library studyAs an alum, you already know that the value of a Candler education continues long after you’ve received your diploma. But did you know that many of the same Pitts Theology Library resources that you relied on as a student are still available to you now?

Pitts encourages Candler and Emory alumni to take advantage of special access to scholarly tools that can enrich your ministry, including the recent addition of the sought-after Hermeneia Biblical Commentary Series in electronic form. A discount for Candler and Emory alumni on the popular resource Ministry Matters is also pending—the first licensing agreement of its kind, which will serve as a model for others between Ministry Matters and seminaries/institutions.

According to Richard “Bo” Manly Adams Jr., director of Pitts Theology Library and Margaret A. Pitts Assistant Professor in the Practice of Theological Bibliography, providing access to quality theological materials for alumni is a top priority for Pitts.

“We feel it is not right to train students to be critical readers, preachers, and theologians with the rich resources the library provides while they are enrolled, and then send them out to do this work without those tools,” he says. “In an age of information overload, we want our graduates to continue to rely on the curatorial powers of our librarians, leading them to quality resources.”

Here’s how to connect with Pitts’ resources and staff both electronically and in person: 

Electronic Resources: While most electronic resources licensed by Emory libraries are limited to walk-in users and remote access for current faculty, students, and staff, Pitts has recently extended licenses to two vital electronic resources to ensure availability for all Emory alumni:

  • Academic Search Alumni Edition: Intended for the research needs of the post-college professional, this database provides full text for more than 3,350 journals in nearly every area of academic study.
  • ATLA Database Access for Alumni: The leading index of literature published in the fields of theology and religious studies, including many full text articles, essays, and book reviews. 
  • Hermeneia Biblical Commentary Series: Designed for the serious student of the Bible, the series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books and other literature closely related to the Bible.
  • Religious and Theology Abstracts: Provides objective summaries of articles appearing in scholarly journals in the fields of Religion and Theology, including Christian, Jewish, and other World religions. 
  • Oxford Biblical Studies Online: A comprehensive resource for the study of the Bible and biblical history, integrating authoritative scholarly texts and reference works with tools to easily research the Bible’s background and context.

To gain access to these resources, alumni must register online with the Emory Alumni Association. This is a separate registration from attaining the Alumni Card. Register to use electronic resources here.

Library Reference Support: Reference and Instruction Librarian Sarah Bogue says the Pitts staff is eager to provide continual support for alumni from all degree programs in a variety of ways. This includes assisting with ministry projects or research questions.

“I recently worked with an alum in the process of crafting a confirmation class on the history of baptism, and another who wanted to find contemporary theologians who had engaged with Martin Luther King Jr. for a Sunday school class,” she says. “We want alumni to continue to be able to engage with our staff and resources in their post-Candler callings just as they did in seminary, and make the most of this ongoing connection to Pitts.”

Pitts’ reference librarians are available to work with Candler alumni by phone, text, email, and online chat. Contact them here. They also provide open-access research guides to help on a range of topics related to the study of religion and theology, as well as research habits and general tools. Find the research guides here.

Borrowing Privileges: All Candler alumni are eligible for borrowing privileges at all Emory libraries.

Learn more about Pitts’ alumni offerings.

For more information, contact the Pitts circulation desk at 404.727.4166 or