Reformed Episcopal Church
Scriptural · Traditional · Liturgical · Evangelical
|Leader||Presiding Bishop Royal U. Grote, Jr.|
|Associations||Anglican Church in North America, Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas. Intercommunion with Free Church of England, Anglican Province of America and Church of Nigeria.|
|Region||United States and Canada|
|Founder||George David Cummins|
|Origin||December 2, 1873
New York City
|Separated from||Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA|
The Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) is an American and Canadian-based Christian denomination, which, though not in communion with the See of Canterbury, is in communion with some Anglican provinces throughout the world, including the Church of Nigeria, and the Church of Uganda, two of the largest Anglican provinces worldwide. Being in communion with these provinces has given the REC impetus to understand itself as an Anglican church while still not being recognized by the See of Canterbury. Being in communion with parts of the Anglican Communion and not in communion with other parts, makes the REC representative of the larger worldwide tensions in the Anglican Communion, as the more conservative elements of Anglicanism, mostly represented by provinces in Africa and the conservative elements in North America, have made many moves to counteract the long-standing dominance of the Church of England, because of the perceived liberalism that the Church of England has continued to embrace and encourage throughout the Anglican Communion.
The REC is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). In 2009, the Reformed Episcopal Church reported 13,600 members, but within the ACNA it is a part of a denomination of approximately 112,000 members. Neither of these bodies are members of the Anglican Communion or in a formal ecclesiastical relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The REC has approximately 150 parishes and missions in the United States, Canada and Cuba, being also present in Germany, Croatia, and Serbia. The current Presiding Bishop is the Most Reverend Royal U. Grote, Jr.
The REC was founded in 1873 by Bishop George David Cummins, formerly of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The church's services were originally derived from the Book of Common Prayer which was proposed, but never adopted, by the new Protestant Episcopal Church, in 1785 ; its liturgy is a “key element of the REC’s distinctive position.”  After a substantive liturgical revision utilizing the fifth Book of Common Prayer (1662) as its benchmark, selected congregations have adopted the REC Book of Common Prayer.
- 1 History
- 2 Current status
- 3 Relations with other jurisdictions
- 4 Social involvement
- 5 Doctrine
- 5.1 Founding principles
- 5.2 Contemporary positions and controversies
- 6 Book of Common Prayer
- 7 Seminaries
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In the 19th century, as the Oxford Movement urged that the Protestant Episcopal Church and the Church of England return to Anglicanism's roots in pre-Reformation Catholic Christianity, George David Cummins, the Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, became concerned about the preservation of Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed, and Confessional principles within the church.
The founding of the Reformed Episcopal Church followed a 1873 controversy about ecumenical activity. In October of that year, Bishop Cummins joined with Dean Smith of Canterbury, William Augustus Muhlenberg, and some non-Anglican ministers at an ecumenical conference of the Evangelical Alliance. During the conference, held in New York City, Cummins, Smith and the non-Episcopalian ministers presided at joint services of Holy Communion without using any version of the Book of Common Prayer. Retired missionary bishop, William Tozer, who was visiting New York at the time, criticized Smith and implicitly Cummins for participating in the rite. Tozer's criticism appeared in a letter published by the New York Tribune on October 6, 1873.
Bishop Cummins defended his actions in a letter published 10 days later, but after criticisms from Anglo-Catholic clergy and others for his choice not to seek preaching permission from the bishop in whose diocese he was preaching without authorization (New York), he submitted a letter of resignation to his own bishop on November 10. Three weeks later, joined by 21 Episcopalian clergy and lay people, Cummins organized the first general council of the Reformed Episcopal Church in New York City on December 2, 1873.
