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Chicago Footnote Referencing - Theology students: Primary Sources

This guide provides information on how to reference using the Chicago Footnote referencing style. PLEASE NOTE: counselling and education students should use APA referencing style.

Using primary sources

Primary sources are typically used in Church History subjects, but may be used in other subjects as well. They may be part of collected works, published individually as translations, or provided online. If you are not sure whether you need to use primary sources, if using primary sources is appropriate, or if a document is considered a primary source, please check with your lecturer.

For primary sources published individually, reference according to the information provided for translated books.

Titles may be presented in English or the original language (usually Latin or Greek, often abbreviated), whichever is more commonly known or appropriate.

How to reference primary sources

Many primary church history documents are parts of a larger collected work. In order to reference correctly you need to refer to both the primary document and the collected work in your footnote and bibliography. This is similar to referencing a book chapter however the publication date of the primary document is included in the title and if the primary document has any section/part numbers within the article these are included as well.



1st citation 

First name Surname of original author, "Title of Primary Document, Year of Publication," in Title of Collected Work: Subtitle, ed. First name Surname (City of publication: Publisher, Year), section/part number from primary document (if applicable), page number(s) from collected work. 

Ben M Bogard, "The Baptist Way, 1945," in Readings in Baptist History: Four Centuries of Selected Documents, ed. Joseph Early, Jr (Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2008), Chapter IV, 169.

Subsequent citations

Surname, "Title of Primary Document," page number(s).

Bogard, "The Baptist Way, 1945," 167.




Surname of original author, First name. "Title of Primary Document, Year of Publication." In Title of Collected Work: Subtitle, ed. First name Surname, page numbers of entire document. City of publication: Publisher, Year.  

Bogard, Ben M. "The Baptist Way, 1945." In Readings in Baptist History: Four Centuries of Selected Documents, edited by Joseph Early, Jr, 167-71. Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2008.


Many translations are available online, for example the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. If the translation comes straight from a print version and all details are provided, the work can be referenced according to the print details, with the URL added; otherwise, provide the details outlined here.



1st citation 

Author name, Title of work*, page/section number.

Cyprian, On unity, 5.



Author name. Title of work, translation**, URL.

Cyprian. On unity. ANF 5.


*The title may be presented in English or the original language (usually Latin or Greek, often abbreviated).

**The translation is not strictly necessary, but helps identify at a glance which version you are using. If there is no clear translation, leave this section blank.

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