Silver book cover with St. Peter (550/600).
New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund 1950.
Image in the Public Domain


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

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News and Announcements

On Thursday, April 11, Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Greek and Latin, spoke on the subject “A Holy Economy: Material and Spiritual Exchange in the First Female Cloister.” 5:15 pm. McMahon 205/207.

On Tuesday, April 23, Dr. Sean Moberg, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Greek and Latin, spoke on the subject “Apophthegmata Patrum and its Milieu.” 5:15pm. McMahon 205/207.

Congratulations to Dr. Sean Moberg (Ph.D., 2016) on the publication of "The Use of Illness in the Apophthegmata Patrum," in the Journal of Early Christian Studies 26.4 (Winter 2018): 571-600.

Congratulations to Sr. Maria del Fiat, Ph.D. and Dr. Sean Moberg on their appointment as Research Associates in the Department of Greek and Latin.

Congratulations to Dr. Yuliya Minets on her appointment as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University.