(from its beginnings to 1966)

By Richard R. Gladish

Mimeographed by
General Church Religion Lessons
Bryn Athyn, Pa.



The following historical account is being put into mimeographed form for use by group of Academy teachers enrolled in an orientation class.

It was written as a dissertation and its form was based largely upon an outline for institutional histories provided by Dr. William W. Brickman of the University of Pennsylvania.

The authors aim in having it mimeographed was two-fold. First, he wanted to make it available for reading and study by the orientation class. Second, he wanted to put it into a less-than-permanent form in order to encourage free discussion and re-working of the material by the esteemed younger teachers enrolled in the class, and by himself. He hopes that after a year of such consideration a fairly clear pattern will emerge for a revision that will find its way into print.

It is to be noted that two prior sections--Education under the General Conference of the New Jerusalem, 1785-1962, and New Church Education in America under the American Convention are in typescript and will be used as a basis for approximately the first half of the projected orientation course. It is also hoped that these chapters may be revised and combined with the present section into a unified presentation of The History of New Church Education in print.

In the present informal presentation I omit detailed acknowledgments except to say that helpers have been many and kind. They include Mr. Nathan Pitcairn, whose generosity made possible research trips in the United States and England; President Willard D. Pendleton of the Academy of the New Church; Miss Lois E. Stebbing, Librarian, and Miss Mary Alice Carswell, Reference Librarian of the Academy, and a number of professors at the University of Pennsylvania, including the late Thomas Woody; Saul Sack, William W. Brickman, and Col. William R. Kintner.

Richard R. Gladish
Bryn Athyn, Pa.
June 15, 1967


It is true that everything written contains some admixture of personal viewpoint or bias. The amount of subjectivity may vary with the writer and the occasion. However, the present writer in presenting this history of the Academy of the New Church has aimed to present the facts, the true elements of that history, with as little personal bias or subjectivity as possible. His intention has been to present the facts as a good reporter tries to do, as completely as necessary and as objectively as possible. As one who has been associated with the Academy of the New Church as student and teacher for a total of thirty-six years, no doubt his objectivity will have its thin spots, but this has been the honest effort.

This is an age when the very existence of absolute truth is doubted widely. Many scholars do not look for any Divine or fundamental truth other than the data of science. At the same time, every individual is supposed to present a point of view, an opinion, a critical edifice or fabrication strictly his own, in regard to any topic of study. It is not regarded as sufficient to present the facts about a subject, but one must always prove a point, establish an argument, or devise an original theory, preferably ingenious. Too often the truth suffers in the process.

The writer of this treatise has tried to avoid unnecessary editorializing; he has aimed to present the facts with a minimum of intellectual construct and critical comment. He feels that it is better to present the evidence and let the reader draw his own conclusions. For one thing, we are too close, both in time and in interest, hence too subjectively concerned--to have any large hope of coming up with a clear and unbiased interpretation of all that concerns the Academy of the New Church. Such things as the total motivation of the actors in its history, and the rights and wrongs of all its disputes and conflicts are not to be produced this side of the Divine Judgment Seat. It is true, as Macbeth says, that We still have judgment here, but it must be righteous judgment. There are many elements still hidden in the murk of the past, and some of these can never be known in their entirety. Is it not better to accept what is known and documented and to keep other matters in a state of suspended judgment until greater clarity comes? The present writer thinks so.

The Academy of the New Church is unique in that it is the only institution in the world embracing secondary through theological schools based on the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The Academy consists of, four separate but related schools: a boys school and a girls school, both at secondary level; a college with junior and senior divisions, and a theological school. About three-quarters of students entering the secondary schools come from elementary schools operated by the General Church of the New Jerusalem. The Academy is regarded as the higher educational arm of the same General Church.

In preparing a history of the Academy of the New Church, then, one hopes to make a contribution to the knowledge and understanding of anyone who is or may become interested in the aims and achievements of these schools.

An effort will be made to present additional information to round out the pleasant picture of Academy education given by an outside observer, Dr. Marguerite Beck Block, in her The New Church in the New World (Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1932). Mrs. Block wrote in part:

The thing that strikes the visitor to the Academy Schools is the fact that nothing, apparently, is done, or left undone, without a doctrinal reason. Nothing seems to be haphazard, or merely a matter of course, but everything is for the sake of a use.....

The educational psychology is founded upon the teachings of Swedenborg, who anticipated some of our most modern psychological theories. His basic postulate is that Love is in the life of man,--that every thought as well as every action springs from some underlying affection or desire. Therefore the stimulation of an affection, or interest in knowledge, is the first essential of the educative process....

Religion is the cornerstone of the entire system, and enters into every department, but religious instruction is also a special course in the curriculum....

The most interesting feature of the Academy Schools is the thoroughgoing application of New Church principles to the entire field of education....

In the school too daily worship plays an important part.... The kindergarten has its morning circle,--a charming little ceremony in which the Word is opened and candles lighted on an improvised altar....Sometimes a line or two is recited in unison in Hebrew....

But the center of all the worship, and the real heart of the community life is the Cathedral itself. One of the early Academy leaders wrote over fifty years ago: Our temples ought to be gems of art, and our Ritual so charming and faultless that any may enter into it, rendering it with the spirit and the understanding also. If the writer of these words could see a service in the Cathedral today he would be satisfied, for that ideal has been achieved. (pp. 271-283 passim.)



Foreword                                                                      i
Preface                                                                      ii
I. The Context                                                               1

1. Emanuel Swedenborg: the Man and the Mission                     1

2. Antecedents of the Academy of the New Church                     6

3. National and Local Backgrounds                                   9

4. Comparison with Similar Institutions in Pennsylvania and the

Philadelphia Area                                                        14

II.        Pre-History and Beginnings of the Academy of the New Church              17

1.        Predecessor Institutions of Various Levels                     17

       A. New Church and New Church-Related Schools of England

       B. New Church and New Church-Related Schools under the

              General Convention of the United States

       C.        Benades Cherry Street School, Philadelphia

2.        Genesis if the Feeling of Need for the Academy of the New Church       23

       A.        Genesis of the Distinctive Academy Approach to Education

       B.        Development of Academy Principles by Richard De Charms

       C.        W. H. Benade and J. P. Stuart

       D.        Declaration of Academy Principles, June 19, 1876

2.        The Granting of a Charter                                          27

3.        Sources of Initial Financial Support                            31

4.        Selection of the Faculty                                          32

5.        Relationships to Community and Other Sects of the New Jerusalem        

       Church                                                               36

       A.        Temporary Merging of the Church and Academy

7.        Recruitment of Students                                                 38

8.        Development of the Library                                          39

       A.        Origin of the Library

       B.        The Writings of Swedenborg and Swedenborgiana

       C.        Efforts of Benade and Pitcairn Abroad

       D.        Publications

9.        Buildings and Instructional Facilities                            42

       A. Temporary Locations in Philadelphia

       B. Buildings Begun in Bryn Athyn

III.        The Formative Period                                                        46

1.        The Underlying Philosophy of Education                            46

       A.        Introduction

       B.        Statements of Academy Philosophy Relating to Education

              i.        Mature of Man and Universe

              ii.        Nature of Mans Proper Education

              iii.        Nature of Contemporary Civilization and the Problem of Evil

              iv.        Principles Looking toward Pedagogical Procedure and Method

              v.        Philosophical Applications

       C.        Similarities between the Academy and other Educational Systems of

              the Past

              i.        Comenius

              ii.        Pestalozzi

              iii. Froebel

2.        Determination of the Curriculum                                          56

       A.        Origins in Philosophy

       B.        Influence of Custom and Tradition

       C.        In Various Levels of Instruction or Separate Schools

              i.        Theological School

              ii.        College

              iii.        Secondary Schools

                     a.        The Boys School

                     b.        The Girls School

              iv.        Elementary Schools

3.        Controversies and Problems Leading to Reorganization (1897)              64

       A.        Criticism by Convention and Conference

       B.        Granting of a Degree to R. J. Tilson

       C.        Revolt of Rev. and Mrs. J. R. Hibbard

       D.        The Tafel Disturbance

       E.        Separation from Benade in 1897

       F.        The General Church of the New Jerusalem (1897)

       G.        The Role of Personalities in Reorganization of (1897)

              i.        W. F. Pendleton (1845-1927)

              ii.        John Pitcairn (1841-1916)

              iii.        C. E. Doering (1871-1957)

              iv.        E. S. Price (1856-1934)

              v.        Alice E. Grant (1858-1930)

              vi.        Homer Synnestvedt (1867-1945)

IV Development, 1897-1965                                                        86

1.        Redefinition of the Aims of Academy Education                     86

2.        Changes in Administrative Policies                                   88

       A.        Tender Spots in the Relationship of the Academy to

              Other Bodies.

              iii. Building the Assembly Hall

              iv. Separation of Bryn Athyn Elementary School

                     from Academy Control

                     a.        Principals Employment

                     b.        Childrens Library

       B.        Salaries

       C.        Hiring and Discharge of Staff

       D.        Professorships and Status of Teachers

       E.        Presidents Role Defined

       F.        Student Dismissal and Suspension

       G.        Faculty Preparation and Background

       H.        Interrelation of Academy and General Church

       I.        Deferment of Teachers

3.        Definition of School Policies                                          103

       A.        Admissions Policies

       B.        Church and Chapel Attendance

       C.        Certificates of Graduation

       D.        Two-Year Graduation Rule

       E.        Coeducation at the Secondary School Level

       F.        Distinctive Social Life

       G.        Fraternities and Sororities as House Clubs

       H.        Department of Education Founded

       I.        Separation of Secondary Schools and College as to Social


       J.        Interdependence of Schools

       K.        Use and Status of the Academy in Relation to Other Bodies

4.        Pedagogical Principles Affirmed                                   116

       A.        Revelation and Science

       B.        Religious Influence in Dormitories

5.        Changes in Administrative and Instructional Personnel              118
              A.        Administrative Changes

       B.       Changes in Instructional Personnel

6.        Changes in Curriculum                                                 122

       A. In the Separate Schools

              iii. Theological School

              iv. The College (Boys School)

              iii.        The Girls School

              iv.        Development of the Modern College

7.        Problems and Controversies                                          129

       A.        Student Work (scholarships)

       B.        Bodies of Spirits and Angels.

       C.        The Status of Swedenborgs Scientific and Philosophical Works

       D.        The Vaccination Crisis

       E.        The Kramph Will Case

       F.        The Hemelsche Leer Schism

8.        The Academy and the World                                          142

       A.        Early Efforts of the Academy to Operate Parish Schools

       B.        Relations with the Middle States Association

       C.        Private School Teachers Association

       D.        Membership in other Associations

       E.        Relations to Borough, State, and Federal Governments

9.        Student Life                                                        148

       A.        In the First Decades - to 1897

       B.        Developments to Present

10.        Influence of Economy, War, and Other Factors                     156

       A.        John Pitcairns Aid; Later Support

       B.        The Wars

              i.        World War I

              ii.       World War II (Dec. 7, 1941 - Aug. 12, 1945)
                     iii. The Korean War (June 27, 1950 - July 27, 1953)

                     and the Academys Attainment of Status with the

                     United States Selective Service

        C.        Benade Hall Fire of 1948

11.        Achievements of the Faculty in Relation to Development of the

              Academy and Outside Interests                                          162

       A.        Dr. C. R. Pendleton

       B.        R. W. Brown (1877-1937)

       C.        F. M. Buell

       D.        Karl R. Alden (1892-1963)

       E.        Frederick Adam Finkeldey, (1890-1944)

       F.        Dr. William Whitehead

       G.        Dr. Hugo Lj. Odhner

       H.        Eldric S. Klein

       I.        Doctorates - Internal and External

12.        Activities and Achievement of the Alumni                            174

       A.        Raymond Pitcairn (1885-1966)

       B.        The Asplundh Family

       C.        Harold F. Pitcairn (1897-1960)

       D.        Donald F. Rose (1890-1964)

       E.        Philip C. Pendleton

       F.        Dr. Marlin W. Heilman (1883-1964)

       G.        Walter C. Childs, II

       H.        G. Austin Arrington

       I.        Synnestvedt and Lechner

       J.        Colonel William R. Kintner

       K.        Leadership in the Academy and the General Church
                     i.       Alfred Acton (1867-1956)

              ii.        N. D. Pendleton (1865-1937)

              iii.        George De Charms

              iv.        Willard D. Pendleton

              v.        Faculty Members As Alumni

13.        Interscholastic Athletics                                          189

       A.        Beginnings

       B.        Progress to Present

       C.        Wrestling

       D.        End of an Athletic Era

14.        Human Interest Sidelights                                          195

       A.        Camille Vinet

       B.        Otho W. Heilman

V.        Synthesis and Interpretation                                                 200

1.        Continuity of Purpose and Evolution of Understandings              200

       A.        Aims and Objectives

       B.        Order and Organization

       C.        Education and Instruction

       D.        Relations with Other Bodies

       E.        Growth and Membership

2.        Comparison with Other Institutions                                   211

       A. Theological Schools

       B.        Colleges

              i.        The Junior College

              ii.        The Senior College

              iii.        College Summary

       C.        Secondary Schools

              i.        General Aims and Objectives

              ii.        Order and Organization

       iii.        Education and Instruction

3.        Accomplishments in Light of Objectives                            221




Chapter I. The Context

1. Emanuel Swedenborg: the Man and the Mission

Emanuel Swedenborg, scientist-philosopher and theologian, son of a Swedish bishop whose family was ennobled by the crown, was born January 29, 1688, in Stockholm.1 When he died, aged 84, in 1772, after a distinguished career, he left as product of his later years, a system of religious thought. This body of belief, described in some forty volumes and pamphlets, is the basis for the distinctive point of view of the Academy of the New Church, at Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, as well as for three religious bodies.

1 Acton, Alfred, The Life of Emanuel Swedenborg, A Study of the Documentary Sources of his Biography, covering the period of his Preparation, 1688-1744, Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1958, (Ditto process) I, 2f.

