The Academy of the New Church

The Academy Faculty and Curriculum: 1878
The Academy Faculty: 1926
The Corperation and Charter: 1876
The Corporation: 1926
The CollegeEldred Edward Iungrich
The Girls' SeminaryFrances Margarita Buell
The Boys' AcademyKarl Richardson Alden

The Academy's Firts Faculty and Curriculum*top


Chancellor, and Professor of Biblical Exposition.
Professor of Mental Philosophy, Rhetoric and Homiletics.
Professor of Systematic Theology.
Professor of Oriental and Modern Languages.
Professor of the Sacred Languages and the Classics.
Professor of Mathematics.
Professor of Zoology and Botany.
Professor of Physiology and Anatomy.

Inquiries respecting the College and the Divinity School must be addressed to the Rev. J. P. STUART, 2039 Woodstock Street, Philadelphia, or to the Rev. L. H. TAFEL, 104 Friedlander Street.


The Collegiate year is divided into three terms and two vacations, one at the holidays, and the other during the summer. The first term begins the second week in September, and continues fourteen weeks. The second term begins the second week in January, and continues twelve weeks. The third term follows the second without a vacation, and continues ten weeks. Tuition, $50.00 per annum. The studies are distributed as follows:

*This "Curriculum" is reprinted from the scarce eight-page pamphlet, published in 1878, both for its intrinsic historical value and as a basis for comparison with present conditions. Only the title-page and the list of Corporators are here omitted.


Their Use, Derivation, History, and Power.
Their Germs, Roots, Changes, and Synonyms. Writing Descriptive Theses.
(Two lessons a week.)
Exercises once a week in Recitation, Reading, Declamation, and Extemporaneous Speaking.
Ancient History.
(Two lessons a week.)

Their Analysis and Synthesis.
Simple and Modified Sentences, Paragraphs, and Essays. Rhetoric, Criticism, and Logic: Synonyms.
Writing Argumentative Theses. (Two lessons a week.) Exercises once a week in Recitation, Reading, Declamation, and Extemporaneous Speaking.
Modern History.
(Two lessons a week.)

Various Styles of Writing and Speaking.
The Essay, Dissertation, Lecture, Homily, Oration, Sermon. Poetry, Art, Fiction.
Comparative Philology: Science of Language. Writing Theses, Lectures, and Sermons. (Two lessons a week.)
Exercises once a week in Recitation, Reading, Declamation, and Extemporaneous Speaking.
Ecclesiastical History.
(Two lessons a week.)


FRESHMAN YEAR Latin: Four Books of Caesar, or Tafel's Latin Manual; Six Books of the Aeneid; Latin Grammar and Prose Composition.
(Five lessons a week.)
Greek: Four Gospels and Revelation; Three Books of Xenophon's Anabasis; Greek Grammar and Prose Composition.
(Five lessons a week.) (Optional) German, French, Italian, or Spanish.

Latin: Livy and Horace: Vera Christiana Religio. (Four lessons a week.)
Greek: Herodotus; Xenophon's Hellenica; Four Books of the Iliad. (Four lessons a week.)
Hebrew: Genesis and Exodus; Joshua and Judges; Hebrew Grammar. (Five lessons a week.)
(Optional) German, French, Italian, or Spanish.

Latin: Tacitus; Cicero's Orations; Amor Conjugialis. (Three lessons a week.)
Greek: Aeschylus; Sophocles; Euripides; Plato's Phaedrus; Demosthenes' Orations.
(Three lessons a week.)
Hebrew: Forty Psalms; Minor Prophets; Isaiah, twenty-five chapters. (Four lessons a week.)
Chaldee: Daniel and Ezra.
(Optional) Arabic and Syriac.


Plane, Solid, and Spherical Geometry. (Three lessons a week.) Algebra. (Two lessons a week.)

Trigonometry; Surveying; Mensuration; Conic Sections. ('Three lessons a week.)
SENIOR YEAR Analytical Geometry; Calculus. (Two lessons a week.)

SCIENCES FRESHMAN YEAR Chemistry—Inorganic............................................................36 Lectures. Physics..................................................................................50 "
Zoology—Vertebrata, Mollusca.............................................36 "
Drawing.................................................................................18 "

Physics-Electricity, Climatology..............................................15 Lectures.
Physiology..............................................................................45 " Hygiene..................................................................................10 "
Zoology-Articulata, Radiata, etc..............................................36 "
Organic Chemistry..................................................................20 "

Mineralogy ...........................................................................50 Lectures.
Astronomy ...........................................................................30 "
Botany .................................................................................35 "


The STUDY of DOCTRINE is distributed throughout the Collegiate Course as follows:

The Divine Love and Wisdom; Philosophy of Life and of Mind. (Three lessons a week.)