Bishop Cummins and his followers considered his action not rash decisions but simply decisive action, founded upon their long-held convictions about the growing Anglo-Catholic practices within the church. While these practices had existed from the founding of the Church of England, the Tractarian or Oxford Movement had been growing in influence, much to Cummins' dismay. He described his understanding's evolution in a letter to Bishop Cheney, stressing his earlier attempts to create reforms within the Protestant Episcopal Church. "We went before the General Conventions of 1868 and 1871 with petitions signed by hundreds of clergymen and laymen from all parts of the land, asking relief for Evangelical men. We asked but three things, the use of an alternate phrase in the baptismal office for infants, the repeal of the canon closing our pulpits against all non-Episcopal clergymen, and the insertion of a note in the Prayer-book, declaring the term "Priest" to be of equivalent meaning with the word Presbyter. We were met by an indignant and almost contemptuous refusal." These failed earlier attempts and Tozer's criticism of the ecumenical communion service Cummins thought an opportunity for decisive action.
Some in the Protestant Episcopal Church saw Cummins' decision as schismatic. Others, however, disagreed. One correspondent of the publication "The Episcopalian" said, "If we say that this new church has begun in schism, the church of Rome alleges the same things against us. The real question is, which party is guilty of the schism, the party which separates and goes out? or the party that forces the separation, by making binding on the conscience what Christ has not made binding?"  Rather than characterize this as schism, Bishop Cummins and his fellow reformers portrayed themselves as providing a Protestant, Anglican identity under which there could be a 'closer union of all Evangelical Christendom.' "The Reformed Episcopal Church would be what the Protestant Episcopal Church might have become had it not been paralyzed by the Tractarian virus." The term "Reformed" was never intended to denote any Calvinistic sense of Reformed theology, but was intended to convey Cummins' purpose of an Episcopal Church that had been reformed against Catholic influences.
The REC has had several periods of a general distinct theology. Although it began as a way to preserve Protestantism within the Anglican identity, the Anglican aspect of the identity began to fade over time. With its growing and heavy emphasis on ecumenical relations with other Protestants, many of those who converted or were confirmed in the REC had identities from various other Protestant backgrounds. Due to this influx and the short lived bishopric of the founders, the typical Reformed Episcopalian went from a Protestant, Latitudinarian pathos to a more Dispensationalist persuasion in a relatively short period of time, much of this happening in the early 1900s. Over the following several decades, the REC made the transition to a more Reformed theology in the Calvinistic sense. It was not until the 1970s that the Presiding Bishop, Leonard Riches, pushed for the revitalization of Anglican theology and identity in the REC.
In the United States
Within six months of its founding in 1873, the REC grew to about 1,500 communicants, two bishops and 15 other ministers. In 1875, over 500 African-American Protestant Episcopal communicants in South Carolina's Low Country joined the REC as a group.
Within a year from the founding of the REC, like-minded Canadian Anglicans in New Brunswick and Ontario seceded from that Church and formed Reformed Episcopal congregations. In October 1874, Edward Cridge, dean of the Anglican cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia, withdrew with about 350 of his congregation to form the Church of Our Lord and join the Reformed Episcopal Church. Cridge was consecrated a bishop for the REC in 1876. The Reformed Episcopal Church now has three churches in Canada, two in British Columbia and one in Ontario. St. George's Church, Hamilton is affiliated with the Diocese of the Northeast in the USA, and both Holy Trinity Church in Colwood and Living Word in Courtenay are a part of the Diocese of Western Canada and Alaska.
In 1877, in response to a petition from REC sympathizers in England, the REC's Fifth General Council acted to establish the Reformed Episcopal Church in that country. Former Church of England minister Thomas Huband Gregg was consecrated a bishop to lead adherents there. By 1910 there were 28 ministers and 1,990 communicant members constituting the Reformed Episcopal Church in that country. In 1927, the Reformed Episcopal Church in England merged with the Free Church of England.
The Reformed Episcopal Church reported that it had 13,600 members in 2009. The church has six dioceses in the United States and Canada, and counts 149 parishes. Congregations and missions are also located in Cuba, Germany, Croatia, Serbia, and Sweden.
The Reformed Episcopal Church was originally divided into four synods. The synods were renamed dioceses in 1984. The six dioceses are:
- The Diocese of the Central States, created as a Missionary Diocese in 2008, from territory and churches from the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Diocese of Mid-America, and the Diocese of the Southeast. This Diocese achieved full diocesan status in 2011 and is led by the Rt. Rev. Daniel Morse and the Rt. Rev. Peter Manto, Suffragan Bishop.
