Martin Luther University College

Policy Last Updated: August 23, 2022



The Collection Development policy is used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the Collections Librarian in consultation with faculty in the Department.

This policy has been developed by Greg Sennema, Martin Luther University College Librarian, in cooperation with and endorsed by the Luther Library Committee, and the Dean of Luther.


  • To support teaching, study and research up to the doctoral level, as well as to support faculty research
  • To serve as a research resource for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, particularly in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes
  • The collection of Martin Luther University College Library is integrated with the Wilfrid Laurier University Library. The official archives of the Eastern Canada Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Canada are housed in the Archives section of the Wilfrid Laurier University Library.


  • Language: materials in a number of languages may be collected, but emphasis is on English, German, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin and French. Materials related to theology, history, and church life of Latin American, Asia, and Africa will normally be sought in translation, though may be collected in the original languages where necessary.
  • Place of Publication: primarily from North American and European sources with acquisitions from other countries as necessary
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works
  • Chronological Period: both contemporary and historical work are acquired
  • Geographical Areas: all pertinent materials will be collected regardless of geographical area. Emphasis will be place on materials most related to the curriculum of the Seminary
  • Publishers: works from scholarly and academic publishers are emphasized

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected
  • Web-based formats for reference sources, journals and indexing sources are preferred. Print and microform are considered for reason of cost, availability, expected use or long term access.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Web-based formats are selected on a title by title basis, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses. Duplication of print across Laurier campuses is generally avoided.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, reprints and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books).

Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priorities are categorized into 3 levels:

A - highest emphasis
The collection includes major published materials required to support the core teaching and research at the highest degree level offered by the Department.
B - secondary emphasis
The collection includes a selection of materials to complement the discipline as a whole, although it may not be a primary focus for courses.
C - selective emphasis
Materials, including reference materials and basic journals and indexes are collected to introduce and define an area.
Subjects collected Classification Collecting priority
Biblical Theology    
Hermeneutics and Exegetical Method BS476 B
Old Testament Studies: Introduction and History BS1110-BS1140.3 B
Old Testament Studies: Theology and Exegesis BS1192.5-1199; BS476 B
Old Testament Studies: Commentaries BS1143-BS1158 B
Inter-Testamental Studies BS1691-BS1830 C
New Testament Studies: Introduction and History BS2280-BS2330.3 B
New Testament Studies: Theology and Exegesis BS2331; BS2395-BS2417.W65; BS476 B
New Testament Studies: Commentaries BS2333-BS2348 B
Biblical Languages: Hebrew PJ4501-PJ4860 C
Biblical Languages: Greek PA695-PA895 C
Historical and Systematic Theology    
Early Church History and Theology BR165-BR242 A
Medieval History and Theology BR250-BR275.J7 C
General Reformation and Counter-Reformation BR280-BR481 A
Lutheran Reformation BR232.5-BR334.4 A
Lutheran Confessions BX8068 A
General Post-Reformation and Modern BR290-BR481 B
Lutheran Post-Reformation and Modern BX8065-BX8065.3 A
Canadian Church History BR570-BR582.U57 A
Lutheranism in North America BX8041-BX8048.3 A
Contemporary Christian Theology BT65-BT85 B
Contemporary Lutheran Theology BX8065-BX8065.3 A
Third World Theologies BT30; BT83.57 (liberation theology) B
Christian Ethics, including contemporary ethical issues BJ1188-BJ1278.5 A
Functional Theology    
Ministerial Practice BV4000-BV4017 B
Homiletics BV4200-BV4317 A
Pastoral Counseling BV4012.2 A
Marriage and Family Studies BV835; BX2250 (Catholic) A
Liturgics and Ritual Studies BV169-BV200 B
Spirituality BV4485-BV4526.3 B
Christian Education BV4019-BV4180 B
Church and Social problems HN30-HN40 B
Mental Illness, Psychotherapy RC455.4-RC489 A
Mental disorders, Therapy RJ499-RJ505 A

Related programs and support

Consortial purchases with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level, are pursued.

Efforts are made to coordinate Luther collections with those purchased by other departments/schools at Wilfrid Laurier University, including Religion and Culture, Classics, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work. In these disciplines, the university offers programs at the graduate level in Religion and Culture, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Social Work.

Subjects collected in the following areas would have materials of relevance to Luther.

Subject Classification
Ethics BJ
Psychology / Counseling BF, RC, RJ, QP
Religions (General) BL
Christianity BR
Bible BS
Doctrinal Theology BT
Practical Theology BV
Christian Denominations BX
Social Sciences (General) HM
Social History & Conditions HN
Family / Marriage / Women HQ

The University of Waterloo library collection supports programs to the Ph.D. level in Religious Studies. In addition, library holdings of St. Jerome’s University, Conrad Grebel University College, and Renison College, which are affiliated with the University of Waterloo, are also included in Omni.