Teaching Students About the Council Of Nicaea


The Council of Nicaea, held in 325 AD, was a pivotal moment in Christian history. It was the first ecumenical council of the church, and its decisions significantly shaped the course of Christianity. As a teacher, it is essential to educate students about this historical event to enhance their understanding of Christian theology and the development of the religion. The following article provides guidance on how to effectively teach students about the Council of Nicaea.

1. Historical Background:

Begin by teaching students about the historical context surrounding the Council of Nicaea. This includes discussing Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, his desire for unity within the Church, and his role in convening the council. It is essential for students to grasp this background information since it sets the stage for understanding why the council was necessary and how its decisions still impact modern Christianity.

2. Key Figures:

Introduce key figures who played a significant role in Nicaea’s proceedings. Focus on figures like Emperor Constantine, St. Alexander of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Athanasius. Highlight their contributions and perspectives in the debates that took place during the council.

3. Arianism Controversy:

Central to teaching about the Council of Nicaea is an exploration of Arianism, a heretical doctrine posited by Arius that questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ. Explain that Arianism threatened to divide Christianity and lead people astray from what would become orthodox Christian beliefs.

4. Debates and Decision-Making:

Discuss with your students how church leaders debated various theological points at Nicaea. Emphasize how these debates ultimately resulted in statements defining key aspects of Christian belief, such as the relationship between Jesus and God, as well as other matters like celebrating Easter.

5. The Nicene Creed:

Explain the significance of the Nicene Creed, which was produced in response to Arianism and continues to define the core beliefs of many Christian churches today. Explore how the Creed offers a unified statement of faith for Christians worldwide.

6. Aftermath & Legacy:

Help your students understand the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea, including how it led to subsequent Ecumenical Councils and influenced the development of Christianity. Discuss the ongoing importance of Nicaea for modern Christianity and how it is still invoked to frame discussions on theological matters.

7. Activities & Discussions:

Involve your students in activities and discussions that encourage them to reflect on the Council of Nicaea’s significance and its impact on contemporary Christianity. This can be done through group projects, debates, or role-play exercises.


Teaching students about the Council of Nicaea is an essential part of their understanding of Christianity’s history and theology. By providing historical context, key figures, and exploring significant debates that took place during this time, students can better comprehend the lasting influence that this council has had on shaping Christian beliefs.

Choose your Reaction!