- The Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, created from the original New York and Philadelphia Synod, led by the Rt. Rev. David L. Hicks with the Suffragan Bishop being the Rt. Rev. R. Charles Gillin. This diocese includes the province of Ontario in its jurisdiction after the retirement of the Rt. Rev. Michael Fedechko and the dissolution of the Diocese of Eastern Canada.
- The Diocese of Mid-America, created from the original Synod of Chicago, led by the Most Rev. Royal U. Grote, Jr., with the Coadjutor being the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, and two assisting Bishops, George B. Fincke and Sam Seamans.
- The Diocese of the Southeast, created from the early formed Charleston-Charlotte and Atlanta Synod, led by the Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden and with the Coadjutor Bishop being the Rt. Rev. William White.
- The Diocese of the West, formed as a Missionary Diocese from the Diocese of Mid-America and then brought in as a full diocese when churches from the Anglican Province of America joined the REC in 2008, led by the Rt. Rev. Winfield Mott.
- The Diocese of Western Canada and Alaska, created in 1996, led by the Rt. Rev. Charles Dorrington, who also provides oversight for 23 parishes and a variety of preaching stations of the Missionary District of Cuba.
Relations with other jurisdictions
Formation of Anglican Church in North America
In 2009, the REC became a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a denomination seeking to create a new Anglican Communion province distinct from the Episcopal Church. ACNA is in communion with the Anglican Churches of Uganda, Nigeria and Sudan, with approximately 30 million members world-wide, representing approximately one-third of the faithful of the Anglican Communion.
The REC in North America has been in full communion with the Free Church of England since 1927, when Reformed Episcopal congregations and clergy in England merged with the FCE. Bishops of the two churches take part in episcopal consecrations of the other, and there are periodic visits between them. On occasion REC clergy have served in FCE parishes and vice versa.
In 1998 the REC signed a concordat of intercommunion for the first time with an Anglo-Catholic communion, the Anglican Province of America (APA). A 2005 renewal of the agreement also established intercommunion with the Anglican Communion's Church of Nigeria.
An additional proposal would have led to an eventual merger between the APA and the REC, but the APA's decision not to join the new Anglican Church in North America in 2008 is an obstacle to the proposed merger.
George David Cummins, the founding bishop of the REC, was the son of a slaveholder. His view of slavery was that there was nothing inherently sinful about slave-holding and that the practice, in and of itself, was never condemned in Scripture as being an abomination to God or harmful to mankind. Cummins qualified this statement with certain opinions pertaining to the practice. According to Cummins the African-American slave is "of one blood with ourselves, a sharer in a common humanity, a partaker of our hopes and fear." Although Cummins was not anti-slavery, his view of slavery and the African-American differ drastically from that of many of his contemporaries. Indeed, many pro-slavers would not be thrilled at the notion of sharing of one blood or human commonality. This attitude of Cummins' did not compel him to endorse emancipation, however it did convince him of a kind of paternalism. Cummins charged slaveholders to be more responsible and caring of their slaves: "The Anglo-American [is] the tutelar guardian of the African," adding that it is the responsibility of white Americans "to regard the African race in bondage as a solemn trust committed to this people from God, and that He has given this great mission of working out His purposes and mercy and love towards them." Cummins may have seen slavery as something that ought to train and discipline those in bondage as preparation for starting their own country/continent. Cummins was not an emancipationist, but was of the mind that freed slaves should return to Africa and create a livelihood for themselves.
REC and the ordination of black clergy
The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution brought an end to the system of slavery that had kept American blacks in bondage since colonial times. After slavery was abolished, there was somewhat of a cultural crisis in the Southern states. Even though black Americans had received their freedom from the unjust practice of slavery, they also lost a consistent form of shelter, food, and worship. Almost overnight, these became things that tens of thousands of freed slaves now had to provide for by themselves. As if this hurdle were not enough, many white Americans, uncomfortable with this societal change, created, endorsed, and enforced Jim Crow Laws as a way to segregate and suppress black Americans.
