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Welcome to the BISA Library

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark"
Victor Hugo

Welcome to the BISA Library pages. Our aim is to assist the students in every way possible with access to materials in a conducive environment that will enable them to be equipped in their chosen field of study.

Our OPAC, Online Public Access Catalogue, provides access to the collection which is in MARC, Machine Readable Cataloguing format, using Library of Congress Subject Headings with Dewey Decimal Classification.

Added avenues for academic research are provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals with11,000 electronic journals, mostly peer-reviewed, as well as JSTOR, short for journal storage digital library. The Bible Institute also has 23,400 articles indexed under 53 Journal titles with hard copies of these journals available in the library.

"A man’s bookcase will tell you everything
you’ll ever need to know about him"

Walter Mosley

Barcoded book scanning in library

New in the Library!
BISA upgrades to Barcode Book Scanning

In March 2021, the online library circulation system called Mandarin 5 (Mandarin Library Automation) was successfully programmed for use by the BI staff, faculty and students. After a student demonstration it went into immediate use. Although there are still improvements to be made, the basic loaning and returning of books is running smoothly. 

This system makes use of a barcode scanner to scan barcodes of library users and books. This will soon be made easier and quicker with library cards for each patron. We can take stock, check reader usage and even locate those popular books that take months to be returned. The reader will receive a gentle message (at first!) when their book is due back on the shelf.  

This updated system should greatly improve the user experience of our students and allow them to enjoy the library even more!

BISA library, did you know? ...

The Bible Institute’s library contains an excellent, broad-based collection with more than 27,000 volumes, to which a large number of titles are added annually. We offer over fifty current and archived periodical titles in hard copy as well as 23,000 individual journal titles which are available on the BISA electronic index.

The library is digitally barcoded and has its own website with an online OPAC using the Florida based Mandarin M5 automated library programme.


Students can access the library website using their devices.  The ATLA database is available for search by current & past students on all of our courses.


While the core of the library is geared towards theological and biblical studies, areas of specialisation include Christianity in Africa, African traditional religion, African culture and African Initiated Churches, as well as the history of the Church in Africa. We also have a broad philosophy section plus a section on literary analysis of texts (including discourse analysis).  


Our wide selection of Puritan writings has elicited interest in institutions elsewhere, allowing us to lend out copies to a university in Kwa Zulu Natal.

Number of articles in 53 shelf journals
Number of books in BISA's library

BISA Library International Access facilities

Inside the campus library BISA students have access to OPAC - Online Public Access Catalogue - providing open use of the hard cover collection. This is catalogued in MARC format, with Library of Congress Subject Headings classified according to DDC - Dewey Decimal Classification.  

BISA’s online OPAC, known as M5 is available for download, by permission of the Librarian, to various electronic devices.


To keep current in the field BISA library has subscribed to the Logos Remote Research Library. This is a platform for academic research, sermon preparation and personal Bible study that offers students more than 2762 electronic resources, including books and journals. 


A wealth of high quality academic literature is thus made available to Faculty, students and researchers.

Journal titles available from ATLA
Records available from Globethics Library
BISA hardcopy indexed articles
Journal titles available directory of Open Access Journals

Extended library facilities for students


Recommended authorsIrenaeus of SmyrnaAbraham KuyperAugustine of HippoThomas AquinasJohn CalvinIsobel KuhnMartin LutherJohn PiperPolycarp of SmyrnaJohn StottLouis BerkhoffJI PackerPete SmutsMatthew MarkLukeJohnDietrich BonhoefferRobert A PetersonPaul of TarsusEric MetaxasWayne GrudemJohn BunyanRC SproulCS LewisJohn FoxeOswald ChambersJonathan EdwardsMichael HortonClement of RomeMatthew HenryBrian RussellMichael CassidyJosh McDowellWalther Zimmerliall found in THIS library

Globethics Library and GlobeTheolib (based in Geneva, Switzerland), by agreement, allow BISA Faculty and students access to their online library which consists of  2,000,000 electronic records (books and journals). Articles are available for download and a number of eBooks can be read online.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (11,000 electronic journals, mostly peer-reviewed), along with JSTOR, provide added avenues for academic research.

The Bible Institute also has its own index of 53 Journal titles, with 23,400 articles indexed. Hard copies of these journals are available in the library.

Don't let anyone forget these things. And with God as your witness, you must warn them not to argue about words. These arguments don't help anyone. In fact, they ruin everyone who listens to them. Do your best to win God's approval as a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed and who teaches only the true message... 2 Timothy 2: 14 -15

Whether you bring your own device to college or use the PCs in the library computer room, there's plenty of WiFi for everyone


Computer Room

BISA has a designated computer room, adjacent to the main library, comprising eight computer work stations.   Each PC runs Windows 10 with a high speed internet connection and printing & scanning facilities.    Office applications required by the student for preparing assignments are installed on each PC. The student has access using an individually assigned code linked to their account.


Library Reference room

The Reference room is adjacent to the main library and this high ceilinged, well-lit space is reminiscent of an old- world reading room. It offers seating for around 23 students at large tables with space for books, journals and laptops. The shelves carry bound and unbound periodical journals which supplement our large electronic database. The area carries multiple power points as well as Wi-Fi access and many students choose to work there as silence is a prerequisite.  The Reserve Section of the library (also known as the Short Loan section) is found in the Reference room. There, the student will find a specialised Bible section housing multiple versions and editions of the Bible (some in African languages) as well as  the Languages book section (Biblical language grammars, Classical languages grammars and modern day grammars for many languages).

WiFi facilities

 Wi Fi (campus-wide) is also offered for students who bring their own laptops or other electronic devices to college. The library, as well as the main lecture theatre (Williams Hall), has multiple desk-accessible power points for electronic devices. The Logos Remote Research Library can be accessed via the computer room or from the internet on the student’s own device.

Recommended authors |Irenaeus of SmyrnaEric MetaxasAugustine of HippoThomas AquinasJames W SireJohn CalvinIsobel KuhnMartin LutherJohn PiperPolycarp of SmyrnaJohn StottLouis BerkhoffJI PackerPete SmutsMatthew MarkLukeJohnDietrich BonhoefferPaul of TarsusWayne GrudemJohn BunyanRC SproulCS LewisJohn FoxeOswald ChambersJonathan EdwardsClement of RomeMatthew HenryDarrel BockBrian RussellFrancis A SchaefferMichael HortonWilliam MounceJohn BlanchardJohn OwenDouglas Moofound in this library

Bible Institute of South Africa selected article for your interest

 Jacob Igba for websiteAuthored by BISA Lecturer Dr Jacob IGBA


Original Research Salvation in Acts 16:16-40: A socio-historical exploration of the Graeco-Roman understanding

Jacob T. Igba, Risimati S. Hobyane, Henk G. Stoker

Received: 16 June 2018; Accepted: 26 Apr. 2019; Published: 24 Oct. 2019

Copyright: © 2019. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.