Swedenborgs insights in science, philosophy, and religion have taxed the interpretive and attributive powers of numerous scholars and biographers. An element of the unique seems to have marked him from childhood. Helen Keller, after thirty years acquaintance with Swedenborgs teachings, wrote, The more I consider his position, the less I can see how we are to account for him,... so little did he have in common with his church and the standards of his century.2 Swedenborg as a child concentrated his thoughts on God, salvation, and mans spiritual nature with results which caused his parents to wonder and say that angels must have been talking through him.3

2 Keller, Helen, My Religion, Doubleday, Page Garden City, New York, 1927, page 4.

3 Acton, Alfred, Life of Emanuel Swedenborg, 6f.

But with entry into Upsala University at age twelve, (1699) Swedenborg plunged his remarkable intellect into the learned world and closed the door to the supernatural for thirty-six years.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 3 During this period he designed a flying machine, began a scientific and mathematical journal, designed docks, sluices and salt works, became a mining expert, traveled in Europe, studied anatomy and practiced dissection, wrote works on the brain, published a system of cosmology anticipating the Kant-La Place Nebular Hypothesis, and transported Swedish naval vessels over mountainous terrain to enable his monarch, Charles XII, to attack Norway from an unexpected quarter. He also wrote an extensive work on human anatomy and a hieroglyphic key.1 Modern scientific journals occasionally call attention to Swedenborgs amazing prematurity, as in his observations on the structure of the cortex and the location of the higher functions of the brain,2 or attaining a remarkably correct vision of nervous function.3

1 Ibid., Table of Contents, ii-vi.

2 Akert, Konrad and Hammond, Michael P., Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) and His Contributions to Neurology Medical History VI, July 1962, reprinted in The New Philosophy, April 1966, 210-221.

3 Schwedenberg, T. H., The Swedenborg Manuscripts--A Forgotten Introduction to Cerebral Physiology. Archives of Neurology, April 1960, II, 407-409, reprinted in the New Philosophy (hereinafter, NP), October 1966, LXIX, 280-284. Quotation cited, p. 284.

As a philosopher, Swedenborg sought deeper answers to the central quest of his life--the final cause or end of creation, and the nature and destiny of the human spirit. He experienced an increasing wonder at living things, and strove to counteract in the learned world about him the growth of agnosticism and its rejection of the very idea of causation. He developed the doctrine that mans very life is in delight, since delight is the sensation of love.4 This is comparable with the saying of John Amos Comenius that a joyful mind is half health.5

4 Goodenough, Daniel W., Swedenborgs Infinite and Final Cause of Creation NP LXIX, 267-279.

5 Rusk, Robert R., A History of Infant Education, University of London Press, London, 1933, 15.



Although Swedenborgs scientific and philosophical insights were remarkable for his day, these alone would not remain viable in the Twentieth Century as a basis for a school or an educational system, still less, a religion. Swedenborg came to feel that his entire life of study, research and involvement in the practical affairs of men was a preparation for a penetration into the supernatural sphere of the human spirit and a resultant service to mankind. He did not seek the penetration--it was a vast surprise to him--and he was fully conscious of the danger to his sanity and to his scholarly reputation. But he did seek to use his powers in behalf of humanity.

To Helen Keller, deaf and blind, it was Swedenborgs views on the nature of God and a vivid intuition that mans spirit transcends space and time which clearly distinguished his teaching from the accepted theology of the Nineteenth Century:

I had been sitting quietly in the library for half an hour. I turned to my teacher and said, Such a strange thing has happened! I have been far away all this time, and I havent left the room. What do you mean, Helen? she asked, surprised. Why, I cried, I have been in Athens....I perceived the realness of my soul and its sheer independence of all conditions of place and body. It was clear to me that it was because I was a spirit the I had so vividly seen and felt a place thousands of miles away.2

1 Acton, Alfred, Life of Emanuel Swedenborg, 750f.

2 Keller, Helen, My Religion, 33.

The Swedenborgian teachings were purportedly derived from actual experience of what Swedenborg called intromission into the world of the spirit. It was his assertion that he was gradually prepared and eventually commissioned by a vision or appearance of the Lord to him in the year 1744, to investigate the spiritual realm in person and publish his findings as the basis for a New Church. This was to be, not a new sect, but a new dispensation of religion, and a final revelation to the world.3

3 Acton, Alfred, Introduction to the Word Explained. The Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1927, 118f.



Swedenborgs religion as described by Signe Toksvig in her critical biography of 1948 consists of five main points:

1.        God is one in whom there is a Divine Trinity, and the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is that One.l

1 Quoted from Swedenborgs The True Christian Religion, (hereinafter TCR) Standard Edition, Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1949, Paragraph #370.

The gist of his explanations of this was that God, the invisible, unmanifest, spaceless and timeless, (The God-head of Eckhart), seeing the state into which is creatures had fallen through their injudicious use of freewill, manifested Himself in time by descending into a human body so that the invisible could become visible, and act materially in a world of matter, for, said the practical Swedes no one can scale a fish without a knife or pluck a crow without fingers or descend to the bottom of a lake without a diving bell.


2.        That a saving faith is to believe in Him...unless a man regenerated himself naturally, even God could not regenerate him spiritually.


3.        Evils should not be done, because they are of the devil and from the devil. [Not a personal devil.]


4.        Goods should be done because they are of God and from God....


5.        These should be done by man as if by himself; but it should be believed that they are done by the Lord in man and through man.2

2 Toksvig, sign, Emanuel Swedenborg, Scientist and Mystic, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1948, Chapter XXVII, 352-357 passim,

Toksvig sees Swedenborg as propounding something of existentialism before Kierkegaard, and adds in a summary of comparisons:

Swedenborg in his unremittent emphasis on practical do-something-about-it, religion was Western and Christian. But he was also...not far from Hinduism in his worship of God in His Avatar, and he was at one with Buddhism in his insistence on the reality of spiritual law, or Karma. With Buddhism too he believed in the power of the understanding to change wrong feeling to right feeling, so that man would keep the commandments because he desires to do so, like a free man and not like a slave.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 6 Nor was he far from the Dhamma, the Good Law, of Buddha, when he declared in The True Christian Religion: The world does not yet know that there is an order, and it knows still less what this order is which God introduced into the world at the same time He created it, and that God cannot act contrary to it, for if he did that, he would be in conflict with himself, for God is that very Order.l

1 Ibid., 358f.

Toksvig here points to a common theme of fundamental concepts that run through world religions and are also found in the Swedenborg system. Thus the so-called New Church is also in a basic sense, not only old church but age-old church. This is not out of keeping with Swedenborgs concept of the Infinite Deity. In fact, Swedenborg wrote that the Divine had, on this planet, presided over a succession of Churches by which he meant dispensations--Most Ancient, Ancient, Israelitish, Christian, and finally, a New Church, to be based on the essentials of the previous four churches, as adapted and accommodated in his theological writings.2 The new elements of the New Church were (1) the penetration into the realm of the spirit for the sake of disclosing the nature of the life after death, and the close interrelation of men and angels, and/or spirits,3 and (2) the explanation of the internal sense of the Old and New Testaments. This latter included the information that the Apocalyptic Last Judgment and Second Coming had already occurred--but in the spiritual world.4

2 Swedenborg, Emanuel, Arcana Coelestia, 407; TCR 787.

3 Swedenborg, Emanuel, Heaven and Hell (HH) 1. Men and spirits were never normally to be conscious of each other, however; Swedenborgs state was exceptional. See Swedenborg to Count Gustavius Bonde, August 11, 1760. Tafel, R. L., Ed., Documents concerning Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg, 3 vols., Swedenborg Society, London, 1875-1877, II, 232f.

4 Swedenborg, Emanuel, True Christian Religion, 781-785.



2. Antecedents of the Academy of the New Church

First ecclesiastical body based on Swedenborgs theological works was the General Conference of the New Jerusalem Church, organized in 1787 in London.1 At a meeting of April 16, 1789, the Conference adopted twenty-three resolutions, several of which implied an education distinct from that of the world.2 But even previous to that, in 1784, James Glen, a Scottish plantation owner of Demerara, and a member of the London group, visited Philadelphia and Boston where he lectured on Swedenborg, and arranged for distribution of his theological works.3 The American Convention of the New Jerusalem was eventually formed in 1817 in Philadelphia, its first sessions being held in a temple provided through the bounty of William Schlatter, a convert, grandson of Old Parson Schlatter, a well-known Lutheran missionary.4

1 Hindmarsh, Robert, Rise and Progress of the New Church, hereinafter, RP. 58.

2 Resolutions LX, X, XI, XII. XV, Ibid., 102.

3 Ibid., 17.

4 Ibid., 285.

Some thirty schools were eventually organized by or affiliated with the English Conference. The first fully planned school came into being in 1822 in London.5 However a very informal mothers knee school was formed at Worsley, England, as early as 1785 for the children of an adult group who read Swedenborg together.6 1907, when the New Church day schools ceased to operate as schools of the Church, perhaps a quarter of a million children mostly in infant and charity or free schools, attended institutions associated with Conference. Motivation behind the Church effort included the desire Between 1822 and to proselytize and also to help in the great educational crisis attendant upon the industrial revolution.1

5 Reports of the New Jerusalem Free School, 1823, pp. 3-16, bound volume 1823-1853, in Academy of the New Church Library.
61785 - The Worsley Society, 1960, New Church Herald; London, October 22, 1960, XLI, 174.

1 Report of Committee on Education, Minutes of Conference, 1847, 78-80, Appendix; Ibid., 1907, 63, Appendix.



Several figures in the Infant School movement were influenced by Swedenborg, including Jean Frederic Oberlin, Samuel Wilderspin, James Buchanan, and D. G. Goyder.2

2 New Church Magazine, 1915, XXXIV, 106, 166, 211f, 445f; Bayley, Jonathan, New Church Worthies, 25.

Schools under the Convention in America were fewer and of smaller enrollment. They were organized by individual church societies; Convention as a whole could not bring itself to back day schools. Ten schools sprang up between 1836 and 1845, but they were all given up before 1850.3 A few scattered schools came into existence later, but at present only the Conventions New Church Theological School at Newton, Massachusetts, exists as a school operated by the church. Urbana College, Ohio, begun by Convention in 1853, is presently operated as a Church-related school, its board being predominantly New Church.4

3 Doering, C. E., Notes on the History of Education (mimeograph) Published anonymously by relatives of C. E. Doering, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, n. d., pp. 138-149, passim.

4 Urbana Junior College Catalog, 1960-1961, 3.

High water mark of Convention enthusiasm for New Church education occurred with the framing of a committee report calling for a system of schools from elementary level (under the local church societies) through high school, college, or university under management of Convention. This report was laid on the table in 1838, and Samuel Worcester, American textbook author and ambitious promoter of New Church education, had to report the following summer that no agreement could be reached on rules or principles upon which the schools could be founded.5

5 New Jerusalem Magazine, November 1838, XII, 85; Ibid., July, 1839, 385ff.



It is plainly inferred by the Church records of this period that the quick disappearance of the ten society schools was partially the result of the public sentiment for equal, universal education spurred by the labor movement and led by Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, and others.1 It appears that Convention was divided over the issue from the circumstance that the Rev. M. M. Carll, minister of the first Philadelphia New Church society, signed as chairman a report of a committee appointed by a mass meeting of Philadelphia workingmen in 1830:

1 Butts, R. Freeman, and Cremin, Lawrence A., A History of Education in American Culture, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1953, 150, 217f. 194.

Resolved, that the time has arrived when it becomes the paramount duty of every friend to the happiness and freedom of man, to exert himself in every honest way, to promote a system of education that shall equally embrace all the children of the state, of every rank and condition...2

2 Monroe, Paul, Ed., Founding, of the American Public School System, Quotation 414, Film 367, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, p. 867f. Resolutions of Mass Meeting of Workingmen, Philadelphia, 1830, from Workingmans Advocate, February 4, 1830, and U. S. Gazette Educational Meeting in Philadelphia.

And Samuel Worcesters own brother, Thomas Worcester, head of Convention from 1832 for nearly forty years, after promoting Church education in the 1830s, declared against it in his presidential message of 1855.3

3 Worcester, Thomas, New Jerusalem Magazine, August 1855, XXVIII, 67.

So strong were the currents called into being by varied appeals to democracy and patriotism in the later national period that public duty conquered what at first had seemed to be a religious duty in Convention as a whole.

The Academy of the New Church came about as a fundamentalist movement within the American Convention. It sought to educate the Convention and also the English Conference to certain neglected beliefs and practices its members believed were taught in the writings of Swedenborg.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 10 Chiefly it sought to establish education for children and young people of the New Church on a regular basis so that they would grow up with an understanding of Swedenborgs extensive and intricate system of thought.1

1 Benade, W. H., Declaration of Principles of the Academy, June 19, 1876, in Academy of the New Church Archives, hereinafter ANCAR. Childs, Walter C., Founders Day, 1930 New Church Life hereinafter NCL, October 1934, LIV, 354f.

3. National and Local Backgrounds

The Academy of the New Church, founded June 19, 1876, opened officially as a theological school in Philadelphia September 5, 1877. During the next few years a college, a kindergarten, a boys school and a girls school came into being as schools of the Academy.2 Benade, Bishop and Chancellor, also gave lectures in pedagogy to older students and adults of the society as early as 1884, but the first class of normal school students was graduated from a two-year course in 1892.3

2 Benade, W. H., to Walter C. Childs, January 12, 1884.

3 NCL, September 1892, XII, 147.

That the institution came into being at all was largely dependent upon the industrial fortune of John Pitcairn, of Pittsburgh. Pitcairn, whose parents brought their family to America in 1846 from Scotland, had gone to work with the Pennsylvania Railroad at age fourteen in 1855. Starting as office boy to the general superintendent at Altoona, he learned telegraphy and worked indefatigably at all jobs that came his way. He was chosen in 1861, aged twenty, to take charge of a special train which carried Abraham Lincoln from Harrisburg to Philadelphia on his way to inauguration in Washington. This part of the journey was kept secret because of reports of a conspiracy to assassinate Mr. Lincoln, and was accomplished without untoward incident by night, in a single car and locomotive.1

1 Odhner, Carl T. John Pitcairn, a Biography, NCL, February, 1917, 79-86, passim; History and Evidence of the Passage of Abraham Lincoln from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Washington, D. C., on the 22nd and 23rd of February, 1861. Pinkertons National Detective Agency, 1868, passim, ANCAR.