The Four Leading Doctrines, and Influx. (Three lessons a week.)

Correspondences: The Apocalypse Revealed. Principles of Government-Civil and Ecclesiastic. (Three lessons a week.)


After completing the Academic Course as indicated above, the Studies in the Divinity School will be continued as follows:

Systematic Theology; Doctrines of the Church.
Mental Philosophy; The Formation and Growth of the Mind. The Use of Terms; Categories; Degrees.
Correspondences; Significatives; Representatives. Exposition of the Word; Synonyms. History of Doctrines.
The Languages continued:-Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English. Writing Theses and Dissertations.
Declamation and Extemporaneous Speaking.

Exposition of the Word; Synonyms; Mental Philosophy; Ontology. Oriental Antiquities; Exposition of the Word.
Correspondences; Hieroglyphics.
History of the Successive Dispensations and Churches. Homiletics.
Pastoral Theology; Sermons; Lectures; Essays. The Priesthood; Organization of the Church; Dissemination of the Heavenly Doctrines,


THE ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH is constituted of New Churchmen residing in America and England, and is incorporated under the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-the Charter conferring upon the ACADEMY all the the rights, privileges, and immunities common to the Scientific Academies, Colleges, and Universities of this country.

The object of the ACADEMY is to promote the knowledge of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and the acknowledgment of the LORD in His Second Coming in the Revelations given by Him in the Writings of Swedenborg; and by every available means to further the establishment of the New Church, as the LORD's Kingdom on the earth.

To this end it is the purpose of the Academy, as the Divine Providence opens the way, to establish a University for the Elementary and Collegiate education of the youth of the Church, in the Doctrines and Principles of the New Church, in the Languages, Ancient and Modern, and in the Sciences:

To collect, publish, and preserve the Manuscripts and the Original Editions of those Writings which constitute the Second Advent of the LORD:

To prepare and publish works treating more particularly of the Spiritual Doctrines revealed by the LORD, and having for their end the building up of the Church in an ever more rational reception of its Heavenly Truths, and leading to an ever more interior love of the LORD and the Neighbor.

In the furtherance of these ends we are establishing, in the City of Philadelphia, a College and a Divinity School, in which our youth may receive a Collegiate and Theological education under the auspices of the New Church. The foregoing pages announce the corps of Professors employed, and the course of study adopted. We have provided in every department the most thorough instruction according to the best methods; and in many respects we offer facilities of culture to the youth of the New Church superior to anything offered heretofore.

Situated as we are in the heart of a great city renowned for its extensive Public Libraries, its Art Galleries, its Laboratories, its Scientific Apparatus and Lectures, all accessible at a trifling cost, our Students have extraordinary means of culture in Science, Literature, and Art, as well also as in the common amenities of life.

It is proper to add, that our Students, in their social life in the city, are surrounded as far as may be with the sphere of the New Church; also that in arranging the Collegiate Course, we have introduced into it from the beginning to the end, the Systematic Study of the Heavenly Doctrines. By these studies the grand principles of the Heavenly Kingdom are kept before the mind of the Student, and he is impressed with the true end of all good education, which is to purify, perfect, and ennoble the life and the character, and to establish in the mind the Kingdom of Heaven.

Philadelphia, May 14, 1878.

The Academy's Faculty and Curriculum top
Officers of the Schools and Departments

The Faculty.
Click on image for a larger version.


CHARLES EMIL DOERING: Dean of Faculties.
ALFRED ACTON: Dean of the Theological School.
KARL R. ALDEN: Principal of the Boys' Academy.
FRANCES MARGARITA BUELL: Principal of the Girls' Seminary.
OTHO WARD HEILMAN: Principal of the Bryn Athyn Elementary School. Lucy EMMA POTTS: Assistant Principal of the Elementary School
FREDERICK ADAM FINKELDEY: Director of Physical Education.
CHARLES R. PENDLETON: Head of the Science Department
WILLIAM WHITEHEAD: Head of the History Department
KARL R. ALDEN: Housemaster of Stuart Hall.
DOROTHY BURNHAM: Housemother of Glenn Hall.
MARY JEAN HORIGAN: Manager of the Dining Hall.
WILLIAM HYDE ALDEN: Manager of the Bookroom.


