Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
The cornerstone of the Church of the Abiding Presence was laid in 1940[3] (completed 1942).[4]
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Adams
District Gettysburg Historic
Part of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America &
Washington Theological Consortium (member)[1]
Landform Seminary Ridge (namesake)
Borough Gettysburg
Location [specify]
 - elevation 568.1 ft (173.2 m) [2]
 - coordinates 39°49′54″N 77°14′40″W / 39.8316°N 77.2445°W / 39.8316; -77.2445 [citation needed]
Campus 52 acres (21 ha)
Population 268  (Postgraduate students)
18 (Academic staff)
Founded 1826
Website: - Gettysburg Seminary

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg is America's oldest Lutheran seminary (cf. St Mary's catholic seminary, 1791) and a site of 1863 Battle of Gettysburg military engagements.[3]

Schmucker Hall (Old Dorm) was built in 1832.[4]


By 1819,[when?] a Pennsylvania Ministerium committee (Rev. John George Schmucker, D.D., Conrad Jaeger and H. A. Muhlenberg) began planning a Protestant seminary. After the board of directors first met on March 2, 1826; a selection group of 9 rejected proposals from Carlisle, Pennsylvania (at Dickinson College) and Hagerstown, Maryland;[5] and the "Gettysburg Theological Seminary"[6] was established on August 1, 1826.[7] Samuel Simon Schmucker was elected the first professor and the seminary opened with 11 students on September 5, 1826,[8] at the Gettysburg Academy building.[9]

The seminary was the site of Battle of Gettysburg, First Day, combat and had buildings burned during the battle.[5] On July 1 from ~4 p.m. until dark, the Third Richmond Howitzers (with "four 3 inch rifles") fired from the seminary onto Cemetery Hill and received counterfire[6] (Robert E. Lee's headquarters was north of the seminary). Seminary buildings became field hospitals (the last patient of the seminary's Old Dorm left on September 16, 1863),[10] and by 1896, the seminary had 2 academic buildings, 4 professor dwellings, a hospital, and about 38 acres (15 ha).[5]

The Gettysburg Park Commission telfordized the seminary's north-south avenue in 1895 (resurfaced in 1927) and had placed 2 Confederate 3" rifles, 2 other Confederate guns, and 2 Union 12 pounders along it by 1912.[11] The "Seminary Hotel" hosted dignitaries for the 50th battle anniversary[12]:49 (an Old Dorm colonial portico to commemorate the reunion was opened in May 1914,[7] but only the concrete base remains.)[8]

During the World War II labor shortage, the seminary assisted with the 1942 apple harvest[9] (German POWs were subsequently used), and a seminary auxiliary was organized in 1953.[10] In 1961, the Adams County Historical Society moved to the seminary's 1832 Old Dorm (added to the NRHP in 1974),[10] and the 2011 "Crossroads Campaign" planned $1.8 million of fundraising for chapel renovations.[11]

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  1. ^ "Member Institutions of the Washington Theological Consortium". Washington Theological Consortium. Retrieved tbd. 
  2. ^ "X_Value=-77.2445&Y_Value=39.8316". USGS Elevation Web Service Query. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  3. ^ Wentz, Abdel Ross (1926). History of the Gettysburg Theological Seminary…1826—1926. The United Lutheran Publication House. 
  4. ^ Joswick, Dave (editor) (February/March 2008). "Buford's View: July 1, 1863 (advertisement)". The Gettysburg Companion. Times and News Publishing Company. p. 16. 
  5. ^ a b "The Gettysburg Seminary…History and Needs" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. August 18, 1896.,898517&dq=gettysburg+seminary&hl=en. Retrieved 2011-08-11. "Gettysburg and the people of Adams county, including many from Hanover [in York Co.], offered $7,000 in cash, and the trustees of the old [Gettysburg] academy the use of that building." 
  6. ^ "Gettysburg Theological Seminary" (Google News Archives). The Adams Sentinel. April 23, 1928.,7609437&dq=gettysburg+seminary&hl=en. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  7. ^ [Treasurer] (September 6, 1926). "Theological Seminary" (Google News Archive). The Republican Compiler.,468286&dq=gettysburg+seminary&hl=en. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Gettysburg Seminary to Observe its Centenary" (Google News Archive). The Daily Times (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania). September 18, 1926.,1765292&dq=gettysburg-seminary+chapel&hl=en. Retrieved 2011-08-11. "the cupola of the seminary building was used as a lookout point by General Buford and General Reynolds" 
  9. ^ Swain, Craig (October 2, 2008). "First Home of Seminary and College" ( webpage, marker 12004). Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  10. ^ a b "Headquarters: Brief History of Schmucker Hall". Adams County Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  11. ^ Gettysburg National Park Commission.[Full citation needed]
  12. ^ Beitler, Lewis Eugene (editor and compiler) (December 31, 1913) (Google Books). Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg: Report of the Pennsylvania Commission (Report). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Wm. Stanley Bay (state printer). Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
On July 1, 1863 at 4 p.m., the Army of the Potomac was positioned at the seminary.

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