After responsible service in charge of troop movements during the Civil War, Pitcairn was appointed superintendent of a section of the Pennsylvania Railroad, resigning to become general manager of the Oil Creek and Allegheny River Railroad, connecting Pittsburgh with the Oil City area--then in the midst of an oil boom. In 1871 Pitcairn organized two refineries and became associated with the H. L. Taylor Company, then the leading oil-producing firm in America.2

2 Odhner, op. cit. 87ff.

In a conflict against John D. Rockefeller and his interests in the Pennsylvania oil fields in 1872, Pitcairn played a prominent part in defeating the Rockefeller associates temporarily. Through combination of forces and efforts to create needed legislation, Pitcairn tried to temper the laissez-faire capitalism of Rockefeller and his associates. Although he refused Rockefellers offer to consolidate with his group, the Southern Improvement Company, Pitcairns fortune was assured through interests in railroads, oil transportation and refining and later, the Pittsburgh       
Plate Glass Company.3

3 Ibid., March 1917, XXXVIL, 152ff; John Pitcairn Diary, February 20-May 15, 1872, ANCAR

The educational system on which the Academy was tacitly modeled more closely than any other was that of the Moravians of Pennsylvania. Rev. William H. Benade, (1816-1905) dynamic leader of the Academy movement, son of Bishop Andrew Benade, Moravian leader and educator, attended Moravian schools in preparing for the ministry. Following graduation from the theological school of the United Brethren in 1835, he spent six years as a teacher in the Moravian Nazareth Hall School, thus following the Moravian custom of completing the training of ministers by teaching experience.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 12 Benade was ordained in 1840.

A lurking unease with the Moravian and other doctrines of the Trinity; brought Benade to read Swedenborgian literature on the subject with interest in 1842 and 1843. In 1844 he preached Swedenborgian teachings to a Moravian Congregation in Philadelphia for some time with good acceptance, until he announced the source of his ideas. At once he was locked out of the church. He joined forces with the New Church in Philadelphia in 1845, after considerable study of Swedenborgs theology under the Rev. Richard de Charms, a strong fundamentalist of the New Church.1

1 Odhner, Carl T., William Henry Benade, NCL, August-September, 1905, XXV, 449-461.

It is evident from a comparison of early Academy education with that of the Moravians as described in Mabel Hallers Early Moravian Education in Pennsylvania2 that the two systems had in common:

2 Moravian Historical Society, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, l953, Chapters III, IV, V, VII, VIII.

1. A strong religious conviction permeating both instruction and general school life.

2. Participation of earnest adults with a low pupil to teacher ratio.

3. Strong emphasis upon the cooperation of the home in the educational process, and the view of the school as an extension of the home.

4. Emphasis upon the importance of childhood religious education, and control of environment in the interests of an all-round influence and guidance.

5. High regard for the individual child with efforts to lead pupils through their affections as far as practicable, employing sense-impressions, and unexpected rewards, such as dinners and feasts.



6. Basically a paternalistic effect, despite emphasis upon rational involvement of the individual.

7. Separate instruction of boys and girls as much as practicable.l

1 Odhner, Carl, T., William Henry Benade, NCL, August-September, 1905, XXV, 449-461; December 1905, 721-731. Also Benade letters and papers, ANCAR.

It may also have been from the Gemeinhaus, or multi-purpose school and community building of the Bethlehem Moravians that the Academy developed several schools and uses in a single institution,2 but in any event, it was a natural way to begin and to grow.

2 Haller, op. cit., 9f.

That the line of demarcation between college and theological curricula was not very clear in the Academy was attested in its first year of operation, when a number of the students were told, as tactfully as possible, that they were reduced to the college level. They continued to attend classes just about as before while completing their college work.3 This evident close relationship was a reminder that the first college programs in America had indeed been developed for the preparation of the ministry, and that the theological school as a separate institution did not exist till well after the colonial period. And the lack of a clear line of demarcation was still to be noted as late as 1876, the year the Academy was founded.4

3 Tafel, L. H., to R. L. Tafel, March 21, 1878.

4 Sack, Saul, History of Higher Education in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1963, I, 324f., 351; Kelly, Robert L., Theological Education in America, George H. Doran, New York, 1924, 23f.

As Sack has pointed out in treating of the curricula of the Protestant theological schools, the Presbyterian formula of Edinburgh of 1729, focused by the Princeton Theological Seminary statement of 1811, prevailed through the Nineteenth Century in Pennsylvania.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 14 This formula called for skill in the original languages, such arts and sciences as are handmaidens unto Divinity, a general grasp of theology, and familiarity with Scripture.1

1 Sack, op. cit., 376f.

As to colleges per se, the classical liberal studies tended to prevail; Franklins suggestions of practical arts were shelved, nor did the efforts to promote a functional curriculum, even when backed by Thomas Jefferson and George Ticknor, enjoy much immediate success.2 This was not to say that change did not occur. And most of these elements of change in the national period noted by Paul Monroe would seem to represent progress: broadening of the curriculum, development of professional schools, the reorganization of administration, change from religious to secular control, and development of state universities. Modern foreign languages appeared in the 1820s, and in spite of the Yale Report of 1828, Yale established an observatory and reorganized its curriculum with greater emphasis upon science and modern languages in 1839.3

2 Monroe, Paul, Founding of the American Public School System, MacMillan, New York, 1940, I, 420; Cremin and Butts, op. cit., 224f.

3 Ibid., 420-28, passim.

The secularization of education in America, beginning gradually toward the end of the Colonial era, gained considerable headway until, after 1850, in Browns view, we see the preponderance of the Church in educational affairs supplanted by that of the state.4 This trend was at the heart of the Academys desire to supply education to the children of its members. The German scholarship which Ticknor observed and admired also, however, worked in the anti-religious trend, as he wrote Jefferson in 1815, Another professor of much reputation (Schultz) teaches that a miracle is a natural and a revelation a metaphysical impossibility.1

4 Brown, Samuel Windsor, The Secularization of American Education, Teachers College of Columbia University Contributions to Education, Number 49, New York, 1912, 155.

1 Ticknor, George, to Thomas Jefferson, October 14, 1815, quoted in Hofstadter, Richard, and Smith, Wilson, American Higher Education, A Documentary History, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1961, I, 258.



4. Comparison with Similar Institutions in Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Area

Germantown Academy and The George School are nearby schools comparable in several ways with the secondary schools of the Academy. In 1865, Principal Cyrus V. Mays of Germantown Academy remarked in a circular: The spirit of education... should be eminently religious. Not to teach religion alone, but all things religiously .... Education should be organic and complete, not mechanical .... It should be free and natural ... (not) cramped. The Pupil should have sufficient liberty to manifest decidedly his individual character .... (It should proceed) from the simple to the complex; from observation to conception, and from the conception of material things to that of abstract ideas.2 This was not too far from the Academys educational concepts as they might have been stated by Benade. The Germantown Academy curriculum at this time included history of the United States, Greece, and Rome, with a textbook for each; arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, surveying and analytical geometry; natural philosophy and chemistry, botany, mineralogy, geology, anatomy and physiology. In each subject there was a textbook, some pages of which had to be memorized.3

2 Brown, Everett H., et al, A History of the Germantown Academy, S. H. Burbank, Philadelphia, 1910, 192.

3 Ibid., 193.

George School, begun by the Race Street Friends in 1893, just about ten years after the secondary department of the Academy had been formed, had a development which in several respects parallels that of the Academy, its long-time sports rival. George School began as a religious-oriented school in which the periodical meeting of the Friends played a prominent part.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 16 Education was a strong motive with the Friends, who began to plan for schools as soon as their homes were built. They recognized the need for education in the democratic community, but still thought of themselves as a peculiar people, with a guarded education, stressing self-control and restraint, and religious motivation strongly underlying all courses.1

1 History of George School, 1893-1943, written by a committee of the George School Alumni Association, headed by George A. Walton, George School, Pennsylvania, 1943, 7. 9. 18-28.

The Academy of the New Church came into being in Philadelphia, in the center of a region well-supplied with educational institutions of all levels. Especially did academies and preparatory schools abound in the area. As to curriculum and organization, the Academy schools were similar to other schools. The Academys distinctive element was the religious concept of a new revelation which its administrators and teachers sought to make fundamental and central to all instruction and relationships. When in 1876 W. H. Benade and his eleven co-councilors established in religious solemnity The Academy of the New Church, they first acknowledged the theological writings of Swedenborg as a new revelation or dispensation of Divine truth, in which they saw the promised Second Coming of the Lord.

Only when it came to finding practical means for their spiritual ends did the establishment of schools become a part of their planning. And in this initial formal declaration, only a theological school was mentioned as the first end proposed by our union. Other ends were to be: collection, preservation, and publication of Swedenborgs theological writings and preparation and publication of doctrinal studies.2

2 Benade, W. H., Declaration of Principles of the Academy, June 19, 1876, ANCAR.

After the theological school was founded, in 1877, it became apparent that, in successive order, a college, a kindergarten, a Boys School and a Girls School were also needed to support the general aim of the Academy.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 17 The college was needed to prepare students for theology; the Kindergarten to support and extend the influence of the home into formal schooling; and the Boys and Girls Schools were intended to fill the gap between kindergarten and college, thus realizing Benades ambition of completing the pattern of childhood and youth education under the aegis of the New Church.



Chapter II.


1. Predecessor Institutions of Various Levels

The Academy of the New Church was not the first educational response to the publications of Baron Swedenborg, as eighteenth Century followers called him. During the 127-year period between the London publication of the first volume of Arcana Coelestia1 in 1749 and the establishment of the Academy in Philadelphia in 7876, some fifty-two schools having some connection with the New Church came into being.2 Thirty-three of the schools were English, seventeen American, and one Swedish. The great majority were at the elementary level, forty-two being classed as infant or elementary schools; six offered both elementary and secondary work; two were theological schools, one an experiment in adult education, while at least one defies classification.3

1 Odhner, C. T., Annals of the New Church, hereinafter Annals Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1904, 63.

2 Of the total, two lack date of establishment and cessation, evidence of their existence being confined to a single reference in contemporary publications; evidence concerning at least three others is scanty. Sawson, Percy, to R.R. Gladish, Aug. 16, 1955; Intellectual Repository, hereinafter IR Sept. 1835, III, 623; Ibid., April 1825, VII, 517; New Jerusalem Magazine and Theological Inspector, Jan. 1828, III, 26. The numbers given in this paragraph should therefore be understood as approximate.

3 IR, June, 1850, XI, 238; Ibid., Nov., 1859, VI, 520f; Conference Minutes 1879, Append., III.



A. New Church and New Church-Related Schools of England

A system of regular school support for non-private schools came into being under the General Conference of the New Jerusalem of England in 1823 with the 3000 legacy of Thomas Chester for the education of poor children.1 Other legacies and gifts were added later. A pound sterling a year was allowed for each pupil, but as time went on, local societies of the church and student fees in the form of weekly pence contributed to the support of the schools. Two prominent purposes behind the schools were charitable public service and proselytizing for the New Church, the latter purpose not being realized to any appreciable degree.2

1 Hindmarsh, Robert, Rise and Progress of the New Jerusalem Church In England, America, and Other Parts, hereinafter, RP, Hodson & Son, London, 1861, 407.

2 A valuable picture of the beginning, development, decline, and end of one of these New Church charity schools is given in the Reports of the New Jerusalem Free School, published annually from 1823 to 1854 by the New Jerusalem Free School Society of London, bound volumes of which are the library of the Swedenborg Society in London, and The Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

The influence of religion in the English New Church schools varied with the zeal of the school staff and that of the church membership; still, a minimal amount of doctrinal instruction was required by Conference of all schools receiving its support up to the time of the official suspension of the church schools in 1907.3 Analysis of the school records over the eighty-five years of their greatest activity (1822-1907) indicates that approximately 200,000 English children gained at least a smattering of religious knowledge through the New Church day schools. When the teeming Sunday Schools of Conference are added, the total may have reached a half-million.4

3 IR, June 1874, XXI, 277f; Report of the Committee on Education appointed by the General Conference, 1893-1914, MS. Notebook at the Swedenborg House, London, passim.

4 Ibid.



By the time of the Academys founding in 1876, the English New Church schools had reached a period of decline, partly owing to the Education Act of 1870, one of whose clauses forbade the teaching of Specific or denominational doctrine during the regular schoolday.l Other factors included declining missionary zeal, lack of a central educational body to develop and encourage education in the Church, and the development of a national education establishment in Britain.2 Thus the need for and the missionary uses of the New Church schools were sharply reduced, and in 1907 the Conference declared that the day school project was terminated.3 Since 1907 there has been but one English school in the sphere of Conference, namely its theological school, the New Church College, at Woodford Green, a suburb northeast of London.4

1 Hoddsworth, W. A., The Elementary Education Act, 1817, Popularly Explained, Routledge, London, 1871, 101.

2 Smith, Frank, A History of the English Elementary Schools, Oxford University Press, 1937, 204ff.

3 Report of the Committee on Education Appointed by the General Conference, Entry for 1907, (OP. Cit.)

4 Vickers, P. V. Report of the Principal, Yearbook of the General Conference, 1964-65, The General Conference of the New Church, London, 53f.

B. New Church and New Church-Related Schools under the General Convention of the United States

The American Convention (organized in Philadelphia in 1817) acted to encourage the establishment of schools in the societies of the church with its acceptance of the ambitious Hobart report of 1838, but failed thereafter to make education a responsibility of Convention itself.5


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 21 Nevertheless, some eighteen New Church schools came into being in the Conventions sphere of influence, fourteen of them prior to 1876. The American schools were much smaller, on the average, than those of England, and were intended to aid in the education of the children of the societies of the church, not as missionary ventures.

5 Report of the Committee on a High School, New Jerusalem Magazine, Sept. 1835, XII, 33f., hereinafter N. J. Mag.; Ibid,. Nov. 1838, XII, 85; Report of the Standing Committee on Moral and Religious Instruction, Ibid. July 1839, XII, 33f.

