Start Here

VTS Alumni have access to a portion of BPL's resources using the links on this page. Use the menu to the left to navigate between pages on borrowing, eResources, and lectionary commentaries. These resources and services for alumni can support your ongoing ministry and research.

All alumni automatically remain in the library system. If you have misplaced your library barcode (required for eResource authentication), please reach out to the library.

Note: Alumni must use the direct links on this sub-page. They do not have access to the main OneSearch box (on the top of each page) due to licensing agreements with our publishers and vendors.

Visit the Library

Alumni are welcome to make use of the library space for personal study or research. The newly renovated Bishop Payne Library building provides an inviting context for theological exploration. There are a variety of study areas across the building's three floors conducive to reading or writing. WiFi is available throughout the library. There is limited parking outside the library on Wilmer Lane. No parking passes are required for day visits.

Questions? Email or call 703.461.1733 during regular business hours.

Borrowing and Privileges

Alumni have library privileges, though they differ from student privileges. The same ID and library barcode used as a student will carry over for alumni. If you've misplaced your library barcode, email and a library staff member will set you up with a new one.

Physical Books

Alumni can borrow up to 5 books at a time, for a loan period of 4 weeks. Locate books in Catalog Classic.

Shipping Books

Alumni (in the United States) may request to have physical books shipped to their home or work address. The Bishop Payne Library will pay for outgoing shipping costs via UPS, and alumni are responsible for return shipping costs. Please note that items may be recalled for use by another member of the VTS community, and may require a prompt return. Most print materials in the library can be borrowed this way.

Email with your name, address, and the call number for the material you'd like to borrow. A library staff member will reply to your request.

Please return any materials to this address:

Virginia Theological Seminary
Bishop Payne Library
3737 Seminary Rd, PMB#159
Alexandria, VA  22304

Renewing Books

Books may be renewed via your online account using your last name and library barcode. You may also renew materials by emailing or calling the library at (703) 461-1733.

Electronic Resources

The Bishop Payne Library is able to provide limited eResource access to alumni, in license with publishers and vendors. Alumni must use the links below to navigate to accessible eResources. Only the resources linked here are available for alumni use. Other materials (including the OneSearch box above) are only available for current students, staff, and faculty.

Depending on the database, Alumni will need to authenticate using either a special username and password or their library borrower's card credentials (last name and library barcode).

The primary database for journal articles in the field of religion, and includes access to the same range of scholarship that alumni were familiar with as students.

Alumni need to authenticate using a special username and password. Please email for these credentials.

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries span over 86 volumes and is one of the most trusted and long-running scholarly commentaries series for Biblical Studies scholars. This prestigious commentary series represents the pinnacle of biblical scholarship and draws from the wisdom and resources of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars worldwide. It includes a book-by-book translation and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha to make available all the significant historical and linguistic knowledge which bears on the interpretation of the Bible.

Alumni will need to authenticate using their library card credentials (last name and library barcode).

This is the traditional library catalog. Alumni can borrow up to 5 books at a time, for a loan period of 4 weeks. Locate books in the Catalog Classic.

A general collection of eBooks curated by the Bishop Payne Library.

Alumni will need to authenticate using their library card credentials (last name and library barcode).

Lectionary Commentaries

The library is pleased to make available popular lectionary commentaries to alumni. These series are available in eBook format for alumni through Proquest. These resources are organized by the liturgical year and correspond to each week's lectionary readings (e.g. Year B, Second Week of Lent). See the descriptions below.

Access to these commentaries is through the links below, and you will need your VTS library barcode for authentication. Email if you need a new one.

Feasting on the Word (12 vols)

This ecumenical series provides commentary based on the lectionary readings each week. Commentary is provided from theological, pastoral, exegetical, and homiletical perspectives.

Feasting on the Gospels (7 vols)

This series is related to Feasting on the Word, but goes much more in-depth with each week's gospel readings. Again, each reading is considered from theological, pastoral, exegetical, and homiletical perspectives.

Connections: A Lectionary Commentary (7 vols)

The Connections series is another ecumenical lectionary commentary published as an update to the Feasting on the Word series. This series aims to provide practical commentary by "connecting" each week's texts both to the rest of scripture and to contemporary life (e.g. via fiction, film, ethics, or cultural issues).