Bangor Theological Seminary - History

History

Bangor Theological Seminary was originally of a much more conservative tradition/philosophy than it is today. Led by a group of Congregational ministers and lay leaders who wanted to create a center of theological study in northern New England, the Society for Theological Education met on July 27, 1811, in Portland to establish a school. Jonathan Fisher, a founding trustee, described the urgency and importance of the school's mission:

"I am strongly adverse to an unlearned ministry, but if in this district we wait to be supplied from other institutions, I am fully persuaded that the ground would be preoccupied by Sectarians, many of whom will not only be unlearned, but very unlearned."

Granted a charter on February 25, 1814, by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the seminary briefly found a home in Hampden, before moving to its present Bangor location in 1819. It sold its historic campus several years ago.

The seminary began to assume its present shape under the leadership of the Reverend Enoch Pond. A noted scholar and writer, Pond joined the faculty in 1833, became president in 1856, and remained in that capacity until his death in 1882.

Today, Bangor Theological Seminary has academic programs leading to the Master of Divinity degree, the Master of Arts degree (no longer offered), and the Doctor of Ministry degree. The seminary is ecumenical in nature, with over a dozen religious traditions represented among students and faculty. One of seven United Church of Christ seminaries in the United States, it is the only accredited theological institution in northern New England.

The school plans to close in May 2013

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