Reformed Episcopal Seminary

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Reformed Episcopal Seminary
The Theological Seminary of
the Reformed Episcopal Church
Motto We are ambitious to be well-pleasing unto Him
Established 1886
Type Theological seminary
Chancellor David L. Hicks
Dean Jonathan S. Riches
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 40
Location Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Suburban Philadelphia
Colors Grey, Blue

Theological Commission of the Reformed Episcopal Church Association of Theological Schools

Anglican Church in North America

The Reformed Episcopal Seminary was founded in 1887 in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church, with support from a trust created by Harriet Benson in March, 1886. [1] The corner stone for the first building to house the seminary was laid on September 19 of that same year. [1] The seminary offers a Master of Divinity (MDiv) program as well as programs leading to certificates in a variety of theological fields. A diploma program is available for a limited number of students without an undergraduate degree. The seminary also offers a Licentiate in Diaconal Ministry Program and a Deaconess Program.

The charter of the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church declares that the seminary was formed “for the purpose of educating and training men for the ministry of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ especially in connection with the Reformed Episcopal Church and in accordance with the Constitution, Canons, rules, regulations, principles, Doctrine, and worship of said Church.”

The mission statement of the seminary states that it seeks "to train Christ’s people to serve the flock of the Lord Jesus Christ through biblical, Anglican Worship, Example, and Discipleship as defined in the official standards of the Reformed Episcopal Church... and to immerse students in Scripture, the historical and ancient traditions of the church, worship, and doctrine." The seminary emphasizes what they describe as "classical Anglicanism lived out in the world through worship, evangelism, and discipleship."[2]

The seminary further describes itself as Evangelical, Catholic, Reformed, Ecumenical and Episcopal, defining the terms this way:

  • Catholic - affirming the faith of the apostles as expressed through the early creeds, and liturgy;
  • Reformed - holding the English Reformation doctrines of the primacy of Scripture and justification by grace through faith;
  • Ecumenical - welcoming students from a variety of church groups and backgrounds;

The Reformed Episcopal Seminary is diverse and ecumenical. Approximately half of its student body is African American and half Caucasian. Students come from a variety of traditions, including African Methodist Episcopal, Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Church of God, Congregational, Lutheran and Presbyterian.

While there is a celebrated diversity at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary, the seminary still keeps as its chief purpose the preparation of leaders; clergy, counselors, educators, missionaries, and laity are trained for service in the Reformed Episcopal Church. The curriculum is formed to assist the students in their desired ministerial or scholastic goals, to be grounded in a reformed theological education.

The Reformed Episcopal Seminary has become known as a seminary that cultivates, develops, and produces solid clergy candidates for the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in North America, and churches of other traditions. Clergy are educated at a graduate level upon its belief in the authority of the inspired Word of God as contained in the canon of sixty-six books of the Bible, the sacraments, the creeds and councils, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, and in the apostolic succession of the Christian Church. While a scholarly education is important, the seminary also understands that it must equip its clergy graduates in the art of preaching and in leading ecclesiastical services. The seminary instills in its students the understanding that the pursuit of a theological education is only affective if its end goal is to further the Kingdom of God, and to produce godliness through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The seminary holds that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God and the sole rule of faith and practice. It also believes that scripture never actually stands on its own because, once it is opened, people bring to it their own views and presuppositions. As the Reformed Episcopal Seminary believes the scriptures to be the supreme and final authority, students are trained to use it for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 36:16-17).

The Reformed Episcopal Seminary was granted initial accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, effective August 8, 2013.[4] The Theological Commission of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America have also both approved Reformed Episcopal Seminary.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Acker, Raymond A. A History of the Reformed Episcopal Seminary: 1886-1964, p. 12
  2. ^ "Student Handbook" (PDF). Retrieved 9 Aug 2014. 
  3. ^ "Reformed Episcopal Seminary: Heritage and Purpose". 
  4. ^ "member schools: Reformed Episcopal Seminary". Association of Theological Schools. Retrieved 19 Dec 2013. 

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