SEPTLA Institutional News, Spring 2017

April 21, 2017

Biblical Theological Seminary

Lydia Putnam reported that Biblical has completed visits from both ATS and Middle States. ATS granted Biblical full accreditation for seven (7) years, with a focused site visit planned post-move, which is now anticipated to occur sometime in 2018. Middle States also gave full accreditation approval and will visit the institution once they move; the library in particular was commended for demonstrating ingenuity and financial stewardship. Lydia also announced that the webmaster left and Lydia has assumed these responsibilities for the interim.

Cairn University

Laura Saloiye announced that Cairn will be offering four (4) new majors in the fall: computer science, information technology, criminal justice, and graphic design.  The library received a 1500 volume collection on Biblical archaeology from Towson University.

Lancaster Bible College

Clint Banz reported that April 21, 2017 was the final day of the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation (ABHE) site visit.  The Middle States accreditation team is scheduled to begin their visit to Lancaster Bible College on Monday, April 24, 2017.  Beginning fall 2017 we will be offering two additional majors: Music Education  and Criminal Justice. Also our Church Ministry Leadership department is underway with a search for someone to direct our Pastoral Ministry major. Concerning the library we have created several library tutorials and look to have several additional ones completed this summer.

Lancaster Theological Seminary

In February, we implemented OpenAthens single sign-on authentication alongside Google Oauth2 authentication for our OPAC. Current students, faculty, and staff are now able to use their seminary accounts to log in to both their library accounts and all our electronic resources. Alumni/ae who do not have seminary accounts, now have OpenAthens accounts to access select electronic resources. This has streamlined and simplified access to our electronic resources and has also allowed us to offer off-campus access to many online journal subscriptions not previously accessible off campus.

This spring we completed a complete revision of the seminary’s records management manual and added provisions for managing and archiving electronic records. To help with collection and organization of born-digital records we’re using ResourceSpace, an open source digital asset management platform.

Over the summer we will be creating a makerspace with the primary objective to support students in a new required course, Christianity and the Arts. The space will include a sewing machine, easels, and additional tools for visual and fiber arts.

Seminary librarian, Myka Kennedy Stephens, is looking forward to a 6-month research and writing sabbatical beginning in July.

Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg

B. Bohleke reported that there is a new board of trustees/directors in place and that the merger of the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses begins July 1, 2017. During the spring academy week, library staff and an intern created a display featuring some original works of Martin Luther.

Moravian Theological Seminary

Elizabeth Young Miller reported that Moravian has been busy working on their ATS self-study.

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Ondrea Murphy announced that New Brunswick now offers a doctorate in transformational preaching, and they are looking forward to welcoming a 2nd cohort.  The president of the Seminary is retiring in June, and there will be a new homiletics professor for the fall semester.  Based on fundraising efforts external repairs have been completed along with a dedicated brick walkway. The institution is nearing its capital campaign goal, and they have begun the Middle States accreditation process.

Palmer Theological Seminary/Eastern University

Dr. Jim Sauer announced that Dr. David Bronkema is still the interim dean of the seminary; he offers great leadership and brings a calming spirit to the Seminary which has gone through much change in the last years.  Palmer’s library is now fully merged with Eastern’s library.  Marvin Smith acts as our Theological Research Librarian.

Jim also gave an update on several programs.  While most traditional programs remain flat, the Eastern School of Christian Ministry (ESCM) program geared toward laity and continuing education is growing, as well as the Open Seminary, our international online program.  Also, a cohort based Seminary program is showing great signs of development in Mexico and other Spanish speaking areas.  To become more competitive, the requirements for the MDiv program have been adjusted; the degree can be completed in 78 credit hours instead of 120+ hours.  The 25th anniversary of the West Virginia Campus was celebrated.

Princeton Theological Seminary

Some of you may already know this but in September 2016, the Library was delighted to have Melody Mazuk serving as interim director. Her leadership has moved us forward in many important ways and we are very grateful for her talents.

This you may not know but in late February we welcomed Melvin Hartwick to the library team part-time to assist with cataloging a 42,000+ volume collection of Dutch language material, purchased by Princeton almost 20 years ago. The wonderful combination of his cataloging skills and language expertise has been a gift to Princeton, as we seek to make this material more accessible to researchers.

In June, Greg Murray, Director of Digital Initiatives, will be at ATLA to present on digitizing local collections, using our Theological Commons as a platform.

The search for a permanent James Lenox Librarian continues.

Lastly, the Library would love to be in conversation with any other SEPTLA libraries interested in the following 3 topics:

  1. Exploring models of sharing or reciprocal exchange regarding foreign language cataloging
  2. Developing library disaster recovery plans
  3. Staff and student scheduling programs.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Alan LaPayover announced that Reconstructionist Rabbinical College will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2018.  In this online learning world, the conference session on embedding rights in distance education was very helpful.

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

James Humble reported that, after a year-long search, St. Charles will enter into a provisional partnership with a Philadelphia-area college, which may lead to a merging of operations down the line.  In the meantime, the Seminary is busy working on its self-study, with institutional visits planned for next year.

St. Tikon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Sergei Arhipov announced that St. Tikon’s completed their ATS self-study and are accredited for the next seven (7) years without any stipulations.  After twenty (20) years at St. Tikon’s, Sergei will be retiring; however, he will be continuing as an adjunct.  Michael Skor will be the new head librarian.

University of Valley Forge

We are in the midst of the Self-Study for our Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) reaccreditation. The on-site visit will occur this fall. UVF has also elected a new president, Rev. David Kim and also a Chancellor, Dr. Ron McManus.

Westminster Theological Seminary

Sandy Finlayson provided an update on both the seminary and the library.  He announced that Westminster now offers an online Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling.  In 2018, on campus housing will be added for seminary students.  The library has experienced some staffing transitions.  Karla is leaving.  On June 1, a new assistant librarian begins.  The e-book project spearheaded by Donna Campbell is thriving with thirteen (13) libraries participating and fifteen (15) publishers.  Currently 674 titles are offered with the hope of 1,000 by the fall semester.

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