Services & Policies


Loan Periods

Concordia Seminary Library lends material in several formats. Non-book formats typically have much shorter lending periods, and some parts of the Library collection cannot be checked out at all, but must be used on-site. The lending period for non-book materials is also constant across all categories of Library users. The following table gives the lending periods for most of our material formats. Fines also vary by format: see Fines & Fees for details.

Format Loan Period
Books 4 Weeks*
Closed Reserves 2 Hours or Overnight (see below)
Sound Cassettes and CDs 7 Days
Video Cassettes and DVDs 7 Days
Bound Periodicals Overnight (see below)
Current Periodicals Non-circulating
Reference Overnight (see below)
Rare Books Non-circulating
Archive Materials Non-circulating

* Note that the 4-week loan period for books is extended for some users.

Concordia Seminary Library serves a variety of users, both locally and at great distance. Our primary users are the students and faculty of Concordia Seminary. With few exceptions, the Library is open to the general public for use of our resources on site, but the privilege of borrowing materials is more structured and organized. The chart below shows the book borrowing privileges for each category of user.

Note that non-book format materials have shorter loan periods than those shown here and are generally not loaned out to distance patrons.

Category Loan Period Fee Required ID
M.Div. or Certificate Students 4 Weeks none Library card
M.A., S.T.M. or Ph.D. Students To early June none Library card
Distance Learning Program Students 6 Weeks none Library card
Student Spouses 4 Weeks none Library card
Service Staff 4 Weeks none Library card
Faculty, Executive & Professional Staff To early July none Library card
Local Rostered LCMS Church Workers 4 Weeks none Entry in Lutheran Annual;
Library card
Distant Rostered LCMS Church Workers 6 Weeks none Entry in Lutheran Annual
St. Louis Theological Consortium Students 4 Weeks none Institutional ID
Info-Pass Users 4 Weeks none Valid Info-Pass
Other Libraries
(Interlibrary Loan)
6 Weeks none None
Special 4 Weeks $50 Library card

For materials eligible for overnight borrowing, users must check the material out during the last hour of business and return within the first hour of business on the next day that the Library is open.

The Library tries to balance extended access to materials with the needs of others to have similar access to the same materials. Often this issue arises when an item is checked out to a user with extended borrowing privileges: faculty, executive and professional staff, and advance degree students.

Items that have been checked out to a Library user for more than 4 weeks, or items that have been renewed, are subject to recall if requested by another person. Items that have been out for less than 4 weeks may have a hold placed on them to ensure timely access for another user who requests the material.


In an ideal world library fines would not exist. Unfortunately, books are returned late, users do occasionally lose or damage library materials, and sometimes and the Library staff must go to much trouble to recover or replace wayward materials. In the face of that reality, the following fines have been established.

Format Fine
Overdue Books $.10 per item per day
Overdue Non-Book Formats $.50 per item per day
Overdue Closed Reserves $.50 per item per hour
Overdue Overnight Loans $.50 per item per hour
Replacement of Lost, Damaged,
or Defaced Material
$50.00 per item
3rd Notice/Replacement
Processing Fee
$25.00 per item


Fees for certain Library services are listed below:

Service Cost Minimum Charge
Mailed Photocopies $.10 per page $3.00 plus postage
Emailed doc scans $.10 per page $3.00
Faxed Copies $.20 per page $3.00
On-site Printing $.10 per page No Minimum Charge
Self-Service Photocopies $.07 or $.10 per page* No Minimum Charge

*Note: VendCards may be purchased at the Circulation Desk in $10 denominations; these cards reduce the cost per copy to $.07, and cards can be re-charged on a self-serve basis at any Library photocopier unit.

Concordia Seminary Library participates regularly with other libraries across the country in lending and borrowing of materials in order to provide our own students and faculty, with resources which we do not own ourselves. Likewise, as an interlibrary lender, Concordia Seminary Library is able to provide materials for the study and understanding of Lutheranism beyond the boundaries of seminary and synod. We enjoy excellent relationships with numerous other seminaries and schools of theology, with college and university libraries, and with major public libraries. And in nearly every instance we are able to procure a book or a photocopy of a journal article at no cost to the end user.

Concordia Seminary students wishing to request an item via InterLibrary Loan (ILL) should contact the ILL Desk, either in person at the Library’s main Circulation Desk, by phone at 314-505-7031, or via email. Be sure to provide a complete bibliographic citation (author, title,publisher, date) of the work desired. Also, students should plan ahead to allow adequate time for materials to be shipped and received. A typical time frame for a book is 2-3 weeks; for photocopied articles, 1 week is not unusual.

Students, faculty, and staff of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, can access key library research tools from anywhere via the Internet.

Portal Access (login required) allows current students, faculty, and staff to remotely connect to many of the Library’s electronic databases,e.g., MOBIUS, WorldCat/FirstSearch, ATLA Religion Database with ATLAS full text, New Testament Abstracts, Old Testament Abstracts, Academic Search Elite (full text), EBSCO E-journals (full text), Religious & Theological Abstracts, National Periodical Library, INdex Theologicus, Luthers Werke (Weimar Ausgabe) Online, and Research In Ministry. Once logged in, users can mouse over any button to see a brief explanation of each of these resources.