NATHANIEL DANDRIDGE ,PENDLETON, B. Th.: Professor of Theology. WILLIAM FREDERIC PENDLETON, D. TH.: Professor of Theology.
ALICE ELIZA GRANT, B. S. E.: Professor of Elementary Education.
ENOCH SPRADLING PRICE, B. Th., M. A.: Professor of Ancient Languages.
ALFRED ACTON, B. Th., M. A., D. TH.: Professor of Theology.
CHARLES EMIL DOERING, B. A., B. Th.: Professor of Mathematics.
CAMILLE VINET, B. A.: Professor of French.
REGINALD WILLIAM BROWN, B. A., B. Th.,: Professor of Physical Science. VENITA PENDLETON, B. S.: Professor of History.
FRANCES MARGARITA BUELL, B. S.: Professor of English.
BESSE EDMONDS SMITH, B. Musk: Instructor in Musk.
WILLIAM HYDE ALDEN, B, Th.: Instructor In Latin
CHARLES RITTENHOUSE PENDLETON, B. Th., M. A.: Professor of Philosophy. ELDRED EDWARD IUNGERICH, B. A., B. Th.: Professor of Theology. WILLIAM WHITEHEAD: Professor of History and Political Science.
CLARA HOBART HANLIN: Instructor in English.
KARL RICHARDSON ALDEN, B. A., B. Th.: Instructor in Religion.
IRIS OSYTH BRISCOE, B. S. E.: Instructor in History and English.
ELDRIC KLEIN: Instructor in History and English.


GEORGE DE CHARMS, B. Th.: Religion.
Primary Grades:
Grammar Grades:

The Charter top

[Granted by the State of Pennsylvania, November 3, 1876.]
ARTICLE I. This Corporation shall have the name, style, and title of "THE ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH."

ARTICLE II. The ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH shall be for the purpose of propagating the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and establishing the New Church signified in the Apocalypse by the New Jerusalem, promoting
Education in all its various forms, educating young men for the Ministry, publishing books, pamphlets, and other printed matter, and establishing a Library.

ARTICLE III. The place of business and office of the said Corporation shall be in the City of Philadelphia.

ARTICLE IV. This Corporation shall have perpetual existence.

ARTICLE V. The corporators or subscribers of the said "ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH” are

Residing in Allegheny, Pa.
Residing in London, Eng.
Residing in Vineland, N. J. REV.
Residing in Philadelphia, Pa.
Residing in Lancaster, Pa.
Residing in Allegheny, Pa.
Residing in Chicago, Ill.
Residing in Oil City, Pa.
Residing in Philadelphia, Pa.
Residing in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Residing in Philadelphia, Pa.
Residing in Pittsburgh, Pa.

who, with their successors and associates, shall have all the powers and privileges given or allowed under the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and they shall have power to use a Common seal, confer Degrees, and grant Diplomas as other colleges and universities.

ARTICLE VI. The Directors or Board of Finance of "THE ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH" shall be not less than three. Those chosen for the first year are REV. WILLIAM H. BENADE, residing in the City of Allegheny, Penna., Chancellor or President; REV. JAMES P. STUART, residing in Vineland, New Jersey, ViceChancellor and Secretary; WALTER C. CHILDS, ESQ., residing In the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Treasurer; JOHN PITCAIRN, JR., ESQ., residing in Oil City, Pennsylvania; DAVID MCCANDLESS, Esq ., residing in the City of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

ARTICLE VII. "THE ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH," having no capital stock, may from time to time be endowed, and receive and hold such real and personal estate as may come into its hands or possession, or be given, devised, or bequeathed it, provided, that the clear yearly value of the real estate held by them shall not exceed twenty thousand dollars.

The Corporation—1926 top

John Pitcairn.
Click on image for a larger version.

NATHANIEL. DANDRIDGE PENDLETON, Bryn Athyn, Pa., President. WILLIAM FREDERIC PENDLETON, Bryn Athyn, Pa., President Emeritus.
WALTER C. CHILDS, New York City.
HUGH L. BURNHAM, Glenview, 111.
FELIX A. BoERICKE, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
SEYMOUR G. NELSON, Glenview, I11.
EDWARD C. BoSTOCK, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
RAYMOND G. CRANCE, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
ALVIN E. NELSON, Glenview, 111.
CHARLES G. MERRELL, Cincinnati, O.




The College top

The Academy Schools.
Click on image for a larger version.