A wave of enthusiasm for New Church education, created to a large degree by the Rev. Samuel Worcester, brought ten society schools into being, mostly in New England, between 1836 and 1844. However, the enthusiasm was short-lived, for all ten had closed by 1845.1 A further damper was placed on Convention educational efforts when the Rev. Thomas Worcester, president of Convention, declared in 1855 that ordinary education was a worldly use and should not be performed by the Church.2

1 Annals, 499.

2 Worcester, Thomas, The Presidents Address, Convention Journal, June, 1855, 13f.

Three Convention-related schools have lasted to the present. One of these is at Urbana, Ohio, chartered in 1850 as Urbana University, which has offered education more on the secondary and elementary levels than on the college level during its precarious existence until 1960 when it was reorganized from a junior college into what is intended to become a four-year secular college.3 A school at Waltham, Massachusetts, founded in 1860, ceased to operate as a school of the New Church in 1912, although its governing board continues to be the New Church Institute of Education. The schools name was changed to the Waltham School for Girls in 1911, and to the Chapel Hill School in 1937.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 22 The third Convention-related school to remain open to the present is the former New-Church Theological School of Cambridge, Massachusetts, now the Swedenborg School of Religion of Newton, Massachusetts (1967).2

3 Urbana Junior College Catalog, 1960-61; also excerpts, copies, and originals of official studies, periodical accounts, minutes and letters on Urbana College in present writers possession.

1 Chapel Hill School Handbook, 1943-1944; Worcester, Benjamin, The Early History of the Waltham New-Church School, n. d.

2 New Church Messenger, May 1966, CLXXXVI, 80; ibid., June 1967.CLXXXVII, 90f; Worcester, John, MS. History of the Theological School of the General Convention, Convention Archives, Cambridge.

C. Benades Cherry Street School, Philadelphia

Coming from the Moravian Church with its well-established system of day schools under control of the clergy, Rev. W. H. Benade began almost at once to promote distinctively New Church education in his work as a New Church minister. He experimented with a small boys school for the children of society members when pastor of the First Society of Philadelphia. The school lasted about two years from 1847 to 1849.3 Then, having resigned from the First Society, which he found intractable to his ideas of strong priestly leadership, he established a new society in the city with a nucleus of followers. This was named The Philadelphia Society, in the sense of brotherly love, and Benade declared that the education of children was to be its specific use of charity.4

3 Benade, W. H., to J. P. Stuart, Jan. 22, 1850; Bewley, Thomas J., Mr. Benades First new Church School, New Church Life, hereinafter NCL, March, 1901, XXIX, 182f.

4 Benade, W. H., to J. P. Stuart, Jan. 9, 1851. All correspondence cited herein, unless otherwise noted, is filed and cataloged in the archives of the New Church Library, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

The Philadelphia Society bought a lot at Cherry and Claymont streets, about a mile northwest of the City Hall, and there erected a two-story building combining the uses of church and school. Classes began January 12, 1857, and the school continued till the spring of 1861, when it was suspended, largely on account of the Civil War. Benade was sole teacher at first, but in the fall of 1857 was joined by Dr. Leonard Tafel after his resignation as professor of language at Urbana, and other assistants.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 23 About 35 students were in attendance at the end of the second year.2

1 Benade, W. H., report of the Philadelphia Society, Convention Journal, June, 1858, 57f.; Report of the Philadelphia Society to the Pennsylvania Association, August, 1861, NJM, Nov. 1861, XXXIV, 203

2 Ibid.

Despite its short life, the Cherry Street School stands as an important milestone in the development of the Academy. It exhibited a New Church school as a going concern where able work was being done in an experimental atmosphere; it gave Benade an opportunity to try out his theories of education and to learn from the German scholar, Dr. Leonard Tafel; and it created the beginnings of a tradition in the area and among the people who were, sixteen years after its suspension, to launch the Academy Schools in the same building in the fall of 1877.3 That Benade was alert to the importance of experimentation is evident from his correspondence.4

3 Odhner, C. T., William Henry Benade, NCL, October, 1905, XXV, 614.

4 Tafel, Rudolf, to Benade, Jan. 7, 1850; Benade, W. H., to J. P. Stuart, Feb. 7, 1854.

Aside from the establishment of the Cherry Street School, the laying of its corner stone in 1856 gave Benade an opportunity of declaring publicly his conviction as to the importance of education within the church, and simultaneously of challenging the large Convention majority opposed to church education, led by Conventions president, Thomas Worcester, who in the previous years presidential address had asserted that the church had no call to engage in teaching secular subjects.5

5 Convention Journal, June, 1855, 13f.

The school itself, Benade said, would be founded on the great truth of the Divine Human of the Lord, and in its halls children would be prepared for life and further education in heaven.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 24 And looking ... down the vista of the coming years, Benade pictured, not only many more similar schools, but also a great house, a wonderful house of science and knowledge, and instruction and education, with its youth and young men, and middle-aged and old men, with its learning, and intelligence, and wisdom, and its universal sphere of New Church Educational life.1 In these words Benade established as a long-term goal of Academy education the ideal of a university, to which the institution remains committed today.

1. Benade, W. H., Speech at Laying of Corner Stone, Cherry Street School House, Sept. 11, 1856, Academy of the New Church Archives, Bryn Athyn, Pa., hereinafter, ANCAR.

2. Genesis of the Feeling of Need for the Academy of the New Church

A. Genesis of the Distinctive Academy Approach to Education

The Academy was based on this concept of Swedenborgs theological writings; namely, that these writings constitute a new divine revelation intended for all mankind, and present the spiritual sense of the Old and New Testaments. Following this belief, a new and distinctive church is required, since no other church will cherish these ideas. This new church then has a responsibility to educate men in the theological writings of Swedenborg. Since the young need to be made acquainted with these concepts in relation to all knowledge, New Church schools are needed. Such schools are seen as extensions of the home, which is seen as the unitary center of human society. Such education puts the young in freedom to choose or reject the New Church when they become of age, since free choice cannot be made in ignorance.2

2 Pendleton, Willard D., Foundations of New Church Education, Academy Book Room Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1957, 1-20, passim.

B. Development of Academy Principles by Richard De Charms

The Academy of the New Church traced its distinctive views back to the separatist interpretations of Robert Hindmarsh instead of to the liberal views of John Clowes.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 25 The principal agent in the New World for this influence was the Rev. Richard De Charms, Sr. (1796-1863) De Charms became converted to the New Church as a youth, studied theology under the Rev. Thomas Worcester in Boston following his graduation from Yale in 1826, and went to tendon in 1830 where for two years he studied theology under the Rev. Samuel Noble, coadjutor and sharer of Hindmarshs strong views on the absolute divine authority of the theological writings of Swedenborg.1

3 RP 54f.

1 De Charms, Richard, MS. Autobiography, ANCAR, X524, 13-72, passim.

During six years of his ministry in Cincinnati, De Charms developed in the pages of his periodical, The Precursor, the doctrine of the divine authority of the theological writings of Swedenborg,2 the doctrine of the priesthood,3 the doctrine of order in the church,4 doctrine concerning the state of the Christian world,5 the importance of distinctive education,6 and the importance of Hebrew in the life of the church.7 These doctrines together were the core of what became known as the Academy position, and constitute, with the exception of the last, the foundation of the General Church today.

2 Precursor, I, 59, 348.

3 Ibid., 45, 121.

4 Ibid., 316, 332, 343, 361, 378, 390.

5 Ibid., 193.

6 Ibid., 175, 189, 201, 253.

7 Ibid., 113.

In 1844 De Charms met Benade, the son, then 28 years old, of the Moravian bishop of Pennsylvania, completed his conversion to the New Church, and ordained him into the ministry of the New Church in 1845.8

8 Annals, 512f.; Block, M. B., The New Church in the New World, Holt, New York, 1932, 205f.



C. W. H. Benade and J. P. Stuart

When Benade took De Charms place as pastor of the Philadelphia First Society in 1845, he also took over the latters role as leading advocate of the strict constructionist, as Benade called it--later the Academy, position.1 Early in Benades career as a New Church minister, he made the acquaintance of another minister from the old church who sympathized with the ideas of distinctiveness and tighter discipline within the ranks of the New Church. This was the Rev. J. P. Stuart, a former Presbyterian minister, educated at Illinois College and at Yale, who was baptized into the New Church in 1845 and ordained in 1847. As missionary in Ohio, he inspired the launching of Urbana University. Stuart strengthened Benade in separatist and educational ideas.2

1 Schreck, E. J. E., MS. Biography of W. H. Benade, ANCAR 401.

2 Odhner, C. T., MS. Biography of J. P. Stuart, ANCAR 718.

The Academy came into being through a movement aimed at internal evangelization in the American Convention, and if there was something of plotting in the movement, then Benade and Stuart were the arch-plotters. For a quarter of a century, starting before 1850, they were conversing and writing to each other in the interests of a movement to restore the Convention to a healthy condition largely through education and a crusade for childhood education in the church.3 The term Academy is used as early as 1859 in a letter of Benade to Stuart, in which he refers to a talk about the Academy, suggests projects and members for the organization, and proposes that the organization be kept private, not secret, and that no members are to be admitted except by unanimous vote. The first project suggested was a complete digest of the Writings which shall enable the Student to turn at once to any subject and there find all that E. S. [Swedenborg] has written upon....4

3 Benade, W. H., to J. P. Stuart, Jan. 22, 1850.

4 Benade, W. H., to J.P. Stuart, Dec. 6, 1859.



The original idea of the Academy seems to have resembled a species of scientific fellowship much in vogue in the Old World, then becoming popular in America. However, a recurring element in the plans for the Academy was a theological training school, or as Benade and Stuart jokingly called it, a school of the prophets, or a school of priests. Ten years before the Academy actually came into being, Benade was quite satisfied with their planning, and declared that they lacked only money to bring their vision to fruition.1

1 Benade, W. H., to J. P. Stuart, Jan. 5, 1866.

D. Declaration of Academy Principles, June 19, 1876

The occasion, long awaited by Benade and Stuart, when the Academy could be organized and publicly known and proceed with its work was June 19, 1876, and the place, a home in Philadelphia. At a ceremonial evening meeting, Benade, selected as presiding officer with the title of Chancellor at a previous meeting of June 2,2 brought in a statement of principles by request of the membership. The declaration was read and signed by the twelve members of the Academy Council, all of whom were present. The meeting closed with administration of the holy supper, attesting to the religious solemnity of the occasion.3

3 ANC Council Minutes, June 2, 1876.

The Declaration of Principles begins with a reference to Swedenborgs True Christian Religion in which Swedenborgs extraordinary mission is described. After quoting Swedenborgs statement that he received not anything pertaining to the doctrine of the New Church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while he read the Word,4 the Declaration creates a body of the Lords New Church, and pledges the members to mutual counsel and assistance in seeing the Lords will in the interior revelations of His truth, at this day given, and in doing it. Cultivation and promulgation of those divine revelations is to be carried on through these specific uses:


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 28 preparation of young men for the ministry; collection, publication, and preservation of manuscripts and original editions of those writings which constitute the Second Advent of the Lord; and publication of doctrinal works based upon them--so that the Lord in His Coming may be received by His Own, and the New Jerusalem may be established as His Celestial and Spiritual Kingdom on the Earth.l

4 TCR, 779.

1 Benade, W. H., Declaration of Principles of the Academy, June 19, 1876, ANCAR 400X.

Signatures of the following twelve persons were then appended, with the statement that they constituted the Council of the Academy of the New Jerusalem. (The name was changed to "The Academy of the New Church during its first year.) The signers were: William H. Benade, J. R. Hibbard, N. C. Burnham, J. P. Stuart, Samuel M. Warren, R. L. Tafel, L. H. Tafel, F. E. Boericke, David McCandless, John Pitcairn, Jr., Walter C. Childs, Frank Ballou. The first seven were Convention ministers; F. E. Boericke was a pharmacist and physician at whose house the meeting was held, while the final four were businessmen who had rallied to Benades cause in Pittsburgh.2 Two of the charter purposes stated the following year do not occur in this declaration. They are: promoting education in all of its various forms and establishing a library. Otherwise the document signed June 19, 1876, is as complete an instrument of purpose as the later charter.3 It is also apparent that in the light of the content and tone of the Declaration,, the Academy of the New Church was first a church and then a school, rather than the other way round.

2 Ibid.

3 Charter of the Academy of the New Church, Article II.

3. The Granting of a Charter

On June 19, 1877, one year after the organization meeting of the Academy, and by repeated coincidence on the 19th of June,4 the Academy Council voted to apply for a charter, which, by the Pennsylvania Legislatures Act of 1874, thereafter was to be issued by the courts of common pleas.1

4 Farrington, E. A., to W. C. Childs, June 19, 1877. This is the day in 1770 designated in TCR 791 for promulgation of the Lords Second Coming.

1 Act of April 29, 1874, Public Law 73. For an account of the steps whereby this power descended from the legislature to the local courts, see Sack, Saul, The State and Higher Education, Pennsylvania History, July, 1959, XXVI, 226ff.



Acting upon legal advice, the Council, headed by J. P. Stuart, vice chancellor in charge in the absence of Benade, who was then preparing to sail for an extended trip to Europe, prepared a draft of the charter during the summer.2 At a meeting of June 26, the Council, learning that Rev. Samuel Warren had refused to sign the articles of incorporation, not deeming it expedient that at the present time his name be publicly associated with the Academy, voted that the Rev. W. F. Pendleton be substituted as one of the incorporators.3 Warren himself wrote that while he accepted the Academys authority position in regard to the revelation made through Swedenborg, his resignation was caused by certain other unidentified doctrinal differences.4

2 Campbell, E. S., to J. P. Stuart, June 13, 1877.

3 ANC Council Minutes, June 26, 1877.

4 Warren, S. M., to J. P. Stuart, Aug. 7, 1878, quoted in Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Sept. 4, 1878.

