Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS) recently made an interesting choice regarding its seminary library. In order to deal with financial constraints, ETS negotiated with nearby Wayne State University to share their library. To explain this creative approach to addressing their financial issues, ETS president Stephen Murray said, “My mantra is, we don’t want to make cuts just to make cuts, we want to make cuts in such a way that we position the seminary to grow and to become strong.”

Murray strongly emphasized that sharing the library was not only the best option for their financial issues, but it also provided the school with an unforeseen opportunity to support students. Sharing Wayne State University's library would allow ETS students to have full access to a superior library system, and to other library systems at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, and other topflight institutions.

Taking the process a step further, the school's leadership conducted meetings with students and faculty about the change, and received some imaginative feedback.  From these meetings came ideas like creating a study and social space on campus and retaining some of the library’s holdings, both of which are just some of the steps ETS is contemplating moving forward. 


To learn more about ETS’s situation, decision-making, and process see "Open book" from the Autumn 2015 issue of In Trust magazine. Or visit the In Trust magazine article archive to read past issues.