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Membership of leading religions, U. S. census 1890
a Includes also Russian orthodox (13,504) Greek catholic (10,850), Reformed catholic (1000), Old catholic (665), Armenian (335), Greek orthodox (100)
In 1878 there were 125 schools with 4320 students. The growth in students in 21 years has been 87 per cent.
The seminaries have increased their requirements steadily so that all the great divisions of theology are now represented in their faculties. In 1899, I school had a course of 7 years, 1o a course of 6 years, 6 a course of 5 years, 24 a course of 4 years, 116 a course of 3 years, 7 a course of 2 years and i a course of 1 year. 73 grant degrees.
Early theological training — The rise of independent seminaries marked the second step in the development of theological education in this country. A desire to educate candidates for the ministry had influenced the founding of colleges at a much earlier period. In fact our first institutions for higher education owed their origin to this desire. The chief object in the founding of Harvard college (1636) for example was to provide an educated ministry. Cotton Mather in his Magnalia Christi Americana gives a list of New England churches in 1696 which shows that of 129 pulpits supplied by 116 pastors, 107 of the clergymen were graduates of Harvard college. The colleges founded at New Haven (1700) and at Princeton (1748) followed Harvard in making education free to candidates for the ministry who could not meet their own expenses.
In England candidates for the ministry usually pursued a university course which included several studies that bore on their future calling. In addition to the college degree they were examined on certain theological books which they
15 Mennonite (12)
41 541 17 Communistic societies (8). 4049 16 Plymouth Brethren (4) 6 661 18 (River) Brethren (3)
3 427 The independent sects may be classified as follows: Disciple of Christ 641 051 Universalist
49 194 Congregationalist 512 771 Spiritualist
45 030 Evang. Lutheran 223 588 Moravian
II 781 Evang, association 133 313 New Jerusalem
7 095 Unitarian 67 749 Other
79 444 [Estimates revised to April 1, 1898 give total communicants 26,054,385; Roman catholics (7) 8,410,592, methodists (17) 5,735,898, baptists (13) 4,232,962.]
H. D. Sedgwick jr in the October 1899 Atlantic monthly writes that the propor. tion of Roman catholics to the whole population in 1783 was I in 80, in 1829, 1 in 16, in 1844, 1 in 15, in 1890, 1 in 1o.
had read either in private or with the assistance of a preceptor. This same scheme was followed in this country in the 17th and 18th centuries. The college faculty included as a rule a professor of Hebrew and a professor of theology and their work was supplemented by the study of theological books either in private or under the oversight of an experienced clergyman.
Rise of independent seminaries — At the close of the 18th century the colleges had departed so far from the special purpose of their creation that it was thought necessary to establish theological seminaries. For more than half a century private theological schools had been in existence. Dr Joseph Bellamy of Connecticut conducted the first of these institutions that attained distinction and some of his graduates opened other similar schools. The theological seminary proper, however, had its origin in this country in the closing years of the 18th century. In England when the universities were closed to those outside of the established church, new institutions sprang up but these included academic as well as theological courses. In this country the seminaries “became a supplement to the college, not a substitute as in England.” Undoubtedly the desire to have schools in which their special religious doctrines might be taught influenced the denominations in America that had no secular colleges to found their own theological seminaries, but the necessity for the more definite and systematic training of the theological schools seems to have been felt by all.
The history of the existing institutions that are specially devoted to preparation for the ministry is limited with three exceptions to the present century. The Seminary of the reformed Dutch church in America was founded in 1784. In that year Drs Livingston and Meyer were set apart to be professors of theology and the method of training men for the ministry by any individual pastor whom the student might select was formally discontinued. The succession of classes since 1784 has been continuous with the exception of two or three years. These years were not consecutive so
that the work of the professors has been continuous. This work was done first in New York, then at Flatbush, L. I. and since 1810 at New Brunswick, N. J.
St Mary's seminary was founded at Baltimore in 1791 and is under the direction of members of the Society of St Sulpice. Xenia theological seminary is the result of the consolidation in 1874 of the Seminary of the northwest with the Associate seminary at Xenia. The Theological seminary of the associate presbyterian church of North America was located originally at Service, Beaver co. Pa. in 1794, when Dr John Anderson was elected professor of theology by the Associate synod. In 1821 the seminary was transferred to Cannonsburg, Pa. and in 1855 to Xenia, Ohio.
In 1782 the Associate reformed synod was formed by the union of the Associate presbyteries and the Reformed presbyteries. Those who refused to accept this union established the Theological seminary of the associate presbyterian church of North America at Service, Beaver co. Pa. The Associate reformed synod opened a theological seminary in New York in 1805.
In 1808 New England congregationalists united in opening the theological school at Andover. In 1812 the General assembly of the presbyterian church founded the Princeton theological seminary. In 1815 Hartwick seminary, the oldest Lutheran theological school in this country, was opened in Otsego co. N. Y. In 1817 the General convention of the protestant episcopal church established the General theological seminary in New York where instruction was first given in 1819. The seminary was removed to New Haven in 1820 but was reopened in New York in 1822. In 1820 the Baptist education society opened Hamilton theological seminary, the first theological school established by baptists in the United States, since 1893 a department of Colgate university. The Reformed church in the United States founded the theological seminary at Carlisle, Pa. in 1825. In 1839 the methodists founded their first theological seminary “in commemoration of the first centennial of
ecumenical methodism.” The institution was opened in 1840 at Newbury, Vt., was removed to Concord, N. H. in 1847, to Boston in 1867 and became in 1871 the theological department of Boston university.
Of the 165 existing theological schools 3 were established before 1800, 18 between 1801 and 1825, 25 between 1826 and 1850, 72 between 1851 and 1875, 47 between 1876 and 1900. When the necessity of systematic training for the ministry was recognized theological schools were established. The multiplication of these schools, however, is due to some extent to differences of opinion touching matters pertaining to the Christian faith. When men can not think alike even in details that seem trivial they split frequently into sects which sometimes found theological seminaries to teach their own peculiar views. In an interesting paper on the causes and remedy of the disunion of Christendom the rector of St Andrew's, Rochester, expresses the opinion that the purpose of the church to discipline life, to make men pure and just and kind is often lost sight of in an effort to secure intellectual agreement concerning the most abstruse and difficult subjects that the human mind can entertain. Bishop Whipple of Minnesota emphasizes the other side of this picture as follows: “Never in the world's history has there been such enthusiasm in all humanitarian work as now. Not even in the primitive church have greater victories been won in leading heathen folk to Christian civilization.”
Religious bodies vary greatly with regard to the training deemed essential for the ministry. The training of the Roman catholic priest for example begins normally at about the age of 12 when the candidate is secluded in many ways from contact with secular life, living and working constantly under ecclesiastical supervision. On the other hand the protestant candidate for the ministry is usually free to choose his teachers, studies and associates, and he does not begin his special training till he has finished his general education and entered the theological school. Again episcopalians,