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Theology: Getting Started

Helpful Encyclopedias

The Basics

When doing research sometimes the toughest thing to know is where to start. On the left side of the screen you'll find links to some great resources for doing the following:

- Narrowing your research focus.

- Correlating your thesis with a particular school of thought.

- Finding more sources for your bibliography.

- Learning something new.

Once you have your thoughts processed and collected with these general resources it's time to find specific resources. Head over to our Databases Tab with great links to free, online databases where you can find scholarly articles and full texts to build your research base.

The Classics

Say you just want to delve deeply into the field of Theology without much of a goal in mind. Where do you find the "big" texts of Theology without having to tread through the inaccuracies of the blogsphere? 

Try the Reading List for the Theology Department's Comprehensive Exams. This list is what every doctoral student in Theology must master in order to be considered a candidate for their degree. It is a great way to discover a new "classic" text from a thinker you've always wanted to read but never knew where to start.

From Thesis to Conclusion

So you have a classic question you want to tackle, a few great books, and a ton of scholarly articles, but you don't know how to compress all of that great stuff down into a clear, concise thesis statement. We've all been there. 

Vanderbilt has a great, free resource for all students, but it is particularly useful for Graduate students in Theology: the Writing Studio.

Click here to schedule an appointment with the Writing Tutor and get your paper out of the mire.

Finding Inspiriation

Looking for something to spark an idea? 

One of the most under-utilized resources in the Vanderbilt Library is probably our version of the Revised Common Lectionary.

The RCL provides the full text of the lectionary readings for each week, but what is truly unique about this resource is that each week's readings come with paired Prayers and Classic Images of Christian Art. Both are great supplements to building your theological prowess.

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