Theological Resources in the Melbourne College of Divinity

Churches of Christ Theological College, Mulgrave
Campbell Edwards Library

Collection Management Policy

1. Profile of the library
The Campbell Edwards Library is the library of the Churches of Christ Theological College (CCTC), Mulgrave, Victoria, the main purpose of which is to train people for the ordained ministry within the Churches of Christ in Australia.

The College seeks to prepare people for effective and faithful Christian ministry and mission in a broad range of cultural contexts within the church and the wider community through the provision of flexible, multi-faceted and integrated learning programs of theological education and ministerial formation.

These purposes are achieved through an integrated educational experience that involves the exploration of biblical and theological insights, the development of gifts and skills, and the enabling of students to develop capacities for creative servant leadership.

The librarian is directly responsible to the Principal in the overall management of the library services. There being no Library Committee, general decision making is undertaken by the librarian with minimal consultation.

2. Relationship to mission

The library seeks to support the objectives of the College programs, by providing access to resources required for the achievement of the College purposes. By and large we do meet these needs of the library clientele, either by adding resources to the library collection, or directing users to suitable locations for accessing the sought materials.

3. The purpose of this collection development policy statement

4. Clientele of the library

ETA faculty, staff, tutors and students


Graduate and postgraduate students, other MCD students doing units at CCTC campus


All other users - per calendar year

    • per three months

    • pensioner concession (whole year)




Churches of Christ community - per calendar year


6. Description of the collection
The aim of the Library is to provide resources which support course requirements, both required texts and supplementary materials. The goal of the Library is to include in the collection a wide range of materials to enable users to achieve a broad understanding of biblical and theological issues.

Types of resources

Reference works : a very basic collection of encyclopediae, dictionaries, indexes to literature. The level of collection intensity in this area could be lifted - only 23% of the checklist is held. This lack is offset by the availability of numerous reference resources via the Internet.

Monographs : Budgetary constraints continue to restrict the acquisition of other than the main texts required to support study units. This means that the present collection remains reasonably substantial in its holdings of these core materials, but urgent attention must be given to funding the development of the collection of supplementary texts. The main subject areas are Bible, theology, early and Reformation church history, and pastoral ministry. There is a substantial collection of denominational resource material in the main collection, as well as in the Historical Library (see section 9). Many items in the collection are quite old, and while their content is significant, they do not reflect modern scholarship. The library's collection needs considerable attention in the development of non-core materials.

Serials : Approximately 90 titles are presently received on current subscription, as well as several gratis publications not accessioned or housed permanently. Budgetary constraints have resulted in the cancellation of a number of subscriptions in recent years. Very few new titles are given consideration, unless they are essential for new study units.Audiovisual material is minimal, usually acquired only when specifically requested by teaching faculty.

CD-ROMs : With recent acquisition of new PCs and software, the collection of CD ROM resources can be developed further, there being few available to date.

Internet and email : Likewise the recently updated computer facilities have made access to Internet and email more available.

College management considers the upgrading of the library's technological facilities to be a high priority as we progress into the 21st century. Recently new computer terminals have been installed in the library. This will enable an upgrading of access to online resources such as literature indexes and full text journals. While the Bachelor of Theology award is still offered, the change of focus to graduate and postgraduate awards has placed a greater emphasis on the need for better research facilities to cater for students at these levels of study and research. Foreign languages (French, German, et al.) are nevertheless not necessarily a high priority as such resources can be found in other theological libraries in Melbourne.

Holdings statistics at end 2004

Reference works




Nonbook materials


Serial titles


Serials - current paid subscriptions

- current gratis



Series on Standing Order


Indexes currently received are :
ATLA Religion Database; ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials; Religion and Philosophy collection (online)

ProQuest (online)

Australasian religion index (in hard copy)

Old Testament abstracts; New Testament abstracts (in hard copy)

Cataloguing and Classification :
Currently all materials are catalogued using the ATHENA library management system - by author, title (and series title), plus relevant publication data. Notes/abstracts are added where appropriate. Library of Congress Subject Headings (13th edition, 1991) are assigned and the Union Theological Seminary classification system (otherwise known as 'Pettee') is employed. No provision is made for the use of external facilities, such as ABN, for cataloguing data. Currently approximately 85% of the library's holdings are available in a machine-readable format; the retrospective conversion of the remainder of the collection is ongoing. Most material in this category is not in high demand.

