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*The Robert L. Powell Library*: General Information

Discover who we are and what we can do for you at The Master's University, Robert L. Powell Library.

General Information

The Robert L. Powell Library exists to support the academic and scholarly programs of The Master's University  and to serve primarily its faculty, staff and currently enrolled students.  TMU Alumni, The Master's Seminary (TMS) and other visitors are welcome to use this library.

Every patron of the TMU library is accountable for abiding by all applicable policies, procedures and copyright laws.

Last updated September 1, 2022.

Mission & History

Mission Statement

As the resource, reference and research arm of The Master's University, the Robert L. Powell Library exists to support the academic and scholarly programs of the university with holdings that reflect depth, excellence and diversity; serving to develop knowledge and stimulate thought. The library's focus reflects a commitment to equipping for excellence men and women for service to The Master. Beyond the academic pursuits, the library exists to serve students, alumni and faculty with efficiency, competency and amiability.

A Word About Our History

The Powell Library for many years served the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary (LABTS). Prior to becoming The Master's College (TMC) in 1985, the Los Angeles Baptist Seminary moved to Washington State and removed its portion of the theological collection leaving 25,000 volumes to the Los Angeles Baptist College (LABC). Since then, the Powell Library has greatly increased its holdings through acquiring the libraries' of George Williams College (1986), the Northeastern Bible College (1991), the Rev. Karl W. Gillmeister (2004), former LABC/TMC History professor Dr. Ed Gruss (2019) and former LABC/TMC Biology Dept. chair Dr. George Howe (2020). In 2016, TMC became TMU (The Master's University) and the Robert L. Powell Library continued to develop its collection to meet the demands of increasing academic growth in both undergraduate and graduate divisions as well as numerous online degree programs.

The Powell Library continues to make individual purchases of scholarly books, theses and dissertations resulting in a collection in excess of 80,000 print volumes. In addition, the library makes available 35 online databases and indexing tools providing full text access to over 325,000 eBooks and 27,000+ electronic journals thereby giving students and faculty from around the world 24/7 access to scholarly resources in support of their educational pursuits. We trust you will find what you need and we welcome any suggestions or improvements you can offer.


Last updated August, 2021.




The library will gladly receive donations of books, DVDs, CD's, etc. We reserve the right to keep or dispense of them as best fits our collection development needs. Donations of this kind are tax deductible and the donor is responsible for assigning value. A gift letter for tax purposes will be given upon request.

In addition, audiobooks are very welcome. Scholars can increase their stewardship of time by multitasking with the help of audiobooks. See Prices vary from $5 - $30.


Funds may be designated specifically to support The Master's University Robert L. Powell Library. Please make check out to The Master's University and indicate it is for the library. All donations are tax deductible.

Electronic Resources

Online research database are extremely useful to research. Most research databases are available as an annual subscription and these require continuous funding. Moneys donated for the general support of electronic resources are very welcome. In addition, there are some collections of online resources that can be purchased with a one-time fee instead of an annual subscription. Costs range from the thousands to the tens of thousands of dollars annually.


Last updated September 2021.

Collection Arrangement

Circulating Collection

The library main circulating collection is arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC) as outlined below. In a given call number, each Dewey Decimal number represents a specific area of knowledge. The Cutter number, a letter/number/letter combination below the DDC number, further identifies the work by the author's surname and the title. For example, the call number for J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is as follows:


823.9 = English Fiction 

T557h    = "T577" is the numeric value given to the name Tolkien; and "h" represents the word "Hobbit" from the title of the book ("A", "An" and "The" in any language are never considered when they are the first words in a title).

The .9 is a decimal number and thus is a larger number than 823.89. Therefore, 823.9 would be shelved after 823.89.

Dewey Decimal Classification System

In the DDC System all areas of knowledge are organized within ten broad classifications using numbers 000 to 999. Approximately one third of the entire TMU Library collection is classed under 200's - Religion. The following is an outline of these ten broad classifications with the ten sub-classifications for religion as well as TMU major related subclasses. For more details on the Dewey System go to the Research Guide "Access Library Resources: Library Arrangement"

000 - 099 - Computer Science, Information and General Works

000 Computer Science

070 News media, journalism & publishing

100 - 199 - Generalities; Philosophy & related disciplines

200 - 299 - Religion

210 - Natural religion

220 - Bible

230 - Christian theology

240 - Christian moral & devotional theology

250 - Local church & religious orders

260 - Social & ecclesiastical theology

270 - History & geography of church

280 - Christian denominations & sects

290 - Other & comparative religions

300 - 399 Social sciences

320 Political Science

330 Economics

370 Education

400 - 499 Languages

500 - 599 Pure-sciences

510 Mathematics

570 Life Sciences, Biology

600 - 699 Technology (Applied sciences)

610 Medicine & health

612\.76 Kinesiology

640 Home and Family Management

650 Management and public relations

700 - 799 The Arts

780 Music

790 Sports

800 - 899 Literature

813 American Literature

900 - 999 General geography & History; Biography

973 United States History


Last updated August, 2021.

