Tag Archives: sbts library

Researching in Community

Yesterday, the library, lead by the research experts, held a session that focused on organizing one’s research. There were many helpful ideas and tips given[1].

One aspect that stuck out to me and was confirmed in conversation afterwards is the community aspect of helping each other in the scholarly endeavor. Three people presented and each approached their research organization in vastly different ways. Admittedly, each one stated that they are always refining and improving on their methods. There was also time for others to ask questions, clarify, and even offer some of their own thoughts.

A lot of producitivity tips and tricks exist out there. Some are more helpful than others[2]. Many try to provide a comprehensive systems saying this is the way you should do it. Everyone thinks and works in vastly different ways. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. I think that sometimes we get caught up trying to find the perfect system out there for us and just follow that. This is fool’s gold because no one person works the same way. By entering into conversations with other aspiring and solidified scholars[3] about how they work and get things done we can build up and assist each other making each one a better academic.

So I guess the point of this post is find something that works for you and use that as a base. Don’t be afraid to modify it and try different things. Be in conversation with others to open up different ideas of how to research and write better. We are all in this together. Recognize that scholarship should be a community enterprise. Learn from others and share you insights with others as well. You never know who you will be helping out.

As a side note. One reason I did the Evernote for Academics series was to provide a helpful model in some of the ways that I work and that I’ve seen others work. From conversations with others I have heard that it has sparked their own way of doing research that is vastly different than models I proposed. This is great and I would like to see more of these conversations like the one that happened in the library occur throughout my time doing scholarship. We’re all in this together.


  1. If you are in Louisville when a workshop is offered I highly recommend that you attend, as I have attended several and always find them very helpful.  ↩

  2. Hopefully mine are helpful but I’ll let you be the judge of that  ↩

  3. This reminds me of Southern’s 1892 Club, which meets every Wednesday to enter into a conversation with another scholar. It generally ends with asking questions on one’s writing practice. This is another way that by freely sharing what has helped us sparks motivation and better ways to write for others.  ↩

Check out the SBTS Library and the Fall 2014 Workshops

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One of the most valuable things that I have done at seminary is go to some of the workshops at the SBTS Library and to seek guidance from the Research Experts. This short time spent at the library has proven valuable in a couple different ways:

  1. I am able to research better and more efficiently. This is two-fold. My research is better because I now know what the quality resources are and how to use them. This leads directly into the second aspect: efficiency. Instead of spending countless hours walking in the dark when it comes to research I now can turn on the light and go directly to the resources that will help me most.
  2. Knowing the layout of the library. I now know where to find certain resources instead of aimlessly wandering the aisles of the library.
  3. The research experts at the library help provide pointed direction to both general and obscure questions. Instead of helplessly searching Google to find a resource or how to do a specific search I can just ask them.
  4. Introduction to Zotero. If you’re not using Zotero or some other bibliography reference software, well, I just feel bad for you.[1]

With this being said, the library is offering several workshops to help your time at seminary. So if at the end of the semester you are drowning in the peripherals (footnotes, citations, resources, etc) of actually writing the paper that is due in a week you will be editing and reviewing your writing, which will in turn result in a better paper and a higher grade.

Workshops Offered in Fall 2014

Helpful Links

  • SBTS Manual of Style – A link to the latest style guide. This has recently had a makeover. It is much easier to read and find what you are looking for. They have also included templates for Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org, and Mellel.[2]
  • Lib Guides – Put together by the research experts at the library this provides helpful resources for all areas of theological study (OT Exegesis, NT Greek Exegesis, OT Resources, Commentary Survey, Systematic Theology, etc..)
  • Research Help – Allows you to quickly contact someone in the library to ask a question via a text message or email.

  1. Check out Ryan Vasut’s (assistant librarian) excellent post on getting started with Zotero (Link)  ↩

  2. If you are unsure about how to use templates be sure to check out their helpful videos too.  ↩

∞ Getting Organized with Zotero – Ryan Vasut

If you are not using Zotero when writing papers then I hope your reason is from ignorance. Zotero is a life saver when he comes to collecting resources when researching and putting together footnotes/bibliography while writing. Best of all it is FREE!

Ryan Vasut, the associate librarian at the SBTS Library, is a Zotero wizard. He knows all the ins and outs of the program and has written a helpful introduction for getting started in Zotero.

Ignorance is not bliss when he comes to this. Now you’ve heard about it so go check it out.