The College, as a distinct department for higher education, with its own faculty, giving degrees that represent four years of work subsequent to the high school, was organized in October, 1914. A number of courses of college standard had been given previously, not only in connection with the Theological School, but also in the lower departments; and a two years' normal course for the training of young lady teachers had been given informally by the Bishop and voluntary assistants prior to 1904, and with formal recognition by the Board of Directors of the Academy as a distinct department from 1904-1914. (See Journal of Education 1904, p. 58.)

In the school year, 1910-1911, a number of young men were formed into a collegiate class under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Schools, the Rev. C. E. Doering. Previously, the few young men who had stayed on for work subsequent to the secondary school had been accommodated in the theolgical department. In the following historical survey of the higher educational studies from 1904-1926, the sources for the data given are the published numbers of the Journal of Education and the College minutes from 1914-1926.

1904-1905: Principal of Normal Department, Homer Synnestvedt. Other teachers, W. F. Pendleton, A. Acton, C. T. Odhner, L. Beekman, A. E. Grant and Jane Potts. "The year just completed, which is the initial year of the Normal work as a distinct and recognized department of the Academy's greatness, has been full of encouragement to teachers and students alike, and this in face of the fact that poor health took out of the class before the end of the year three out of the four students with whom we started," says the principal in his annual report.

1905-1906: "Two of the (three) students have carried the entire work successfully through the year, and one of them, Miss Rita Buell, having completed her second year in a very satisfactory manner, was recommended for our diploma."

1906-1907: R. W. Brown and G. M. Cooper were added to the Normal School faculty. "Five students were entered for the full teachers' course."

1907-1908: H. E. Ashby was added to the faculty. Normal diplomas were given to Phebe Bostock, E. Pendleton, Philola Pendleton and Mildred Glenn. Five regular students were in attendance. "Miss Alice E. Grant gave the regular students a very thorough course in Pedagogy, with reference to the methods of teaching history. These courses of Miss Grant's are the core of our work upon its practical side."

1908-1909: Five regular students were enrolled. 1909-1910: Three regular students were enrolled.

1910-1911: Three young ladies were in the Normal work and six young men were in the collegiate class. Lucy Boggess received a Normal Certificate. The prospectus for the year announces: "The Collegiate Department offers a year of advanced work pre-requisite to the theological course, and the Normal Department a special course of study to those preparing to become teachers in New Church schools." No head to either department is given in the Catalogue. E. E. Iungerich and C. R. Pendleton are listed as teachers in the Collegiate year.

1911-1912: Six regular normal collegiates were in attendance. Vida Doering and Rosalba de Anchoriz received Normal Certificates. The report of the normal work was given by A. E. Grant, Principal of the Girls' Seminary.

1912-1913: Five young ladies were in attendance as regular students. The Catalogue lists it as a "Normal Department" under W. F. Pendleton, President, and C. E. Doering, Superintendent of Schools. F. M. Buell, Amena Pendleton, Olive Bostock and Ethne Price are listed as teachers. The report of the Normal Department was given by C. E. Doering. Dorothy Burnham and Venita Roschman received Normal Certificates.

1913-1914: Nine students, of which two were men, enrolled. Bella Campbell, Helen Colley, Erna Sellner and May Waters received Normal Certificates. N. D. Pendleton, F. A. Finkeldey, Venita Pendleton, Besse E. Smith, C. Vinet and W. Whitehead are listed as teachers. In giving this report for the department, C. E. Doering says, in part, "Because of Mr. Synnestvedt's acceptance of the pastorate of the Pittsburgh Society, some modifications had to be made in his course on the Principles of Education. Instead of the course's extending throughout the year, he was able to give a series of twenty-four lectures on this subject, covering five weeks ... The stimulus that he gave to the whole educational movement was an inspiration to our whole work."

