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Bishop Payne Library

Bishop Payne Library

"Our passion is to help you go deeper in your faith and vocation through reading, research, and resources."
The Bishop Payne Library building is closed for renovation.
We have moved to the Welcome Center on campus, the building beside the chapel.

The new Welcome Center Library building is open for the VTS campus community only, with a capacity of 10 patrons at one time.

For book returns, please use the new book drop at the Welcome Center Library, on the grove side.

Contact library staff at
or at 703-461-1733.

The Bishop Payne Library is located on the campus of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The library serves seminary students and their families, faculty and staff, as well as local clergy and Christian educators, students and faculty of the Washington Theological Consortium and VTS alumni.   

The Bishop Payne Library holds over 250,000 volumes and provides access to 300,000 ebook titles and 2,000 periodicals. The Library is also home to the Seminary Archives and the African-American Episcopal Historical Collection.
Alumni/ae have lifetime borrowing privileges with the Bishop Payne Library and can request books to be sent at no cost. Read more about Alumni Borrowing Privileges here.

Bishop Payne Library > Prof's Picks

Prof’s Picks
October 2020
Each month the Bishop Payne Library invites
a member of the VTS faculty
to share what books they are reading
for research, curriculum or pleasure.
The Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D., is the Director of Multicultural Ministries and Assistant Professor of Race and Ethnicity Studies. These are his “picks” for the monthly series:
Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (Convergent 2018)
In this lively and engaging text, Brown presents her personal account of the everyday challenges, frustrations, and joys of living as an African American woman.  She places her own experiences in the context of broader interpersonal and institutional racism.  I’m Still Here provides valuable insights on how individual behaviors and social structures work together to create oppressive experiences for people of color.  It also offers great wisdom on how to maintain one’s dignity in spite of oppression. 
Katherine Sonderegger, Systematic Theology: Volume 1, The Doctrine of God (Fortress 2015)
This erudite text by one of VTS’s own radiates the author’s love of God.  As Sonderegger expounds upon divine oneness and humility, as well as the challenges that modern perspectives pose to traditional doctrines, her prose is often poetic.  Even for the non-specialist (like me!), it is an uplifting and thought-provoking read that I have treasured in this time of pandemic and protest.
Miguel A. De La Torre, Burying White Privilege: Resurrecting a Badass Christianity (Eerdmans 2019)
De La Torre here issues a searing indictment of white Christianity, which he defines as any version of the faith that is focused on maintaining white supremacy and power as opposed to honoring the “communal aspects and responsibilities of the gospel.”   The author does not mince words.  This book will surely grab your attention and provoke serious reflection. 

Library Calendar

List of 1 events.

  • Library Hours

    The new Welcome Center
    Library building is open to the 
    VTS Campus Community ONLY,
    due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    Mon - Tue:  8:30 am - 6:00 pm
    Wednesday:  8:30 am - 9:00 pm
    Thu - Fri:  8:30 am - 6:00 pm
    Sat - Sun:  2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Phone: 703-461-1733
Email: paynelib@vts.edu
Current Campus Location:
Welcome Center
3737 Seminary Road
Campus Map: Building #28
3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304  |  Phone: 703-370-6600 or 800-941-0083 | Employee Directory