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Getting Started: Students

A guide to using the Bishop Payne Library for students.

Catalog and Search Tools


VTS Library Catalog > is the entry point for finding books and e-books within the Bishop Payne Library's collection. Use this search box to locate physical materials in the library or to discover e-books on any topic. Results include information on where to find resources within the library or links to access e-books.



ATLA > is the primary source for journal articles in religion. Use this to locate e-journal articles on theology, biblical studies, ministry, and religious studies. Results will include PDF full-text download links or links to the VTS "full-text finder" service for information on how to access.


Everything: Combined Discovery Service

Discovery > is a combined search tool for books, e-books, articles, and other materials through a single portal. Use this search option to locate all kinds of resources, or to find materials outside the disciplines of religion. Students with an interdisciplinary research project should make use of this tool. (learn more about using EBSCO Discovery)


Other Databases & E-Resources

VTS Theses > are available in print format at the Bishop Payne Library. E-versions are collected, where author permission has been given, in an open-access repository.

Browzine > provides an easy way to browse journal issues similar to viewing the current periodicals shelving in the library. The service is a virtual shelf with links to full-text articles. Learn more about Browzine.

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries > Access digital editions of this popular commentaries series.

Oxford Bibliographies (Biblical Studies) > is a bibliographic tool for discovering key primary and secondary texts on books of the Bible or topics in Biblical studies.

Oxford African American Studies Center > is an online encyclopedia for African American studies.

JSTOR Religion and Arts & Sciences III > indexes journals in religion, literature, art, and architecture among other subjects.

ProQuest Religion Database > indexes and provides full-text access to many journal articles in religion, supplementing ATLAS.

ERIC > is a database from the U.S. Dept. of Education for research in education.

PsychArticles > is a database for psychology articles from the American Psychological Association.

Atla Websites on Religion > collects open-access resources within religious studies, including free tools for scripture study.

All E-Resources >


Special Collections

Rare Books > in the Special Collections & Rare Books department of the library are discoverable in the VTS Library Catalog. Limit your search to "rare books."

Archives > are open for research into the history of the Virginia Theological Seminary. Email for more information.

African American Episcopal Historical Collection > documents the history and heritage of African Americans in the Episcopal Church. Email for more information.


Collection Development & Access Policy

Learn more > about our collection policy.

Course Reserves

Professors may ask the library to place reading materials on "course reserve" at the library. These materials are located at the circulation desk. Normally, course reserves can be checked out for 2-hours and renewed if no other patron is waiting for access.

Find Course Reserves > through the VTS Library Catalog. Limit your search by "professor (reserves)" using the drop-down options and enter in the last name of your professor. From there, you can browse the list of course reserves, including e-Books. Many professors also integrate their course reserve texts with their Brightspace course pages.