1914-1915: The Normal and Collegiate Departments were grouped together into a single school, the College, R. W. Brown was made Acting Dean, December 1914, and Venita Pendleton, Secretary. Listed among its teachers are F. A. Boericke, L. E. Gyllenhaal, Lucy E. Potts, and E. S. Price. The description extends through sixteen pages of the catalogue. The unit of study is the semester-hour. One hundred and twenty points are required for graduation, of which sixty-two are distributed in eight different fields. There were five young men and six young women carrying the full course of studies. Anne Hofmann received the Normal Certificate. R. W. Brown, in the annual report, says, in part: "In 1910-1911 there was a (collegiate) class of ... young men, and they were given a very full course of study ... This fact ... with others ... led a year ago this spring (that is 1914) to the calling of an informal meeting of those members of the faculty who seemed to be actually interested in this development. This meeting was held in Miss Grant's apartments, and the Academy holds a debt of gratitude to Miss Grant for her foresight in suggesting this meeting, and for her part in stimulating the enthusiasm and inspiration which grew out of it . . . The need for the further development of our higher education had been becoming more and more obvious to individuals. The reports of teachers in the Normal School, particularly had revealed in a very forceful way the necessity of a more complete collegiate training in addition to the professional training of teachers. The desire of mature students and graduates of our secondary schools for a higher academic education had been steadily growing and causing us some concern, because it led our students into other institutions at an age when it seemed most desirable that we should be able to provide for them. . . As a result of the informal meeting, a series of meetings of the members of the faculties were held and a number of collegiate courses were planned and offered in the Catalogue for 1914-1915. In all, sixteen members of the Collegiate and Normal faculties gave their services in conducting courses. . .Two full vears of college work were actually carried on by the Academy during the past year."

1915-1916: Ten students, three young men and seven young women, were enrolled for a full course. R. W. Brown gives the annual report, now Dean of the department, by appointment June 12, 1916. E. Pendleton is listed among the teachers. "When young men and young women reach college age, many of them who desire ... higher education ... especially in ... the New Church ... feel that they must at the same time fit themselves for some definite use. This makes it difficult for them to take a number of courses in order to get those peculiar courses which they most desire. The time has not come when we can attempt, or when it would be advisable to attempt, to offer any array of vocational and professional courses. Our work must concentrate on the . . . two . . . departments . . essential to the perpetuation of the New Church and its education, the Theological School . . and the educational department of the College for the training of teachers."

1916-1917: There were fifteen regular students, three young men and twelve young ladies.

1917-1918: There were fifteen regular students, three young men and twelve young ladies. Ora Pendleton was listed as a teacher. Donald F. Rose was given the degree of B. A. President N. D. Pendleton, in his annual report, says, in part: "To fill the position of librarian was the next step. . . In my opinion we had one man who was competent-who possessed the required combination of disposition and faculties. I am happy to say that Professor Reginald Brown accepted the position of librarian, and this action of his is all the more appreciated because of the fact that he did so at the sacrifice of certain interests dear to his heart, namely, his work as Dean of the College." On October 8, 1917, F. M. Buell had been appointed Assistant Dean of the College. On November 26, 1917, E. E. Iungerich had been appointed secretary in place of Venita Pendleton, who had resigned from that office. On January 14, 1918, E. E. lungerich assumed, by appointment, the duties of Dean, in lieu of R. W. Brown, who had been appointed librarian.

1918-1919: There were fifteen regular students, six young men and nine young ladies. Senta Centervall, Elsie Harris and Sigrid Odlhner received the degree of B. A.; and Amy Doering received the degree of B. A. cum merito. W. B. Caldwell is listed as a teacher.

1919-1920: There was an enrollment of fourteen carrying the full course, five young men and nine young ladies. F. M. Buell's appointment as Principal of the Girls' Seminary created a vacancy in the position of Assistant Dean in the College. E. E. lungerich presented, at the "Tenth General Assembly, in Bryn Athyn, a plea for the College and its field of higher education, entitled, "The Enrichment of a Doctrinal Heritage," and based (see Tafel, Documents, I, p. 294) on Swedenborg's letter to Benzelius, in 1718, in which he says: "There are enough in one century who plod on in the old beaten track, while there are scarcely six or ten in a whole century who are able to generate novelties which are based upon argument and reason." (See New Church Life, 1919, p. 800.)

1920-1921: Three young men and ten young ladies enrolled, a total of thirteen. Dorothy Burnham received the degree of B. A. A special committee composed of E. E. Iungerich, C. E. Doering, C. R. Pendleton and Venita Pendleton, drew up more definite requirements as to graduation and the degrees offered. The number of points were increased from 120 to 124; and a distinction made between the B. A. and B. S. degree, and between these and the B. S. in Education degree. For the latter, sixty points may be in educational subjects, of which certain ones are pre-essential. In the B. A. and B. S. degrees ninety points must be exclusive of educational courses. Amena Pendleton served as advisor to the College women.

