Skip to Main Content

Theology and Missions

This guide is designed to help students with research and writing in the School of Theology and Missions.

Ask a Librarian

Amber Wessies

Instruction Librarian 

(731) 661-5058

Savannah Patterson

Public Services Librarian 

(731) 661-6544

Start Here

This page includes helpful resources for completing projects and assignments in Dr. Mitchell's Contemporary Issues in Christian Ethics course.

Please contact a librarian or schedule a research coach appointment if you have questions about research and finding sources. 

Basic Steps for Research:
  1.  After you have decided on a research topic or research question, start by breaking your topic into searchable terms.  
  2. Think of synonyms for those words, so you can find enough information about your topic.
  3.  You may need to try more than one search term or try searching more than once using synonyms.
  4.  Begin searching in your database (see below for database ideas).
  5. After finding an article based on title, read the abstract to see if it is really written about what you are researching (titles can be deceiving).
Searchable Terms: 
  • words or phrases that sum up your topic
  • break your topic into parts
  • words or phrases that would be the main ideas of your topics

Need a Topic

If you are having trouble thinking of a research topic or want to brainstorm topic ideas, try searching the Opposing Viewpoints Database

  1. Browse Issues
  2. Click an issue that sounds interesting to you
  3. At the topic of the screen a brief summary of the issue is given
  4. As you scroll down, you will find different types of sources (videos, articles, images, audio, viewpoint pieces, etc.) related to the topic.
  5. Click the title of the source to view
  6. Read the abstract to determine relevance
  7. Email/download/print the article to use at a later date and keep track of your research



Q: Where are the books and journals on reserve?

            A: All reserve items are held at the circulation desk. 

Q: How can I access reserve items?

           A: Ask for the item at the circulation desk. They will check it out to you and keep your student ID until you return the item.

Q: How long can you have reserve books?

          A: Reserve books cannot leave the library. You can use them for as long as needed in the library.

Q: What books are on reserve?

         A: Some reference materials such as citation manuals are always on reserve. Professors request certain items to be on reserve for various classes.

Checking Out Books:

Q: How long can you check out a book?

           A: Books can be checked out for up to 3 weeks (longer if the book is renewed). DVD's can be checked out for 2 days; CDs for 3 days; and books on audio for 2 weeks.

Q: What is WeTALC?

          A: WeTALC is an organization of academic libraries in West Tennessee. 

Q: How many books can I check out from other libraries and for how long?

         A: You can check out 3 books from a participating WeTALC school using your Union ID. Check-out time length is determined by the individual schools.

Q: Which other libraries can I use to check out books?

          A:  Bethel College, Christian Brothers University, Dyersburg State Community College, Freed-Hardeman University, Jackson State Community College, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Rhodes College, Southern College of Optometry, Southwest Tennessee Community College, University of Memphis, University of Memphis at Lambuth, University of Tennessee at Martin, Univeristy of Tennessee at Memphis, and University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis.

Research Coach:

Q: What is the purpose of a research coach appointment?

          A: Research coaches are a great free tool for research help. A research coach can answer any research questions (ex: how to find articles, which databases to use, citation questions, etc.)

Q: How long do research coach sessions last?

        A: Typically research coach sessions last between 15-30 minutes. They are tailored to help you with your questions, so they could be longer or shorter depending on the question(s).

Other Questions:

Q: Does the library partner with the writing center?

        A: We encourage students to utilize the writing center for questions about how to write a paper or help with revising/editing. The library can help with finding research and sources. We both can help with citation questions.

Q: How do you pick articles for research?

       A: Research is a process. It can often be trial and error. After finding results based on your search terms, choose an article with a title that seems to best fit your topic then read the abstract/summary. If the abstract still relates to your topic, this may be an article you would like to use for your assignment. If you are having trouble finding articles or choosing the best articles contact a research coach

Database Options