Church Fathers Study Group

The Early Church Fathers Study Group is part of the St Paul's Adult Faith Formation program, and has been active since Spring 2014. We share a love of reading the original works of the Church Fathers, Saints, and Doctors who clarified the doctrine and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, thru to Vatican II. Our group exists to encourage the laity's grasp of the theological traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and we help each other's understanding within our group discussions, where all are welcomed to participate.

Fall 2018 Schedule of Readings

The St Paul’s Church Fathers Study Group will be convening for nine discussions of the following writings by Fathers of the tumultuous Third Century Church. From North Africa, Clement of Alexandria founded a new school of Theology, in which Origen would shine. Prior to which there was Tertullian with his brilliant oratorical skills, thundering against heresies. No less was Hippolytus of Rome, countering heresy with great skill, and also in the strange position of being an Anti-Pope, until he was reconciled with the Church prior to his martyrdom. Finally, we have Saint Cyprian of Carthage, Bishop extraordinary, who argued against a re-baptism of the lapsed, and against the admission to the Eucharist of those who had denied the Church during the Persecutions. We will meet from 7:00-9:00 pm, in the Spiritual Center, Rooms 1 & 2, on the following Mondays.

Monday, August 20
  • Review of the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd Century Church
    Chadwick, The Early Church, Chaps 1-3. 
    Richardson, Early Christian Fathers
Monday, August 27
  • Clement (150-215AD) The Exhortation to the Greeks,
    Introduction, The Witness of Philosophy, The Witness of Poetry, God's Plan of Redemption
Monday, September 10
  • Tertullian (155-240AD)The Apology,
    Introduction 1-6. Text, Chapters I, IV-V, VIII, XVI-XVIII, XX-XXII, XXV-XXVI, XXX, XXXII, XXXVII-XXXIX, XLV, XLVII, L. 
Monday, September 24
  • Hippolytus (170-235 AD) The Refutation of All Heresies, (2).
    Introduction (Handout). Book I, pages 1-20. Books VII, pages 131-154.
Monday, October 8
  • HippolytusThe Refutation of All Heresies
    Books VIII-X, 154-206.
Monday, October 22
  • Origen (184-253 AD)On First Principles,
    Butterworth's (translator's) Introduction, pages xxxiii-lxxvi.
    Book I, Chapters 1-V, pages 9-68.  
Monday, November 5
  • OrigenOn First Principles
    Book II, Chapters I-IV; VIII-X, pages 93-124; 151-182..
Monday, December 3
  • OrigenOn First Principles
    Book III, I-II; V. pages 193-290; 311-320. 
Monday, December 10
  • OrigenOn First Principles
    Book IV, Chapters I-III, pages 333-417.
Monday, December 17
  • Cyprian (200-258 AD) On the Church-Selected Treatises, (1)
    Introduction 11-40. I. The Fallen, Chapters 1-26, pages 99-132. II. The Unity of the Catholic Church, 145-182. 


1. Henry Chadwick, The Early Church, Penguin History of the Church, Vol 1, 1993.

2. Cyril Richardson, Early Christian Fathers,
Library of Christian Classics, 1995.

3. Clement of Alexandria, The Exhortation to the Greeks
ISBN-10: 1376451069
ISBN-13: 978-1376451061

4. Origen, On First Principles
ISBN-10: 0870612794
ISBN-13: 978-0870612794

5. Tertullian, The Apology
ISBN-10: 1516888111
ISBN-13: 978-1516888115

6. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies
ISBN-10: 1631741446
ISBN-13: 978-1631741449

7. Cyprian, Four Treatises
ISBN-10: 0881413127
ISBN-13: 978-0881413120