Church History

Librarian's Corner

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

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 ~1,102 titles
Christianity ~222 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.

Library research guide: How to find... Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, etc.)

Church History - Websites

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.
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."
Database QuickLinks

More Information = vendor's database description
OneSearch (EBSCO's Integrated Search)



OneSearch is a comprehensive meta search across ALL, or selective, information types and platforms available at ORU. Search multiple databases simultaneously. You choose. For example, you may search ebook and article databases, simultaneously or the ORU library catalog and article databases,

  • OneSearch is a provided by EBSCO and, although it is similar in appearance to the EBSCO interface and platform, it is inclusive of almost all ORU databases and many of the Web resources that are listed in the Database List.
  • A folder created in any EBSCO database is the same folder used in OneSearch.

Getting Started with a Search
As shown below, two options are available to narrow, or specify, the databases to search.

ONESearch: Databases by SubjectOption #1 -- Choose Databases by Subject
In this option, you search all "pre-selected" databases for a subject but you choose the subjects.

  1. Go to OneSearch.
  2. Mark the box(es) in front of the subject heading(s) to select and search all the databases in that subject group. For example, to search all databases that have content relevant to theology, religion, history, humanities and/or government, try the following:
    At the top of the page for Jump to: click Theology/Religion, mark the checkbox in front of Theology/Religion, and then click the Top link at the far right, to go back to the top of the page.
    Now, at the top, repeat the process for History, humanities & Gov't.
  3. Click the Continue button.
  4. Enter your key words then search, limit, and evaluate your results. Tweak your search, as needed. Remember, use the folder to store items even those from non-EBSCO databases.
    Attention! You may want to browse the list of databases and select just those that are relevant and appropriate for your research needs. For example, if you do not need ebooks or books for your research, eliminate the book databases prior to beginning your search.

ONESearch: Alphabetical Database ListOption #2 -- Databases A-Z
In this option, you choose databases from a comprehensive alphabetical database list.

  1. Go to OneSearch.
  2. At the top of the page, click Databases A-Z.
  3. Mark the checkboxes in front of the database(s) you wish to search.
    For example, to look for items on the topic of the societal or political impact on Christianity in America, you may choose to mark the checkboxes for Academic Search Complete, America: History and Life with Full Text, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, Christian Periodical Index, etc.
    TIP: For suggested article, ebook and/or reference databases, refer to the library guide on your topic. Or, contact Ask-A-Librarian for a suggested list of databases to search.
  4. Click the Continue button at the top or bottom of the page.
  5. Search, evaluate and edit your results as needed. Save and manage your information in your EBSCO folder.

TIP: Consider a simple, comprehensive search in ONESearch to identify databases where your topic appears. Do a basic search and review your results. Then use advanced queries (i.e., use the thesaurus/subject terms, combine searches, and select from available search fields) to search those databases individually that had relevant items in your results list.

Related guides:
Theological Reference Books
Find... Dissertation/ Theses