Judge O. Newlin Fell made the Academy Charter legal and operative on November 3, 1877, by his signature and the affixing of the seal of the Court of Common Pleas No. 2, in Philadelphia. The Charter gives the name as The Academy of the New Church, and in Benades Declaration of Principles of 1876, Jerusalem occurred in place of Church. Evidence is tacking as to when the change was made, but the time is indicated as a meeting of June 3, 1877, when the Council was asked to consider the matter of the name.5

5 ANC Council Minutes, June 3, 1877.



The Charter states the purpose of the organization as propagating the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem and establishing the New Church signified in the Apocalypse by the New Jerusalem, promoting education in all of its various forms, educating young men for the ministry, publishing books, pamphlets, and other matter, and establishing a library.1 The place of business and office of the corporation was in Philadelphia2 and the corporation was to have perpetual existence.3 The corporators were the same twelve who signed the Declaration of Principles on June 19, 1876, except for the substitution of the Rev. W. F. Pendleton for Samuel Warren.4 The directors, or board of finance were: Rev. William H. Benade, Chancellor, then of Allegheny (sic), Pennsylvania; Rev. James P. Stuart, Vineland, New Jersey, Vice Chancellor and Secretary; Walter C. Childs, Pittsburgh, Treasurer, John Pitcairn, of Oil City, Pennsylvania, and David McCandless, Allegheny.5 The final article in the charter states that the corporation has no capital stock, that it may from time to time be endowed and may receive, hold, and devise property, provided that the clear yearly value of the Real Estate held by them shall not exceed twenty thousand dollars.6 The twenty thousand dollars item was specified in the law of 1874 for corporations of the first class, or non-profit corporations, and subsequently amended in 1933 to permit an unlimited amount of property to be held by such corporations.7 Academy legal advisors are currently looking into the question of whether an amendment to the Charter is necessary.8

1 ANC Charter, Article II

2 Ibid., Article III.

3 Ibid., Article IV.

4 Ibid., Article V.

5 Ibid., Article VI.

6 Ibid., Article VII.

7 Act of May 5, 1933, P. L. 105

8 Information from Attorney K. C. Acton, Bryn Athyn, July 15, 1965.



On Advice of counsel, about a year after the granting of the Charter, it was decided to apply for an amendment to the Charter in order to remove any shadow of doubt about the institutions rights in the matter of granting degrees. In accord with the provisions of the Law of 1874, therefore, (Section 42) an amendment to Article V. of the Charter was drawn up and approved by Judge D. Newlin Fell on January 18, 1879 reading, And they (the corporators or subscribers) shall have power to use a Common Seal, confer Degrees, and grant Diplomas as other colleges and universities.1

1 Amendment to the Charter of the Academy of the New Church, ditto copy in ANCAR #1.

The Academy Council or board of directors operated without formal by-laws until about 1891. These by-laws show that the Council accepted the necessary requirements of the law pertaining to notice of meetings, elections, and voting, and that the Chancellor retained as much control as the law allowed. Article V, Section 1 reads: The President, or in his absence, a member chosen by the meeting, shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the directors, shall have entire control and charge of the property of the Corporation and shall manage its business. He shall execute all contracts required to be under seal and all other officers shall report to him.2

2 ANC By-Laws, c. 1891, n. d., ANCAR #1.

The most recent edition of the by-laws specifies a corporation of forty members from whom the fifteen members of the board of directors shall be chosen.3 The newer instrument enables the Board to elect all officers, including the president.4 It gives the board full powers and authority for managing the corporations business1 and all investments.2


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 32 The sweeping presidential powers held by Benade in 1891-92 have been reduced; the treasurer is entrusted with the lions share of responsibility under the board.3

3 Academy of the New Church By-Laws, as amended to date of October 12, 1963, Article II, Section 1; Article IV, Section 1.

4 Ibid., Art. IV, Sec. 4.

1 Ibid., Sec. 5

2 Ibid., Sec. 6

3 Ibid., Art. VI, Sec. 1, 4.

4. Sources of Initial Financial Support

It seems unlikely that the Academy could have been formed when it was except for the financial ability and generosity of one man, John Pitcairn. When Benade left Philadelphia during the Civil War, he found a welcome in Pittsburgh as a pastor. Here he attracted to himself several relatively young men of energy and intellectual interests, successful in business, who adopted the Academy cause with fervor. Most prominent of these was John Pitcairn, then in process of building a fortune through railroading, oil transportation, and refining.4

4 Pitcairn, John, Diaries and notebooks, 1855-1884; especially, Diary, 1872, Jan. 5-April 10, for account of oil war and battle with Standard Oil interests. ANCAR

The first support for the Academy was a check given by Pitcairn on January 14, 1874, to finance the publication of a pamphlet aimed at convincing Conference and Convention ministers and others that they should forsake adult missionary attempts in favor of day school education for children of the church.5 Oddly enough, the Academys first outlay was a check of $100 for Wong Chin Foe, a Chinese mandarin who Stuart thought would advance the Academys cause through lecturing on Swedenborg, the publishing project having been delayed. After a month of coaching by Stuart, Wong Chin Foo was booked for lectures in Indianapolis and Richmond. He proved temperamental, refusing to lecture when the house was small, and failing to appear on time.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 33 Failure of this attempt probably confirmed the Academy in its opposition to extravagant proselytizing in the New Church.2

5 Framed check for $500 in ANC Library safe; Childs, Walter C., Some Reminiscences, NCL, Oct. 1917, XXXVII, 587-95; Ibid., Sept. 1934, LIV, 321f.

1 Letters on the Wong Chin Foo incident, ANCAR.

2 Stuart, J. P. Diary, Sept. 27, 1875, ANCAR.

In June, 1877, Treasurer Walter C. Childs wrote to a number of the members telling of the Academys need for funds to reimburse expenditures for education of students and publications. He refused to name an amount that would represent anyones share, in order not to interfere with individual freedom.3 By the end of 1878 the treasurer had a system of collections and acknowledgment under way. In nearly five years he recorded thirty-four different adult contributors, most of whom contributed more than once. A score or more of children and young people were also listed as contributors. In the five-year period, John Pitcairn is listed as making twenty-one contributions totaling $30,245, including one gift for endowment of $10,000 in Union Oil Company bonds. Second to Pitcairn was Dr. G. R. Starkey, who gave in the same period nearly $1600 in nineteen installments.4

3 Childs, W. C., to E. A. Farrington, June 18, 1877; June 20, 1877.

4 Childs, W. C., Cash and Letterbook, ANC, 1877-79, ANCAR 523.

A circular letter from Stuart and L. H. Tafel in January 1879 appealed for contributions while suggesting that free will of the membership had been over-emphasized. We should be able, the letter asserted, when the often repeated question is put, How does the Academy procure the means to carry on its school, publications, etc.? to make the straightforward reply, Every man and woman belonging to the Academy contributes regularly to its support.5 Every member was to contribute, and children too.

5 Stuart, J. P., and Tafel, L. H., Academy Circular Letter, Jan. 28, 1879 in J. P. Stuart File, ANCAR.

5. Selection of the Faculty

The Academy faculty began to function before it was assembled. During the Nineteenth Century it was common practice for ministers and other professional persons to get their training partially or wholly through an informal apprentice system.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 34 In the 1862 constitution of the Pennsylvania Association (a subdivision of Convention), for example, one of the duties of ministers in the second or pastoral degree was given as to teach students in theology.1

1 Constitution of the Pennsylvania Association of the New Jerusalem in Journal of the Pennsylvania Association, NJM, June 1862, XXXIV, 504.

Benade, whose personal force and drive to establish an organization made him the leader in the preliminary meetings of the Academy, was elected presiding officer at a meeting in New York City, June 2, 1875.2 Exactly a year later, he was named Chancellor.3 In the summer of 1875, Herman C. Vetterling, a young man of Swedish birth studying theology at Urbana under Dr. Frank Sewall, sought out J. P. Stuart and threw himself on our mercy as Stuart wrote Benade.4 After conferring with Academy members, Benade proceeded with a program for Vetterling, who first went to study with N.C. Burnham in Lancaster, finishing his theological training under Benade in Pittsburgh.5

2 ANC Council Minutes, June 2, 1875; Stuart, J. P. to Mary Stuart, June 3, 1875. Two references are given here to illustrate the fact that the ANC Council Minutes are of questionable reliability. L. H. Tafel, the secretary, either forgot to take minutes of the early meetings, or lost his notes, and had to reconstruct them from recollection, and no doubt, consultation with other sources. However, they seem generally accurate.--Note by Alfred Acton in ANC Minute book, Volume I.

3 ANC Council Minutes, June 2, 1876.

4 Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, July 2, 1875.

5 Pitcairn, John, to W. H. Benade, July 14, 1875.

Meanwhile, L. H. Tafel, pastor of a German New Church society in Philadelphia, during 1876 had from one to three students in theology in his home. E. C. Bostock arrived early in 1877 and took to the new development of the doctrines like a duck takes to swimming.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 35 In the same period three other ministerial candidates had apprenticed themselves under Dr. Leonard Tafel, father of L. H., who now resided in New York City. In the spring of 1877 two more students, John Whitehead and George D. Lang, had come to study with L. H. Tafel as Academy theological students.1

6 Tafel, L. H., to W. H. Benade, March 26, 1877.

1 Tafel, L. H., to W. H. Benade, April 20, 1877.

At the formal opening of the Academy Divinity School as it was called, Sept. 3, 1877, Vice Chancellor Stuart noted the presence of only L. H. Tafel and himself as faculty, although Dr. Frank Sewall attended the exercises as guest.2 It was a quiet opening: Chancellor Benade was in Europe with John Pitcairn; Dr. Leonard Tafel remained in New York, and N.C. Burnham, professor of systematic theology, did not attend. However, L. H. Tafel was present, and he could keep all the students busy.3 As professor of sacred languages and mathematics, he taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and two levels of mathematics on a four-hour-a-day teaching schedule.4

2 Stuart, J. P., Diary, Sept. 3, 1877.

3 ANC Programme, First Annual Commencement, May 15, 1878.

4 Tafel, L. H., to R. L. Tafel, Mar. 21, 1878.

Dr. Leonard Tafel, whose three New York students came to join the school in Philadelphia in November of 1877, traveled to Philadelphia himself four days a week to teach Chaldee (probably Aramaic), Syriac, and Latin. Chaldean and Syriac were meant to provide an enriched background for the grasp of Hebrew, an important subject in the Academys curriculum. The elder Tafel was reputed proficient in twenty-four languages, the younger in twelve.5

5 Ibid., to Benade, Aug. 3, 1878.

Head of the school was the aging vice-chancellor, J. P. Stuart. At first he came in from his Vineland, New Jersey, home just one day a week, but before the first year was over, he removed to Philadelphia.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 36 He taught rhetoric, and sermon-writing, and was busy in writing and editing Words for the New Church, the Academys broadside to the world in favor of the new principles. Stuart expressed his admiration for the scholarship and zeal of the two Tafels, father and son, which he described to the absent Chancellor with the words, thorough thoroughness.1

1 Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Oct. 24, 1877.

Dr. N. C. Burnham had come to Philadelphia from Lancaster to join the staff. As Professor of Systematic Theology, he specialized in the explanation of Swedenborgs system with the aid of numerous intricate diagrams developed over the years of his ministry. Stuart and the students agreed that his work was important and challenging. The Academy published his work on discrete degrees in 1887, which a reviewer in New Church Life considered outstanding for intrinsic and permanent worth among the publications of the Academys early years.2 Burnham, who was occasionally called Doctor in recognition of his part-time profession as homeopathic physician, was nearly blind when the Academy began its school, but, aided by an excellent memory and student assistants, continued on the faculty through the spring term of the school year 1880-87.3

2 Nathan C. Burnham, biographical sketch, NCL, Sept., 1891, 160 ff; Burnham, N.C., Discrete Degrees in Successive and Simultaneous Order, Illustrated by Diagrams, ANC, Philadelphia, 1887; Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Oct. 24, 1877; Bostock, E. C., to W. H. Benade, Dec. 13, 1877.

3 ANC Fourth Annual Commencement of the College, May 13, 1881.--Program.

Other teachers who served part time during the early years were E. A. Farrington, M. D., and G. R. Starkey, M. D. Farrington, listed as the Academys Professor of Physiology and Anatomy through the spring of 1882, also taught at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, and generally gave his lectures to the Academy school on Friday evenings, which enabled adults to attend in addition to the regular students. These lectures were appreciated for their original concepts inspired by Swedenborgs teachings, according to Stuart.4 Dr. Starkey, who had also taught at Hahnemann, was listed with the Academy as Professor of Zoology and Botany, and continued through the same period as Academy teacher.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 37 Part time instructors in such subjects as drawing and elocution were associated with the Academys instruction on an ad hoc basis in the early years.

4 Stuart, J. P., to T. L. Forrest, May 27, 1880.

1 ANC Fifth Annual Commencement Programme, May 24, 1882.

An effort was made from the first to confine the employment of teachers to members of the New Church sympathetic to the Academy, preferably members of the Academy, and, if possible, members of the clergy. When vacancies occurred in the faculty, they were filled with graduates of the Academy school, and sometimes temporarily with older students. It became a custom for theological students to teach a course or at least to help with tutoring of the younger students. It was relatively rare for non-New Church persons to be added to the staff, and such appointments were generally regarded as temporary expedients.2

2 Record of Academy Students and Teachers, 1883-91; Rollbook of ANC Boys School, 1881-91, passim.

6. Relationships to Community and Other Sects of the New Jerusalem Church

A. Temporary Merging of the Church and Academy

With publication in 1877 of the first issue of its Serial, Words for the New Church, entitled The Advent of the Lord, people in Convention and Conference, seeing the Academys name on the title-page, began to ask, What is the Academy?3 Stuart and Benade, therefore, published a brief explanation in the next edition of the Serial, issued in the following year. This statement noted that the Academy was composed of New Churchmen of England and America, incorporated as an educational institution under the laws of Pennsylvania. It recited the charter aims and announced the Academys purpose to establish a university for the elementary and academic 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.4

3 Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Oct. 24, 1877.

4 The Academy of the New Church, in Words for the New Church, II, 160.



Most members of the Academy were also members of the Pennsylvania Association, which, led by Benade, in 1883 reorganized itself into the General Church of Pennsylvania. Under Convention rules, this body had the power to establish an episcopal form of the ministry, and to receive as members any society anywhere that wished to associate with it. By 1885, the General Church of Pennsylvania had received societies in Ohio, Brooklyn, Kansas, and Chicago, in addition to those of Pennsylvania, Benade was elected each year by acclamation as its president, and since he had been made an ordaining minister by Convention in 1873, he took the title of Bishop and made use of the power to ordain.l Friction with Convention grew over the years until the councils of the General Church of Pennsylvania resolved on Nov. 15, 1890, to leave the Convention.2 The newly independent body then reorganized as The General Church of the Advent of the Lord.3 Benade, old and infirm, now held that there were two churches, one of which was the General Church of the Academy, and the other, the General Church of the Advent of the Lord. The Academy, devoted to education, was internal relative to the other church.4

1 Minutes of the Council of the Clergy, Gen. Ch. of Pa., Jan. 31, 1872; Nov. 16, 1884; May 19, 1885.

2 NCL, Jan., 1891, XI, 22ff.

3 Ibid., 119.

4 Journal of the First General Meeting of the General Church of the Advent of the Lord, Pittsburgh, June 23-26, 1892, 7, 77.

