Theological Collection Development Policy

Theological Collection Profile

While the theological collection of the Wiggins Memorial Library (formerly Carrie Rich Memorial Library) has supported the undergraduate religion department for many years, the beginning of the Campbell University Divinity School in 1996 brought the need for expansion. Significant improvement has been made since that time and continues at present. The theological collection is integrated within the university library’s collection and is found primarily in the Library of Congress Classification B-BX.

Programs and Clientele Supported

The collection supports the following degrees: Bachelor of Art in Religion, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry as well as Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration, Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, and Master of Divinity/Juris Doctor dual degrees. It also supports the Christian Studies requirements for the general college curriculum. Inasmuch as possible given budgetary limitations, the collection provides support for the research needs of the faculty. Other patrons such as area ministers may also use the collection for a fee.

Collection Development Responsibilities

While faculty are expected to make recommendations for purchases, the responsibility for the overall strength and breadth of the theological collection lies with the Library Divinity Liaison and Assistant Dean of the Divinity School. Together they will continually evaluate the collection by comparing it against standard bibliographies and the holdings of other libraries. In addition, book reviews in Choice, Religious Studies News, and the standard journals in the theological disciplines will be routinely consulted. Publisher’s catalogs will also be used.

Faculty are consulted concerning the bibliographical needs for their disciplines. Unless cost is prohibitive, the recommendations of the faculty are honored. When new classes are added to the curriculum, the faculty member teaching the course will work with the Library Divinity Liaison to ensure that resources are sufficient for the requirements of the class.

General Collecting Guidelines

Language: Collecting will be primarily in English. Language tools for Hebrew and Greek will be collected. Some primary works may be collected in their original languages. Priority will be given to English translations of primary texts.

Chronological: There are no set chronological limitations. Collecting interests range from ancient to contemporary texts.

Geographical: Due to the need for English works or those readily available in English translation, the United States and Western Europe are emphasized.

Format: Printed material is preferred in books and monographs. Hardbacks are given preference, although paperbacks may be collected when the cost of the hardback is significantly more. Due to the space constraints, electronic and microfilm formats are preferred for journals. Print subscriptions of significant journals are purchased within the limits of the budget. Other media such as video are collected very selectively and are stored within the Curriculum Materials and Media Center.

Priorities: The four primary areas of emphasis are history of Christianity, biblical studies, theology, and practical ministry. Within these disciplines, scholarly works, both primary and secondary, are given priority. Popular and devotional works are collected more selectively as appropriate for the spiritual formation of theological students. Popular works in practical ministry areas are more actively collected than in other areas given the nature of the discipline. Works on non-Christian religions are collected at a lesser level, although the major sacred texts of all major religions are acquired. Philosophical works are collected at a level to support the undergraduate philosophy courses. While there is no set allotment or formula for distributing the budget among the subject divisions, care will be taken to collect evenly among the areas of emphasis. Duplicates are added only when heavy circulation demonstrates the need for additional copies. The theological collection will represent a broad spectrum of perspectives, including feminist, African-American, and Third World approaches in each major field of study, while providing substantial collections in the institution’s historical interests, such as Baptist studies. Each subject division will collect works related to women.

The Library supports fully Article II of the Library Bill of Rights, "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." It also supports the ALA Interpretation of the above, "A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community which the library serves. Collection development and the selection of materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.” The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library or Campbell University Divinity School.


The library will accept donations of books and periodicals provided they are in good condition. Only those items which meet the same criteria as new materials will be added to the collection. The library has the right to determine the suitability for inclusion in the collection and to dispose of any gifts that do not meet the criteria.


Periodically the Library Divinity Liaison in consultation with the Dean of the Library and divinity faculty will assess the current holding for deselection. Materials deemed to be superseded, outdated, or no longer within the scope of the collection will be withdrawn. Books in poor condition will be evaluated on the basis of availability of replacement copies, usage statistics, and worth to the collection. Based on that evaluation, a decision will be made for withdrawal, replacement, binding, or other repair.