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Religious Studies Guide: Researching in Religious Studies and Theology

Research tools for students in religious studies

How to use this guide

This guide contains suggested resources and how-to tutorials to guide you through your research. On this main page you'll find some databases and websites that we suggest you use for religious studies and theology research. We also have a guide dedicated to Catholic studies.

Need to develop your idea?

If you are just starting your research, you may need to develop your topic further. Ask yourself:

  • What do I already know?
  • What do I need to know?

As you consider these questions, take a look at a few of our reference resources for general, background information about your topic. The information you find in these resources will help you determine what you need to know, what search terms or keywords to use, an what, exactly, it is that you hope to discover through your research.

Official Church Documents

Find academic journal articles

Database Searching Strategies

Try Ebscohost's tutorials to learn about searching the ATLA database. Below is a method for searching specific texts.

Liaison Librarian

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Kim Olson-Kopp
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Office: M109
Viterbo University, La Crosse WI 54601
(608) 796-3263

Learn about Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi


"Without doubt Francis is the most beloved saint in all of Christian history. Known as Il Poverello (“the Poor One”), he founded the Franciscan Order and became author of the most famous early Italian poem, the “Canticle of the Sun.” Tradition calls him the “seraphic saint” and the patron of animals and nature. Pope Gregory IX (r. 1227-41) canonized him in 1229. His feast day is October 4." (quote from the Encyclopedia of World Religions: Encyclopedia of Catholicism)

Use Credo Reference as a way to learn about St. Francis of Assisi. Credo provides background information from encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Need help researching? Try asking a question in our chat box or making a research appointment. In the meantime, start learning more about St. Francis by doing the following: