General Theological Seminary

General Theological Seminary

The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church is located at 175 9th Avenue near 21st StreetKenneth T. Jackson: "The Encyclopedia of New York City": The New York Historical Society; Yale University Press; 1995. P. 457.] in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. GTS is the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the oldest existing seminary in the Anglican Communion.

General information

The primary function of GTS is to prepare men and women for ordination in the Episcopal Church, although there are many more programs for study including doctorate programs. In addition there are two centers located at General, The Center for Christian Spirituality and The Center for Jewish-Christian Studies and Relations. A recent renovation and expansion of the seminary's buildings facing 10th Avenue was completed in 2007, when the Desmond Tutu Center opened; the center is named for Desmond Tutu, retired Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

It has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada since 1938.


In May of 1817 General Convention, the governing body of the Episcopal Church, met in New York City and passed two resolutions. One was to found a General Episcopal Seminary to be supported by the whole church, and the second that it be located in New York City. Founders included John Henry Hobart, Theodore Dehon, and William White.

Being located in New York City allowed for support by the parishioners of Trinity Church. In 1821 Jacob Sherred left an endowment of $70,000 dollars to help with the seminary. Clement Clarke Moore, a parishioner at nearby St. Luke-in-the-Fields donated 66 tracts of land from his estate in Chelsea for the location of the Seminary. It was not until 1827 that the Seminary could occupy his land. Moore served as the seminary's first professor of Oriental Languages.

Bishop John Henry Hobart served in the capacity of Dean presiding over the faculty. Following Hobart, the Bishop of New York served in this capacity until the 1850s. In 1878, Eugene Augustus Hoffman was appointed Dean. Under his tenure, the seminary saw tremendous growth both in student body and facilities. Dean Hoffman's "grand design" modeled the Seminary's Chelsea campus on an Oxford model, with Neo-Gothic buildings facing onto a central quadrangle. Architect Charles C. Haight was charged with the revisioning of Chelsea Square. Perhaps Dean Hoffman's most influential addition to the seminary's campus is the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Begun in 1886 and completed two years later, it is known as the "Jewel of Chelsea Square." Its set of 15 tubular bells is the oldest extant in the country and is played daily by members of the seminary's Guild of Chimers to call the community to worship.

Notable professors

* W. Norman Pittenger, Professor of Christian Apologetics (1935-1966)
* J. Neil Alexander, Trinity Church Professor of Liturgics and Preaching (1995-1997)
* John Henry Hobart, Pastoral Theology, Governor
* Leonard Hodgson (1889-1969), Professor of Christian Apologetics
* David Hurd, Sacred Music, Director of Chapel Music
* Clement Clarke Moore, Biblical Languages
* J. Robert Wright, St. Mark's in the Bowery Profesor of Ecclesiastical History
* Alexander Schmemann (adjunct)

Notable alumni

* The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander, Doctorate of Theology in 1993
9th Bishop of Atlanta (ECUSA)
* The Right Reverend Arthur Coxe, Master of Divinity in 1841.
A former Assistant Bishop of Western New York (ECUSA)
* The Right Reverend Robert Duncan, Master of Divinity in 1973.
Current Bishop of Pittsburgh (ECUSA)
* The Right Reverend Campbell Gray, Bachelor of Divinity, 1904.
Late Bishop of Northern Indiana (ECUSA)
* The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Master of Divinity in 1962.
25th Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church, USA
* His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, Theology in the 1930s
89th Catholicos of the East
* The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, Master of Divinity in 1973.
9th Bishop of New Hampshire (ECUSA)
* Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky pioneer missionary to China, bishop of Shanghai, and founder of Saint John's University, Shanghai in 1879.
* His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Master of Pastoral Theology in 1960.
Current Patriarch of Antioch, Syriac Orthodox Church
* Marc Nikkel
* Former New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey has been accepted to the Full Time Non-Degree program for Fall 2007.


* "GTS: A Heritage of Service" from [ About GTS] . Retrieved 18 January 2005.
* "History and Mission of the Center for Jewish-Christian Studies and Relations" from [ About GTS] . Retrieved 18 January 2005.
* "Seminary Life" from [ About GTS] . Retrieved 18 January 2005.

External links

* [ General Theological Seminary] .
* [ Historical resources on the General Theological Seminary]

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