring  2018 EVENTS



Classical and Christian Education

March 19-23, 2018




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