1921-1922: The enrollment of those taking full courses was thirty-one, of whom seventeen were young men. Voli to Wells received the degree of B. A.; and Erna Sellner and Elsie Champion, the degree of B. S. in Education. In his annual report, E. E. lungerich says, in part: "Our sudden large increase of young men introduced us for the first time acutely to the freshman boy problems. As a result a special discipline had to be devised, in the enforcement of which two students were dropped at midyear and six others placed on probation for the rest of the year." W. Howard substituted for R. W. Brown in Chemistry. A. E. Grant, as Dean of the women, assisted in the supervision of the college work. Florence A. Roehner gave dancing to the college women.

1922-1923: There were thirteen regular students in attendance, of whom three were young men. Iris Briscoe, Anita Doering and Rhoda Ebert received the degree of B. S. in Education. The description of the College in the Catalogue was simplified so as to occupy only eight pages instead of the twenty in the 192o Catalogue. D. F. Rose taught English in the College.

1923-1924: There were nineteen regular students, of whom twelve were young men. Angelica Knapp received the degree of B. A.; Enid Cockerell, the degree of B. S. in Education, and Jennie Gaskill, B. S. in Education cum merito. O. W. Heilman taught mathematics in the College. In the annual report, E. E. Iungerich writes, in regard to the stabilizing of the first two years of College work to institute a junior College course, on the completion of which a junior College Certificate will be given: "The following reasons favored the project: (1) The only students who came to us with the intention of staying four years were those who were planning to be teachers. These never numbered more than one-fifth of all. It would be better therefore to concentrate on the needs of the four-fifths. (2) Arranging for alternate courses in each subject to be given in successive years would halve the number of courses given, thus reducing the demand on our personnel and also securing large classes for those teaching. Freshman and Sophomore students can very readily take courses together, but a combination of Freshman with juniors or Seniors is unfortunate. (3) There is a growing tendency with those patrons away from Bryn Athyn to send their children here at a later age, and this involves a stay of one or two years in the College. . . With these considerations before us a tentative program for a junior College was drafted ... and with some modifications will be put in operation, next year, 1924-1925."

1924-1925: Twenty students taking a full course were in attendance. Of these thirteen were young men. K. R. Alden was listed as a teacher. Victor Gladish, Eldric Klein, Vincent Odhner and Norman Reuter, having successfully accomplished the prescribed two years' course, received the junior College Certificate. The requirements for this Certificate are, sixty-two points of College work, of which fifty-two are distributed in seven groups.

1925-1926: The enrollment of those taking a full course was twenty-nine, of whom thirteen were young men.

Dean of the College.

Benade Hall.
Click on image for a larger version.

The Girls' seminary top

In October, 1897, when the Academy Schools opened in the country near Huntingdon Valley-the name Bryn Athyn had not yet been chosen-Bishop W. F. Pendleton announced the organization of a school for girls older than the elementary age, and that the school was to be known as the "Seminary." The need for distinctive education for girls had long been recognized, and years of courageous foundation work had preceded this announcement. The "Girls' School" of the Academy of the New Church had been in existence in Philadelphia since the year 1884. It was for girls from the kindergarten age up to and including the normal school age. It had been established when Mrs. Hibbard and Miss Alice E. Grant were appointed by the Academy to continue their little private school as a department of the Academy educational system. Miss Susie Junge was transferred to the Girls' School at the same time. Two girls' names are in the registration book of the "Boys' School" of 1883; and earlier still, in 1882, a kindergarten was established "in connection with the Academy of the New Church" under the direction of Miss Malvina Boericke. Even earlier, however, girls had had secondary school instruction in Chicago in the years from 1879 to 1882, in a small New Church school established by the Rev. W. F. Pendleton.

Glenn Hall.
Click on image for a larger version.

The program of studies, although tending toward the academic, has had always a liberal, practical, distinctive character. In the Girls' School in Philadelphia there was a revolt against the prevailing system of memory-knowledge and examinations, against boys' school systems of mathematics and long years of linguistic studies. Boys were to be given intellectual tasks, girls were to be instructed toward activity of good affections; boys were to be taught the science of facts, girls the facts of science. The New Church Life notes in October, 1884, "The course of instruction adopted promises to be both novel and successful."

A philosophy of education has developed in America in the last thirty years which is at present leading the world. From the point of view of this philosophy, American educators looking back fifty years see little to commend in comparison with the present development of education. When New Church educators look back fifty years to the beginnings of girls' education, there is much to respect and commend in the daring departure from the schools of that day, and in the broad-minded plans made for the development of the spiritual-natural in the Church.