One form of this discriminatory injustice was to segregate churches, chapels, and congregations. There were now black churches with black clergy and officiates seeking inclusion into various denominations and dioceses. While some dioceses of the Episcopal Church were more open to the inclusion of black congregations, there were many dioceses who, as a collective whole, disowned and rejected blacks from the Episcopal communion. Frank C Ferguson, a former slave and a minister of a black congregation, experienced such discrimination. This ultimately led his congregation, and four others, to leave the Protestant Episcopal Church and move to the REC. Despite his earlier comments on slavery and emancipation, Bishop Cummins gladly welcomed black congregations and clergy into the REC. By doing so, Cummins had scored an important moral point by rising above the "color line" and making the REC's declarations about openness and liberty more than theological vocabulary. Of course, Cummins had not imagined that either he or the REC would become pioneers of racial justice, and in the 1870s he faced as much reluctance from Northern whites in his own General Council as from South Carolina whites in their diocesan convention. But Cummins could not square his own dreams of ecumenicity with racial exclusivism. The Reformed Episcopal Seminary itself is one of the first, if not the first, seminary to be racially inclusive.
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The founders of the Reformed Episcopal Church professed a faith rooted in the English Reformation, regarding the Holy Scripture as the Word of God, and accepting the authority of the Nicene, Apostles' and Athanasian Creeds, the first four ecumenical councils, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (in the form published in 1801 by the Protestant Episcopal Church), and the Declaration of Principles of the Reformed Episcopal Church.
They emphasized the Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and Reformational aspects in the history of the Church of England, making frequent allusions to Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Ridley, Bishop Hugh Latimer, Bishop John Hooper, Archbishop Matthew Parker, Bishop John Jewel, Archbishop Edmund Grindal and other Reformers in the Church of England. Early leaders of the Church, in lectures and sermons, warned against Ritualism as a denominational proclivity in the Episcopal Church.
Concluding the final day of the First General Convention of The Reformed Episcopal Church, December 2, 1873, the principles and ethos were summarized:
"One in heart and in faith with our fathers, who at the very beginning of this nation sought to mold and fashion the ecclesiastical polity which they had inherited from the Reformed Church of England, by a judicious and thorough revision of the Book of Common Prayer, we return to their positions and claim to be the old and true Protestant Episcopalians of the days immediately succeeding the American Revolution, and through these, our ancestors, we claim an unbroken historical connection through the Church of England, with the Church of Christ, from the earliest Christian community."
Declaration of Principles
The first general council of the REC approved this declaration on 2 December 1873:
1. The Reformed Episcopal Church, holding "the faith once delivered unto the saints", declares its belief in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God, as the sole rule of Faith and Practice; in the Creed "commonly called the Apostles' Creed;" in the Divine institution of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; and in the doctrines of grace substantially as they are set forth in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.
3. This Church, retaining a liturgy which shall not be imperative or repressive of freedom in prayer, accepts The Book of Common Prayer, as it was revised, proposed, and recommended for use by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, A.D. 1785, reserving full liberty to alter, abridge, enlarge, and amend the same, as may seem most conducive to the edification of the people, "provided that the substance of the faith be kept entire."
4. This Church condemns and rejects the following erroneous and strange doctrines as contrary to God's Word: First, that the Church of Christ exists only in one order or form of ecclesiastical polity; Second, that Christian Ministers are "priests" in another sense than that in which all believers are a "royal priesthood"; Third, that the Lord's Table is an altar on which the oblation of the Body and Blood of Christ is offered anew to the Father; Fourth, that the Presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper is a presence in the elements of Bread and Wine; Fifth, that regeneration is inseparably connected with Baptism.
