Evangelical Seminary is a graduate school and interdenominational seminary located in Myerstown, Pennsylvania. This seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.
The Evangelical Congregational (EC) Church traces its roots to the conversion of Jacob Albright, a Pennsylvania German farmer, in a Methodist class meeting His conviction was to bring the Christian faith to his neighbors at a time when the Methodist Church did not allow worship services to be conducted in the German language. His converts took the name Evangelische Gemeinschaft (Evangelical Association) in 1816, and the church prospered until the 1890s, when a large minority of the Association re-organized as the United Evangelical (UE) Church in 1894.
Throughout the Great Depression and World War II, EC denominational leaders kept alive the vision of an evangelical Wesleyan Arminian theological seminary. In 1953 Evangelical Congregational School of Theology opened on the Myerstown campus with two full-time and three part-time professors and twelve students. The seminary received approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1957 to grant the Bachelor of Divinity degree (changed to Master of Divinity in 1970) and in 1979 the Master of Arts in Religion degree.
The seminary continued to offer courses at off-site locations like Allentown, Lancaster, and Hershey, PA and at Messiah College in Grantham, PA and experimented with distance learning. Concern for training of persons beyond the traditional degree programs resulted in the introduction of Graduate Certificates in various areas of ministry (2006) and formation of the Center for Leadership Impact (2009). In 2007 the school was renamed became Evangelical Theological Seminary, and in 2011, shortened the name to simply Evangelical Seminary. Over the course of the last half-century Evangelical Seminary has served Christ and His church in preparing men and women for Christian vocations. Now with a student body of nearly 200 from over twenty denominations and independent churches, Evangelical strives to “develop servant leaders for effective ministry in a broken and complex world” with John Wesley’s concern for “rigorous minds, passionate heats, and Christ-centered actions.” With alumni in many countries and diverse forms of ministry, Evangelical Seminary continues to expand its vision of service.