With the eventual withdrawal in 1897 of the entire church and Academy from Benade, and formation of The General Church of The New Jerusalem to replace The General Church of the Advent, a new definition of the relationship of the Academy and the General Church of the New Jerusalem occurred. Under this definition, the Academy was the educational arm of the General Church, closely linked to it, and by tradition possessing the self-same head--the executive bishop of the General Church. Gone was the concept that the Academy was itself a church, although its work involved the training of future ministers and members of the General Church, and also, by courtesy, the education of students from Convention, Conference, and Nova Hierosolyma--offshoot of the General Church in 1937.1

1 ANC Board of Directors Minutes, Oct. 9, 1897; Waelchli, Rev. F. E., General Church and the Academy, NCL, Sept., 1907, XXVII, 560f.; Admission, The Academy Journal, Catalog No., 1965-66, IV, 10; NCL, July, 1937, LVII, 289f.; Ibid., June, 1958, LVII, 262 ff.



Although for a time The Academy of the New Church was considered to embrace the local society schools on the elementary level,2 when the General Church of The New Jerusalem was organized in 1897, the local schools were consigned as parish schools to their respective societies. In Bryn Athyn, to which the Academy schools removed in 1897, the Bryn Athyn Elementary School, after some twenty years under Academy superintendency, acquired its own principal in 1916, and with the incorporation of the Bryn Athyn Church in 1920, came more and more under the direction of the Board of Trustees of the latter body.3

2 Catalogue of the Schools of the Academy of the New Church, 1890-91.

3 Bryn Athyn Church Minutes, Nov. 3, 1916; Sept. 24, 1920.

7. Recruitment of Students

As noted in a previous sub-section,4 students were not exactly recruited in the beginning period of the Academy theological school. Students seeking theological training, of ages from seventeen to middle age, made applications to Academy ministers. At first they were handled on an individual or tutorial basis, according to a rotation plan, but in the fall of 1877 they were called together in the old Cherry Street School building, where Benade had launched his school with the laying of the cornerstone in 1856, almost thirty-one years to a day previously.

4 II, 5.

What recruiting was done occurred by word of mouth. In the close-knit circle of the Academy, with its constant emphasis on distinctive education, it was expected that the children would be sent to the Academy schools when they reached the proper age.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 40 However, Stuart sent a special word to J. R. Hibbard, then a missionary under Convention, in 1877: Get students for our schools, and make friends for us everywhere.1

1 Stuart, J. P., to J. R. Hibbard, Sept. 3, 1877

Five students--ministeria1 candidates--were enrolled on September 3, 1877, for the re-opening of the Cherry Street school, which was held in the first floor quarters, the top floor being used for church services.2 On November 5 the three students who had been studying under Dr. Leonard Tafel in New York came to join the school at Philadelphia.3

2 Gymnasium Minutes, Book I, 2, ANCAR.

3 Stuart, J. P., Diary, Nov. 6, 1877.

When the second school year opened in September, 1878, ten students were in attendance, seven in theological school, and the other three listed for the beginning of the Academys college.4 In the years that followed, students were added at lower levels, the school expanding its offerings and faculty to serve them, until in 1890-91, the Philadelphia Academy schools contained 67 students, 34 male and 33 female, while schools in other centers, considered then to be branches of the Academy school system, contained 77 more for a total of 142 students. The Philadelphia schools were listed as having sixteen teachers, full and part-time, and seven student tutors and assistants.5

4 Tafel, L. H., to W. H. Benade, Sept. 5, 1878.

5 Catalogue of the Schools of the Academy of the New Church, 1890-91.

8. Development of the Library

A. Origin of the Library

The Academy founders named the library as one of the fundamental functions of the institution.6 In a printed leaflet of 1880 it was stated that a specialty was being made of collecting original editions and manuscripts of Swedenborgs writings, the manuscripts to be photolithographed.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 41 During the first years of the Academy, concern for the library was shown in Benades shipping of valuable books acquired on the continent of Europe and in England, and in Stuarts reporting to him by letter on the care and development of the library.2

6 ANC Charter, Art. II

1 Charter of the Academy of the New Church, Philadelphia, 1880.

2 Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Aug. 8, 1878.

The first librarian was probably John Whitehead, a theological student from 1877 to 1880, who kept a list of the Academys volumes in notebooks. In 1882 Charles Stuart, grandson of J. P., took charge of it. Then the collection consisted mainly of the writings of Swedenborg in English and Latin, classics, ecclesiastical histories, and many books on education, along with encyclopedias, medical charts, and books on Egypt.3

3 Pendleton, Freda, The Academy Library, NCL, June, 1943, LXIII, 253f.

B. The Writings of Swedenborg and Swedenborgiana

Before the Academy was formed, Benade exerted pressure in Convention to preserve the Swedenborg manuscripts abroad. He managed to have Dr. Rudolf L. Tafel, then professor at Washington University in St. Louis, sent to Sweden in 1868, where he remained two years. Tafel examined the Swedenborg documents, made reproductions of all those unpublished, and collected and edited a three-volume Documents Concerning the Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg.4

4 Published by the Swedenborg Society of London, 1875-1890; Documents, I, Preface, v f.

With much aid and encouragement from Alfred Acton (later Dean of the Theological School and bishop), in 1911 a collection of all the works owned or mentioned by Swedenborg was begun. This Swedenborg Library, housed in a special room in the library building erected that year in Bryn Athyn, included copies of most of the books in Swedenborgs personal library, as much as possible in the editions that he owned. Another, Star Collection consists of one copy of every edition of Swedenborgs works, numbering in 1966 about 2500 volumes.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 42 These collections were moved to special quarters in the new Pitcairn Hall in 1966.

1 Information from Librarian Lois Stebbing, Bryn Athyn, July, 1966.

C. Efforts of Benade and Pitcairn Abroad.

Benade and Pitcairn traveled in Europe, Egypt, and the Near East during 1877-79, and purchased many books, antiquities, and artifacts for the library and museum of the new institution.2 Benades greatest find he considered to be a collection of Egyptian statuettes and similar items in the possession of R. V. Lanzone, of Turin, and a facsimile copy of an Egyptian papyrus manuscript in hieroglyphics, made by Lanzone from the original in the Turin Egyptian Museum. Eventually Benade bought the 1300 pieces of the Lanzone Collection for 300 and had the papyrus manuscript published, Pitcairn providing financial backing for both projects. A copy of the manuscript publication is in the Academy library under the title, Le Domicile Des Esprits.3

2 Benade, W. H. to Dr. F. E. Boericke, Dec. 4, 1878.

3 Papyrus Du Musee De Turin, publie en Fac-Simile, par R.V. Lanzone, Librairie A. Frank, F. Vieweg, Proprietaire, Paris, 1879.

D. Publications

A function closely related to the library, and also a charter purpose of the Academy was the work of publication.4 From the beginning of the Academy movement, Benade showed keen appreciation of the uses of publications, and other Academy figures shared this view. Periodicals to keep the membership informed; texts for classroom use; ad hoc publications to inform the Academys public of official views of contemporary problems, and the publication of Swedenborgs writings and collateral works--all these were represented in the early publications of the Academy.

4 ANC Charter, Art. II.

First projected publication in the periodical division, although termed a serial, was Words for the New Church, which was published by J. B. Lippincott and company for the Academy from 1877 to 1886, in thirteen installments.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 43 A young peoples magazine, New Church Life, brought out its first issue in 1881, but was so successful that in 1890 it was made the official organ of the Academy, and later, of the General Church.1 Third of the early periodicals was College Letters, a printed occasional circular published in seventeen numbers from 1886-1895.

1 NCL, Jan. 1890, X, 17.

Among early Academy publications for the classroom were N. C. Burnhams Discrete Degrees,2 Benades Conversations on Education, published in 1888, and Miss Evelyn Plummers Lessons in Anatomy for Children of the New Church.3

2 Supra, 35

3 ANC, Philadelphia, 1895.

Among the examples of ad hoc material in the early years is Documents Concerning the Disturbance Caused by the Rev. Louis H. Tafel (Philadelphia, 1890), and A Statement Concerning Recent Disturbances in the Church of the Academy of the New Church and in the General Church of the Advent (1897). The first was published in answer to a tract called, Protest against a Decision of the Bishop of the General Church of Pennsylvania, issued in print by Louis H. Tafel in 1889, and presented the other side of a bitter quarrel, while the second presented the Academy Board of Directors side of their struggle with the aging chancellor.

Other publications in the early years included the Catalogue of the Academy Schools, 1890-91, the Curriculum of 1878, the Charter, 7880, and various Commencement Programmes.

9. Buildings and Instructional Facilities

A. Temporary locations in Philadelphia



The Academys first students occupied the first floor of the old Cherry Street church-school building, on Cherry Street, above Twentieth,l L. H. Tafels Advent Society commencing occupancy of the-upper floor in the same year of 1877.2 In the fall of 1879, Benade held theological classes in his rooms at 110 Friedlander Street, within a block of the Cherry Street school.3

1 Supra, 39.

2 Tafel, L. H., to J. P. Stuart, Aug. 28, 1877.

3 Benade, W. H., to W. C. Childs, Nov. 10, 1879.

In 7882, following Benades marriage to Mrs. Annie Barnes, Benades quarters at 110 Friedland Street were used to house theological and college classes, and a newly-begun kindergarten. The Boys School remained at Cherry Street.4 In 1884 the new Girls School opened in a rented house at 2027 Vine Street.5

4 Benade, W. H., to W. F. Pendleton, Sept. 8, 1882.

5 NCL, Oct., 1884, IV, 160.

In an effort to bring the scattered classrooms closer together, the Academy in 1885 rented a large grey stone mansion on a quiet street nearby. Here, at 1700 Summer Street, Theological School, College, Girls School and library were housed, while the Boys School stayed at Cherry Street.6

6NCL, July, 1885, V, 112.

In 1887 the Academy bought a larger plot of ground with several buildings on it at 1821 Wallace Street. Here was room for all the schools, with a generous playground included.7

7 College Letters, VI, Oct. 22, 1887.

B. Buildings Begun in Bryn Athyn

Robert M. Glenn, a member of the Academy Council engaged in the real estate business, is credited with suggesting the area now called Bryn Athyn as a site for the Academy schools.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 45 Other sites were also considered, but the factors deciding for Bryn Athyn were service by two railway lines; location on the New York side of Philadelphia, hence closer to the intellectual center of the nation; higher ground, for health. The Media area, though equally beautiful, was already inhabited by Philadelphia society, and hence thought less suitable for a colony devoted to fundamentals.2

1 Stroh, Emil, A Short History of the Bryn Athyn Church.... in Bryn Athyn Church Record Book, I, hereinafter, BAC Minutes.

2 Information from Miss Celia Bellinger, July 17, 1936 and Raymond Pitcairn, Aug. 2, 1962.

A new building to serve the combined uses of society and school, the clubhouse, was erected in 1895, and used for elementary level classes for children of members who had already moved from the city.3 For a while, classes were held both in Philadelphia and Huntingdon Valley until the Philadelphia schools were closed by action of the board of directors, February 13, 1897.4

3 NCL, Oct. 1895, XV, 160.

4 Ibid., April, 1897, XVII, 64.

After the reorganization of 1897 under Bishop W.F. Pendleton, the Academy board offered the city property for sale and voted to reopen the schools in the country site.5 The schools opened October 4, 1897, in the clubhouse.6 Within a relatively few years, a number of new buildings were erected to house the uses of the Academy. These were a building for the Theological School, the College, and the Seminary, dedicated April 20, 1898;7 a dormitory, Glenn Hall, first used for boys, and later girls, 1902;8 Benade Hall, first and central building on the Bryn Athyn campus, occupied at first by all schools, including elementary, and library, occupied April 7, 1901;1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 46 Stuart Hall (Boys dormitory), dining hall, and heating plant, all built at once and occupied in 1905;2 Elementary school building (De Charms Hall) and library building, completed and occupied in 1910 and 1911, respectively.3

5 ANC Board Minuets, July 10, 1897.

6 NCL, Nov. 1897, XVII, 175.

7 Ibid., May 1898, XVIII, 79.

8 Ibid., Nov. 1902, XXII, 650.

1 Journal of Education hereinafter, Jour. Ed., 1901, 39.

2 NCL, Oct. 1904, XXIV, 569

3 Ibid., June 1910, XXX, 372f.; Ibid. May 1911, XXI, 353f.

In thirteen years, eight large buildings had been constructed to make the Academy in a measure a self-sufficient educational establishment occupying a spacious campus, and these buildings were largely the gift of one man--John Pitcairn.





1. The Underlying Philosophy of Education

A. Introduction

The Academy fully accepts the claim of Swedenborg to a plenary revelation from the Divine.1 To create an institution on this basis was the first object of Benades endeavor. Acceptance of this claim to a high and original source does not negate comparisons of Academy ideas with older concepts if it is allowed that much of human thought has been inspired by religious writings (such as the Bible, the Koran, and the sacred books of the East) also claiming the same source. Therefore the following section will present a brief summary of Academy educational philosophy and attempt to relate it to other philosophies in order to place it in a philosophico-educational setting.

