Using the Library In-person
Alumni who live in, or are visiting, the St. Louis area are welcome to use the Covenant Seminary Library. You can stop by the library and ask at the circulation desk to get a free alumni card. With this card, you may check out books from our collection (unfortunately, we cannot extend to you MOBIUS or interlibrary loan privileges). Also, feel free to make use of our full collection of journal databases and e-books while you’re on campus.
Online Resources on the Alumni Portal
The Library is pleased to provide our alumni with continued access to a selection of journal databases and e-books. Access to these resources is provided through the Alumni Portal, rather than the Library website. If you don’t yet have your Alumni Portal login, request access.
- Atla Religion Database with AtlaSerials – The premier index in the field of religion and theology, which includes a growing collection of full-text content. Search for articles, essays, and reviews based on topic or Scripture citation. Includes the full archive of Presbyterion.
- EBSCO E-Books – A collection of e-books selected by the Library staff, plus a shared collection of e-books from MOBIUS. Read online or download to your computer or tablet.
- SAGE Knowledge – A collection of over 5,800 scholarly e-books on topics in the social sciences, including counseling, psychotherapy, and psychology.
- SAGE Religion Journals – A collection of e-journals on Christianity, biblical studies, theology, and religion.
- Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible – A scholarly, very technical, and critical commentary series published by Fortress Press for advanced studies.
More Covenant Resources
- Commentary Guide – The Library’s commentary guide lists the most important academic commentaries on each book of the Bible.
- Helpful Websites – A categorized list of websites to aid your research compiled by the Library staff.
- Covenant’s Dissertation & Thesis Search – Search for dissertations and theses completed at Covenant that are available online.
Free Online Research Tools
- PubMed – Scholarly index of life science and behavioral science journals for health professionals, produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Many articles are available for free through the PubMed Central archive or other open access sites.
- Google Scholar – Google’s index of scholarly books and articles. Some content is open access, but beware exorbitant per-article access fees from major publishers. Use your local library’s interlibrary loan service (see below) to avoid pay-walls.
- Internet Archive’s Books to Borrow / Open Libraries Initiative – Online library of digitized books, including many newer titles, that can be borrowed through Controlled Digital Lending.
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library – Digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books selected for edification and education. Collection is fully searchable and can also be browsed by author, title, or subject. Also includes Scripture search. All texts are produced from works in the public domain.
- Theological Commons – Digital library of over 76,000 books and journals on theology and religion. Hosted by Princeton Theological Seminary
- Post-Reformation Digital Library – Collection of e-books pertaining to theology and philosophy during the Reformation, Post-Reformation, and Early Modern Era (late 15th–18th centuries).
- Hathitrust Digital Library – A collection of digitized material from several large research universities. Full view available for public domain materials, uncopyrightable works, and works where permission has been granted. Limited preview available for others.
- Covenant Library Catalog – Even if you don’t live close enough to the Covenant Seminary Library to visit us in person, our catalog is a powerful research tool for finding high quality books. Our collection is maintained by a staff of theological librarians and is designed to serve the diverse needs of students studying theology, Bible, counseling, and education.
- WorldCat.org – If you want to broaden your search to a worldwide scale, search the world’s largest library catalog—WorldCat. Combining the catalogs of nearly every library in the United States and many libraries around the world into one database, WorldCat.org will track down the book that you’re looking for and find it in a library near you.
- Research in Ministry (RIM) – Looking for dissertations specifically? RIM is a catalog of doctoral dissertations from seminaries and divinity schools in the United States and Canada, including Covenant. Covenant’s more recent dissertations are available online through our catalog. Similarly, for dissertations from other schools, check for access through the school’s catalog or digital repository. Otherwise, dissertations can be obtained through interlibrary loan (see below).
Using Your Local Library—Interlibrary Loan
Although your local public library may not have a finely honed theology section, it is still a valuable resource for your research needs. Libraries like to share, so any book or article that you need can most likely be obtained by your public library through Interlibrary Loan—usually at no or little cost. Just take the complete citation (title, author, source, date, pages, etc. as applicable) to the Reference Librarian and ask about requesting the item through Interlibrary Loan. Be aware, however, that an Interlibrary Loan request can take up to two weeks to arrive in most places, so put your requests in early.
Tips and Suggestions
- Ask about ILL at your library’s reference desk, not at the circulation desk (the place where you check out your books). The reference librarians are typically the ones who handle ILL requests for the library.
- If your local library is part of a library system (e.g., a county-wide public library with several branches), take your requests to the Headquarters or Main Branch. The headquarters is usually the hub through which your ILL items will travel, and it can sometimes take as long for an item to make its way between the headquarters and your branch as it does for the item to get to the headquarters from the lending library. The staff at the headquarters may also be more knowledgeable about the various services that are available to you.
- Introduce yourself to the librarian that handles ILL at your library. Explain who you are and what you are doing and ask what would make it easier for them. Even this small attempt to get to know them will put a face with your name and often will bring better service from your library.