Doctrine on Baptism
The term regeneration has been used differently throughout the church’s history, and the objection of the Reformed Episcopal Church’s founders was based on the definition of the “new birth” then current amongst Evangelicals. If regeneration is an instantaneous work of the Spirit quickening the heart prior to conversion, a gift from God given only to His elect, then the language of baptismal regeneration would suggest that all the baptized are finally saved. It is for this reason that the Declaration of Principles denies that regeneration is inseparably connected with baptism. This of course has been an important issue for the R.E.C. since it's founding. According to Guelzo, in his book, “For the Union of Evangelical Christendom” Cummins said, “the regeneration for which we thank God in baptism is not to be taken in any sense as descriptive of the renewing work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, but only a term equivalent to baptism, a sacramental change, a change of covenant relation.”
Doctrine on ministry
The Reformed Episcopal Church, according to its own Book of Common Prayer, holds that from Apostolic times, there have been three orders of ministry: Bishops, Presbyters and deacons.
In his letters, Bishop George Cummins wrote that the role of a bishop was an "office" of service not a "monarchialist order" Bishop Cummins wrote in a private letter on January 1, 1873, to a Protestant Episcopal cleric, "I contend that the Episcopate is not of apostolic origin; that the Bishop is only primus inter pares, and not in any way superior in order to the Presbyter. We are acting on this principle. We set apart a Bishop to his work by a joint laying on of hands of a Bishop and the presbyters. I act as a Bishop, not claiming a jure divino right, or to be in any Apostolic Succession, but only as one chosen of his brethren to have the oversight. If others look upon me as retaining the succession, that does not commit us to their understanding."
According to the church's early founders, bishops were "presiding presbyters, not diocesan Prelates". The Rev. Mason Gallagher, one founding minister, argued that the true episcopate had come through the 1785 line of evangelicals. In his view, the Protestant Episcopal Church had changed its principles and thereby lost any claim to valid episcopacy when it adopted the 1789 Book of Common Prayer containing a "Scoto-Romish Communion service and a thoroughly Sacerdotal Institution Office", and when it created a House of Bishops with power to overrule the existing House of presbyters and laymen: "If there is such a thing as the Historic Episcopate, and it is of any value, the parties making this offer in the present case cannot deliver the goods."
At its founding in 1873, the REC designated its clergy as presbyters, pastors, and ministers, but not as "priests", and the word "priest" was expunged from the REC's Book of Common Prayer in favor of the word "minister". This usage reflected the terminology used in the Cranmerian 1552 Book of Common Prayer.
Acceptance of other Evangelical clergy
REC ministers, unlike ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church, exchanged pulpits with evangelical ministers of non-episcopal traditions. They viewed the ministries of the word and sacraments in other evangelical denominations as equally valid. True churches of Christ existed outside episcopal church structures, they held, contrary to Tractarian and High Church teaching. Inter-evangelical collegiality was an important issue for the REC, because Bishop Cummins had been censured for participation with Presbyterian and Methodist ministers in an inter-church communion service. This practice of the founders' praxis and belief has now been abandoned. The current praxis is to require reordination and regularization of orders if ordained outside episcopal ordination.
At its first general council on December 2, 1873, the REC also reformed the transfer of clergy credentials from other denominations. In the Episcopal Church, such transfers had involved a process of application, examination, reception, and in some cases, conferral of holy orders, understood as a "regularization". In contrast, the REC allowed for examination in points of doctrine and discipline for validation of conformity yet without reordination.
Contemporary positions and controversies
Although the REC was founded as an evangelical and Reformed Anglican body, it now has Anglo-Catholics among its members and has entered into an intercommunion agreement with an Anglo-Catholic body, the APA. A 2006 document of the REC bishops, "True Unity by the Cross of Christ", grants wider flexibility to re-interpret the Thirty-nine Articles in an Anglo-Catholic manner while maintaining the perspective of the English Reformers. It uses the terms "priest", "altar", and "Real Presence", and speaks of the authority of tradition as well as that of Holy Scripture.
Reformed critics characterize these developments as rejecting the 35 Articles, revising the force of the Declaration of Principles, as well as departing from the Church's evangelical and Reformed heritage in order to accommodate Anglo-Catholicism.
