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History & Mission

The mission of The Styberg Library is to support both Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Bexley Seabury Theological Federation in their work of preparing skilled, bold and articulate leaders for the Church, Academy, and the World. It also serves as a source of materials on Christian religion and theology for the entire Garrett-Evangelical, Bexley Seabury, and Northwestern University community, and for other theological schools that make up the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS), alumni, clergy in the vicinity of Evanston, and researchers throughout the world – particularly those interested in Methodism and Anglicanism who have a scholarly need to consult the collections.

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, The United Library of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was officially renamed The Ernest and Bernice Styberg Library (“The Styberg Library”) in recognition of the outstanding leadership and financial commitments of Ernest and Bernice Styberg to the seminary.

The formerly-called United Library was established in 1981 when the collections of both Garrett-Evangelical and Seabury-Western (now renamed as Bexley Seabury) Theological Seminaries merged. Today The Styberg Library contains nearly 400,000 volumes, 500 periodical subscriptions, and audio-visual media that are supplemented by a wide array of electronic and digital resources. It is considered one of the top theological research libraries in the United States. Collection distinctives include rare book collections from Methodist and Anglican traditions, ancient Near Eastern studies and biblical archeology; the Keen Bible collection with several outstanding first editions; and manuscript and archival collections including Garrett- Evangelical institutional records, personal papers and church archives of the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference.