In the 1980s, Princeton Seminary enrolled about 900 students but today, the Seminary enrolls approximately 333 students. While around 26 percent of them are candidates for ministry specifically in the Presbyterian Church, the majority are completing such candidature in other denominations, pursuing careers in academia across a number of different disciplines, or receiving training for other, non-theological fields altogether.
The plan to establish a theological seminary in Princeton was in the interests of advancing and extending the theological curriculum. The educational intention was to go beyond the liberal arts course by setting up a postgraduate, professional school in theology. The plan met with enthusiastic approval on the part of authorities at the College of New Jersey, later to become Princeton University, for they were coming to see that specialized training in theology required more attention than they could give. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church established The Theological Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey in 1812, with the support of the directors of the nearby College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), as the second 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 affiliated with the 1.2-million-member denomination.
In 1812, the seminary boasted three students and 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.
Dual M.Div./MA in Christian Education with foci in Youth & Young Adults, Teaching Ministry, or Spiritual Development
Dual M.Div./MSW in partnership with Rutgers School of Social Work
The Wright Library is a destination for visiting scholars from around the world. The current library building was completed in 2013 and was renamed on October 13, 2021 after Theodore S. Wright, the first African American to graduate from Princeton Theological Seminary. The library has over 1,252,503 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:
According to The Princeton Review, as of 2020 the gender breakdown of the student body falls into 60% identifying as male and 40% as female, with a total enrolment of 530.
Built in 1834, Princeton Seminary's chapel was named to honor Samuel Miller, the second professor at the Seminary. It was designed in the Greek Revival style by Charles Steadman, who also designed the nearby Nassau Presbyterian Church. 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 renovation in 2000, with the addition of the Joe R. Engle Organ.
On January 25, 2022, the Board of Trustees of Princeton Seminary voted to rename Miller Chapel in light of Samuel Miller's direct ties to slavery. "This decision followed thoughtful deliberation by the Board of Trustees, and it is part of their commitment to the ongoing work of confession and repentance that was part of the historical audit on slavery."
Navigating the WatersEdit
In 2011, Princeton Theological Seminary's Office of Multicultural Relations and The Kaleidoscope Institute worked together to initiate an effort known as "Navigating the Waters," a program designed to promote cultural proficiency and diversity competency in faculty, staff, and students.
Center for Barth StudiesEdit
Alexander Hall. The original building of the Princeton Theological Seminary, patterned after Nassau Hall, and designed by John McComb, Jr. Built in 1814.
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 German Swiss 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.
Abraham Kuyper Center for Public TheologyEdit
The heart of the Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology is the Abraham Kuyper Collection of Dutch Reformed Protestantism in the library's Special Collections, which focuses on the theology and history of Dutch Reformed Protestantism since the nineteenth century and features a sizable assemblage of primary and secondary sources by and about Abraham Kuyper. The center maintains in partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam an online database of secondary literature about Abraham Kuyper.
The center has also established an annual event organized to award the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life, during which the recipient delivers an address. The Abraham Kuyper Consultation, a series of further lectures, takes place on the following day.
In 2017, there was a controversy surrounding the plan to award the Kuyper Prize to Tim Keller, then Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. A group of students and faculty protested that Keller should not receive the award due to his non-affirming views regarding LGBTQ and women clergy. President Barnes initially defended awarding Keller the prize before changing his position. Keller withdrew himself from consideration for the prize and still delivered his lecture. While drawing support from some quarters, the decision to not award Keller the prize also drew criticism in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
Center of Theological InquiryEdit
In 1978, Princeton Theological Seminary's Board of Trustees established the Center of Theological Inquiry' (CTI) 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. The present director is William Storrar and the director of research is Robin Lovin.
Princeton Theological Review, Volume 1, Number 1 (1903)
Theology Today is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal of Christian theology founded in 1944.
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 about issues in theology and the study of religion. It is distributed to well over 100 libraries worldwide.
Princeton Theological Review is a student-run, annual and online journal that exists to serve students within the Princeton Theological Seminary body as well as the wider theological community. It is distributed to well over 100 libraries worldwide.
KAGAWA Toyohiko Princeton Theological Seminary
Abraham Kuyper Lecture and Prize, held in April. In 2017, Princeton Theological Seminary reversed its decision to award the Kuyper Prize to Tim Keller after a group of alumni voiced their objection to the choice due to Keller belonging to a denomination (Presbyterian Church in America) that ordain neither women nor practicing homosexuals. However, the seminary did allow Keller to deliver the Kuyper Lecture without receiving the Kuyper Prize.
The Alexander Thompson Lecture, held biannually in March.
The Frederick Neumann Memorial Lecture, held biannually in November.
Dr. Geddes W. Hanson Lecture, held biannually, fall semester.
Women in Church and Ministry Lecture, held in February.
Frederick Buechner PrizeEdit
Acclaimed writer and theologian Frederick Buechner has long standing ties to Princeton Theological Seminary and the seminary has honored him with the creation of the Buechner Prize for Writing. Princeton sponsored and hosted the Buechner Writing Workshop in June 2015. Also, Princeton Theological Seminary has given copies of Buechner's Telling the Truth to students as part of their graduation.
Principals and Presidents of Princeton Theological SeminaryEdit
Theological Seminary, Princeton. Brown Hall (NYPL b11707651-G90F457 009ZF)
Prior to the creation of the office of President in 1902, the seminary was governed by the principal.
^As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
^"About PTS". Official Website. Princeton Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 2015-11-25.
^"Board Vote on Chapel's Name is Another Step Forward in the Seminary's Journey of Repentance". 25 January 2022.
^"Navigating the Waters". Official Website. Princeton Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 2012-06-12.
^Princeton Theological Seminary Library Archived 2009-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. Libweb.ptsem.edu. Retrieved on 2013-09-04.
^"Does teaching submission encourage abuse?". The Christian Century. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
^"Princeton Seminary cancels award to Tim Keller, but not his lecture". The Christian Century. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
^Thorp, Case (2017-03-23). "A Seminary Snubs a Presbyterian Pastor". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
^Service, Jeff Chu | Religion News (2017-04-12). "Perspective | Princeton seminarians were outraged over Tim Keller. Here's Keller's point I wanted my peers to hear". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
^"Princeton Theological Seminary reverses decision to honor Redeemer's Tim Keller". 22 March 2017.
^Rodgers, Ann (9 October 2012). "Shadyside Presbyterian Church pastor Barnes named president of Princeton seminary". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
^"Meet Dave". Dave Brat: Republican for Congress. Archived from the original on 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
David B. Calhoun, History of Princeton Seminary. In Two Volumes. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1996.
James Moorhead, Princeton Seminary in American Religion and Culture. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012.
Richard Osmer and Gordon Mikoski, With Piety and Learning: The History of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary 1812-2012. Lit Verlag, 2012.
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