Mission Statement

Memphis Theological Seminary Library provides resources and services in support of the seminary’s mission to prepare persons for ministry. Specifically, the library provides materials for study and research in theology and practical ministry and nurtures the skillful use of resources through library helps and instruction.

The Collection

The library collection contains over 85,000 volumes and 340 current periodical subscriptions. The reference collection contains over 6,000 print volumes.  The library subscribes to four major online bibliographic and full-text services providing access to hundreds of databases.

The library collection is ecumenical in scope and supports the broad diversity of the seminary community. The library contains one of the world’s largest collections of materials relating to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, including rare and historical materials. The MTS library also houses strong collections of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and American and National Baptist materials. The library also collects materials relating to African-American Religion, especially in the mid-south. This collection includes photocopies of the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Library Hours–Fall and Spring Semesters

Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

When classes are not in session, the library hours are:

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday

8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Friday


The MTS Library is located in Founders Hall on the campus of Memphis Theological Seminary. The campus is on the southeast corner of East Parkway and Union Avenue in Memphis,Tennessee.

Library Staff

Jane Williamson, M.L.S.
Interim Library Director

Jimmy Horn, M.Div.
Interim Technical Services Librarian

Melissa Hamblin
Circulation Supervisor/Office Manager



Chuck Lindsey
Library Assistant

Nancy McSpadden
Library Assistant

Jennifer Muraya
Library Assistant

Susan Yates
Library Assistant

Bobby McSpadden
Library Assistant

Public computers are available on the first floor in the reading room, as well as on each floor of the stacks.

Access to the stacks is through the periodical room.  Follow the yellow line on the floor to the door.  Students who are unable to use the stairs, please check with library staff to pull books for you.

Directories for each floor are posted throughout the library, at the entrance to the periodical room across from the public service desk, and on the door from the stairwell.

Library Policies

The copy machine is provided for library users. It costs 10 cents per copy. The library staff CANNOT charge copies so please bring change when planning to copy library materials. Please see the business office to change a bill larger than $5.00.

All printing through MTS Library networked computer printers is charged at a rate of 10 cents per printed page.  In order to print, users must first set up an individual printing account and pre-pay for printing at  the MTS Library public service desk.

A courtesy phone is provided for students near the Founders Hall main entry and a pay phone is provided for student’s use in the student center. Library phones are for BUSINESS USE ONLY.

Children must be attended by an adult when in the library. The library staff cannot assume responsibility for unattended children. Children under 12 should NOT be left unattended in the library while parents are in class. The staff is not qualified to provide adequate childcare and CANNOT take responsibility for the safety and well being of such children.

Please keep phones on vibrate while in reading room.  Please step outside to make and receive calls.

General Circulation Information

The Memphis Theological Library is open to the public. Library borrowing privileges are extended to Memphis Theological Seminary students, faculty and staff, alumni, and to students and faculty from other area colleges with whom the library has mutual usage agreements. Clergy and religious professionals and others may apply for special borrowing privileges. Privileges may be granted upon application and approval from the Library Director and the payment of a $25.00 annual fee. Memphis Theological Seminary Library will NOT extend borrowing privileges to students from schools with whom the seminary library DOES NOT have reciprocal usage agreements.

All users must present a valid MTS library card to check out materials. This card is issued without cost to the patron. Persons with borrowing privileges have an assigned PIN number to assist in the use of on-line renewal privileges. Please keep the library informed of any change in address.

MTS students, staff and alumni may check out circulating materials for a four-week period. Items may be renewed for an additional four-week period, provided that another user does not have a HOLD request on the item and that the item is not overdue. MTS Faculty and D.Min students may check out circulating items for 6 months. There is no limit on the number of items an MTS student or faculty member may check out. Special borrowers are limited to three items checked out for a two-week period with one possible renewal.

Audio tapes, DVD and videos; MTS D.Min. projects and theses may be checked out for one week.

Periodicals, microfilm, and microfiche may be used only in the library and DO NOT circulate.

Rare books and  reference books DO NOT circulate.

Materials from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Manuscript collection must be used IN-HOUSE only and CANNOT be photocopied.

With the exception of reserve materials, hold requests may be made for checked-out items. All hold request items must be picked up within a week of notification of their availability.

RESERVE MATERIALS must be requested at the circulation desk and circulate for periods of time designated by the instructor. Most items placed on reserve are available for in-house use ONLY.

Renewals of checked-out materials can be made online through the MTS eLibrary web site (with User ID number and a PIN) or at the Circulation Desk.

Circulation Policy for special borrowers and public patrons who have properly registered with Memphis Theological Seminary Library:

  • Special borrowers who are NOT Memphis Theological Seminary students may check out NO more than 3 (three) books and are limited to a 2 (two) week check out with 1 (one) renewal possible per item.

  • Students from other schools with whom the seminary has reciprocal usage agreements may check out NO more than 3 (three) books and are limited to a 2 (two) week check out with 1 (one) renewal possible per item.
Fines and Overdues

Fines are accessed as follows:

  • 20 cents per day for regular circulating materials.
  • $1.00 per day for reserve materials, audio and video tapes and theses.
  • Fines will be due and payable when overdue materials are returned. Fines will NOT accrue on days the library is closed and the amount of the fine will NOT exceed the price of the book or other materials. UNPAID FINES WILL BE ADDED TO THE STUDENT’S ACCOUNT in the business office.
  • If books and materials are not returned on the due date, a notice will be sent to the patron, indicating that the material is overdue and must be returned to the library. If no response is received within 30 days, the patron will receive a second notice and will be contacted by the Library Director. If there is still no response within 90 days, a final notice will be sent and the patron will be invoiced for the price of the book plus a $20.00 processing fee for replacing the item.

Unpaid charges will be added to the student’s account in the business office and will be treated as other delinquent charges. Fines will be assessed and collected on all overdue library material.

Additional Rules
  • No smoking, eating, or drinking in the library.
  • Do not re-shelve books. Leave them at study carrels or on tables or book carts for the library staff to re-shelve.
  • Please respect the right of others to have an area on campus conducive to study and research
  • Please be sure that all library materials are properly checked out before leaving. The library staff reserve the right to inspect items as customers leave the library