Church History

Librarian's Corner

  • Articles
  • Subjects
  • Books/e-
  • Reference
  • Journals
  • Web
  • Citations
  • QuickLinks

Church History - Subjects, Thesaurus, etc.

ATLA Subject SearchSubject Searching

1. Choose a database.
ATLA Religion Database
America: History & Life

2. Access and select the controlled vocabulary.
In a database, when available, click the Subject Terms, Thesaurus or More>Indexes links in the top menu bar. As needed, choose a field.

3. Key in your term.
In the Browsing text box key in your topic, such as Church History, try Relevancy Ranked for the option, and then click Browse.

4. Select your terms.
From the list of displayed subjects, click a term to display the details or drill down through available subject. Mark the checkboxes for terms that identify your topic then click the Add button, which will move your selected subject terms into the searching text box at the top of the page. Click Search.

5. Search, evaluate and edit.

Try this:
Go to ATLA Religion Database. Click Indexes in top menu bar. For Browse an Index choose Subjects All. Key in a term, such as church history, then mark relevant terms. Click Add. Click Search.

Tutorials: ATLA: Searching Subject Headings for Sacred Texts of World Religions (3 min. YouTube)


Some databases have unique features such as the CLIO Notes in America: History & Life.

America: History & Life-- CLIO NotesAmerica: History and Life with Full Text

"CLIO Notes on America: History & Life guide you through subjects in United States history, by allowing you to browse through chronologies and brief summaries of significant events and themes in American history. On the main screen, you will find a list of major time periods and events. Each of these is further divided into subtopics that display informative essays and suggestions for further research. Linked subject terms are also provided, which allow you to search the entire America: History and Life database for articles, book and media reviews, and dissertations." --EBSCO

Try this:
Go to the database. Click CLIO Notes (top menu bar) > The Road to Revolution > Colonial Religions > The Great Awakening


Church History - Books and eBooks

Search the ORU library catalog

  • Try a subject search for your topic. From the list of subjects that come up, click a subject to view the list of book titles.
  • Citations in the Library Catalog New
    If you use a book from the library, do a title keyword search in the library catalog, access the record, and then click How do I Cite this? (circled in the image below) Select the correct citation style (MLA) then copy/paste/edit the citation, as needed. Note: Always check the citation references for accuracy with the print style manual.

    ORU Library Catalog Go there.

Search eBooks
ebrary star
  • Combine keyword and subject searches.
  • Consider using call numbers as a search for titles on your subject.
  • Use the "Chapter Results" tab to view most relevant chapters.
Sample Titles by Subjects
Christianity and Culture ~59 ebooks
Church History ~230 ebooks
Religion 2,100+ ebooks
Sample Titles
--In Procession Before the World: Martyrdom As Public Liturgy in Early Christianity  
--Irenaeus and Genesis : A Study of Competition in Early Christian Hermeneutics  
Contemporary American Religion
show/hide ebrary TIPS: ebrary Call Number Sections | Chapter Results tab

Browse ebook titles in a specific call number section
(shown below)
ebraryUse Advanced search. Change Search in menu to LC Call Number.
Type the call numbers (see LC outlines).
Click Search ebrary.
It's like browsing virtual ebrary shelves.

View the 20 most relevant chapters from your ebooks result list,
Do a search.
When you have a list of results, click the Chapter Results tab.

eBook Collection 
9,600+ full-text ebooks in all disciplines. Free downloads. Restricts full text to 1-5 simultaneous readers. Help pages | Downloading eBooks Tutorial. EBSCO More...

Library research guide: How to find... Books & ebooks

Church History - Reference Materials

eReference Collections
Reference books provide objective background information, quick facts, statistics, biographies, and more.
Biography in Context
Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Church Fathers (CCEL) Free on the Web
show/ hide panel Provides searchable full text.
"Early Church Fathers is a 38-volume collection of writings from the first 800 years of the Church. This collection is divided into three series, Ante-Nicene(ANF), Nicene and Post-Nicene Series I (NPNF1), and Nicene and Post-Nicene Series II (NPNF2)."
In the ORU Library--Church Father's call number section is BR.60...LRC-R
Search: In the ORU library catalog or ebrary, try a subject search for Fathers of the Church or an author search for a church father.
See: author search-Augustine of Hippo (library catalog - author search)
See: subject search-"Fathers of the Church" (ebrary - subject search)
Credo Reference Center ORU database-- If you are off campus, includes distance learners, you will need to login.
Concept Map Examples: Cultures | American Christianity | church history
Topic Pages Samples: Culture | Christianity
Title - Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) star
GVRL Citation ToolGo there.
Titles Include:

In the Library, LRC-4th Floor
For general information, use a subject encyclopedia or dictionary to look up a religion, movement, or country. Get background information on politics, cultural and social environment, education, religion, etc. Although you cannot include general encyclopedias in a bibliography they may be helpful as a preliminary source.

To find reference titles, use the Library catalog, enter your keywords, and limit your results to "Reference Collection."

