The Boston University School of Theology Library, located on the entire second floor of the School of Theology, is an autonomous BU Library that serves the School of Theology community on campus. Our goal as an institution is to build a library that supports the School of Theology in its mission to “cultivate leaders for communities of faith, to enrich the academy, and to seek peace with justice in a diverse and interconnected world.” We collect in areas that support the curriculum of the School of Theology (e.g. Biblical studies, the history of Christianity, theological ethics, doctrinal theology, practical theology, liturgy and homiletics, and Christian education), areas of interest to our STH community, and build upon our already existing and unique collections. Our archives and research collection contains a wealth of records of historical value created by the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Boston University School of Theology, and others (search the archival collection here). For more information about some of our library’s hidden treasures, check out our special collections page.
As a Boston University Library, all BU students, faculty, and staff, whether undergraduate or graduate, are welcome to use our library and borrow materials from us. As a member of the Boston Theological Institute, ATLA, and the Boston Library Consortium (through our affiliation with Mugar Memorial Library), we allow visitors from these institutions to borrow from us (and, conversely, School of Theology students can borrow from these institutions). Boston-area clergy members are able to apply for borrowing privileges at our library, too. Furthermore, the School of Theology Library encourages the pursuit of personal and academic research in all stages of life. We open our doors to the public for in-house consultation of all our materials, without exception.
• Have a question? Contact us!
• Are you visiting us? Check our For Visitors page!
• Get directions to our library and learn about our borrowing policies.
• Explore some of our library’s treasures in the School of Theology Archives.
• Find information about our talented library staff.
• Suggest a Book Purchase
• BU STH Staff and Faculty: Reserve the Conference Room (202A)
• BU STH Staff and Faculty: Reserve the Instruction Room (209)
• Find information about supporting the library here.
The Boston University School of Theology Library is located on the second floor of 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
You can also reach us by:
Phone: (617) 353-3034
Fax: (617) 358-0698
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
For a specific staff member, find their information here.
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The history of the School of Theology Library is intertwined with the Boston University School of Theology. The intellectual basis of a school for Methodist ministers was laid by Rev. LaRoy Sunderland in his 1834 article “Essay on a Theological Institution.” In 1839, a biblical studies program was founded at the Newbury Biblical Institute in Vermont, and funding (and books) were sent to bolster the program there. The school and library was relocated to the Methodist General Biblical Institute in Concord, New Hampshire in 1847, and then relocated and re-christened the Boston University School of Theology in 1867. While located in Boston’s downtown and then Beacon Hill neighborhoods, the library remained small, due to the close proximity of the well-respected General Theological Library, the Congregational Library, and the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. With the move to the School of Theology’s current location on Commonwealth Avenue in 1949, the library was greatly expanded due to the new-found distance from these institutions. It was then the first professional librarian and Boston University graduate, Dr. Jannette Newhall (personal papers housed by our archives), was hired to guide the library. She was among the first presidents of the American Theological Library Association. The School of Theology Library was last renovated in 1999 and continues in its mission to support the School of Theology community in a new era- and not just with books, but online resources, workshops, reference help, and more.
Information in this short history of the School of Theology Library is from the following:
“A People’s History of the School of Theology.” Boston University School of Theology. Available at: http://www.bu.edu/sth-history/.
“History.” Boston University School of Theology. Available at: http://www.bu.edu/sth/welcome/about-sth/history/.