Project Vision Statement

Our vision is to create spaces to foster learning through community, connections, and solitude, and to provide access to resources in ways that support present and future research, pedagogy, and practice of theological education.

Project Goals

HIGHLIGHT the library’s role as a hub of activity on campus by establishing a home base for students, faculty, and other patrons.

PROMOTE access to the unique and invaluable collection of theological resources and knowledgeable staff.

SUPPORT the research and learning of faculty, students, and the greater community.

ENCOURAGE connection with the library as a learning space within the institution.

PRESENT the building as a showcase for treasures of the school.

PROVIDE ample access to technology infrastructure that reflects contemporary study practices.

The Library as the Center for Theological Engagement – The Next 50 Years

Half a century has passed since Pittsburgh Theological Seminary dedicated The Clifford E. Barbour Library—a building that houses a unique collection of theological resources gathered over the Seminary’s more than 220-year history. The library has served the Seminary well by supporting the research and learning of faculty, students, and many others. At the same time, the last 50 years have seen changes that have greatly influenced the role libraries must play.

The Library’s contemporary relevance as a vibrant theological resource will hinge on its adapting to the ways that modern-day patrons make use of library collections and interact personally within a library’s walls. Transforming the Barbour Library for such service will involve the first-ever, comprehensive updating of the Library facility—its interior design, furnishings, systems, and spaces.

To seize the opportunity for such far-reaching transformation, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has raised the funds for a complete, $12 million modernization of the Barbour Library. This project addresses the full range of renovation needs to establish creative, new spaces that will inspire people to engage with theological ideas and each other in community and collaboration; to incorporate innovation that supports theological reflection, inquiry, and research; and to preserve our collection purposefully. In the plans for the renovated building, there are several new features designed to meet these goals:

  • Three group-study rooms that will accommodate 6-8 people
  • Updated shelving for the library collections
  • An atrium and skylight for natural lighting
  • A 24/7 area for after-hours study
  • Updated HVAC and fire suppressant systems
  • A café with healthy food choices
  • A media room where students can record themselves delivering sermons
  • Updated elevator
  • A new reference room for quiet study
  • Housing for the Center for Writing and Learning Support
  • An updated classroom
  • A study lounge for students with children
  • Updated technology and wireless access
  • A more open floorplan with several different study and lounge areas