We investigate the calculation of approximate non-equilibrium quantum time correlation functions (TCFs) using two popular path-integral-based molecular dynamics methods, ring-polymer molecular dynamics (RPMD) and centroid molecular dynamics (CMD). It is shown that for the cases of a sudden vertical excitation and an initial momentum impulse, both RPMD and CMD yield non-equilibrium TCFs for linear operators that are exact for high temperatures, in the t = 0 limit, and for harmonic potentials; the subset of these conditions that are preserved for non-equilibrium TCFs of non-linear operators is also discussed. Furthermore, it is shown that for these non-equilibrium initial conditions, both methods retain the connection to Matsubara dynamics that has previously been established for equilibrium initial conditions. Comparison of non-equilibrium TCFs from RPMD and CMD to Matsubara dynamics at short times reveals the orders in time to which the methods agree. Specifically, for the position-autocorrelation function associated with sudden vertical excitation, RPMD and CMD agree with Matsubara dynamics up to O(t4) and O(t1), respectively; for the position-autocorrelation function associated with an initial momentum impulse, RPMD and CMD agree with Matsubara dynamics up to O(t5) and O(t2), respectively. Numerical tests using model potentials for a wide range of non-equilibrium initial conditions show that RPMD and CMD yield non-equilibrium TCFs with an accuracy that is comparable to that for equilibrium TCFs. RPMD is also used to investigate excited-state proton transfer in a system-bath model, and it is compared to numerically exact calculations performed using a recently developed version of the Liouville space hierarchical equation of motion approach; again, similar accuracy is observed for non-equilibrium and equilibrium initial conditions.