Since its founding in 1997, the Center for Barth Studies (CBS) has been an essential provider of information, resources, events, and programs related to the life and work of the Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968).

CBS is devoted to providing a space for Princeton Theological Seminary patrons, visiting scholars and students, pastors, and lay persons to engage with the work and legacy of Karl Barth both in person and online. We hope to further knowledge and advance understanding of Barth’s work and reception. To that end, CBS maintains and develops an exhaustive resource collection of works by and about Karl Barth, hosts annual conferences for scholars and pastors as well as a yearly translator’s seminar, facilitates reading groups, and assists with the research needs of all inquirers. CBS is also responsible for creating and ensuring the quality of the English language online version of the Church Dogmatics. CBS aims to be a globally connected research center that serves both the academy and the church worldwide.

What We Offer

The Center for Barth Studies offers a wide range of assistance and resources to inquiring scholars, pastors, students, and the general public.

CBS Staff are available in person Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm, to field research questions, direct visitors to resources, update individuals on current and forthcoming resources, and more. If you are planning to come to the Center for a research trip, please contact us through our website, or you can email us at barth.center@ptsem.edu, and we respond to your inquiries as soon as possible. Learn more about our staff here.

The Barth Reading Room is located in the North Wing of the Princeton Theological Seminary Library and holds one of the world’s largest collection of written materials relating to Barth. The Karl Barth Research Collection holds roughly 80 percent of the works written by Barth including reprints and revised editions of works and over half of all known materials written about Karl Barth including articles, books, book reviews, dissertations, and miscellaneous items. Thanks to a generous grant from the Lily Foundation, the Center also has a digital copy of nearly everything in the Barth-Archiv in Basel, which visiting researchers can access with help from the Center Staff. The Barth Reading Room is open to the public and available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

CBS hosts several Events and Programs throughout the year. These include bi-annual reading groups that explore sections of Barth’s work, translation seminars that continue the ongoing project of making Barth’s writings accessible across language barriers, the annual Karl Barth Conference which brings scholars together to constructively engage Barth’s work, and a biennial pastor’s conference. Collectively, these events and programs serve the aims of CBS to create opportunities for scholars, pastors, and students to learn, reflect, discuss, collaborate, and present research.

In cooperation with affiliates at the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam and Gröningen, Netherlands, CBS develops and maintains the Karl Barth Literature Project. The literature project is the largest online searchable database pertaining to Barth, boasting bibliographic entries and summaries for nearly 20,000 materials by or about Barth. The database can be searched by keyword, title, author, and more.

The CBS staff also provides special assistance to students at Princeton Theological Seminary. We provide introductions to Karl Barth, resource lists related to a variety of theological topics and special interests, student reading groups led by faculty, and support with student research papers and projects.