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Methodist Studies  

Recommended resources for the study of Methodist history, theology, polity, and church life.
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2016 URL: http://guides.theology.library.emory.edu/methodist_studies Print Guide RSS Updates

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The Methodist Movement began in the mid-eighteenth century with John and Charles Wesley, clergy in the Church of England, who  preached outside the walls of churches and organized groups for spiritual disicpline.  Today many denominations claim Methodist heritage and theology; the largest is the United Methodist Church.

The focus of this guide is the United Methodist Church, its predecesor bodies in the United States, and its Wesleyan roots. Topic areas include, history, theology, doctrine, polity, and practice of ministry.

Some resources are available to Emory affiliates only, but when possible, freely available on-line resources are recommended. The United Methodist Church's website, www.umc.org, is also an excellent place to do research, and will be featured on many of the subsequent tabs. 


Library of Congress

When browsing the shelves, books on Methodism can be found in the BX8201-8495 call numbers.

When seaching the catalog, use the authorized subject heading for each denomination:

Methodist Church (the default when a specific denomination isn't clear)
Methodist Church (U.S.)
Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Episcopal Church South
Methodist Protestant Church (U.S. 1830-1939)
United Methodist Church (U.S.)

Add geographic or conference name for more specificity. (Example Methodist Church (US) Georgia)

Adding any of these words will also help focus the search:

  • doctrine;
  • education;
  • government;
  • history,
  • missions;

but to search for Methodist Leaders, use: "Methodists biography" or the name of the person.


Blogs of Interest

  • The Methoblog
    A collection of blogs by pastors and writers in the United Methodist Church.
  • United Methodeviations: Rethinking Church inthe 21st Century
    Maintained by ordained elder and writer Dan R. Dick. An ecclectic mix of wisdom, criticism, inspiration. Progressive and provocative.
  • Emerging United Methodist
    A place for United Methodists and others to explore and share their ideas, resources, visions, and dreams of or about mission, ministry and worship in the emerging missional way... (from the blog)

Journals and Magazines

Many scholarly journals feature articles on Methodism.  Use the ATLA Religion Database with broad search terms methodis* or Wesley* (with related topic, if desired) to find articles and essays.  The following journals are highly recommended.

The Asbury Journal
A peer-reviewed journal from Asbury Seminary. (Print only)

Circuit Rider
ONLINE from Spring, 2001 (via MinistryMatters). Professional magazine for pastors.

Epworth Review
ONLINE Epworth Review is an journal published in England covering contemporary issues, theology and some history.

Methodist History
LIMITED ONLINE From the UMC Commission on Archives and History. Print volumes available from 1962-present. Online link provides access to a growing number of issues.

Methodist Review: A Journal of Methodist and Wesleyan Studies
ONLINE A peer-reviewed journal which is freely available online featuring articles in all areas and eras of Wesleyan and Methodist studies,including biblical, theological, ethical, philosophical, practical, historical, biographical, and social-scientific topics and methodologies.

Quarterly Review
ONLINE Available online through the Board of Higher Education and Ministry and also in print at Pitts Library. This scholarly journal was published from 1980-2005.

Wesley and Methodist Studies
Call Number: Pitts Theology Library: ALPHA BY TITLE
Publishes peer-reviewed essays that examine the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, their contemporaries (proponents or opponents) in the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival, their historical and theological antecedents, their successors in the Wesleyan tradition, and studies of the Wesleyan and Evangelical traditions today.

Wesleyan Theological Journal
ONLINE From Northwest Nazarene University. Also available in print at Pitts Library.

Dissertations and Theses

  • Doctoral theses in Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, 2011
    The journal Methodist History includes an annual list of recent doctoral theses related to Methodism, as compiled by the Methodist Librarian at Drew University. The most recent is for 2011 and is printed in the April 2012 issue (v. 50, no. 3), p. 185-186. The issue is available in the periodicals room of Pitts Theology Library.
  • Dissertations and Theses (Full-Text)


The 6th edition of United Methodist Studies: Basic Bibliographies edited by Christopher Anderson, Methodist Librarian at Drew University, lists resources for Methodist Studies through 2014. Must see!


Book Series

Kingswood Books
This series consistently produces top-notch scholarship in the areas of Methodist and Wesleyan history and theology.

United Methodism and American Culture - Russell Richey
A series with objectives: to provide a careful, fresh estimate of the history of Methodism in America; to attempt a portrait of the denomination in the 21st century; and to explore policy issues regarding the UMC's future, effective participation in America and the world.

United Methodist Church History of Mission Series
Mission histories of the UMC and predecessor churches.


Methodist Archive

An exciting new digitization project through the Internet Archive can be found at AmericanMethodism.org  This is a cooperative project of all United Methodist theology libraries and includes all General Conference Journals from 1972 to the present.

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