7. Budget

The total budget allocation for several years has not exceeded $15000, the monograph acquisitions allocation being approx. $6000, and serials including binding approx. $8000. The allocations are divided into broad subject areas, with no particular formula for the process. The budget for the year is generally based on expenditure of the previous year rather than on projected needs for the year ahead.

8. Selection principles and procedures
The role of Faculty members – to browse the bookshops; note items of interest from brochures, publishers' catalogues, etc.; recommend as required for their own study units. When new disciplines are introduced, the faculty person responsible creates his/her own bibliographic lists and requests purchase of appropriate resources. There are no specific selection guidelines.

The role of the Librarian - to browse publishers' catalogues, book reviews and other brochures; to select suitable material and to recommend for acquisition. This role is advisory, the final responsibility for selection resting with teaching staff, and the Librarian being responsible for ordering and processing. To date, minimal attention has been given to subject balance - if we need it for course materials, we purchase! Budgetary constraints affect our ability to acquire resources which are considered to be essential acquisitions. Donations of books and other materials are accepted by the Librarian on the understanding that items are retained for the collection or otherwise disposed of at the Librarian's discretion. The donor is informed of this policy at the time of enquiry or delivery.

9. Special collections
Within the library area is housed the Historical Library of the Australian Churches of Christ Historical Society. A volunteer archivist takes responsibility for this collection which includes a wide variety of archival material (of various media) pertaining to the history of the denomination, particularly in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia. It includes important early denominational publications such as :

Significant periodical publications are also in this collection, including major runs of :

Some of these early publications have been included in AULOTS, to enable a wider awareness of these holdings in the Historical Library.

10. Limitations
Budgetary constraints are a major factor in deciding on the purchase of required resources – if the cost is prohibitive, the relevant faculty person is informed and recommended to make alternative suggestions. Where any resource is to cost more than AUD100.00 consultation with the Principal or relevant faculty person is required before proceeding with purchase. There is limited acquisition activity (or none at all) in the following subject areas: Ancient history, general history, medieval history; general sciences, psychology only as relating to pastoral counselling; philosophy; social sciences only in areas pertaining to marriage and family, women's issues, social Christianity; other religions; other denominations. It is anticipated that the present provision of facilities - study carrels, reading areas - should be adequate for many years.

11. Cooperative relationships with other libraries
CCTC together with Whitley College, the Baptist College of Victoria, forms a consortium known as the Evangelical Theological Association (ETA). The libraries of both institutions support and extend the teaching program of the ETA. They acquire and organise materials appropriate to the curriculum and work of the two colleges. Currently enrolled ETA students have access to the use of services and borrowing privileges at both libraries. As the two campuses are not in close geographical proximity, each library acquires its own materials, though students are encouraged to use the facilities at both sites. There is some cooperation between the libraries with regard to access to journal materials, especially when required reading for a study unit. Subscriptions to the online index databases (ATLA and ProQuest) are shared by the two libraries. The library of CCTC is willing to cooperate in the use of its services and facilities by postgraduate students of the MCD, upon payment of the prescribed registration fee.

12. Collection evaluation
No formal evaluative review of the library's collection is known to have been undertaken
prior to the Conspectus review, undertaken in 1998-99 .

13. Preservation activity
Generally most items in the collection are found to be in a good condition. All books are covered before being placed in circulation, and attention is given to books in need of repair at the earliest convenience. Serials are bound where necessary. The recent trend for glossy paperback covers in serial / journal publication is reducing the need for expensive binding procedures. While the library has air conditioning facilities the temperature control within the area is often insufficient for adequate protection and preservation of the collection.

14. Weeding
The Librarian is largely responsible for the weeding of the collection, the main criterion for deciding being the need to retain one copy only of a work unless the work is in high demand, particularly for course work. The collection has been weeded gradually over the past few years as the retrospective conversion of the collection to the automated catalogue has progressed. Items withdrawn from the collection are offered gratis to students et al and to other libraries.

15. Review of the collection development policy
It is recommended that this collection development policy be constantly under revision, to be undertaken by the Librarian in consultation with Principal and Faculty.

Lynn Pryor
April 2005