Research Guide for Theology
the Master’s College Library
Web siteto access the library’s online catalog and the many online
databases the library has to offer. The library’s Web site also provides
information on how
to do research,
library services, hours, personnel, links to other
libraries’ catalogsand links to other recommended scholarly Web
Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers
TMC library’s collection is arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC) with a few exceptions. An outline of
the whole DDC can be found at Summaries: DDC. The following
are the more common Dewey numbers used in the field of Theology
Christianity; Christian Theology
God (theology proper)
231.1 God the father
God the Son (for Jesus Christ see 232)
231.3 God the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)
231.6 Love & wisdom
231.7 Relation to the world
231.8 Justice and goodness
Jesus Christ & his family (Christology)
Salvation (Soteriology) & grace
Spiritual beings (angelology)
Creeds & catechisms
Apologetics & polemics
Library of Congress Classification
Master’s Seminary Library and many other libraries around the world use the Library of Congress Classification
System(LC). For an outline of the entire LC System go to the Library
of Congress Classification Outline. The following are the more
common LC numbers used in the field of Theology
Theology – BT
Theology - BV
library’s Online Catalog is the index to
all the resources the library provides. This is a good place to start
looking for information related to the field of Theology. The
following are suggestions for getting started with research in this
field. This explanation will make more sense if you open another browser
to the library’s catalog and follow along as you go.
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
the library catalog for appropriate LC Subject Headings (not to be confused
with the LC Classification System) to use in your
research. Select the Subject tab and type in a broad subject term in
the free text field. When you receive your hit list, be sure to examine
any “See”, "See
“Note” links as they will lead you to important information about the
subject heading and additional related terminology. For example the Info
button for Eschatology reveals a dozen related terms. However a
search for the following reveals instead of:
use Theological Anthropology
use Jesus Christ Person and offices,
us Holy Spirit or Spirit,
theology use Bible theology but for collective works on Christian
doctrine use Theology, Doctrinal and for works on the doctrines of
non-Christian religions use the individual religion with subdivision Doctrines,
be sure to scroll down the subject list once it has been retrieved. There
will be many other related headings with subdivisions that will be valuable in
focusing your search. Scrolling through the subject list of a broader
term may help identify an appropriate term. Sometimes finding the record
for a book that you know is on your topic will help you to identify appropriate
Subject headings (see Research
TIPbelow for more info.). Some terms have no references at all like
bibliology. For these use all the helps given above and seek out the help
of your local Reference Librarian who might tell you right off that …
For topics related to
bibliology use Bible Canon, Bible History, Bible manuscripts,
Bible Versions, Bible Evidences, authority, etc., Bible
Because one third of this library’s collection is comprised of bible and
theology related resources only use the Keyword anywhere field if the
initial search retrieves very few or no records. Instead use
appropriate terminology in the Title field or the Subject
field. Again, only use Keyword if insufficient records are
Reference and eReference Resources
The reference collection is one of the first
places to start doing bibliographic research because the
resources there will provide background information on the topic, contextual
parameters of a topic, a ready made outline, expert authors in the field and
perhaps even a bibliography of the best books on the topic.
To find appropriate reference books from the Advanced Search screen use
the appropriate term as a Keyword and set
the Location: to Reference.
eReference resources can be
found using the eReferences portion
of the library Web site. To find theological dictionaries and encyclopedias select
menu option and type "theol" in the free-text search
box. All of the eReference titles with the term "theology" or
"theological" will be listed. Then simply select the desired
title and begin searching.
To find hardcopy theological dictionaries go to the library catalog's Advanced
Search form and use theology dictionaries [all of these]
in Subject field. Be sure to use the plural “dictionaries” and not
the singular “dictionary”.
