Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta and The General Theological Seminary (GTS) in New York are entering an innovative partnership that includes the sharing of library resources, collaborative educational programs and the exchange of both students and faculty members. Candler is one of 13 seminaries of The United Methodist Church and GTS is a seminary of the Episcopal Church founded in 1817.

“This is a win-win situation for Candler and GTS, allowing us to share the unique and complementary resources of each institution to create enhanced educational possibilities for students and faculty,” says Jan Love, dean of Candler. “Partnering with GTS enables Candler to further strengthen our respected library, our links to the Episcopal Church and our commitment to ecumenical openness.”

Lang Lowrey, interim president of GTS, agrees that the partnership benefits both institutions and sees this as the beginning of a trend. “This partnership represents the kind of sharing of resources between denominations that we expect to become an increasingly familiar feature in the future landscape of theological education,” he says. “Education itself is a communal enterprise, so when institutions embrace effective partnerships, resources are maximized and each school is strengthened by the synergy that results.”

The library sharing between the two schools begins this fall, while the student exchange program is slated to start in the 2012-2013 academic year. Details of the faculty exchange and educational program collaboration components are still in development.

GTS’s Keller Library will transfer 80,000-90,000 volumes to Pitts Theology Library at Candler, substantially strengthening Pitts’ holdings in biblical studies, English history and parish life, and church music. In turn, Pitts, the third largest theology library in the United States, will extend certain library privileges to GTS, including the loan of books, use of study carrels and access to special collections.

“The volumes from GTS will supplement the current holdings of the Pitts Library and Emory’s other libraries in the broad areas of philosophy, psychology, social sciences, language, literature and history,” says M. Patrick Graham, Librarian and Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography at Candler. “We’re honored to add this splendid material to our existing 560,000-volume collection.”

Students who participate in the exchange program will remain enrolled at their home institution and pay its tuition and fees while studying at the host institution, either for a full academic year or a single semester.

“The exchange program gives Candler students the opportunity to study in New York City, with its vast and diverse array of resources, and to experience GTS’s distinctly Anglican context,” says Love. “And here at Candler, GTS students will have access to the extensive academic resources of Emory, a top research university, and to a United Methodist seminary community committed to ecumenism.”