Because access to this library requires a username and password to login to the Portal, the tools can be used only by members of the Seminary community, thus satisfying our legal obligations and databse use licenses.

The Portal access provides library research tools to faculty traveling overseas, to vicars on assignment, to seminary students in distance programs such as SMP, EIIT, CHS, and the D.Min. program, as well as students in residence who simply wish to access these tools from off campus.

The Reference Desk at Concordia Seminary Library welcomes inquiries from students and scholars in the areas of religion, theology, and ministry. Our Reference Desk is staffed primarily by selected students in the Seminary’s advanced degree programs, overseen and assisted by the Public Services Librarian.

If you wish to submit a question or inquiry to our Reference staff, please email us with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Contact Information (phone, e-mail, etc., as you prefer)
  3. User Category (student, faculty, LCMS pastor, other, etc.)
  4. Your question, worded as carefully and specifically as possible
  5. A date by which response is needed. We can’t guarantee the timetable, but we will make every effort to meet your need and keep you informed of progress.

Telephone inquiries are also welcome, and in fact are in some ways more advantageous, since these give us the real-time opportunity to converse about your inquiry and thus better understand how we can best help. The telephone number for the Reference Desk is 314-505-7032.

Extension Services (direct lending to remote users) are available to only two categories of users:

  1. Seminary students who are in Distance Learning Programs, on a non-local Vicarage or Internship, or otherwise legitimately outside the St. Louis region during their program of study;
  2. Rostered LCMS church workers who live outside the St. Louis bi-state region (i.e., outside the 620xx, 622xx, 630xx, 631xx, and 633xx ZIP codes).

All other users should pursue interlibrary borrowing through their local library to request our materials from a distance.

Only books can be borrowed via direct distant lending. The due date is extended from the normal 4 weeks to 6 weeks to allow for transit in both directions. See Loan Periods. Note that the Library does not normally lend materials internationally.

Requests may be made via email or by calling our Extension Services Desk at 314-505-7031. There is no cost for this service except the cost for the borrower to return the materials to Concordia Seminary Library. Items must be returned via UPS (preferred) or Priority Mail for tracking purposes.

Allow adequate time for materials to be shipped and received. Typical time frames: books (UPS, 4-6 days); photocopied article (USPS, 1 week).

Loan periods, due dates, and renewals of materials borrowed via ILL are at the discretion of the lending library.

Libraries wishing to borrow from Concordia Seminary Library should submit an online request through OCLC’s web-based Resource Sharing module in the FirstSearch/WorldCat online searching service.

Normal Hours (classes in session)

Sunday 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Special Hours (holiday breaks and between terms)

Sunday Closed
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Major Holidays Closed


Access the CALENDAR for special events and hours

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, alumni may access ATLASerials® (ATLAS®), an online database, including search engine and full text, of more than one hundred major religious and theological journals selected by leading scholars and theologians. On this platform, one can research the history of a topic from as early as 1924 to the present through a combined total of well over 200,000 articles and book reviews.

The staff of Concordia Seminary Library are delighted to offer this most relevant and useful resource for our alumni. The research capabilities provided by ATLAS® were unimaginable only a few years ago. The full run of Concordia Journal has recently been added to the database, and plans are under way to include Concordia Theological Monthly for 1948-1973.

Access is open to all alumni of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. For more information or to request access to ATLAS®, (web address, account name, and password), send an e-mail request to and our Public Services Administrator at Concordia Seminary Library will be happy to assist you.

Selected titles include:

Biblical Archaeologist (1938-)
Biblical Interpretation (1993- )
Bibliotheca Sacra (1934- )
Catholic Biblical Quarterly (1946- )
Christian Century (1946- )
Christianity Today (1901- )
Church History (1953- )
Concordia Journal (1974- )
Currents in Theology & Mission (1974- )
First Things (1990- )
Harvard Theological Review (1908-2003)
Hebrew Union College Annual (1924-2000)
Interpretation (1947- )
Jrnl. for Preachers (1977- )
Jrnl. for the Study of the NT (1978- )
Jrnl. for the Study of the OT (1976- )
Jrnl. of Biblical Literature (1943- )
Jrnl. of Pastoral Care (&Counseling) (1969- )
Jrnl. of Pastoral Theology (1991-2005)
Jrnl. of the Evang. Theology Society (1969- )
Liturgical Ministry (1992- )
Lutheran Quarterly (1949- )
Missiology (1973- )
Novum Testamentun (1956- )
Presbyterion (1975- )
Reformation & Renaissance Rev. (2000- )
Religion & American Culture (1992- )
Review & Expositor (1947- )
Semeia (1974-2002)
Theological Studies (1940- )
Theology Today (1944- )
Tyndale Bulleting (1966- )
Vetus Testamentum (1951- )
Westminster Theological Jrnl. (1959- )
Word & World (1981- )
Worship (1952 – )