The Learning Commons


Services Provided

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If an item is needed from a library that the patron cannot visit in person or at which the patron does not have circulating privileges, she or he is encouraged to request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Forms are available at the circulation desk and should be returned to the library staff. Please keep in mind that receiving material through Interlibrary Loan can takes up to four weeks. Patrons are responsible for keeping track of when their ILL materials are due.

Study Carrels

While the learning commons does not offer traditional study carrels, Ph.D. and D.Min. students can request a locker from the circulation desk and utilize the study spaces found in the learning commons for their research needs. All materials in one's locker must be checked out.


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Patrons must pay for all copied pages, including errors.

Bibliographic Instruction

 The Assistant Librarian is available for individual or group instruction, inside or outside of a class. Click through to find out about the different types of instruction available.

Research Help

Looking for help on a particular topic? Check these pages to find research guides and information about citation and style tools.

Suggest New Books


Using Other Libraries

ACTS Libraries

CTS faculty, students, and students have library privileges with the libraries of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). An ACTS borrower identification card is needed to check out materials. Cards can be obtained in the library office. A complete list of member libraries, their locations and hours can be found on the ACTS Library Council website. 

University of Chicago Library

Privileges for the University of Chicago Library can be obtained by visiting the ID and Privileges Office in Regenstein Library during that office's regular hours. CTS users will need to show both a CTS ID and currently valid ACTS card in order to be issued privileges. University of Chicago library privileges will be extended through the academic quarter that most closely matches the end of CTS' academic year.

University of Chicago policies will apply to University of Chicago loans, including policies for handling overdue materials, fines, lost material, claims returned items, and recalls.

See our reciprocal agreement with University of Chicago

Chicago Public Library and other Public Libraries

Students living in Chicago can also take advantage of the wealth of information available at the Chicago Public Library.

  • Chicago Public Library's downtown location, the Harold Washington Library Center, is a research library and is open to the public.
  • Local branch libraries also provide many services that students may find useful, including database access.
  • Information about getting a Chicago Public Library card can be found here. Students living in Chicago suburbs may still be eligible for a CPL card. Contact your local public library to find out if they participate in a reciprocal program with CPL.

Students outside of the Chicago area should consider finding out what services their local public library can provide them. This could be everything from Interlibrary Loan to access to databases CTS doesn't subscribe to.

CTS only has reciprocal agreements with the ACTS libraries and the University of Chicago. We do not recommend students attempt to use the libraries of other seminaries, as this may be a drain on their limited resources.