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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. Requests are typically filled within 24-48 hours not including shipping time.

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 60 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 WorldCat, 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

  • Any books, journal articles, or AV materials that our library does not own can often be requested from other libraries. However, this does not include materials we already have access to in some form, such as e-books and PDF versions.
  • Copies of journal articles or book chapters will be emailed as a PDF file. However, copies exceeding 50 pages (or 10% of a volume) will not be sent in order to maintain our copyright agreement.
  • The SEBTS library does not charge for ILL services. However, the lending library may charge. We always contact the patron before we agree to pay anything.
  • Use WorldCat to request books and EBSCOHost databases (especially ATLA) to request journal articles.
  • Patrons can request 4 items every other day. 
  • We cannot fulfill requests for books that are currently checked out or located in Reference, Reserves or Archives. If a book is currently checked out, you may place a hold on it.
  • Books ordered through ILL must be picked up at the circulation desk in person or a representative designated by the patron. Patrons must send an email to the circulation desk to acknowledge the person that will be picking up the ILL.
  • Books need to be returned to the circulation desk no later than the day after the due date to avoid overdue fines. Overdue ILL books are subject to fines by SEBTS’s regular rate as well as the lending library’s rate (if they charge).
  • If an ILL is damaged while in the patron’s possession, they will be responsible for the replacement cost as determined by the lending library.
  • The lending library controls due dates and renewals.
  • Renewals should be requested from at least 3-5 days before the due date.
  • ILL requests usually arrive in 7-10 days.  This can depend on a number of factors, such as the distance of the library that fills the request or delivery time for library mail rate. 
  • No ILL services are allowed for guest users or alumni - only for current students.

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