browse the Reference section for these:
dictionary of early Christian beliefs : a reference guide to more than 700
topics discussed by the Early Church Fathers - 270.1 D561b, 1998
handbook of Christian theology : definition essays on concepts and movements of
thought in contemporary Protestantism - 230.03 H191h
handbook of theological terms - 230.03 H262h, 1964
student's dictionary for biblical and theological studies - 220.3 St94h, 1983
introduction to theological research : a guide for college and seminary
students - 230.072 B233i, 2000
introductory theological wordbook - 230.03 C898i
dictionary of theology - 230.044 B178h
of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature - 230.03 M132c
of Latin and Greek theological terms : drawn principally from Protestant
scholastic theology - 230.03 M916d
of religion and ethics - 200.3 En19h, 1928
dictionary of theology - 230.044 Ev14e, 2001
dictionary of theology - 230.03 N42f, 1988
New international dictionary of New Testament theology (NIDNTT) –225.3 N42b
international dictionary of Old Testament theology & exegesis (NIDOTT)
221.3 N42v, 1997
dictionary of the Christian Church - 230.003 Ox2c
Dictionary of Bible and religion - 230.03 D561g
Encyclopedia of Christianity - 230.02 En19p
New Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia of religious knowledge (Variant Title: Twentieth
century encyclopedia of religious knowledge) - 230.03 Sch14n, 1949 Online
Oxford companion to Christian thought - 230.03 Ox2h, 2000
Westminster dictionary of Christian theology - 230.03 W528r
primer: resources for the theological student - 230 D294t [Guidelines for
theological research, reflection, and expression -- Brief glossary of
theological terms -- Brief guide to modern theologians -- Truth: philosophical
and theological issues -- Bibliography: introduction to theology.]
find materials in the main circulating collection use the same search strategy
used to find reference books but without setting the Limits option to
Reference. For example, from the Advanced search mode type in appropriate
search term(s) in the “Search for:” free text field, select the most suitable Boolean operation (“any of these”,
“all of these”, "as a phrase”) and then select an applicable field from
the “Search in:” drop down menu.
Use Sources to Find Other Sources -- when relevant
records are identified search the Call Numbers and Subject Headings found with those
records to identify additional related resources. Also, scroll through
the hit list and identify the most commonly used Dewey Classification numbers
and then browse the shelves in those areas.
eBooks: The library
has over 60,000 electronic books, many of which are electronic reference
books. These ebooks do have the full-text. Access to the
library’s e-books is limited to TMC faculty, staff and students.
Accessing ebooks found in
the library catalog is as simple as clicking on the link
"Connect to book” corresponding to the “Linked Resources” field in the
"Holdings Information" portion of the record (bottom of the
page). When you are off campus and you’ve made the connection to the
online resource, you will be prompted for either your MasterNet id/password or
your NetLibrary id/password.
NOTE: If the
ebook is part of our NetLibrary collection you will not be able to access
the ebook off campus unles you first create your own account and
password from a computer while you are on campus. To create your own
account with NetLibrary, go to http://www.netlibrary.com while logged onto your computer on
campus. Then select “Create a Free Account” (top right corner of screen)
and simply follow the instructions for creating your own id/password to use
moment, the library catalog will not identify articles found in journals and
magazines. To find articles one must use a periodical index (see Periodicals below).
However, the library is in the process of obtaining Primo Discovery and
Delivery Service by ExLibris – a new method of searching our catalog as well as
all of our periodical indexes and databases simultaneously. Estimated
arrival time: early March, 2011. For more information watch this video: Primo
on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDc6kJo6SX8.
commentarieson specific books of the Bible use the Subject Search screen and
search for the book of the bible with the word commentaries (e.g.
malachi commentaries). For those books with the same name like
John and Corinthians, use the Arabic numerals 1st, 2nd,
3rd not the Roman I, II, III. Scroll through the hit list and
identify the most common Dewey Classification number and browse the shelves in
that area. For more details about how the DDC treats the Bible see
the Library Research Guide – Biblical Studies.
Note: LC subject headings
use Roman numerals for chapter headings and Arabic numerals for verse
distinctions (e.g. Bible. N.T. Luke X, 38- XVI, 18 = Luke 10:38-16:18).
Audio – Video Resources
retrieve records reflecting the library’s holdings in a specific format such as
video, DVD, CD or audio cassette from the library catalog use
the Advanced Search screen and set the Format: to
Sound Recording or Videorecording as appropriate. Search for a
broad topic or specific keyword befitting the information need.
Chapel messages as well as Truth & Life Conference
messages are also available on MP3. The means
for connecting to these MP3 files is the same as for connecting
to ebooks, simply click on the link related to the "Online
Resource" field in the catalog record (see ebooks above).
Magazines, Journals, Newspapers
all periodical titles available
through the TMC library go to the library Web site and select Find
Journalsfrom the menu on the left. From this page you can find periodicals by
title or by subject. There are also links to the online indexes that provide full-text articles. Find
Articles indicates which periodical titles are held by the library as well
as inclusive dates and format availability -- microform, print, electronic.
Again, the library is in the
process of obtaining Primo Discovery and Delivery Service by ExLibris – a new
method of searching our catalog as well as all of our periodical indexes and
databases simultaneously. Estimated arrival time: early March, 2011.
For more information watch this video: Primo on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDc6kJo6SX8.
