Center for The Study of Early Christian Texts

Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts

Concordia Seminary’s Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts (C-SECT) aims to acquaint the church with the early church fathers and their contribution to Christianity. Christians and non-Christians alike typically are not well-informed about the history of the early Christian church and its writings. Popular media increasingly portrays the development of both the Bible and the Christian church in ways that diminish the authority of Scripture, questioning the authenticity and credibility of early church writings.

C-SECT studies the text of the early church and provides insights into the history and substance of what the early church believed.

“I’m convinced that the first generations of the church have much to teach the 21st century church,” C-SECT Director Dr. Joel Elowsky. “The big questions, the eternal questions facing our world, our society, our culture and our church, have not changed and neither have we. We are still blind, dead, enemies of God who need a savior who has saved us by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He was Lord of the church then and He is Lord of the church today and He was the Lord of the church throughout all of the centuries in between.”

ICCS Press
Digital and print resources with a special emphasis in early Christian studies, including the Historical Atlas of Ancient Christianity.

Center for Early African Christianity
Organization whose purpose is to resource African Christians as they rethink their own agenda using classic African sources.


InterVarsity Press
Biblical commentaries edited by C-SECT Director Dr. Joel Elowsky

Robert Wilken lecture
In Defense of Allegory: Sitting at the Feet of the Church Fathers
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts

Meet Dr. Joel Elowsky
Part 1
Part 2

Days of Future Past: Listening to the First Generations of the Church
Concordia Seminary’s 175th Anniversary Lecture
Dr. Joel Elowsky