Services for DTS Students Who Live in the US but Outside DFW

This is a summary of the main library services for DTS students who live in the United States but outside the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. DFW area is defined as Dallas county and its contiguous counties. Students who live elsewhere should consult the following as appropriate.

Contact Information

To contact the library, email or phone 214-887-5284. Consult the How to Contact Library Staff page for more specific contact information.

Reference Assistance

Library reference staff are eager to help with your research. We will not do an assignment for you, but we will teach, guide, and assist. We will help you become an independent learner and researcher. For example, to get you started we may recommend a database or search terms or a few good sources relevant to your specific information needs. We recognize there are things that you cannot do yourself because you do not have access to the Dallas campus, so we will compensate.

Access to Databases

The library provides access to scores of databases. You may link to databases through the title list, the topic list, or the drop down menu on the home page. When you select a database, you will be prompted to authenticate using your Microsoft account.

See the key databases page for a description of the most frequently used databases, and the database tutorials for instruction about using the main search engines. RS5101, DM7102, and BS8104 include some formal instruction about how to do library research. Contact the library if you need help.

Document Delivery and Borrowing Books by Mail

We encourage distance education students to use books and journals from the Dallas campus library in addition to online resources. Tell us what you need and we will try to deliver it. We scan and email everything possible, including journal articles and book chapters. However, copyright law does not allow us to scan entire books. So we mail it to you. Document delivery is usually free.

WE DO NOT SUPPLY REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS. Students are required to purchase required textbooks.

Nearly all borrowing services and regulations for Dallas campus students apply to students living elsewhere in the US. For example, the library allows current students to have a maximum of fifty books on loan at one time. Students may renew eligible items three times. Do this yourself in the "My Account" module of WorldCat, or ask us to do it for you.

Note the following apply only to remote students.

  • The library will mail materials in our collection (books, videos, etc.) directly to students who live outside the Dallas area but within the continental United States. Of course you may also borrow materials in person (if you 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. Some materials, such as reference books and periodicals, are non-circulating and never leave the building, but we scan portions of books.
  • 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.

Please use the following procedure to request items. First use WorldCat to verify we own 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 loan an item to you, you must return it on time. Information about return date, return mailing instructions, and a mailing label will be included with the loan item.

We have a strong collection. If you ask for something we do not own, we may suggest a substitute we do own. If there is no acceptable substitue, we might possibly be able to purchase an online ebook or obtain a pdf journal article for you. Purchases can take weeks.

Access to Required Course Readings

Are you looking for something that is required reading for a course such as a journal article or a single chapter from a book?

  1. Check Canvas for your course. For many courses, required readings (journal articles, single chapters from books) are in Canvas.
  2. Check your Logos collection.
  3. Check WorldCat and Atla Religion Database to see if those databases provide a link to the article.
  4. If you need only a single chapter from a print book, the library can legally scan and email the pdf to you. Just tell us what you need. We can not legally copy an entire book. Contact library

Students are expected to buy textbooks. The library does not provide textbooks.

Access to Additional Libraries

DTS participates in the Atla Reciprocal Borrowing Program. Scores of libraries will lend to DTS students, all across the US. A DTS student can walk into a participating library, show proof of current enrollment at DTS, and borrow materials based on local lending policies. There is no cost for the student other than possible fines for overdue or lost material.

Other libraries in your area that do not participate in the Atla borrowing program may have relevant books you can use. To find out, search the WorldCat database for a topic or specific book, pick a book, then use the "Libraries Worldwide" accordian to discover which libraries near you own the item. Provide your address, click the "map" link, and Google maps will show a route and the distance to the library. See our Introduction to Using WorldCat for details about how to do this.

Some libraries that do not participatge in the Atla borrowing program will allow visitors to purchase borrowing privileges. At our discretion, we will reimburse up to $100 per year to a distance student (online or branch campus student) who pays to obtain library privileges at a local library which provides access to significant theological resources not easily available otherwise. Eligibility depends on your circumstances and needs. This is primarily meant to help students who are doing advanced research such as writing a dissertation. Inquire before you pay so you know whether you meet the criteria for subsidy.

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.

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 must pay a large fee for borrowing privileges (but remember DTS reimburses).

Carver Bible College Library
3870 Cascade Road SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
404-527-4520 (switchboard)
Carver has a modest collection but borrowing privileges are free for DTS students.

Austin TX and San Antonio TX

Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
100 East 27th Street
Austin, TX 78705-5797
512-472-6736 (switchboard)
APTS has a substantial collection. DTS students must pay a very small fee for borrowing privileges.

Coates Library, Trinity University
14 N Campus Dr
San Antonio, TX 78212
Help Desk: 210.999.7213
Trinity has a substantial religion collection with a good representation of evangelical material. Students may use a TexShare card to get borrowing privileges and check out a maximum of four books at a time.

Houston TX

Of course the DTS Houston campus has a library.

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. This is right across the street from the DTS Houston campus.

Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondern Rd
Houston, TX 77074
HBU is near the DTS Houston campus. You may use your free TexShare card here to borrow books.

Lanier Theological Library
14130 Hargrave
Houston, TX 77070
"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. Use your free TexShare card here to borrow books.

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

Washington DC area

Of courser the DTS Washington DC campus has a small library.

Wesley Theological Seminary Library
4500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Over 150,000 items in the collection.

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 outside the Dallas area. Rather, you must initiate the ILL request at your local library, probably your local public library, and let that library borrow on your behalf.

Policies and Rules

See House Rules for policies.

How You Can Help Us

The library eagerly solicits suggestions and recommendations. We firmly believe both policy and procedure can be improved, and we are always looking for ways to further the mission of the library and meet the information needs of the library constituency. Don't be shy; tell us how to improve. Feel free to recommend the purchase of a specific book.

Plan ahead and make all requests for help well in advance of your deadlines.

Please do not mark in books.

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.