The girls' program of studies included religious instruction, Hebrew, music, art, mythology and archaeology, anatomy, botany, Latin (one hour a week), Greek, German, French, reading, writing, dancing, physical training, and "so much arithmetic as is likely to be necessary in domestic economy." In addition, they had the advantages of Philadelphia's parks, theatres, concert halls and museums. Moreover, they had association with such teachers and leaders of the Church as the founders of the Academy, especially Bishop Benade, Rev. W. F. Pendleton, Rev. L. H. Tafel, Rev. and Mrs. J. R. Hibbard, Miss Grant, Mr. Faber, Rev. Richard de Charms and Rev. E. C. Bostock. Their curriculum was somewhat irregular, but this was true of most schools of the time. Their classes were small, and this was both an advantage and a disadvantage. There was in every class and development a loyalty to the Writings which has been fundamental to all later developments.

The Old "Club House".
Click on image for a larger version.

Later, when the secondary school was separated from the elementary school and the name "Seminary" was adopted, and Miss Ashley became principal, more emphasis was put on preparing students not only for a life in heaven, but also for a life in this world carrying out the commandment, "These things ye must do and these others must not be left undone." Work was begun on a new program of studies and is still continuing. The Church can only be served by the best education that can be given, by the best physical, social, intellectual, moral, religious training; and during the years since 1897 this work has gone on steadily. As has been said, "A curriculum cannot contain everything';" a choice has to be made from the Writings and from science to fit the needs of girls of secondary school age. Different faculties in the Seminary have worked over this program, have avoided the dangers of merely copying Old Church schools, the dangers of the purely academic or the purely vocational courses, the dangers of allowing the school to become merely a preparatory school for Old Church colleges, and without sacrificing a single point the Seminary has been accredited as a first grade high school. In number of pupils it has grown slowly. In the last few years, however, registration of pupils from isolated families or from families only recently come to the Church outnumbers the regular registration of pupils educated in New Church schools, and this points to further change and development. In all the different programs of studies, the pupils of the Seminary have been fortunate in having religious instruction given by ministers of the Church.

The Bryn Athyn Inn.
Click on image for a larger version.

There are distinctive customs and emblems that have been guarded by teachers and graduates of the Seminary for many years: annual dramatic work, social life and social responsibility, rose wreaths and, until recently, gold medallions at graduation time, and the Academy emblem of the eagle brooding on the nest taken from a memorable relation in Conjugial Love. In more recent years have been added organization of upper classes, the girls' clubs, the Alpha list of those older students who are almost self-governing, the Factores who represent student government.

FRANCES MARGARITA BUELL, Principal of the Girls' Seminary.

The Boys' Academy top

Stuart Hall.
Click on image for a larger version.

The Academy is like the channel of a stream. It gives form and direction to the youthful life that flows through its portals, and as the continual rush of waters alters the course of the mightiest stream, so too the Academy has been changed, and changed again, by the work which it has done by its half century of experience in the field of education. The living present is connected with the past, out of which it grew, by a chain of events, each one of which, in its turn was both the result of its own past, and the inexorable link with the future. There are few things which retain their youthful aspects quite so fully as an educational institution. Forever there is a flowing stream of youth within its portals, and like a great river surging by a point of land, it is ever the same river, yet never the same water. And so it is with the Academy. It has always been the same Academy, in a sense; yet in another sense never the same, for always it harbored within its bosom a new stream of youth.

It is interesting to note the play of forces between the channel which both moulds this stream and is moulded by it. Today the Boys' Academy is equivalent in grades to an accredited high school, and we are officially recognized by the Government of the United States as such. Our course is designed to immediately follow the eight years of elementary school education, and precede the four years of college training. But it has required many years to bring the course to this standard of development, and when we look back over the records of the Boys' Academy, with their story of vicissitude, difficulty and change, we are filled with wonder at the many influences that have been brought to bear upon it.

The School Chapel.
Click on image for a larger version.

