Sunday, September 20, 2009

Church Record Sunday: Schools of Theology

I was talking to a genealogist at a local society where I spoke this month and she was telling me about some of the wonderful places she had researched and what she had found. One of the important truisms she echoed was that sometimes, places that don’t have genealogy collections do have genealogical information.

In this case she was researching a Methodist minister ancestor and was at the Claremont School of Theology (CST). She mentioned this because I am a graduate of the school, which is a Methodist seminary located in Southern California.

She went to the reference librarian and asked if there was any information on her particular ancestor. Well, because this isn’t a genealogical library, the librarian initially said no, but then directed her to a series of reports that did include biographical information that was immensely helpful to her research.

CST is a Methodist seminary so of course they do have some materials on the history of Methodism and those who served, as well as other religions. No, it is not a genealogy library but remember you are doing historical research. And in this case she was doing research on Methodist religious history.

CST has an online library catalog and other resources which you can access at

There is a list of accredited theological schools at This list might provide you with some libraries and their online catalogs that might assist you in your research.

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