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The Seminary Bookshelf is an academic library owned by the Digital Theological Library (DTL), a California-based non-profit corporation funded by a group of seminaries around the world. The Seminary Bookshelf was created to provide religious professionals with a research library to support their professional work and personal growth. Memberships in the Seminary Bookshelf is limited to individuals and is not open to institutions, to students in college or seminary, or to faculty at any institution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many books are in the Seminary Bookshelf?

The Seminary Bookshelf has over 700,000 ebooks. The Seminary Bookshelf adds thousands of new books each month.

Is there a limit to how many books I can read or download?

You may read and download as many books and articles as you need, but the software is designed to prevent automated downloads or mass downloads. You will be able to download far more content than you will have time to read, but if you attempt to download hundreds of works in one day, you may get a temporary hold on your account. The collections are stable, so readers are encouraged to download and use content as they need it. Since the content is always readily available, there is no reason to store vast amounts of content on your local machine. Content is downloadable, but hoarding is unnecessary. Sharing content with other people is strictly prohibited.

Who owns the Seminary Bookshelf?

The Seminary Bookshelf is owned by the Digital Theological Library (DTL), a California-based nonprofit corporation, which is funded by institutional and individual members around the world. The Seminary Bookshelf is entirely noncommercial and all of its assets are permanently and irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes.


Who may use the works in the Seminary Bookshelf?

The Seminary Bookshelf is intended to help supply religious professionals with the academic content required to engage in their vocational practice. The Seminary Bookshelf is not intended for students or professors; students and professors should get the library support they need from their home institution.

Can I share my membership and access code with a friend?

No. Access codes are assigned to individuals. You cannot share your access code. Please act with integrity in this regard. Sharing your access code is a violation of your user agreement and may result in your code being deactivated.

What kinds of content are in the Seminary Bookshelf library?

The Seminary Bookshelf contains mainly books in religious studies (especially Biblical studies), but the collection also has content from some related disciplines.

What theological tradition does the Seminary Bookshelf represent?

The Seminary Bookshelf collects content in all religious traditions. No tradition is favored over any other tradition, but the majority of the content addresses issues of concern to Western religious traditions.


Can I request books to be added to the Seminary Bookshelf?

You may request titles through the Contact Us link, but we do not guarantee that the titles will be added.

Can I try out the Seminary Bookshelf without being a member?

No, we do not offer free trials. However, you can search the library to see what is available. You will not be able to view the content, but you can learn what is available.


Does the Seminary Bookshelf comply with copyright?

Yes, all content in the Seminary Bookshelf is licensed. We never knowingly violate copyright.


Can I download content from the Seminary Bookshelf?

Yes. In nearly all cases the content is downloadable. However, you cannot distribute the pdfs that you download.


How much does membership in the Seminary Bookshelf cost?

$10 per month.


If the Seminary Bookshelf is nonprofit, why does it charge?

Like all nonprofits, including seminaries, churches, mosques, and synagogues, the Seminary Bookshelf has to generate enough revenue to cover its costs of operations. Also, like all nonprofits, the assets of the Seminary Bookshelf can never be privatized, they are permanently and irrevocably dedicated to charity.


Can I donate to the Seminary Bookshelf  or get a gift member?

Yes. Contact us for details.