Library Resources

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Find SUM Bible College and Seminary listed under Institution search, the login with your SUM email and password

Databases and Internet Sites​

For those who have never taken classes at a college level, instructors at this level usually want students to use a scholarly (this usually means written by a person with a doctorate degree or expertise in an area) books and articles preferably peer reviewed (this means others in the same field who have advanced degrees preferably doctorate degrees read the paper to make sure it is a scholarly accurate paper). The following is a list of databases and websites which have a great deal of scholarly and peer reviewed.  You will not find Google in the list because for students just entering college, they do not have the skills to differentiate a scholarly article from one that is not.   There is a lot of misinformation on Google, Bing, the Chinese equivalent Baidu, or any of the other general search engine. For undergraduates, the first two entries are the most important. 


These are databases which SUM pays for. Almost anything you need for a paper (especially in the area of theology) can be found in these databases.

Google Scholar

This is one of the most important websites you that you will use. SUM’s EBSCO databases are connected to this site. You will also have access to open access articles (articles you do not have to pay for). This covers all fields of study.

Open Access Digital Theological Library

This is a fairly new database. This database is focused on open source materials in the area of religion and theology. This database is connected to one of the best catalogue systems in the world, OCLC World Catalogue system. World Catalogue is at this time unable to catalogue individual journal articles but it can catalogue locations for open access e books and journals. This means that this database can not list individual articles.

Open Access Directory of Journals

This is an index of peer reviewed scholarly open access articles that are available free. EBSCO and Google Scholar has many of these in their databases. If you are a graduate student and are doing a major paper, I would recommend doing a separate search using this database. This covers all fields of study.

Open Access Directory of Books

This is the same type of directory as above but only for books. These are books that publishers participating in this program have deemed open access. Open Access is symbolized by an open lock (you will see this symbol on other sites as well). This does have quite a few of the more current books (usually not the popular titles). I have found many of these books are only on this site so you may need to do a search on this site if you are lacking in sources for your paper. This covers all fields of study.

Google Book Search

Google books allows you to search,and read entire books (if an older book) or partial books (if a newer book) online. Since it is done under the google server, it is easy to find the books.


This is exclusively an open access database. Articles are put into this database by humans so articles a robot may miss the human may find. It is not exclusively theological nor just in English.

The SUM OPAC System

This is SUM’s holdings catalogue. This has many e books available for students, most are prior to 1930 so not too useful for undergraduates. In the search box put your search terms (i.e. Calvin). When the results of your search come up, you will find on the left limiters. You will click on formats and then choose e books. I would also recommend clicking on Language, and then picking English if you only speak English and Spanish if that is your native language.


I would recommend this for those working at the graduate level. Each citation has the number of those who have cited those citations. For large papers, this can save a lot of time. This database is not very discriminate so you will find such things as a syllabus. This database does have difficulties with multiple search terms. This is good for all social science fields.

Microsoft Academic

Not as good as Google Scholar. The results are not as on topic. This database can not be connected to EBSCO. I did find that by using cut and paste, I could locate items in this database in EBSCO. This covers all fields of study. or

Full-books is another source for books online. This works as a library so you check the books out for a certain time. There are some classic Christian texts such as Mere Christianity but many non-scholarly materials. There is no information available on either site about how they obtain their books so there may be copyright issues. This is at the bottom of the list due to the possible copyright issues and the amount of material that would not be considered scholarly.

Other Websites

Please check with your instructor to see if they will allow you to use these sites.