Role of women in ministry
The church does not ordain women as bishops, presbyters, or deacons. In 2002, the denomination approved a canon that provides for the "setting apart" of qualified women as deaconesses who are not considered by the church to be ordained. While they are not considered ordained they do have important functions within the ministry of the church. Canon 22 states, "The duty of the Deaconess is to assist the Minister in the care of the poor and sick, the religious training of the young and others, and the work of moral reformation." Unlike ordained deacons, however, Deaconesses do not have any liturgical responsibilities. Some conservative Anglicans, especially those within the Continuing Anglican churches, have criticized the REC for uniting with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) since certain ACNA dioceses ordain women to Holy Orders. While only a few dioceses ordain women to the priesthood, there are more that ordain women to the diaconate. REC clergymen and laity alike staunchly oppose women’s ordination, and the malpractice is forbidden in the denomination. However, REC leaders reason that there are more pressing matters facing the contemporary Anglican churches such as evangelism and social issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty. It is not that holy orders are unimportant, but in the formation of the ACNA, there were orthodox Episcopalians that confessed the same faith and the same Gospel as the REC, even though they practiced an errant order. It was important that the REC join the ACNA early, securing a goal of reuniting orthodox Anglicans in addition to being able to affect the policies, decisions, and outcomes of the ACNA. In other words, the REC would be an active participant in the restoration of orthodox American Anglicanism rather than a disgruntled spectator. Nevertheless, much of the REC is eager to see the practice of women’s ordination abolished in the ACNA. It awaits the conclusions and findings of the ACNA Holy Orders Taskforce, which is headed by REC Bishop David Hicks.
Under the current canons of the Reformed Episcopal Church, a non-REC minister entering into the REC ministry as a deacon or presbyter is to receive Holy Orders if he has not already been ordained by a bishop recognized by REC as in the historic succession. If previously ordained in a non-episcopal church, the applicant to the REC may need to be regularized.
Book of Common Prayer
The founding First General Council of the REC approved a Book of Common Prayer for the church, with a text based on the proposed 1785 BCP prepared by William Smith and William White (later the first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania).
This text, published in 1786, had been offered to the First General Convention at Philadelphia held in 1785. Although initially authorized in some states, its changes met with considerable resistance, and the Episcopal Church adopted a different text in 1789 as its Book of Common Prayer.
In accord with prevailing Evangelical preferences and in opposition to Tractarianism, the 1873 REC Council made various changes in order "to eliminate from the Prayer-Book the germs of Romish error, which the compromises of the Elizabethan era have transmitted to us." Cummins and other Evangelicals concerned about the influx of Anglo-Catholic Ritualism had been impressed by a tract, published by Frank S. Rising in 1868, entitled: "Are There Romanizing Germs in the Prayerbook?" The adoption of Bishop White's Book was an attempt to remove those portions of the BCP which were or could be made objectionable to the Evangelical conscience. The REC Book replaced the word "priest" with "minister" throughout, dropped saints' days from the calendar, and struck from the Apostles' Creed the words "He descended into hell". From the service of Holy Communion expressions such as "holy mysteries" and "eating the flesh and drinking the blood" were removed. References to baptismal regeneration were modified in accordance with evangelical views, as were the services of Ordination and Marriage. In 1875, the Third General Council of the REC voted to append to the prayerbook 35 Articles of Religion (modelled after the original 39 Articles of the English prayerbook, but further defining the church in opposition to Ritualism).
Over the next century a few minor changes were made to the REC Book of Common Prayer with the result that the 1963 BCP retained the particular REC distinctives noted above, in contrast to the 1662, 1789 and 1928 BCPs of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
The Reformed Episcopal Church began a process of historical return, theological transformation and liturgical revision in the 1990s with the first revised BCP for trial use being produced in 1999. The 49th and 50th General Councils of the REC approved a revision of the Book of Common Prayer, to be based on the 1662 Book, with elements drawn from several later Books (PECUSA 1928 and 1945, REC 1963, Australia 1978). The revised version was issued in 2003.
Parishes in the Reformed Episcopal Church predominantly conduct services with the 2003 REC BCP, although other liturgies can be used with the approval of the Bishop Ordinary. REC parishes also use the 1963 REC BCP, the 1928 Protestant Episcopal BCP, the 1962 Canadian BCP, the Australian Prayer Book (1978), the Anglican Prayer Book (2008, and the 2011 REC Modern Language BCP.
