The Evangelical Congregational (EC) Church traces its roots to the conversion of Jacob Albright, a Pennsylvania German farmer, in a Methodist class meeting. His conviction was to bring the Christian faith to his neighbors at a time when the Methodist Church did not allow worship services to be conducted in the German language. His converts took the name Evangelische Gemeinschaft (Evangelical Association) in 1816, and the church prospered until the 1890s, when a large minority of the Association reorganized as the United Evangelical (UE) Church in 1894. Faculty and students from the Association’s Schuylkill Seminary moved to the former campus of Palatinate College in Myerstown in 1894 and established Albright College. Subsequently the college relocated to Reading, PA in 1928 after the Evangelical Association and the United Evangelical Church merged in 1922 to form the Evangelical Church which subsequently merged into The United Methodist Church. At the same time, the East Pennsylvania Conference and other congregations of the United Evangelical Church that had abstained from the merger reorganized as the Evangelical Congregational Church and bought the campus of the college that they had so long supported as the site for a publishing house, retirement home, and educational institution.
Campus and locale
Located in the south-central Pennsylvania town of Myerstown, Evangelical’s twelve-acre campus is in the heart of the farmlands of Lebanon County, a culturally distinctive region. Harrisburg, the seat of government for the Commonwealth, is a short distance from campus.
Academic program and accreditation
Evangelical offers three masters degrees: the Master of Divinity, with five distinct tracks; the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, which fulfills the educational requirements for PA state licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist; and the Master of Arts in Religion, with seven concentrations.
Evangelical also offers a hybrid online/on-campus Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and an MDiv program on-location in Harrisburg, PA.
Evangelical is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Evangelical is also approved by the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service to enroll international (non-immigrant) students.
- Robert G. Hower, Leon O. Hynson, John E. Moyer (2006). Terry M Heisey, ed. Evangelical from the Beginning: The Story of the Evangelical Congregational Church (3rd. corrected printing ed.). Lexington, KY: Emeth Press. ISBN 9780977655540.
- "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Msche.org. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "The Association of Theological Schools". Ats.edu. Retrieved 2012-04-08.