1 Swedenborg, Emanuel, Divine Providence, hereinafter DP, 135.

B. Statements of Academy Philosophy Relating to Education

i. Nature of Man and Universe

Spokesmen for the Academy of the New Church posit a teleological universe in which the human form is fundamental.2 Mans mind is not a source, but a receptacle of life from the Divine; therefore all human creation is a synthetic gift. It is a dual mind whose discrete aspects sensate and can connect the natural and spiritual worlds.3 Man, born as an animal, but possessing faculties of will and understanding, becomes human with education; and man is indefinitely perfectible, since education continues to eternity.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 48 Observation of human behavior is insufficient without revelation to reach an understanding of mental growth, since spiritual forces operate on the mind. Divine Providence intimately directs the development of each person according to laws of growth, but in this work parents and teachers should cooperate. Laws of growth for the individual are similar to those for the race.2 Mans body should be brought into correspondence with the ideal world of the spirit. Since man was created a form of heaven, he is to be re-created into the original form he has lost, individually, and collectively, through freely-chosen evil.3 The road back requires a freely-chosen good life, inner and outer, identified in previous revelations, but only fully explained in a final revelation through Swedenborg.4

2 De Charms, George, New Church Educational Philosophy, Proposed chapter (1965) for The Academy: A Portrait, to be published by Sons of the Academy, Toronto, 1, 13; Benade, W. H., Notes on Form, (MS., ANCAR, c. 1889, 79f.

3 De Charms, George, Growth of the Mind, Revised, 1953, Academy Book Room, 1932, 7f.

1 Ibid., 16; Benade, W. H., Conversations on Education, ANC, Philadelphia, 1888, I, 3f.

2 De Charms, N. C. Ed. Phil., 3ff., op. cit.

3 Benade, W. H., Conversations, 8f., 10.

4 Ibid., passim.

ii. Nature of Mans Proper Education

The first Academy publications made clear that the New Church was not to be inimical to science. Though theories might clash, in a purposeful and unitary creation, facts on various planes had to agree. Mans mind had three degrees to be successively opened through study and life.5 Moreover, the ordained way to truth lay through a study of science in the light of religion.6 Swedenborgs writings marked the dawn of a new era in educational theory and practice. Education was for heaven, but heaven won after the full struggle of this world. The universal object of learning and teaching was use.7 The work of the teacher was to so order and organize knowledge that the child mind would behold spiritual truths, and see the Lord in all the operations of His creation.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 49 In the process of a true education, man gradually acquires rationality and liberty, and a spiritual conscience.2

5 DLW, 237.

6 Benade, W. H., Conversations on Education, 3f.

7 Ibid., 44.

1 Pendleton, W. D., Foundations of New Church Education, Academy Book Room, 1957, Revised 1963, 92, 95.

2 Benade, Conversations, 28.

Principles leaking toward educational method emerge: All deductions should be checked by induction.3 Avoid obvious doctrinal teaching in secular subjects; deeper truths should be taught subtly, as student interest is essential.4 Since the process of regeneration is correspondentially described in the Old Testament, then a study of the latter by means of Swedenborgs writings provides a true guide to education.5 Abstract thought, necessary for the seeing of truth, may be strengthened through study of science and mathematics.6 In sum, the purpose of New Church education is to inspire the rising generation to love and seek spiritual truth.7

3 Pendleton, N. D., Notes on Education, MS. in possession of Bishop W. D. Pendleton, I, 6f.

4 Ibid., 8.

5 De Charms, Growth, 93f.

6 Pendleton, W. D., Foundations, 37f., 50, 55, 61.

7 De Charms, N. C. Ed. Phil., 2.

iii. Nature of Contemporary Civilization and the Problem of Evil

The principal teaching of the writings of Swedenborg whose emphasis with the Academy tended to split it away from Convention was the doctrine of the state of the Christian world. Convention avoided this doctrine; the Academy stressed it in order to promote distinctive education. In 1878 the second issue of Words for the New Church was published with the title, State of the Christian World in an effort to convince Conference and Convention that they were wasting time in trying to convert the adult world about them.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 50 Thoroughly documented from Swedenborgs works, the 53-page serial stated that while no man can judge others internally by externals, yet the Christian Church as a dispensation is consummated, except for a remnant, and that the hope of the New Church will be for some time with gentiles and with the children of the New Church, provided that the latter can be protected from the direful spheres of the world and properly educated.1

1 Words for the New Church, II, 79, 114, f., 127f.

It was acknowledged that New Church children and adults were also inheritors of the decadent tendencies of the contemporary world. As one homespun poet put it:

You think youre going to live in peace,
Concealed from worldly view;
You think of children free from sin
Because theyre there with you.

How wrong, how wrong! My simple sir,
How very wrong, by jabers!
You may be hidden from the world,
But how about the neighbors?

And these children, sweet as pictures
Like the ones you see on easels,
These little imps have propriums,2
And sin breaks out like measles!3

2 Swedenborgian term for the selfish regard into which all men are born today.

3 McQueen, Alexander, Perils and Pitfalls of Community Life, Sons of Academy Bulletin, July, 1939, XX, 13f.

Benade suggested that wrong-doing children should be told that they have permitted themselves to be led by evil spirits who are delighted that the child is being punished.4

4 Benade, W. H., Conversations, 32.



iv. Principles Looking toward Pedagogical Procedure And Method.

A sampling of principles of pedagogy derived by Academy leaders from Swedenborgs writings follow: Children should be bent toward good, not broken by severity. No instruction should be given which cannot be extended into the spiritual realm.1 Instruction should be individualized for spiritual reasons. Education for heaven involves education for marriage, since true marriage is eternal. The natural development of the mind should not be forced: no systematic instruction should be given during the first five years, when the Lord is storing remains (states of childhood innocence and delight); children should be protected from things harsh and harmful; nor should children be put prematurely into adult work; the teacher should shun evils and bad states of mind before entering the classroom to protect his pupils from his bad spiritual associates. Only that which enters the mind with delight remains.2

1 Benade, Conversations, 5, 8, 12.

2 Ibid., 11-43 f., passim.

Benade thought of the pedagogical process as divided into two parts: the training of the will (education) and the shaping of the understanding (instruction). Thoughts, he wrote, were to be in-structed, or built within the mind; affections were to be e-ducated, or led out.3


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 52 In Benades second period of growth, ages six to fourteen, the fundamentals of all spiritual and natural knowledge should be given. In the third period, ages fourteen to adulthood, children should be taught how to question, and subjects apt for developing the rational faculty should be emphasized, such as history, comparative religions, mythology, languages, law, government, and theories of science and philosophy, because this is preeminently the period for the formation of the rational mind.1

3 Ibid., 4f. Authorities evidently do not agree on the etymological derivation of educate and education. Thus Weekley: Educate. From L. educare, cogn. with educere, to lead out, whence educe, eduction, etc. Weekley, Ernest, An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, E. P. Dutton, New York, 1921, 494; Skeat: educate. (L.) L. educatus, pp. of educare, to educate - L. e-ducere, to bring out. (Under Duke) Skeat, Rev. Walter W., A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, Harper, New York, 1882, 128; Oxford: EDUCATE v. (L. Educat ppl. stem of educare to rear, bring up (children, young animals), related to e d cere to lead forth (see Educe), which is sometimes used nearly in the same sense.) trans. or absol. A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1897, Vol. III, Part I, E-Every (Henry Bradley, Ed.) 44. EDUCATION. (ad. L. education-em f. Educare; the process of nourishing or rearing a child or young person, an animal. obs. Ibid. Dean Eldric S. Klein or rearing a child or young person, an animal. obs. Ibid. Dean S. Klein, Latin scholar at ANC, believes that Benade was at least shaky in his derivation, since education comes from educo, educare, and educo, educare means rear, foster, nourish. If the derivation were from the word meaning to lead out, the word would be eduction, not education. That the Latin words translated educate and educe might have a had a common root is possible, or even probable, but by the time they were translated into English, the meanings were different.

The Academy stood for an orderly classroom;2 the separation of boys and girls at the secondary level,3 and the preservation of a simple faith in the Word so that eventually the youth may attain a faith based on rational understanding and spiritual insight, informed by individual study of revelation and conjoined with a life of use.4 The degrees of use are also degrees of the neighbor, who is to be recognized in regard to ones self, ones work, wife, family, community, country, humanity, and the Lord.5

1 Benade, Conversations, 43f

2 Pendleton, W. D., Foundations, 96f.

3 Ibid., 158f.

4 De Charms, NC. Ed. Phil., 10f.

5 Pendleton, Foundations, 141f.

In the various subject-matter fields, the Academy has its own concepts of the uses involved, based upon Swedenborgs writings, but generally developed with cognizance of developments in the appropriate disciplines.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 53 Thus numbers and mathematics are linked to correspondences between spiritual and natural things;1 the origin of language is traced from tacit speech,2 and sports and physical education provide a realm in which youth may live his religion in ultimates, or external acts, because in ultimates there is power.3

1 Doering, C. E., Living Mathematics, Jour. Ed., Feb. 1927, XXIII, 67ff.

2 Curriculum Studies, General Church Educational Council, (dittoed) 1955, Foreign Language Report, D-section, 22f.

3 Swedenborg, DLW 216.

v. Philosophical Applications

A number of ways in which Academy philosophical concepts differ from those current in the learned world may be discerned in a recent paper by Dr. Hugo Lj. Odhner, then dean of the Academys Theological School. Some of these concepts are here presented in summary form:

The first universal of New Church philosophy is not the Cartesian doubt, but the clarifying principle of the universality of the human form--the philosophical doctrine of the Grand Man.

Discrete and continuous degrees are fundamental, as in the mode of creation through composition and compression described in Swedenborgs Principia, and reaffirmed in DLW 302. The Doctrine of Trines is also fundamental,4 as is the principle of end, cause, and effect, in meeting arguments of modern thinkers who deny purpose and avoid inquiry into final causes.

4 in every complete Thing there is a trine, which is called first, middle, and last; also end, cause, and effect; and also esse, fieri, and existere.... (Thus) in the ultimate, which is the trine, is because in it the prior things are together. Swedenborg, Doctrine of the Holy Scripture, 28

Concepts of Substance, Form, and Activity (or Use) are essential to reason. The very idea of a created universe requires the concept of God as the only Substance-in-Itself, and of love and wisdom as something more than abstractions.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 54 It requires also the acknowledgment that the Infinite Divine created the substances of the spiritual world as a realm of prior causes, and from these the natural world. Both worlds are of substances, but possess diverse and complementary attributes.

Space and time are not imaginary or subjective, but proper and essential attributes of matter in the ultimate degree of creation. Swedenborg teaches a realistic dualism in which the spiritual is seen as the origin of the natural.

The doctrine of universality or Recapitulation (that the individual repeats the development of the race) is recognized in Swedenborgs philosophy of history with its five dispensations.1

1 Supra, 5.

Axiology, the theory of values, is at last clarified in the Writings2 by the doctrine of discrete degrees of uses, various forms of the neighbor to whom good is to be done.3

2 In Academy literature, this capitalized term means the theological writings of Swedenborg, regarded as of Divine authority.

3 Odhner, Hugo Lj., The Place of Philosophy in the Curriculum of the Academy Schools, in Curricular Studies, (dittoed) General Church of the New Jerusalem Educational Council, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1955, Section C, 5ff, passim.

C. Similarities between the Academy and other Educational

Systems of the Past

i. Comenius

Educational principles of John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) which are in substantial agreement with those of the Academy and the New Church are briefly outlined below:

A belief in nationalism along with an international sympathy and interest.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 55 In Academy thought, conflicting interests are to be resolved according to the degree of the neighbor involved.1

1 AC 10336.

Education is directed to improving human life, and the world is created for man as its highest creature, the image of God, intended for a happy life here and in eternity.2

2 Comenius, John Amos, The Great Didactic, Trans. And ed. By M. W. Keatinge, Adam and Charles Black, London, l907, Supra, 46f.

The aims of education are the development of reason, moral character, and independence, and the understanding worship of God.3

3 Didactic, 34ff.; Supra, 47f.

Man is to be restored to the state of grace before the Fall through a proper Christian education.4

4 Didactic, VI, 52f.; 211f.; 20f.; Swedenborg, Conjugial Love, hereinafter CL, 81.

The way of nature is important, and learning should not be forced.5

5 Didactic, XIV, 98f.; Supra, 50.

The use of everything should be kept continually in view.6

6 Didactic, XVII, 127; Swedenborg, True Christian Religion, hereinafter, TCR, 67.

ii. Pestalozzi

Similarities between the ideas of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, famous humanist educator, (1746-1827) and those of the Academy and New Church are briefly indicated below:

Teaching is a worthy if not exalted use, so the Glulfi is proud to become a teacher in the humble village school.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 56 The value and importance of the teaching function is fully maintained in the Academy.2 Nature should be the guide, and forcing avoided.3

1 Pestalozzi, J. H., Leonard and Gertrude, XXI, XXXII, in Ulich, Robert, Three Thousand Years of Educational Wisdom, Selections from Great Documents, Harvard U. Press, Cambridge, 1961, 502-507.

2 Supra, 47, 50.

3 Leonard and Gertrude, 482; Supra, 50

Charity should not be exercised blindly, but with intelligence and sensitivity. People should be led to do for themselves.4

4 Leonard and Gertrude, 507; AC 9209.

iii. Froebel

Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), founder of the kindergarten, emphasized the tender and innocent states of early childhood upon the formation of the future adult, and this is equally true of New Church education.5

5 Froebel, Friedrich, Education of Man, tr. by W. N. Hailmann, D. Appleton, New York, 1899, Sec. No. 1, 15. Hereinafter section numbers instead of pages will be given for this work: Bryn Athyn Elementary School Curriculum, published by the Bryn Athyn Church, 1915, rev. 1926, 1-4. Hereinafter BAES Curriculum.

Froebel, like Pestalozzi, emphasized a gradual, natural education and development of the child.6 New Church schools delay entrance into first grade to age seven, if possible.7

6 Froebel, Education, 49.

7 BAES Curriculum, I, 2.

Froebel stressed the unity of God and that of the child.8

8 Froebel, 60, 61; Supra, 52.

Training of the hands in order to unite the hand and the intellect also is found in both Froebel1 and under the Academy.2

1 Op. Cit., 94.

2 Op. Cit., Handwork, Sec. VIII.



The use and necessity of play and recreation is found in both.3

3 Froebel, 97f.; BAES Curriculum, Sec. H, 3f.

Although Academy beliefs about the importance of early childhood education are similar to those of the three educators mentioned, in one matter of theory, the Academy departs markedly from Froebel and Pestalozzi, although not from Comenius. This is in regard to the idea that the basic nature of man is good.4 The teaching of Swedenborgs writings is that the hereditary nature of man since the Fall, is evil, or selfish. However, in the doctrine of Remains Swedenborg teaches that infants in their earliest states are spiritually associated with the highest angels, whence comes their sphere of innocence. During the earliest period, and to a lesser extent throughout life, remains of heavenly innocence, charity, and order are adjoined to the character, and this fact keeps the individual in an equilibrium between his evil proprium and the life of heaven, and hence free to make one or the other his permanent way of life.5 Thus Wordsworth is in complete agreement with Swedenborgian doctrine when he writes, Heaven lies about us in our infancy.6

6 Wordsworth, William, Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, The Poetical Works of Wordsworth, Crowell, New York, n. d., 499.