Collection Discovery

Locate Library Resources with the Discovery Catalog

WorldCat Discovery, the library's online catalog and database search tool, provides location and bibliographic information for all of the resources available in and through the library. Keywords, titles, authors, subjects or a combination of these may be used in searching the Discovery catalog. Discovery also allows patrons to view their own account to find what items they have checked out, the due dates of each item, renew an item and access information regarding any fines/fees owed. The library catalog is available at

Help in Locating Library Resources

1. Type in keywords, titles, authors, subjects or any combination of these to find records related to your search. View the "Introduction to Discovery" video tutorials for more detailed instructions. If you need help ask the Reference Librarian, Miss T.,; 661.362.2201.

2. If the library does not have the item you want, no worries. It may be available on request from another library through our InterLibrary Loan service (ILL). See "InterLibrary Loan" for details.

3. If the book is checked out, you can place a "hold" on the book. The staff will notify you when the book is returned and available for you. For details on "Hold" policies and procedures select "About" on the library web site and find "Placing a Hold" under the "Library Services" tab.

Last updated August, 2021.

Special Collections

Reference Collection

Reference books are generally materials that are consulted for specific information rather than to be read completely through. They include general and specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks, yearbooks, atlases, biographical sources and concordances. For a more detailed description of the various types of reference books see "Reference Resources" on the library Web site under the Research Guide "Help with Research".

Hardcopy reference books are integrated within the Main Collection. Reference books have a yellow and red REFERENCE label on their spines. Hardcopy reference materials may not leave the Library.

Softcopy reference materials on the other hand, are available anytime anywhere to the TMU community of faculty, staff and students through the Discovery catalog.  eReference resources can also be found through the Find Databases link on the library web site. Be sure to select "Reference" under "All Database Types" to focus the list. 

Reserve Collection

The reserve collection is located immediately behind the circulation desk at the main entrance. These materials have been set aside by faculty so those students enrolled in a specific course may have access to the information without the added cost of purchasing the items. A few of these items are on strict reserve and may only be read in the Library. Most may be signed out overnight. For details on the library reserve collection policies and procedures go to Course Reserves on the library Web site under About.

Special Collections

The library maintains several special collections. Some are a collection of materials shelved independent of the main collection; others are materials being collected extensively in a particular subject or by a particular person. Our special collections are listed below.

Biblical Counseling - an extensive collection is being developed of resources produced by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) formerly The National Association of Nouthetic Counseling (NANC), the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF), New Growth Press Minibooks and Shepherd Press, in addition to maintaining  a hardcopy subscription to the Journal of Biblical Counseling.

Creation Science - an extensive collection is being developed of the materials published on the subject of creation science.  Included are works produced by ICR (Institute for Creation Research) and CRS (Creation Research Society) along with these journals: Bible Science Newsletter, Creation, Creation Illustrated, Creation Matters, Creator Magazine, Creation Social Science and Humanities Quarterly and Journal of Creation. In addition, the Powell library maintains a repository hardcopy collection to the Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ),

Karl W. Gillmeister Collection - Upon his death, the heirs of Rev. Gillmeister, 1933-2004 donated his entire library of 9,000 volumes to the TMC library. A major portion of this collection is made up of theological works collected over his lifetime. The collection also includes books in the areas of archaeology and art.

Segraves/Sumrall Creation Science Archives - Nell Segraves' personal collection documenting her efforts and those of Jean Sumrall & Kelly Segraves in presenting the issues of creation science and prayer in public schools before the Supreme Court and the Department of Education.

Puritanism - an in depth collection of materials by and about puritans and puritanism is being developed covering both the European and American venues.

TMU Archives - a collection of materials revealing the history and development of LABTS, LABC, TMC and TMU including the Master's theses and doctoral dissertations of the institution's faculty. The TMU archives are housed in the Powell Library Archive Room.

MacArthur Library - First edition copies of Dr. John MacArthur's published works as well as his original sermon notes and other speaking engagements produced over 35 years of exegeting the WORD of God are archived in the MacArthur Legacy Center.

The Periodical Collection

The library maintains subscriptions to over 50,000 softcopy magazines, journals and newspapers collectively known as "periodicals". To discover specific titles held by this library search "Find Journals" on the library web site.

Hardcopy periodicals are classed and integrated into the Main stacks. Within each title the volumes are arranged chronologically; oldest to most current, left to right respectively. While hardcopy periodicals do not circulate, they are available for scanning and use in the library.

*Patrons are responsible to abide by copyright laws.*

Indexes to Periodical Literature

Indexes are published by numerous organizations at regular intervals. Some cover periodicals of a general nature while others cover specific subjects. In the same way the library catalog indexes the books in the library, periodical indexes provide information on the location of articles contained in various journals, magazines and newspapers. Since scholarly research material usually appears in periodicals before it appears in book form, indexes make available a wealth of valuable, up-to-date scholarly material not otherwise evident.

Many of the Powell Library's indexing tools are simultaneously searched via the Discovery catalog making access to full-text articles on any subject quick, easy and available 24/7. The Library's Indexing tools are provided by several online database vendors. Accessing these online databases is done by selecting "Find Databases" on the library web site.  Most of these indexes provide the full-text content of each journal, some only provide abstracts and a few only provide citations. The Interlibrary Loan service may be used to obtain needed articles when the softcopy full-text is unavailable.

Last updated August, 2021.