Christian Classics Ethereal LibraryChristian Classics Ethereal Library exists for Bible college students. They offer a browser friendly library of many of the classic Christian books. Hebrew LexiconThis has three Hebrew interpretations of a word. One of these is Thayers. This is public domain and so the book this site uses was published before the 1930s.
Perseus Digital LibraryClassics in Greek, Latin and Hebrew with some English translations, and an interactive lexicon/parsing tool. Classical histories like Cassius Dio are very useful for Acts and general New Testament.
The Post-Reformation Digital LibraryA select database of digital books relating to the development of theology and philosophy during the Reformation and Post-Reformation/Early Modern Era (late 15th-18th c.). Late medieval and patristic works printed and referenced in the early modern era are also included.
Theology on the WebA free, high quality theological resource out of the United Kingdom for Bible teachers, scholars, and pastors to spread the Gospel in their countries. There are over 20,000 rare and out-of-print articles available for free download, detailed bibliographies for Seminary level students and ministers, and a single cross-linked resource made up of seven websites.
Bible Geo CodingTake Google maps and superimpose Bible maps and you have an incredible site to help students see and understand the geography of the Bible.
Hartford Institute of Religion ResearchThis is a cite where you can find a lof information of churches and denominations in the U.S.
ARDA (Association of Religion Data Archives)This is an excellent scholarly site for theological surveys etc. site is more geared towards those doing research in the area of religion and culture. This means it is more for those in graduate programs
CIA Fact-BookOne of the best places to get basic information about the world. A massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations.
Chabad.orgThis is the oldest Jewish site on the internet. This is a good place to get information about the Jewish history and culture.
Britannica Online EncyclopediaThis is a good source for learning about a subject since only those who are experts in that subject can write about the topics. Due to it being a subscription site, you will not be able to see all the information available and so not as in depth. This is considered secondary and tertiary reference source and should not be used as a primary source in a paper. As with any secondary source you are putting in your paper, check with the instructor.
WikipediaThis is a good site to learn about a new topic that you are unfamiliar with. Wikipedia is different than Britannica in that anybody can put in their input and there are no length requirements. This means the level of expertise can vary greatly from one article to the next and the article can change daily. Depending who the authors are you can have a very short article to almost a treatise. This site you most definitely need to talk to your teacher if you are considering in using this as a secondary source in your paper since many instructors do not allow students to use this site in papers.
Internet History Sourcebooks (Fordham University)Numerous historical documents which prove to be useful in World Religions courses, Biblical Studies, and Apologetics. There is a search box but it is recommended to use the Ancient History subject headings on the left side of the screen for better results. Not an easy site to use., an evangelical site, is known for its articles on various Christian topics. Depending on the author, the article can be at the layman’s level but more often than not most of the articles are written by scholars but rarely are there references. Without references, instructors tend not to allow these articles but can give some insight into the topic.’s Bible with the Greek and notes. Put the mouse over a word and will translate the Greek. Greek LexiconThis has three Greek interpretations of a word. One of these is Thayers. This is public domain and so the book this site uses was published before the 1930s. Hebrew LexiconThis has three Hebrew interpretations of a word. One of these is Thayers. This is public domain and so the book this site uses was published before the 1930s.
BibleGateway.comThis is not considered a scholarly site nor are the other sites mentioned. Most of these site’s reference materials are non-scholarly or out of date so if you want to use say the Lexicon, check with the instructor. Bible Gateway is usually the first site that will come up when Googling a verse. As with anything on Google that comes up first, it does not mean it is the best website it means it came up first (also check out Blue Letter, BibleStudyTools and Bible Hub interlinear). Bible Gateway has not just the English version Bibles but other languages such as Icelandic. It does not have all the tools such as a Lexicon as does other sites have. It also has a paid level as well.
BibleResources.orgThis site, owned by an evangelical church. A feature that can be useful but all the articles are opinion is “What the Bible Says” section. These are answers to modern issues from a Biblical evangelical point of view such as vegetarianism and tattoos. Do not use this in papers.
E-Sword Bible ToolA phenomenal resource that is free. Through this resource, you will be able to download many different translations of the bible, including Greek, Hebrew, and Latin; download maps and charts found within the bible; compare different translations, view commentaries, read books, have devotionals, and more! Much of the free material will be older and possibly out of date. Additional content can be downloaded onto e-sword through the download tab while running the e-sword program (you will have to close the program and open it again to view your downloaded content).

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