About ASCH

Welcome To The American Society Of Church History!


The central purpose of the American Society of Church History, founded in 1888, is the scholarly study of the history of Christianity and its relationship to surrounding cultures in all periods, locations and contexts. Through publications conferences, awards, research support, and other means, the Society encourages the study of the Christian church and faith, its figures and movements, in institutional and non-institutional settings. We welcome scholars and practitioners of all backgrounds who employ traditional or newly developing methods, disciplines, and approaches to the study of religion. The ASCH cooperates closely with the American Historical Association and other scholarly societies and organizations in joint annual meetings.

Activities Include:

  • Quarterly publication of Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, including articles and book reviews.
  • Annual winter conference held in conjunction with the American Historical Association
  • Bi-annual spring conference held at historic regional locations.
  • Travel grants for ASCH student members participating in ASCH conferences
  • Research fellowships (to be announced).
  • Book awards and graduate essay prizes.

About Our Title: The American Society of Church History

– What does “American” mean? Does the ASCH only deal with religion in North America? The Society is based in the United States, but the scope of its membership and interests is global, taking in the history of Christianity and its cultural contexts in all places and times.

– What does “Church History” mean? Does the ASCH concern itself exclusively with ecclesiastical history? While ASCH was based in the traditional disciplines of Christian denominational and ecclesiastical history that prevailed when the Society was founded in the late nineteenth century, the Society’s interests include the broad range of the most current critical scholarly perspectives, as applied to the history of Christianity in all its aspects.

Records of the American Society of Church History

The records of the ASCH are housed at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia. These include the Papers of the American Society of Church History, 1889-1934, and the Records of the American Society of Church History, 1911-1981.  (The 1889-1934 Papers are available online for members.)  The ASCH also sponsored a series of denominational histories that were published under the general editorship of Philip Schaff, H.C. Potter, and Samuel M. Jackson from 1893-1897.