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Distance Students: Policies

A guide to help distance students with their research needs.

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Visit our FAQ page for an answer to any question you have. If you still cannot find an answer, the Reference Assistant is the point person for distance students at the library and would be happy to assist you. The Reference Assistant can be reached by email at:

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Distance Policies

1.     Books owned by the SEBTS library may be shipped to distance students within the United States.  SEBTS covers the cost to send the books but students must cover the cost to return them.

2.     Books must be mailed by the due date. They will be checked in according to the date on the postage stamp. We recommend using Media Mail to return items.

3.     Patrons may request 12 items per week. 

4.     a. We are able to email scanned sections of books and articles if we have a physical copy and do not already own them in digital format. This service is free. If there is a full-text option available on the database we cannot mail the book or scan any portion of it.

         b. For PhD, EDD, and DMin Students ONLY: If you do not qualify as a distance student (meaning you live less than 120 miles from SEBTS) but live more than 30 minutes away from SEBTS (according to Google Maps), you may request scans of journal articles and book chapters as long as they fall within copyright policies. This only relates to PDF scans and not books-by-mail. 

5.    We cannot fulfill requests for books that are currently checked out, on hold by another patron, or that are located in Reference, Reserves, or Archives (including Faculty Shelves). If a book is currently checked out, you may place a hold on it by signing into Alcott, performing a search for the relevant item, and then selecting "Place a hold" next to where it says that the item is checked out. Once you are notified that the item is available for you, you can email us at and request that we check that item out and mail it to you.

6.     Inter-Library-Loan Services for Distance Students:

  • Books and articles can be ordered through ILL and sent to distance students within the United States.
  • Articles that are requested through ILL for distance students will be emailed as a PDF copy once we receive the article. These articles are not limited to the United States.
  • We cannot, under any circumstances, ILL a copy of anything that is already in the SEBTS catalog, or that we already have access to in some form (this includes e-books and articles with PDF versions).

Inter-Library Loan Policies

1.     No ILL services for guest users, this service is only for students.

2.     ILL is only for material that the Library at SEBTS does not already own or have access to in some form.

3.     ILL requests for physical materials cannot be generated for distance students outside of the United States.

4.     While the SEBTS library does not charge for ILL services, the lending library may charge. The patron is always contacted before we agree to pay anything.

5.     Use Worldcat to request books. Use EBSCO databases (including GoSearch) to request journal articles.

6.     Request 3-4 items every other day. This the maximum rate at which we will process requests.

7.     The lending library controls checkout dates and renewals.

8.     Renewals should be requested a week in advance of the due date, three days before the due date at a minimum.  Contact to renew items.

9.     Overdue ILL books are subject to fines by the lending library—if they charge.

Returning Mail Policies

1. The postmark date is considered the return date for all books by mail.

2. Media Mail with USPS is probably the most affordable return mail option.

3. We strongly recommend that you insure your packages. If you return books and they are lost in the mail you will be responsible for the replacement costs. You may mail the books back with whatever Postal service you prefer (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.). Priority Mail with USPS is automatically insured up to $50. Media Mail with USPS (potentially the most affordable option) is not insured, you will have to add insurance. Visit the USPS website for more information on this. 

4. We recommend that if you are returning a large number of books that you return them in multiple boxes of around 10 books in order to reduce the likelihood of them getting lost or damaged in the mail.

5. Please acquire a tracking number for your package so that you can follow it until it arrives at the SEBTS Library.

6. Return address:

Library at SEBTS

114 N. Wingate St.

Wake Forest, NC 27587

7. For further assistance, please contact the Reference Assistant at