Princeton Theological Seminary

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Image:Princetonsteeple.jpg
The steeple of Alexander Hall

Princeton Theological Seminary is a theological seminary located in Princeton Township, New Jersey in the United States.

PTS is one of the world's leading institutions for graduate theological education and home of the second largest theological library in the United States. Today it is an international community with nearly 1000 students, a faculty of 53, and an ecumenical and worldwide constituency. Not all the students are candidates for the ministry in the Presbyterian Church; some are candidates for ministry in other denominations, while others are studying toward careers in the academy, and still others are pursing fields less directly related to theology, such as law, medicine, social work, administration and education.

Like other elite theological institutions, such as Duke Divinity School and Candler School of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary has roots in a distinctive denominational heritage. Whereas university-affiliated divinity schools such as Harvard and Yale are of Congregationalist founding (with Harvard subsequently becoming Unitarian and with both universities eventually disavowing all religious affiliation), Princeton Seminary was affiliated from the beginning with the Presbyterian Church.

Contents

[edit] History

The Seminary's beginnings are in the early 19th century, when higher-level professional education was beginning to be separated from the general education given at many universities in the United States. The Theological Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey, was established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1812, with the support of the directors of nearby College of New Jersey, later to be re-named Princeton Theological University, as the first graduate theological school in the United States. The Seminary remains an institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), being the largest of the ten theological seminaries of the 2.5-million member denomination.

Image:Alexpts.jpg
Alexander Hall

In 1812, the Seminary boasted three students and the Reverend Dr. Archibald Alexander as its first professor. By 1815 the number of students had gradually increased and work began on a building: Alexander Hall was designed by John McComb, Jr., a New York architect, and opened in 1817. The original cupola was added in 1827, but it burned in 1913 and was replaced in 1926. The building was simply called "Seminary" until 1893, when it was officially named Alexander Hall. Since its founding, Princeton Seminary has graduated approximately 14,000 men and women who have served the church in many capacities, from pastoral ministry and pastoral care to missionary work, Christian education and leadership in the academy and business.

The seminary was made famous during the 19th and early 20th centuries for its defense of Calvinistic Presbyterianism. The college was later the center of a modernist/fundamentalist battle which ultimately led to the formation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary under the leadership of J. Gresham Machen.

While Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University are separate entities, there is reciprocity for use of certain facilities such as the libraries, as well as cross enrollment in classes.

[edit] Principals and Presidents of Princeton Theological Seminary

Prior to the creation of the office of President in 1902, the seminary was governed by the principal.

The Principals

The Presidents

[edit] Princeton Theological Seminary libraries

The Seminary's libraries comprise the second largest theological collection in the United States, third in the world only to The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the Vatican Library, with over 500,000 bound volumes, pamphlets, and microfilms. It currently receives about 2,100 journals, annual reports of church bodies and learned societies, bulletins, transactions, and periodically issued indices, abstracts, and bibliographies. The Libraries are:

  • Speer Library, opened in 1957 and named in honor of the renowned missionary statesman Robert E. Speer, 400,000 volumes and 200 readers
  • Henry Luce III Library, dedicated in 1994 and named in honor of a distinguished trustee, Henry Luce III, 350,000 volumes and 250 readers

[edit] Degree programs

  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Masters of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Arts (Theological Studies)
  • Master of Theology (Th.M.)
  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Dual M.Div./M.A. in Education or Youth Ministry

[edit] Miller Chapel

Built in 1834, Princeton's chapel was named to honor Samuel Miller, the second professor at the Seminary. Originally located beside Alexander Hall, it was moved in 1933 toward the center of the campus, its steps now leading down onto the Seminary's main quad. Miller Chapel underwent a complete renovated in 2000, with the addition of the Joe R. Engle Organ.

[edit] Endowed lectureships

  • The Stone Lectures, brings an internationally distinguished scholar to the Seminary each year to deliver a series of public lectures. Created in 1871 by Levi P. Stone, Esq., of Orange, New Jersey, a director and also a trustee of the Seminary. Previous lecturers include Abraham Kuyper (1898), and Nicholas Wolterstorff. The Stone Lecturer for 2005 is Dr. Leander E. Keck, Winkley Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School.
  • The Warfield Lectures are an annual series of lectures which honor the memory of Annie Kinkead Warfield, wife of Dr. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, distinguished professor of theology at the Seminary from 1887 to 1921. The 2005 Warfield Lecturer is Dr. Marilyn McCord Adams, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University. Previous distinguished lecturers include Karl Barth.
  • The Frederick Neumann Memorial Lecture
  • Students┬┤ Lectureship on Missions
  • Women in Church and Ministry Lecture
  • The Alexander Thompson Lecture
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture
  • Abraham Kuyper Prize and Lecture

[edit] Center for Barth Studies

The Center for Barth Studies was established at Princeton Seminary in 1997 and is administered by a board of seminary faculty. The Center sponsors conferences, research opportunities, discussion groups, and publications that seek to advance understanding of the theology of Karl Barth (1886-1968), the Swiss-German professor and pastor widely regarded as the greatest theologian of the 20th century. The Karl Barth Research Collection, part of Special Collections in the Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries, supports the scholarly activities of the Center for Barth Studies. The Karl Barth Research Collection is acquiring an exhaustive collection of writings by and about Karl Barth. Although many volumes are still needed, the Research Collection has already acquired Barth's most important works in German and English, several first editions, and an original hand-written manuscript by Karl Barth.

[edit] Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology

[edit] Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project

[edit] Institute for Youth Ministry

[edit] Journal: Theology Today

[edit] Journal: Koinonia

Koinonia Journal is published annually by doctoral students at Princeton Theological Seminary. The publication and its annual forum promote written and face-to-face interdisciplinary discussion around issues in theology and the study of religion. It is distributed to well over 100 libraries worldwide.

[edit] Center of Continuing Education

[edit] Center of Theological Inquiry

In 1978 Princeton Theological Seminary's Board of Trustees established the Center as an independent, ecumenical institution for advanced theological research, "to inquire into the relationship between theological disciplines, [and of these with]...both human and natural sciences, to inquire into the relationship between diverse religious traditions . . . , to inquire into the present state of religious consciousness in the modern world, and to examine such other facets of religion in the modern world as may be appropriate . . ." Today, the Center has its own board, funding, mission and staff, yet maintains close relations with Princeton Theological Seminary.

[edit] Some distinguished Princeton scholars

[edit] Distinguished alumni

[edit] Books about or featuring Princeton Seminary

  • Princeton Seminary, 2 volumes, by David B. Calhoun is the now standard history of the Seminary
  • John Updike's 1986 novel Roger's Version appears to be partly set in Princeton Seminary; his 1996 novel In the Beauty of the Lilies features the family is Clarence Wilmot, a Princeton-educated preacher schooled in the works of theologians Charles and A. A. Hodge and Benjamin Warfield.

[edit] External links

Princeton Theological Seminary

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