1.     How do I get a book from the MTS Library? Answer: Request the title you want by sending your request to library@memphisseminary.edu. If an eBook version is available, we will show you where it is or buy the eBook. If we own the print book only, you may get a scanned copy of the book or part of the book.

2.     How do I check out a reserve book assigned by my professor? Answer: Tell the MTS library via library@memphisseminary.edu which book or which chapter in a book you want and the Library will send you a scanned copy of the book or the chapter. Like all reserved books, you may only be able to view the scan for 1 hour.

3.     Can I get a book on interlibrary loan? Answer: No. It is actually cheaper for us to buy the book. Just tell us what book you want.

4.      If I need help with my paper, is someone at the Library available? Answer: Yes. Call 901-334-5814 and leave a message, or send an email requesting assistance to library@memphisseminary.edu.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS) Library supports MTS faculty, students, and staff in their teaching, learning, and research consistent with the Seminary’s mission “to educate and sustain men and women for ordained and lay Christian ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice.”  To that end, the library provides print and online resources, library instruction, writing assistance, reference services, computer and study areas for the MTS community. While not open to the public, the MTS Library supports our MTS alumni in their post-graduate needs and the Memphis area religious community.

Memphis Theological Seminary Library is a place to collaborate, study, learn, and access a wealth of information while connecting to the world of academia and scholarly materials at large. The MTS Library is YOUR research and learning center.

Select image to search our online catalog

General Library Hours**

11:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
CLOSED – Friday – Monday

Email Requests Processed

9:00 am – 7:00 pm – Mon. – Thurs.
9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Fri./Sat.
CLOSED – Sunday

The MTS Library is a “closed stack” which means library staff retrieve books for patrons on request. The stacks were closed for several reasons:
  1. The use of print books has dropped dramatically in the last 15 years by 90%.
  2. Remote students and handicapped students cannot access the print books without staff help.
  3. Nearly all print books can be found in a digital format.
  4. We have run out of space for new books in the stacks. Nearly every new book we buy is an eBook.

MTS Library’s Collection Development
The Director of Library Services oversees all print, non-print, and electronic purchases:

  • Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit purchase requests. Most of the time, these requests will be honored.
  • The budget is expended evenly throughout the fall and spring semesters with a little money left over for summer purchases. Thus, some requests may be purchased at a later date.
  • When available, digital formats will be preferred for all material.


Collection Specifications

Because Memphis Theological Seminary is a teaching institution that primarily supports professional theological degrees, the library’s collection attempts to provide coverage in these areas:



  1. Classic texts in the subjects of courses that are regularly taught in the MDiv and MACM, and DMin degree programs particularly core curriculum courses.
  2. Texts from contemporary scholarship reflecting courses offered in the MDiv and MACM, and DMin degree programs.
  3. African American theological perspectives, including womanist theology.
  4. Cumberland Presbyterian history, theology, doctrine, and polity.
  5. Rural ministry along with theological and biblical resources related to land, food, and faith
  6. Materials related to C. S. Lewis and the Inklings
  7. Materials related to the civil rights movement in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta.


The periodicals collection will be primarily digital

  • Current digital subscriptions are through EBSCOHost. Requests for new periodicals will be considered if they are in digital format.
  •  The retrospective periodical collection will be largely through subscription databases. Requests for new databases will be considered

Online databases are always reviewable and new databases may be added and may replace existing databases on an annual basis.


Withdrawal of Library Materials

  • The Memphis Theological Seminary has limited space in which to store its materials, especially on the first floor where access is available to the handicapped. For this reason, anything that is not used, unless related to a course of study at the Seminary, will be withdrawn.
  • Anything related to a course of study will be reviewed by the appropriate faculty before being withdrawn.



Gift Materials

The MTS Library is always grateful to receive donations that enhance the collection.  However, due to space limitations, only books not owned by the MTS Library will be considered for addition to the library.

  • If accepted, donations become the property of the MTS Library.  The MTS library reserves the right to dispose of donations in whatever manner best serves the interest of the Seminary and the MTS Library.
  • The MTS Library does not appraise or estimate the market value of donations.  
  • Donations should be delivered to the Seminary as the MTS library does not pick up donated items.

Donors should complete a Donation Receipt Form for any gifts/donations given to the MTS Library.


Revised 6.3.22