SEPTLA Institutional News, Spring 2018

Biblical Theological Seminary

Lydia Putnam announced that Biblical will change its name in October to Missio.  The institution signed a lease for a building near the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the move will take place between December 16, 2018 and January 22, 2019.  The library staff are busy with collection reduction.  Faculty are playing an important role in this project and discovering useful materials in the process.  Also, Biblical is scanning 750 theses and uploading them to the Digital Commons.

Cairn University

Stephanie Kaceli shared updates about the library and the University.  In February, the library switched to Open Athens, and this change has been very well received.  She also highlighted that the library lobby is being converted into a café.  Library director, Dr. Hewey is retiring, and Stephanie has been named the new director.  Stephanie mentioned that Cairn will be offering more STEM programs, specifically in chemistry.

Evangelical Seminary

Mark Draper reported that Dr. Len Sweet has been hired to teach in the newly approved doctor of theology (ThD) program.  Evangelical has applied for an online MDiv and an online Bible degree; both programs will impact the number of patrons who visit the physical library.

Lancaster Theological Seminary

Myka Kennedy Stephens announced that she returned from sabbatical in January and has been busy since her return.  The library continues its multi-year weeding project with a goal to complete it by August 2019. A modest climate control unit that helps stabilize temperature and humidity has been fixed in the rare books room.  Lancaster Seminary graduated the first students from its redesigned MDiv program on May 5 and looks forward to welcoming a new class of students in early August.

Moravian Theological Seminary

Elizabeth Young Miller reported that representatives from both ATS and Middle States visited this semester.  The administration is pleased with the result of these visits.

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Ondrea Murphy explained that there have been a number of changes at New Brunswick.  Three library staff members resigned, including the library director.  Dr. John Coakley, a faculty emeritus, who holds an MLS, is serving as the interim library director.  A search will begin for a new director.  Rev. James Brumm was hired to oversee the new theological writing center and serves as archivist too.  On May 18, Rev. Micah L. Mcreary, Ph.D will be inaguarated as New Brunswick’s new president.  Another positive change involves technology upgrades, including new computers.

Palmer Theological Seminary/Eastern University

Dr. Jim Sauer shared information about staff changes and new programs.  He announced that Eastern University has a new president—Dr. Ronald (Ron) Matthews.  Dr. Matthews is a musician, as well as a faculty member, and it is hoped that he will raise money for the institution.  Marvin Smith in the library is retiring, and Chelsea Post, formerly of St. Charles Borromeo, has been hired as the Systems Librarian.  Eastern University offers several new programs: a doctoral education degree in STEM, a MA in classical education, and an online MA in theology designed for the Spanish speaking community.  The fourth cohort is enrolled in the MA in theology.

Princeton Theological Seminary

Virginia Dearborn announced that Chip Dobbs-Allsopp is the new James Lenox Librarian and that Evelyn Frangakis was named the Managing Library Director.  Princeton is currently working on their self-study for Middle States.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Alan LaPayover explained that there is movement and change within Reconstuctionist Judaism.  While there has been a change of the movement’s central organization’s name to Reconstructing Judaism, the College will not change its name for a year.  Nonetheless, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College will be putting up a new website sometime this summer.

Reformed Episcopal Seminary

Russ Buchanan reported that Reformed Episcopal will be conducting their self-study this fall ahead of their ATS site visit in 2019.  Reformed Episcopal welcomed their first international student this year; he is from Nigeria.  The Seminary anticipates other students enrolling from Nigeria.

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

James (Jim) Humble provided several updates regarding St. Charles Borromeo.  The Seminary is working on both ATS and Middle States accreditation; they are currently trimming their ATS report.  The site visits are slated for next March.  Jim explained that nothing has been finalized either with the purchase of their current location nor where they will be moving.  The Seminary is waiting on the Board to vote, which may occur over the summer.  Most likely, it will be two (2) years before the Seminary relocates to their new campus.  Jim shared that Chelsea Post left in January to go to Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University.  Her position has been frozen and may not reopen.  Jim, paraprofessionals, a secretary, and student workers are staffing the library.

United Lutheran Seminary

Evan Boyd shared that there have been a lot of changes at United Lutheran. In March, the seminary board relieved the school’s first president of her role and put in place an acting president. His tenure will end June 1, as an interim president, Dr. Richard Greene, begins his duties for the coming year. ULS has received reaccreditation for all of its degree programs from both Middle States and ATS. During graduation, it was announced that the seminary received a $30 million bequest, to be used to establish a new chair on the faculty, with the bulk endowing student scholarships.

Westminster Theological Seminary

Donna Roof announced that Robert (Bob) McInnes began in January as the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian; Westminster is excited that he has formal training and experience in these areas.  She also reported that the library has new study carrels.

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