Indexes are used to identify
the location of articles contained in magazines, journals and newspapers.
These indexes provide citations to the articles
(author, title of the article, journal title, volume, issue, date, and page
numbers). Some indexes also provide abstracts (includes a summary
of the article) and many online indexes provide the full-text (FT) of the
article (e.g. the complete text of the article).
access the indexes available to the TMC community go to library Web site and
select Find Articles. Use the
various search options to identify all available print and electronic indexes
by journal title or by the use of the Topic/Type matrix.
CHECK FOR FULL TEXT is a very valuable research aid in the
course of searching an online index. If the index being searched does not
provide the full text, CHECK FOR FULL TEXT will search for the
article in all of the other online indexes. If it is available, the
article will be retrieved. If it is hardcopy in the library, a link to
the library catalog will be retrieved. In the event the TMC library
does not have the journal in question, Check for Full Text also provides a link
to our interlibrary loan service.
Once the Primo search service is in place, Check for Full Text will
no longer be necessary.
below are periodical indexes and other databases containing various types of
resources that are of particular interest to the field of Theology.
with Serials (EBSCO) indexes a broad range of religious journals, multi-author
works and book reviews. ATLA permits searching by Scripture
Citation. However, unlike LCSH ATLA’s
Scripture Citation and Scripture Citation Phrase utilize only
Arabic numerals. For example: Corinthians, 2nd 11: 23-25. NOTE:
there must be a space between the colon and the verse designation.
Periodical Index (EBSCO) indexes only evangelical journals.
Testament Abstracts (EBSCO) article
abstracts, review abstracts, book abstracts, and software abstracts in numerous
Testament Abstracts (EBSCO) Indexing and abstracts for journal
articles, monographs, multi-author works, and software related to Old Testament
Religion – covers religious issues and
perspectives, including religious news and information, commentary on topics of
general interest from the perspective of a particular religion, and formal
Search (EBSCO) Multi-disciplinary, index covering virtually every area
of academic study, including peer-reviewed publications.
Research Library - Academic subjects indexed & abstracted with
full text from magazines, journals and newspapers.
Collections Online (CCO) - collections of
essays addressing topics and figures significant to the fields of Literature,
Philosophy, Religion and Culture (electronic reference books; some titles also
available in print).
Reference - An online reference library that provides access to reference
books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations.
English Books Online - From the first book published in English
through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this incomparable collection
contains about 100,000 titles published between 1475-1700.
Britannica Online - authoritative encyclopaedia
Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) - Encyclopedias
and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research in the fields of
Education, History, Law, Science and Social Science.
English Dictionary (OED) - The accepted
authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning,
history, and pronunciation of words, both present and past.
Reference Online - Language and subject reference works from Oxford University
Press in a single cross-searchable resource.
TREN - The
Theological Research Exchange Network is a library of over 10,000 theological
thesis/dissertation titles representing research from as many as 70 different
institutions. TREN also makes available conference papers presented at
annual meetings of several academic societies. Print titles may be
special arrangement TMC/S students may download E-docs for free! The only
caveat is that tren.com must be accessed through the library Web site. Use the
link above or from www.masters.edu/library, select “Find Articles” and
type “tren” in the free-text search box. Once logged in to the TREN site,
select “Click here to search our edocs”. You’ll know you’re in the proper place
to download free edocs because a bright green banner will appear at the top of
the page welcoming you to The Master’s College and Seminary subscription.
WorldCat - the
combined catalogs of thousands of libraries worldwide; especially useful for a
review of the literature
Additional Research Guides:
Biblical Studies – unique
strategies useful for research in this field
Basic Steps in Library Research – six simple steps
explaining the research process
From Cite to Hand - Books – how to actually obtain
books and other materials whether or not the library owns them
From Cite to Hand - Articles – how to actually
obtain magazine and journal articles whether or not the library owns them
Finding Articles in Two,
sometimes Three, OK maybe Four Easy Steps
Identifying Scholarly Books – clues
for distinguishing scholarly books and journals
Identifying Scholarly Periodicals- clues
for distinguishing between magazines, journals and peer reviewed journals
Evaluating Resources – easy way to help evaluate
the usefulness of research resources both paper and electronic
Research Worksheet – designed to make research
simpler by working step by step through the research process
Copyright for Higher Education– help in
understanding the copyright law as it pertains to faculty and students
© Janet Tillman/The
Master’s College, 2004 - 2011, permission is granted for non-profit educational
use; any reproduction or modification should include this statement.
Last updated January, 2011.