Back in the "College" of September, 1877, can be seen the beginnings of the Boys' Academy. Here was recognized the need for New Church education for laymen as well as for those who were preparing themselves for the ministry. How ever, the first pupils of this College were rather older than the present age of high school students. They can best be described by the term "young men." It was not until 1881 that the term "Boys' School" was used. This school was first organized under the headmastership of the Rev. Louis H. Tafel, and included more grades than are now designated by the new term "Boys' Academy." Nevertheless, it was a separate and distinct school, and for a long time it was housed by itself in Cherry street. In the fall of 1882, the Rev. E. C. Bostock followed Rev. L. H. Tafel as headmaster and continued the work until the fall of 1885, when the Rev. Richard de Charms took it over. He, in turn, was succeeded by Rev. E. J. E. Schreck. In 1 89o the Rev. Homer Synnestvedt was made Assistant-Headmaster of the Boys' School, and as Mr. Schreck devoted much of his time to the college, Mr. Synnestvedt gradually assumed more and more control until in 1894 he was made Headmaster. In the meantime (1888) the Boys' School was moved to a remodelled stable in the rear of the Wallace street building which housed the other departments of the School. Here the School continued to function under Mr. Synnestvedt until 1897, when its doors were closed, due to the interruption of Church government at that time, and the founding of the "General Church of the New Jerusalem." At the time of this reorganization a very interesting transformation took place. The old "College," which, since 1881, had been distinct from the Boys' School was again merged with it. In 1896 the Rev. Enoch S. Price had been appointed Principal of the College. When the reorganization took place in Bryn Athyn under Bishop W. F. Pendleton, Mr. Price was again appointed Principal of the College, and took over the complete charge of what had formerly been provided for by the Boys' School. This feature of the work was called the Intermediate Department, which would represent today the eighth grade of the Local School and the first two years of the Boys' Academy. The last two years of the Boys' Academy and one extra year were called grades I, II and III of the College. The records show, however, it was not possible to teach all of these grades simultaneously for many years. In the process of time the Intermediate Department was shortened to a one-year course-a year between the graduation from the Local School and Boys' Academy, still called the College. In the fall of 1907, at the same time that the Rev. C. E. Doering became Principal of the Boys' Academy, the intermediate year became the first year of the College, so that Class I of the old regime became Class II of the new, but the term College was still retained. In 1910-1911 an added year was given beyond the regular four years of the College. This year was called the "Collegiate" year. Evidently due to the fact that there arose confusion between the College and the Collegiate course, it was decided in 1915-1916 to change the name from College to Boys' Academy.

By this time the work had become the well defined work of a recognized high school, and although no particular effort was made to prepare students for college requirements, our graduates had little difficulty in entering the universities.

In the fall of 1924 the writer became Principal of the Boys' Academy. The effort of the school at the present time is to lay an abiding foundation in the recognition of and love for the Academy principles. The curriculum has been increasingly simplified as to the number of courses until the present endeavor is to teach the fundamentals with thoroughness.

The present curriculum includes two hours of Religion a week for four years, each year being taught by a different minister. It also includes an average of three hours per week in History and embraces a survey of general history from ancient to modern times, including a year devoted to the study of American civilization. An average of four hours a week for four years is devoted to the study of English, and in this time a course is given in the writing of English, together with the history of English and American literature, and the great epics of the older literatures. An average of four and one-half hours per week for four years is devoted to Latin, which is the basis not only of the English language, but also the medium in which the revelation of the Second Coming was written. French is given four hours a week for two years, and the average pupil should be able to read easy French by the end of the second year. In Mathematics the course continues for three years and covers elementary Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Algebra. An average of four hours a week for four years is devoted to Science, which includes a course in General Science, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, together with a course for Class IV in Swedenborg's Philosophy and Generation. One hour a week is devoted to the Forum and two hours a week for music per year and two hours of Gymnasium work complete the formal studies.

The Dining Hall.
Click on image for a larger version.

But besides the formal studies, there are many means provided for the development of other sides to a student's character. For example, in the functioning of the "Students' Council" there is a chance to develop responsibility. The Student Council is composed of the two upper class presidents, together with the two highest officers of the fraternities that are in the Boys' Academy, plus the president of the Forum, and such other students as the principal deems it advisable to appoint. They meet once a month at the home of the principal and discuss the welfare of the school. This committee undertakes the discipline in regard to chapel attendance and certain of the classes.

The fraternities afford a fine field for development in student government, and the ability to work together. Also the school social program, in which the students take entire charge of the arrangements, develops the sense of how things should be systematically arranged and successfully carried through. The effect of athletics, which plays by no means a small part in the students' development, has been treated in another article.

Fundamentally, the Boys' Academy is built up about a central training in religion, and strives from that center to develop the all-around man, cultured and intelligent, and able to take his place as a sincere member of the Church and as a useful citizen of his country.

KARL RICHARDSON ALDEN, Principal of the Boys' Academy.

De Charms Hall.
Click on image for a larger version.

Back to: First Page (Contents) | Next Page