Reformed Episcopal Seminary
The Theological Seminary of
the Reformed Episcopal Church
|Motto||We are ambitious to be well-pleasing unto Him|
|Chancellor||David L. Hicks|
|Dean||Jonathan S. Riches|
|Location||Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Affiliations||·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 "Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church", its chartered and legal name. The seminary was established based on the pledge of a trust created by Harriet Benson in March, 1886. The corner stone for the first building to house the seminary was laid on September 19 of that same year. The seminary began meeting for classes in 1886 under the tutelage of Bishop William Nicholson in his residence. It officially opened the doors to its first class of students on September 30, 1887, in its new building in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church, after the trust was received on March 16, 1887.
The seminary educates and trains Christians for lay and ordained ministries and is distinguished by a strong commitment to belief in the inerrancy of the Bible as the word of God, adherence to reformed theology and evangelical beliefs, worship and polity in the Anglican tradition, and an emphasis on pastoral ministry training. The seminary offers a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, a diploma program, two certificate programs, as well as a licentiate for diaconal minister program or deaconess ministry. It is on the quarter system and is academically rigorous, requiring the completion of 150 credits for the master's degree.
The charter of the seminary states that it 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.” Its mission statement declares 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."
The seminary further describes itself as Evangelical, Catholic, Reformed, Ecumenical and Episcopal, defining the terms this way:
- Evangelical - proclaiming Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
- 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;
- Episcopal - holding to the worship, doctrine, and order of the English Reformation.
As of 2015, the Seminary has 28 students.
The student body of the seminary is racially diverse and ecumenical. Students come from a variety of traditions, including: African Methodist Episcopal, Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Church of God, Congregational, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. While celebrating diversity and teaching students in regard to a variety of perspectives, the institution's principal purpose is to prepare leaders, clergy, counselors, educators, missionaries, and laity for service within the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America. The curriculum therefore, is formed to assist students in their desired ministerial and scholastic goals and to be grounded in Anglican polity and worship.
The seminary trains clergy candidates for the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in North America, and churches of many other traditions. Clergy are educated in a belief in the primacy and final authority of the Bible and educated about the sacraments, creeds, councils, and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.
The seminary was granted initial accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, effective August 8, 2013. The Theological Commission of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America have also both approved the Reformed Episcopal Seminary.
- Acker, Raymond A. A History of the Reformed Episcopal Seminary: 1886-1964, p. 12
- Guelzo, Allen C. For the Union of Evangelical Christendom. p. 284
- "Anglican Education : Reformed Episcopal Seminary". Reseminary.edu. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- "Student Handbook" (PDF). Reseminary.edu. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Reformed Episcopal Seminary: Heritage and Purpose". Resimnary.edu. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- "member schools: Reformed Episcopal Seminary". Association of Theological Schools. Retrieved 19 Dec 2013.