World Directory of Churches
|World Directory of Churches|
Wiki of the Month February 2014
|Table of Contents|
The World Directory of Churches (or WDOC) is a wiki dedicated to cataloging every single Christian church on the planet, regardless of language, size, creed, or denomination. From ancient monasteries and crumbling ruins, to today's active church communities, users hope to categorize the buildings and bodies which make up the world's largest religion. Churches are searchable by location, denomination, date of construction, or by worship times.
The WDOC is completely ecumenical and non-denominational in nature; no single Christian faith tradition is promoted above any other.
The World Directory of Churches was founded in July 2011 by Alex Moore, a Masters student of Ecumenical theology. While the website was initially accessible at http://www.worlddirectoryofchurches.org, the site has since migrated to http://www.wdoc.org.
The ability to add churches was at first available to any anonymous visitor of the website, but in late 2012 it became necessary to first create an account.
In February 2014, the World Directory of Churches was honored as the Semantic MediaWiki Wiki of the Month.
While the aim of the WDOC is global and vast, its focus is at first local. Members of church communities are encouraged to create entries for their own local church, as a means of promoting their church's mission, even including links to their own website and information about religious leaders.
Moving forward, the World Directory of Churches aims to develop a more robust spam identification system so that all visitors can add content. Also, a network of moderators will need to be put into place in order to truly expand the reach of the WDOC to more users and internet searchers.
For more information, visit the WDOC About page.
Users of the WDOC are given the ability to add either a Church, Denomination, or Monastery. Using the Semantic MediaWiki capabilities, each entry can be identified with a number of optional definitions, including:
- Architecture type
- Congregation Size
- Ethnic affiliation
- Relics information
- Important art/statues/etc.
- Hours of worship, Christian education, Sunday school, etc.
Each church, monastery and denomination has an embedded Google map and can support a photo and a extended description.
Categories are automatically created as a result of these selections, and churches are assigned to common categories based on location, denomination, date of construction, etc. Example of categories include Churches in Pennsylvania, Armenian Apostolic Monasteries, and 16th Century Churches in Russian Federation, Roman Catholic Churches in Archdiocese of Ottawa, etc.
Users have the ability to add comments to church pages, and they can maintain a profile on the website and collect badges for contributions.
A mobile version of the website is available, equipped with an HTML5-capable location service, which helps users identify churches in their geographic proximity.