Here’s my recommendations:
Online Church History Resources:
This website addresses many historical questions regarding the Catholic Church from an apologetics standpoint. It is run by a Catholic layman and is directed primarily towards an Evangelical Christian audience. The goal is to help increase understanding of the Catholic Church and encourage unity. Includes a helpful timeline of the first 500 years of Church history.
Catholic Educator’s Resource Center
This is an excellent resource to locate articles on a wide variety of topics relevant to Catholic education, including many great articles related to Church history.
Online intratext version of the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia. Good source for information on many people, places, and events in Church history up through the beginning of the 20th century.
From their website: “CatholicHistory.net is a resource for students, teachers, researchers, and anyone interested in the history of Catholicism in the United States. Its purpose is to promote deeper and wider understanding of the place of Catholics and the Catholic Church in the history of the American nation.”
This is a directory of links to good articles on Church History from all over the internet. They have links to articles on many other topics as well as www.catholic-pages.com/dir.
Diocese of Steubenville Church History Web course
A overview course on the history of the Church.
Eusebius’ Church History
An online version of this classic book. It is a thorough look at the history of the Catholic Church from the beginning up to the time of Constantine (ca. 325 AD).
EWTN Document Library – Church History
Here is a database of over 150 articles related to Church history. EWTN also has a library of articles on a wide variety of additional topics at www.ewtn.com/new_library/fileindexes.htm.
Church History Books:
Aquilina, Mike. The Fathers of the Church. Expanded edition. Huntington, Indiana, Our Sunday Visitor, 2006. The first edition was published in 1999. This book is an excellent introduction to the most important writings of the early Church Fathers.
Aquilina, Mike. The Mass of the Early Christians. 2nd edition. Huntington, Indiana, Our Sunday Visitor, 2007. The first edition was published in 2001. This book does a great job of looking at the writings of the early Church Fathers to see what the Mass was like in early Church history.
Crocker, III, H. W. Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church. Roseville, California: Forum/Prima Publishing, 2001. A very readable, and sometimes humorous, overview of Church history.
Didache Textbook Series. The History of the Church. Woodridge, Illinois: Midwest Theological Forum, 2005. Very excellent High School textbook on Church history that is also great for adults.
Eusebius. The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine. Penguin Classics, 1990. It is a thorough look at the history of the Catholic Church from the beginning up to the time of Constantine (ca. 325 AD). The text of this book is available online as well.
Laux, John. Church History: A History of the Catholic Church to 1940. Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books, 1989. A comprehensive look at Church history for upper high school and college courses and adult reading.
Madrid, Patrick. Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions about the Papacy. San Diego, California: Basilica Press, 1999. Though not a Church history book per se, this book covers a lot of history in answering many of the common objections to the papacy. It includes chapters on the popes in relation to Galileo, the Crusades, and the Inquisition.
Schreck, Alan. The Compact History of the Catholic Church. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications, 1987. A very brief, readable overview of Church history. Excellent for an introduction.
Wilken, Robert Louis. The Spirit of Early Christian Thought. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003. An excellent look into the cultural climate in which many of the early Church Fathers were writing. More than just looking at what the Fathers said, it leaves the reader with an understanding of why they said it and for what reasons.