If you’re like me, one that already uses Zotero (albeit in a very basic fashion), you can still glean valuable insights into using the program. I am definitely going to be implementing many of his suggestions.

Read the whole thing here

The link to his post has also been added to the “Tech” page on this site

Summer Reading List from the SBTS Library

The library at Southern Seminary has put together a helpful “summer reading list” that is broken down into several categories:

  1. Old Testament/Biblical Students (Brian Davidson)
  2. New Testament/Interpretation (Ryan Vasut)
  3. New Testament II (Michael Graham)
  4. Theology (Kevin Hall)
  5. Early Christian Literature (Shawn Wilhite)
  6. Evangelism (Jeff Strickland)
  7. Church History (Ivan Mesa)
  8. Worship (Chris Wells)
  9. Fiction (Ivan Mesa)
  10. Fiction II (Ryan Vasut)

Regarding the list they say:

As you consider these titles, there are a few things to note. None of these lists are created for particular classes, nor will you receive any consolation prize for reading them all. Also, these are not ‘top 10’ lists or in a particular order. Finally, no list necessarily reflects the doctrinal stance of Southern Seminary or the person who submitted it. These are merely works we have found to be intellectually stimulating for academic and personal growth.

Download the PDF of the list.

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Martyrdom of Polycarp Reading Group

 

Update: You can find the syllabus of this course here

Last year, the SBTS Library with the leadership and organization of Shawn Wilhite hosted a Greek reading group that read through the Didache. This was a exciting time to both read through Apostolic Fathers primary literature but also to discuss and think through the text with other students.

Thankfully, Shawn put together another reading group that will be going through the Martyrdom of Polycarp. This is a four-week class that will read through this The Martyrdom of Polycarp and an impressive group of scholars to give short lectures on the Martydom of Polycarp and martyrdom in general.

June 3Dr. Paul Hartog, “The Martyrdom of Polycarp as Communal Moral Formation”

June 10Dr. Jarvis Williams, “Comparison and Contrast of 2 and 4 Maccabees with Ignatius Martyrdom Accounts”

 June 17Shawn Wilhite, “The Martyrdom of Polycarp as Imitatio Christi

 June 24Dr. Michael Haykin, “Candida Moss’ Reading of The Martyrdom of Polycarp”

 

If you stop by the library you can pick up a copy of the text that includes footnotes with vocabulary help. I encourage you to sign up. It will be an enriching time of both fellowship with other students and also a great opportunity to learn more about this text.

When: 10:00 – 11:30 am; June 3, 10, 17, 24 (Tuesday)

Where: Lower-Level Floor in the James P. Boyce Centennial Library

Email Shawn to sign up (swilhite@sbts.edu)

Course Syllabus

PDF with details of the reading group

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Check out the SBTS Library

When I was writing my previous post on the Didache reading group[1] at the SBTS library I realized that I have been really impressed about what the SBTS Library staff[2] have been doing lately. They provide so many resources that are custom tailored for all students here. I am amazed at how many students do not utilize their resources! Every time I have gone in there with even the most obscure questions the research experts have always been of great help.[3] If they didn’t have an answer they wrote down the issue and contacted me later via email. It is truly impressive. If you are a student at SBTS I highly encourage you to take advantage of the great resources there.[4]

  • SBTS Manual of Style – This has recently had a makeover. It is much easier to read and find what you are looking for. They have also included templates for Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org, and Mellel.[5]
  • Lib Guides – Put together by the research experts at the library this provides helpful resources for all areas of theological study (OT Exegesis, NT Greek Exegesis, OT Resources, Commentary Survey, Systematic Theology, etc..)
  • Workshops – If you haven’t gone to any of the workshops, you should. I have been to a couple and they have been extremely helpful. One that was particularly helpful was a workshop on how to better search the databases the library offers.
  • Reference Services – When you are stuck in your research contact the library via email and they will help you out.

  1. They are definitely worth a follow on twitter, @SBTSLibrary, they are always pointing towards helpful articles, new books, events etc.  ↩

  2. Check out the Didache reading group they are doing this summer  ↩

  3. One day I spent well over an hour with them researching for articles. Great help  ↩

  4. They even do cool events such as live broadcasting the Goodacre and Gathercole discussion about the Gospel of Thomas.  ↩

  5. If you are unsure about how to use templates be sure to check out their helpful videos too.  ↩