In the days when New York City's most populous area was below Fourteenth Street, what is today the oldest theological seminary of the Episcopal Church enrolled its first students at St. Paul's Chapel. Founded in 1817, before a decade had passed the Seminary moved to the woods and fields of Clement Clarke Moore's country estate just north of the town in Chelsea. There its stone buildings soon became a familiar landmark. The General Seminary still occupies that site, now Chelsea Square, on the lower west side. For a hundred and fifty years its life has been intimately interwoven, not only with that of the Episcopal Church, but also with the changing scene of New York City.
Dr. Dawley's history of the Seminary begins with the circumstances leading to its establishment by the General Convention, and describes the experimental years of the new institution, when there were few precedents to guide the pioneering venture. Much of the subsequent story is told in biographical vignettes, giving the reader vivid glimpses of a continuing community of men, teachers and students, priests and candidates for the ministry, who strove to fulfill in their successive generations the vocation to which they were called.
Chapters deal with the ministry and theological education in the early nineteenth century, old New York and its churches, the growth of the Seminary, its years of crisis and controversy, the development of the theological curriculum, and the story of the institution during the recent years of change.
The theological community in Chelsea today is a landmark, not only of the long history of the Seminary, but also of the Church's determination to remain close to the inner-city that has become an urgent frontier of Christianity in the contemporary world. At a time when reform in theological education is believed to be essential to any effective program for the renewal of the Church, the experience of the past, recaptured in these pages, may be both enlightening for the present and instructive for the future.
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.28(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.89(d)|
About the Author
Powel Mills Dawley has been Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the General Theological Seminary for the past twenty five years, and for the last fifteen years its Sub-Dean. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from Cambridge University, and honorary degrees from the Episcopal Theological School, the General Seminary, and Brown University. He is the author of a number of books, including Chapters in Church History, John Whitgift and the English Reformation, and Our Christian Heritage.