The Reformed Episcopal Church has three seminaries and four locations.
Reformed Episcopal Seminary
The Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church, otherwise known as Reformed Episcopal Seminary, is the largest and oldest of the seminaries of the Reformed Episcopal Church and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. It began offering classes in 1886 in West Philadelphia and was chartered in 1887. Now located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, it offers Master of Divinity (MDiv), a Certificate in Bible and Theology, and a Licentiate in Diaconal or Deaconess Ministry.
Cummins Memorial Theological Seminary, located in Summerville, South Carolina, near Charleston, is named for Bishop George Cummins, the founder of the Reformed Episcopal Church. The seminary was founded at the end of the nineteenth century as a rogative college, meaning it was located wherever the Bishop of the Southeast took up residence. In 1912, the Diocese of the Southeast purchased property for a permanent campus.
The seminary offers residential programs leading to the degrees Bachelor of Theology and Master of Divinity, and the Certificate in Theological Studies. The Seminary formerly offered distance education through an External Studies Department.
Cranmer Theological House was founded in 1994 in Shreveport, Louisiana and is named for the English reformer, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. With courses offered in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston, as well as in Dallas, Cranmer House offers residential and distance learning programs for people not seeking ordination, a certificate in Anglican Studies, a Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), Master of Divinity (MDiv), and Master of Theology (ThM). A Deaconess Studies program was added to the 2009–2010 academic catalog.
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- Reasons for Entering the Reformed Episcopal Church, Address delivered by John McDowell Leavitt, Oct 20, 1889, Reformed Episcopal Church
- Aycrigg, Benjamin (1880). Memoirs of the Reformed Episcopal Church and of the Protestant Episcopal Church. New York: Edward O. Jenkins.
- Price, p. 123.
- Price, page 149. Emphasis in original.
- Price, page 133.
- Gallagher, Mason (1890). The True Historic Episcopate. New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. xvi–xviii.
- Rev. Robert N. McIntyre “Don’t Call Me Father”, A Biblical Perspective on the use of the term “father”, Reformed Episcopal Church
- Journal of the First General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church (PDF). New York: Edward O. Jenkins. 1874. pp. 23–24.
- True Unity by the Cross of Christ, 2006, Reformed Episcopal Church
- Dissimilitude in High Places, www.trecus.net
- See http://www.recdss.org/ "A Brief Apologia for Deaconesses", The Order of Deaconesses, Reformed Episcopal Church, as retrieved 23 December 2008.
- See http://www.anglicanchurch.net/?%2Fmain%2Fpage%2F745 Holy Orders Task Force Completes Phase 2 of Study, Anglican Church in North America, as retrieved 27 May 2015.
- Bishop Charles Edward Cheyney, The Book of Common Prayer, Reformed Episcopal Church
- The Book of Common Prayer (1785). 1873.
Reprint from 1789 London edition includes REC Declaration of Principles and statement by Bp. Cummins.
- http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1786/BCP_1786.htm 1786 Proposed U. S. Book of Common Prayer
- http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/hist_docs1.htm History of the American Prayer Book – Illustrative documents
- http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/mcgarvey1.htm History of the Prayer Book by William McGarvey
- Bishop Charles Edward Cheney Baptism and the Bible
- 1963 BCP
- Book of Common Prayer, 2003 Edition, 690 pages.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Reformed Episcopal Church.|
- The Reformed Episcopal Church
- The Reformed Episcopal Church Board of Foreign Missions
- Historical documents on the Reformed Episcopal Church from Project Canterbury
- 1963 Reformed Episcopal Book of Common Prayer
- 2003 Reformed Episcopal Book of Common Prayer
- The REC Order of Deaconesses
- Profile of the Reformed Episcopal Church on the Association of Religion Data Archives website
- Following the Light, by George David Cummins
Resources from earlier years of the REC and concerns of a former Reformed Episcopalian: