Services for Distant Students

This is a description of services Turpin Library provides for DTS students (and faculty) who do not live in Dallas County or adjacent counties (Ellis, Kaufman, Collin, Denton, Tarrant). All DTS students who are paying for the current semester and do not live in the DFW area are eligible, including online and extension campus students, as well as non-resident students working on DMin courses, independent study courses, thesis/dissertation research, and internships. However, a few of the services, as noted below, are available only to special categories of students. See House Rules for additional information about eligiblity for services. In the event of a conflict between House Rules and this page, House Rules take precedence.

General Contact Information

Phone: 214.887.5284
800.387.9673, ext. 5284
Fax: 214.887.5525
Mail: Turpin Library Remote Student Services
Dallas Theological Seminary
3909 Swiss Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

Reference Assistance

Reference staff are eager to help you use information resources. We will answer general reference and research questions by mail, email, phone or fax. Be sure to identify yourself as a remote student and indicate your home campus or town of residence (because we might refer you to local resources). Reference staff are on duty 40 hours/week, M-F. We will not do your research for you (after all, developing research skills is part of your education), but we will provide guidance, direct you to tutorials that explain how to use databases, recommend a few books or articles relevant to your specific information needs to get you started, and do a certain amount of work for you that you cannot do yourself because you do not have ready access to the Dallas campus. If we are unable to resolve technical problems with online databases, we may search for you and email results to you.

Access to Electronic Resources. Tech Support

The library catalog and scores of databases are available on campus and via the Internet. Most of these resources require a personal library login and password. If you are unable to access databases or other online resources, then first try the tech support FAQ. If you continue to have trouble, contact the library.

Borrowing Privileges

You are probably most interested in online resources plus whatever is available in local libraries, but sometimes you will have to borrow old fashioned books from the Dallas campus. All borrowing regulations for Dallas campus students apply to remote students except as follows:

  • We try to scan and email everything possible, but sometimes it is necessary to mail resources. The library will mail materials in our collection (books, videos, photocopies of journal articles, etc.) directly to remote students who live within the continental United States. Of course remote students may also borrow materials in person if they visit the Dallas campus, and then return them by mail. If you do this, be sure to get a special return mail label and instructions.
  • Remote students may borrow items for a longer loan period than Dallas campus students. This partly compensates for mail delivery time. Books are loaned for five weeks. This means five weeks from the time the book is checked-out on your account until the book is due back in the library. Returned items must be received by the date due to count as returned on time. If you return items by first class mail, we suggest you allow one week delivery time.
  • You may renew eligible items one time. You may do this yourself in the "My Account" module of WorldCat.

Document Delivery and Books by Mail


First use WorldCat to verify Turpin Library owns the item you want. Then contact the library as listed above. Allow a few days for the item to leave the campus plus mailing time suitable for first class mail. If we mail a photocopy to you, it becomes your property. If we loan an original to you, you must return it on time. Although delivery time varies, the loan period should allow you to use the borrowed item about three weeks. Information about return date, return mailing instructions, and a mailing label will be included with the loan item. You may use the "My Account" module of WorldCat to renew eligible items.

Delivery Options and Delivery fees

Document delivery is usually free, but see the table of fees below. Staff illness or vacation may make rush service temporarily unavailable. We try to scan and email everything possible, but sometimes it is necessary to mail resources.

Email Scans of journal articles and book chapters emailed within 3 working days. Copyright law does not allow us to scan entire books. No cost.
Normal Mail: Books and photocopies shipped first class from campus within 3 working days. Free delivery and we normally provide free return postage.
Rush mail: Books and photocpies shipped from campus within 2 working days using second day delivery. Student pays $4.00 per item plus full cost of shipping. We do not ship using overnight delivery options.

Access to Additional Libraries

Extension Campus Students may find the following libraries helpful. In most cases our students can use these libraries on-site without charge, but must pay a fee to borrow books from them. Turpin Library will reimburse extension students for the borrowing fee by crediting your account when you send a receipt to Turpin Library.

Atlanta GA

Pitts Theology Library, Emory University
505 Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322
Emory has a stellar collection, deep in almost every aspect of theological studies. DTS students living in the Atlanta area must pay $100/year for borrowing privileges. Turpin Library will reimburse extension students for the borrowing fee, perhaps by crediting your account, when you send a receipt to Turpin Library.

Carver Bible College Library
3870 Cascade Road SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
404-527-4520 (switchboard)
About 20,000 vols. Borrowing privileges are free for DTS students living in Atlanta area.

Austin TX and San Antonio TX

Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
100 East 27th Street
Austin, TX 78705-5797
512-472-6736 (switchboard)
Over 160,000 vols. This is a substantial collection well suited to seminarians. DTS students living in the Austin area must pay $5/year for borrowing privileges. Turpin Library will reimburse extension students for the borrowing fee, perhaps by crediting your account, when you send a receipt to Turpin Library.

Oblate School of Theology Library
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, TX 78216-6693
About 85,000 vols. Strong in Roman Catholic topics and authors. DTS students living in the San Antonio area must pay $50 per year for borrowing privileges and access to computers for word processing and Internet searching.

Houston TX

College of Biblical Studies Library
6000 Dale Carnegie Dr
Houston, TX 77036
713-785-5995 (switchboard; 5775 and 2625 after business hours), ex 118 library
About 35,000 vols., mostly theology. Borrowing privileges are included in the cost of tuition for DTS students at the Houston extension; no additional expense for borrowing privileges.

Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondern Rd
Houston, TX 77074
HBU is very near the CBS campus. The library holds about 285,000 items, including some bible and theology. DTS has no special arrangements with the University, but you may use your free TexShare card here to borrow books.

Lanier Theological Library
14130 Hargrave
Houston, TX 77070
This very new library has about 40,000 volumes as of 2011. "The Lanier Theological Library is a research library that welcomes all who abide by library policies and use its resources respectfully. Because the LTL is a research library, we do not allow books to be removed from the building." Location may be convenient for those who live in NW Houston, Tomball or Woodlands. The library is ordinarily closed evenings and weekends.

Cardinal Beran Library of St. Mary's Seminary at University of St. Thomas.
9845 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77024
50,000 vols. in the Cardinal Beran theology library and 175,000 vols in the main Doherty Library which serves the University in general and focuses on education, business, science, philosophy and liberal arts but not theology. DTS has no special arrangements with the University, but you may use your free TexShare card here to borrow books.

Note Rice does NOT honor TexShare cards. U of Houston does.

Knoxville TN

Carson-Newman College
1646 Russell Avenue
Jefferson City, TN 37760
Additionaal contact information
The Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library contains over 200,000 print volumes, over 166,000 ebooks, and provides access to over 50,000 periodicals. The collection supports both a liberal arts curriculum and Bible and theology. DTS students may register for borrowing privileges.

Johnson University (formerly Johnson Bible College)
7900 Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37998
Glass Memorial Library has over 100,000 vols. The library collection supports general education but is strongest in christian theology and ministry. DTS students may register for borrowing privileges.

University of Tennessee, Hodges Library
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-1000
The UT Knoxville campus now has several libraries and well over a million volumes. DTS students living in the Knoxville area must pay $100/year for borrowing privileges. Check the website for parking instructions.

Tampa FL

Raymond H. Center Library, Trinity College of Florida
2430 Welbilt Boulevard
Trinity, FL 34655
About 40,000 vols. Borrowing privileges are included in the cost of tuition for DTS students at the Tampa extension; no additional expense for borrowing privileges.

Easter Library, Clearwater Christian College
3400 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33759
110,000 vols. DTS students living in the Tampa area must pay $35 per year for borrowing privileges.

Washington DC area

Wesley Theological Seminary Library
4500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Over 150,000 items in the collection. DTS students living in the area pay $50/semester or $100/year for borrowing privileges. Turpin Library will reimburse extension students for the borrowing fee, perhaps by crediting your account, when you send a receipt to Turpin Library.

TexShare Cards in Texas

Students who reside in Texas and wish to borrow books directly from other Texas libraries may contact us to request a TexShare card. TexShare is a Texas library resource sharing program consisting of state and other interested public and academic libraries. If a library is a member of the TexShare card program, it will allow TexShare card holders from other libraries to borrow books. Students who wish to use this service will need to allow for mailing time to receive the TexShare card and to ask staff at their local libraries whether they are involved in the TexShare card program.

Interlibrary Loan

Turpin Library can only mail you items Turpin Library owns. But there is a way for you to borrow items we do not own: interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is a service whereby one library will loan items or provide copies to another library for the use of a requesting patron. Thus you can go to the interlibrary loan department of your local public library and request almost any item your local public library does not own. Your library will then obtain the item for you. Thousands of libraries lend to other libraries in this fashion, so you can obtain almost any book or article in the world in this fashion (except rare books and unpublished manuscripts). However, ILL delivery can be slow, so plan ahead. It is not practical to depend on ILL for your routine needs; use it for special long term projects.

When you request an item, you do not need to know what library owns the item. Your local library will identify potential suppliers. You are responsible for providing your library with an accurate bibliographic citation such as:

  • author, book title, edition, publisher and date; or
  • author, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages, and date.

ILL forwarding is not permitted. In other words, Turpin Library on the Dallas campus cannot borrow what you need from another library and then forward it to you in Houston or Tampa or Atlanta. Rather, you must initiate the ILL request at your local library, probably your local public library, and let that library borrow on your behalf.

Free Online Resources
Through Your Local Library

Many states provide free online databases to state residents. Typically you must register with your local public library to gain access. If your state is not listed here check with your local public library or state libraries to see what is available.