Newton Theological Institution
In 1814, the Massachusetts Baptist Education Society was founded to address the concern for educated clergy needed to serve in New England Baptist churches. In 1825, the Boston Baptist Association met to raise money to purchase the 85-acre Peck estate in Newton Centre. The Newton Theological Institution was incorporated February 22nd, 1825, with first classes held the following November 28th.
As the first Baptist seminary in the United States, Newton Theological Institution was built upon the same curricular model as Andover Theological Seminary and was committed to supplying Baptist ministers in towns and cities throughout New England. The first professor hired to teach at Newton was the Reverend Irah Chase who offered courses in Biblical Theology. He was joined the following year by Henry Ripley who taught courses in Biblical Literature and Pastoral Duties.
Like its counterpart Andover Theological Seminary, Newton Theological Institution was active in the modern mission movement. Newton was also instrumental in the development of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. This organization was a key factor in the professionalization of clergy and helped identify the quality of a seminary based on admission rates, size of library, selection of faculty and scope of the curriculum among other factors.
In 1931, Andover Theological Seminary moved to the campus of Newton Theological Institution. The newly affiliated schools hired Austin Phillips Guiles as the first full-time appointed professor in psychology and clinical studies. Guiles helped make Andover and Newton pioneers in the clinical education of seminary students.
In March 1965, Andover Theological Seminary and Newton Theological Institutional legally merged to form Andover Newton Theological School. The union put together the first Congregational graduate school with the original Baptist seminary as one graduate institution.
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