Sample title: World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Study of Churches -- BR157.W67 LRC-R

What are the call number sections relevant to your topic?
See the Library of Congress Classification Outline and drill down to your subject.
See also: the ORU Modified LC Outline
Use call numbers to identify areas to browse in the reference collection and for searching the ebrary database.

Reference books cannot be checked; however, some titles may have a duplicate in the main collection that is available for checkout. Search the title you need in the library catalog to see if the book is located elsewhere in the library and availability for checkout.

Church History - Journals and eJournals

A-to-Z Journals List (journals, magazines, trade publications, etc.)
Try a title key word search, find an interesting journal title and browse an issue for topic ideas.
Sample titles by subject
History: America ~1,429 journal titles titles
Christianity ~243 journal titles
Christianity--History ~10 journal titles

See additional subject categories for
Philosophy, Psychology and Religion. (Choose a subject > select a title > follow the links to full text)
Sample Journal titles
Use the links below to access the detailed journal record. Then, drill down to a year/issue to browse or use "search within this publication" to search all issues for your topic.
Christian History (1990-2008; title changed to Christian History & Biography in 2004)
Church and State (1993 to present)
Church History (1993-present)
Church History and Religious Culture (2006 to present; embargo: 1 year)
Journal of Religious History (1998-present; embargo: 1 year)
TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism (2000 to present) - an electronic journal dedicated to the study of the Jewish and Christian biblical texts.
Open Access Journals
DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
Gnosticism, church unity and the Nicene Creed (2008)
A reading of T.S. Eliot's Ash-Wednesday (2010)
Theological Journal Search
See: How to find... Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, etc.)

Church History - Websites

BibleStudyTools: History -
The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925 (Library of Congress)
"...traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life." Search by keyword or browse the subject, author and titles indexes.
NAPS-North American Patristics Society
Includes papers, dissertations, thesis and more dedicated to the Study of the History & Theology of Early Christianity Learn More
Early Christian Authors star
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic star (Library of Congress) -
Exhibition Overview
Ministry Watch
Provides ministry organization details, purpose, history, program accomplishments, statement of faith and more.
Includes: 1) Databases and tables covering Crime, Education, Energy, Environment, Finance, Food and Agriculture, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Development, Indication Database, Industry, Population, Refugees, Trade, and more); 2) Updates; and 3) Country data services. More
The World Factbook
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities."
Subject Directories and Portals
BUBL: Religion
Religious Studies Web Guide: Religious Group/Subject (by Saundra Lipton)
Wabash Center: Internet Guide to Religion
Browse Subject Headings by "Aspects of religion" or "Religions--by faith traditions, geographical areas, or people groups."

Most databases have tools that create citations in several formats, such as MLA, APA and Turabian. Try the tools listed below to copy/paste/edit citations, as needed to match your assignment requirements. Always check the citation references for accuracy with the ORU Research & Writing Manual (choose the Bibliographic Examples tab) and your professor's requirements.


If you use a book from the library, do a title keyword search in the library catalog, access the record, and then click How do I Cite this? (circled in the image below) Select the correct citation style, such as Chicago/ Turabian, then copy/paste/edit the citation.

Library Catalog citation link Go there.


ARTICLES in the EBSCOhost Platform

For a single citation in an EBSCO database, click the article title to access the detailed record. Click the "cite" button in the right toolbar then choose the recommended style. (The "Tools" menu is only available on the detailed item record; it is not on the results page.) Copy, paste, and edit the citation to match the Research & Writing Manual style requirements. (See the comparison at the end of this page.)

EBSCO citations Go there.

For multiple citations use the EBSCO folder:

The EBSCO Folder is a personal information management tool to save articles, save searches, create citations lists, write notes, and more. Create a folder then sign in to your folder. Note: Items added to the default folder are NOT saved.

  1. After you add the articles to the folder, click Folder has items at the top of the page.
    In the folder:
  2. Click checkboxes to mark items to be cited.
  3. Click the Print icon (in the right toolbar).
    In the Print Manager window:
  4. Uncheck HTML Full Text box and Search History, if showing and checked.
  5. Choose a Citation Format.
  6. Click Print (items are reformatted for printing). PrinT or cancel, then save or copy/paste/edit the citations.
Examples below provide a content comparison between an EBSCO citation for Chicago/Turabian, Humanities style and the ORU Research & Writing Manual style. Edit EBSCOhost citations accordingly. Please note that the citation examples below do not include proper indentation.

Online article: Righteousness, Human and Divine by Carl Graesser.

Example of EBSCOhost citation format for Chicago/Turabian Humanities:

Graesser, Carl. "Righteousness, human and divine." Currents In Theology And Mission 10, no. 3 (June 1, 1983): 134-141. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 23, 2014).

Sample citation from the ORU Research & Writing Manual (online version, p. 100; print, p. 99) and as updated by Dr. David Hebert:

Graesser, Carl. “Righteousness, Human and Divine.” Currents in Theology and Missions 10, no. 3 (June 1, 1983): 134-141. ATLA Religion Database, EBSCOhost (23 January 2014).

Database QuickLinks

More Information = more information

Related guides:
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