In the past decade, the Ralph D. Winter Library (RDWL) at Olivet University (formerly the William Carey Library) has evolved from a private collection donated by Chancellor Dr. David Jang into a repository of mission resources in hardcopy and digital formats, and multiple languages. Renamed for renowned missiologist and Olivet University Honorary Chairman Dr. Ralph D. Winter in July 2007, the Ralph D. Winter Library ( ralphdwinterlibrary.org ) currently features 120,000 physical and electronic items for Biblical higher education and research.

The majority of items in today’s Ralph D. Winter Library were acquired in the last five years. This dramatic growth was prompted by several key decisions: adopting the current course reserve system; establishing a formal Library Committee; and grouping learning resources by five disciplines: theology, music, journalism, graphic design, and information technology.

Under the Library Committee’s direction, the school also resolved to broaden the collection by language, with special emphasis on Christian resources in the East Asian languages of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. A donation of 1,000 Korean language books by Dr. Jang comprised the first holdings of today’s Asian Library, launched in 2006, featuring Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language volumes.

In 2005 a generous donation enhanced the Library’s specialized collections. Dr. William Lyle Wagner, Academic Dean and Professor of Olivet Theological College & Seminary, contributed 900 resources to the library, giving rise to the William L. Wagner Missions Library, inaugurated in 2006, with 3,000 mission print and video resources.

The Ralph D. Winter Library continues to explore ways to fulfill its service mission to better support Olivet University’s total curricular offerings, especially with media and electronic resources. Successful collaboration with Olivet ministry affiliates has enabled the University to make remarkable progress to this end, including the inauguration of a Media Library in 2006.

The hallmark of these achievements is the aggressive growth of the web-based Ralph D. Winter E-Library, which counts 50,000 digital resources. Today the E-Library is being developed with input from the United States Center for World Mission (USCWM) to increase digital holdings in multiple languages and facilitate resource sharing.


Olivet University