The San Diego Christian College (SDC), formerly Christian Heritage College, was founded in 1970 on the campus of Scott Memorial Baptist Church in San Diego, CA. Mrs. Henry Morris organized and set-up the library in 1970, and continued to serve until 1974. In 1972, the College moved to El Cajon. Dr. Arnold Ehlert served as library director from 1974-1980 and during his tenure the college applied and received WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) candidacy (1976).
Margaret Hills served as director from 1980-1991. She had the vision to have the library become a member of OCLC, the electronic resource sharing cataloging and interlibrary loan utility. The library has been cataloging its materials on OCLC since 1981.
Mona Hsu began to serve as library director in 1991. She has been instrumental in meeting all library accreditation requirements set by WASC. Four computers with one connected to the internet via dial-up were made available for SDC students in 1998. Southern California Seminary (SCS), formerly Southern California Bible College & Seminary, across the street from SDC, applied for TRACS candidacy in 1998 and hired Jennifer Ewing to be the librarian. In 1999 Ruth Martin joined the SDC Library as Director of Library Services. Five research databases were offered via the Library website. SCS Library purchased Athena, an automated library system, to make the transition from the card catalog.
The library joined the State-wide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) in 2000. In May 2000, SDC and SCS merged their library operations to serve both institutions. The Seminary brought the online catalog Athena as part of the merge. 2000 saw the Library start retrospective conversion of the library catalog cards to electronic records, offer 18 research databases, replace 24 public library computers, and open a small library computer lab (in the Cayot Room) for teaching information literacy skills to students. The online circulation system was phased in during 2002 along with remote access to the library catalog and the card catalog cabinets were removed from the Library. The first SCELC shared academic e-book collection was purchased in 2002. The Library acquired periodicals management software, Serials Manager in 2003 and provided a linking feature to all databases that offered full-text via Serials Solutions in 2004.
San Diego Christian College Library and Southern California Seminary Library [institutional name change in 2005] joined the Christian Library Consortium for resource sharing among other member institutions. All library records were sent to Online Library Computer Center (OCLC) in 2006 to reload into the WorldCat database (for cataloging and interlibrary loan services), the library catalog migrated to a web-based integrated library catalog (InfoCentre), and the library updated student authentication protocols for remote access to the databases (EzProxy). By 2007 the Library had increased electronic resources for e-books (45,000) and e-journal databases to over 60 databases in 2007 (all remotely accessible 24/7 via the Library web site). From 1999 to 2007, the Library staffing increased from 2.7 FTE 1999 to 6.2 FTE in 2007. The library was awarded a grant in 2007, adding 28 electrical outlets (for laptops) and 6 express computers (increase from 24 to 32) in 2008. Research database subscription increased to 64. The Library was award a second grant from a foundation in 2009 which allowed the purchase of $15,000 in e-resources. The Library e-collection provided access to over 55,000 e-books and over 11,000 online and print journals.
By 2010 the library had increased electronic resources for e-books (79,400) and e-journals, music and streaming video databases to over 83 databases in 2010. The Library purchased nearly 2,000 e-books as well as the ATLA Historical Monograph Collection Series 1 and 2 with nearly 30,000 e-book titles from the 13th century through 1923. 160 Seminary theses and dissertations from 1951–present were added to the library’s catalog through a retrospective cataloging project. The Library was awarded a third grant of $31,000 from a foundation to replace 33 public computers. In 2011 the library entered into an agreement with OCLC to be an early adopter for the Web-scalable Management System to replace the current library catalog. 20,580 e-books were purchased in 2012. Over 15,000 items were weeded from the collections from 2011 to 2013 to prepare for the two libraries for the moves. The splitting of the collections for the move was planned and executed. In January of 2014 SDC Library moved to the new campus in Santee, CA and the SCS Library moved back to the west campus in El Cajon, CA. Delivery of materials between library locations was instituted. SCS Library became a member of the American Theological Library Association in 2014.
By 2015, the SDC and SCS Libraries provided access to 338,731 ebooks, e-audio or e-reference titles plus another 65,010 streaming audio and/or videos. With access to 106 databases from 25 vendors, unique journal access included 24,477 full text titles. Students at both SCS and SCS reported high satisfaction with the helpfulness of library staff. SDC and SCS reaffirmed the Libraries agreement to operate respective branch libraries as a joint-use library and to reiterate financial and administrative commitments for the libraries. By 2016, the Libraries had access to 150 databases and reached the milestone of 1 million cataloged items.