2. Determination of the Curriculum

A. Origins in Philosophy

Education, in the New Church view, was a process whereby a being born an animal with evil tendencies could eventually become an angel of heaven and an image and likeness of his Creator.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 58 Therefore education had to bring about a tremendous change in the inner life of each individual. In the process the school is but one agent--the home, unsensed spiritual associates, the Church, nature, human society are also at work--and penetrating all is the influence of Divine Providence, like an unseen current tugging at the stubborn hulk of mans free will.

1 Benade, Conversations, 18ff.

If Swedenborgs writings had disclosed the scope and complexity of the educational process, it was largely an inward disclosure. Outwardly education went on much as before. Swedenborgs writings supplied courses in religion and philosophy and modified some science courses, but basically the curriculum was not greatly changed. The mission of Swedenborg was seen to lie not in teaching science or factual knowledge, but in providing new interpretations. Speaking of the similarity of the Academys curriculum to those of other schools, W. D. Pendleton, current president, wrote, The difference is not so much one of content as it is of interpretation.2

2 Pendleton, W. D., Foundations, 21.

The Academys first published curriculum shows offerings somewhat heavier than those of comparable schools in physiology and anatomy, no doubt owing to Swedenborgs teachings as to the universality and correspondences of the human form. There were also courses in Swedenborgian philosophy on the college level, and religion courses at every level. These, reinforced by distinctive chapel services and classroom worship in the fewer grades constituted the New Church element which appeared in the catalogs and in the daily arrangements of the school.3

3 ANC Curriculum, 1878.



B. Influence of Custom and Tradition

While the Academy school might be new, its teachers brought considerable experience in pedagogy and school management to their assignment.1 Being concerned primarily with approaches and interpretations, this experienced faculty did not strive to develop an exotic academic menu. Religion, philosophy, daily chapel, sacred languages (brought to three by the Swedenborgian addition of Latin to Hebrew and Greek; mathematics, science, and the various branches into which the mother tongue was split then, such as grammar, rhetoric, philology and public discourse--these were the mainstays of the new Academy curriculum as they had been in the older curricula, and in contemporary curricula, with, perhaps, a larger emphasis upon sciences than previously.2

1 Supra, 21f, 25, 34f.

2 ANC Curriculum, 1878.

At the time of the Academys beginning, curricula of the college world were being infused with new sciences, and the older studies were giving way. The elective idea was beginning to permeate, and a debate arose between the adherents of the Harvard laissez faire student government and the Yale view which stressed the facultys role in loco parentis.3 With the return of many American visitors from European educational institutions, and with a number of eminent scholars from Europe established in American institutions, the more refined and exacting scholarship of the Old World was beginning to penetrate the New.4 This old world influence came strongly into the Academys classrooms through the Tafels.

3 Yale and Harvard, editorial in The Nation by E. L. Godkin, Jan. 19, 1882, 50f., in Hofstadter & Smith, EDS., American Higher Education, I, 730f.

4 Gilman, D. C., Launching, in ibid., 597f.

C. In Various Levels of Instruction or Separate Schools

i. Theological School

As Sack has pointed out in treating of the curricula of the Protestant theological schools, the Presbyterian formula of Edinburgh of 1728, focused by the Princeton Theological Seminary statement of 1811, prevailed through the Nineteenth Century in Pennsylvania, which may be taken as typical of the United States.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 60 This formula called for skill in the original languages, such arts and sciences as are handmaidens unto Divinity, a general grasp of theology, and familiarity with the holy scriptures.1 Relying upon material presented by Sack, we here offer a brief comparison between the studies offered by the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny in 1844-45, which remained standard for Protestant institutions through most of the Nineteenth Century, and those shown in the Academys first curriculum of 1878.

1 Sack, Saul, History of Higher Education in Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1963, I, 376f.

In the Academy curriculum, didactic, polemic, and casuistic theology are lacking, and sacraments are not mentioned. On the other hand, studies of the doctrines of the New Church, correspondences, significatives, and representatives, hieroglyphics, and the successive dispensations are found in the Academy curriculum but not in that of the Western Seminary. Another difference exists in the Academys Exposition of the Word, which dealt with the Internal sense of Biblical passages according to Swedenborg. Approximately the same number of courses are listed for both schools, but since the Academy attempted to cover its work in two years to the Western Seminarys three, it is understandable that the Academy program was not always encompassed in two years. Prior to 1900, the number of years spent in the Academys theological school was largely an individual matter, and varied from one to four years. Students came to the school with varying backgrounds and abilities, and when the faculty thought that a given student had completed the necessary requirements, combining work in the Collegiate department with that of the Theological School, he was graduated.2 By 1901 the Academy course was fixed at-three years, but with no pre-requisite degree mentioned, and it had become much more distinctive, showing little relationship to the standard Protestant curriculum.l

2 Tafel, L. H., to R. L. Tafel, Mar. 21, 1878.

1 Sack, op. cit., 378; ANC Curriculum, 1878; Jour. Ed., 1901, 10-16.



ii. College

The college curriculum of the Academy in 1878 was heavily classical, designed with an eye to using the fine German scholarship of the Tafels, and covering three years. While comparatively narrow, it was in the liberal arts tradition, and also offered some of the newer elements which the last decades of the Nineteenth Century brought to higher education,2 such as the Romance languages and electricity and climatology.3 The Academy curriculum of 1878 was exemplar of the older era in its emphasis upon ancient languages, a rather complete treatment of mathematics, and religious emphasis. However, it responded to the fresher academic winds that were beginning to blow through American college halls in the last three decades of the century in its full treatment of English, the comparatively up-to-date listings for science, showing physiology, anatomy, mineralogy, astronomy, and zoology instead of the older natural philosophy. Another modern element was the option of modern foreign languages in the junior year. Indeed, the permission of any option was a step toward the modern and liberal tendencies evident in late Nineteenth Century offerings, resulting from the work of Francis Wayland of Brown University, and George Ticknor and Charles Eliot of Harvard.4 Still, the first college curriculum under the Academy was far from being liberal or permissive. It did show an awareness of trends in contemporary scholarship, and it reflected the fact that it could call upon an able staff.

2 Butts, R. F., A Cultural History of Education, McGraw-Hill, and London, 1947, 503ff.

3 Tafel, L. H., to R. L. Tafel,

4 Ibid., Sack, op. cit., 603ff.



iii. Secondary Schools

a. The Boys School.

The Boys School began in September, 1881, under L. H. Tafel as headmaster with eleven students divided into classes I and II. Ages in class I ranged from 6 to 9, and in II, 13 to 15. Young Charles Stuart, graduated the previous June with an A. B., took some eighteen periods of teaching, and the other theologs, Schreck, Schliffer, Czerny, and Starkey, all pitched in; even the venerable Chancellor condescended to give five periods of religion to the older class.1

1 Boys School Rollbook, 1881-1891, kept by E. J. E. Schreck, ANCAR.

The curriculum was fairly typical of those found in the academies in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, with, perhaps, the exception of a weekly period of anatomy offered to the Academy boys. Natural Philosophy, offered in Class II, would be replaced by science or some branch thereof, such as chemistry and physics, toward the end of the century, in the secondary schools of America.2

2 Dexter, E. G., History of Education in the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1911, App. E.

In the first curriculum, the Academys Class I had twenty periods a week, including religion, geography, arithmetic, reading, anatomy, and natural history. This was a light schedule, even for a primary department, and indications are that this was a fore-noon program. Class II had twenty-five periods: Religion and Latin had five; and others as listed: Arithmetic 3, Geography 3, Natural Philosophy, Dictation and History, two each; Reading, Chemistry, Anatomy, one each.3 Such light exposure courses in the sciences were popular in the secondary schools of the Nineteenth Century, and were later done away with, partly through the influence of national secondary school studies, such as that represented in the report of the Committee of Ten.1

3 Rollbook, 1881-91, 2.

1 Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies.... published for the National Education Association by the American Book Co., New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, 1894, 38, 58, 118.



By 1885-86 the two classes in the Boys School had become four, but it is possible to distinguish between the elementary and secondary levels through the ages of the students and the nature of the courses.2 In the years up to 1891, drawing and Hebrew were added to the lower level, and German, algebra, physical geography, English, drawing, Hebrew and science to the upper classes.3 The additions of modern language, physical geography, English and drawing also reflected the liberal tendencies of the late Nineteenth Century in secondary education.4 Other added courses reflecting a liberalizing influence in the Boys School curriculum during this period were: inventional geometry, physics, gymnasium class, and dancing class in 1883-84; declamation, 1885-86; the vegetable kingdom and botany, and descriptive geography, 1886-87; while in 1889-90, lectures on mythology and polytheism were added to the academic fare of the older group.5 Hebrew reflected a distinctive Academy emphasis caused by statements in Swedenborgs writings about the sacredness of the Old Testament language as an ultimate.6 Mythology and polytheism were also of special importance in the Academy because of Swedenborgs teaching that many of the doctrines of the Ancient Word which preceded the Old Testament were to be found veiled in mythology, this being the method of instruction in the primitive world.7

2 Rollbook, 1881-91.

3 Ibid., 10-14.

4 Butts, R. F., Cultural History of Ed., 506ff.

5 Boys School Rollbook, 15-18, passim.

6 Swedenborg, Emanuel, Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture, hereinafter, SS, 90.

7 Ibid., 20; TCR 693.



It is evident that in this period the Academy continued to study both distinctive elements and developments in the larger world of education.

b. The Girls School

The Girls School of the Academy, begun in 1884, reflected the liberal and progressive educational ideas of Mrs. Sarah De Charms Hibbard, its first headmistress. Before her marriage to Rev. J. R. Hibbard of the Academy Council, Mrs. Hibbard had been an enthusiastic student of Froebel and Col. Francis W. Parker, studying under the latter and observing his influence in the Quincy, Massachusetts, schools.1 Miss Alice Grant and Miss Susan Junge also taught in the Girls School, the latter teaching kindergarten.2 The school started with five pupils, and by 1890 had thirty-three.3

1 Hibbard, Mrs. Sarah, to Mrs. W. F. Pendleton, June 22, 1881; to W. H. Benade, April 4, 1876; De Charms, Richard, 2d., Sarah De Charms Hibbard: A Biographical Note, Jour. Ed., 1909, XXIX, 7f.

2 ANC Council Minutes, Dec. 11, 1882; Benade, W. H. to W. C. Childs, Jan. 12, 1884.

3 ANC Catalague of the Schools, 1890-91, 6.

From the incomplete records of the early Girls School it is certain that courses in Hebrew, anatomy, English, French, zoology, history and something called industrial were given, and that classes were six in number, designated with letters of the alphabet.4 Writing, drawing, singing, geology, number, and nature were added later.

4 Girls School Reports, 188-91, ANCAR

Miss F. M. Buell, who came to the Girls School in 1899 as a student and later served as its principal, wrote this comment on the early curriculum: 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.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 65 Boys were to be given intellectual tasks, girls were to be instructed toward activity of good affections... there is much to respect and commend in the daring departure from the schools of that day....1 Miss Buell added that the early curriculum also included art, mythology, Greek, German, Latin, dancing, and physical training, and so much arithmetic as is likely to be necessary in domestic economy. Good use was also made of Philadelphias parks, theatres, concert halls, and museums.2

1 Buell, Frances M., The Girls Seminary, The Academy of the New Church, 1876-1926, ANC 1926, Bryn Athyn, hereinafter ANC Record 63f.

2 Ibid.

iv. Elementary Schools

Since the main outlines of the early elementary level curriculum are involved in the Boys and Girls school curricula, little need be added here. Externals, or ultimates were not neglected: W. F. Pendleton observed that dancing and games were instruments for fashioning unanimity, and that these activities made a plane into which angels can flow.3 Education began in the home, and similarity of approach in both home and school was sought. Young mothers studying pedagogy under Benade, who favored keeping the kindergarten in the home, were taught to make a red wool ball to give their babies as their first play-thing. Benade, intrigued with Froebels idea of gifts, taught that red was the Lords color, originating in the spiritual sun. The wool balls roundness corresponded to goodness, while the lambs wool from which it was made represented innocence.4

3 Pendleton, W. F. Notebook on Education, April, 1884, ANCAR.

4 De Charms, Carita, The Red Ball, New Church Education, hereinafter N. C. Ed., Nov. 1962, XXVII, 55f.

3. Controversies and Problems Leading to Reorganization (1897)

A. Criticism by Convention and Conference

From the beginning of the Academy, its members found frequent evidence of criticism and slander from former associates in the parent bodies of the New Church from which they had, at least in spirit, broken away.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 66 In 1878 L. H. Tafel reported to the absent Chancellor that the Academy has been the butt of a good deal of slander and lying with accusations of drinking and immorality. He and Waiter Childs had faced William McGeorge, Convention layman, and accused him of spreading villainous lies.1 Benade replied that the attacks should be ignored as a ruse intended to distract Academy attention from the main, doctrinal points at issue.2

1 Tafel, L. H., to W. H. Benade, June 9, 1878; Oct. 29, 1878.

2 Benade, W. H., to W. C. Childs, Aug.28, 1878.

As the breach widened between Academy and Convention, there was bitterness and personal estrangement. A Young womans letter to her former physician and pastor explaining the Academys views on the moderate use of alcohol was made use of in a campaign against the Academy.3

3 Starkey, Gertrude, Diary, July 10, 1878. Extracts mimeographed for private circulation by Raymond Pitcairn, c. 1962, p. 18f.

These were signs that the Academys bid to convert Conference and Convention to the Academy position through internal propaganda such as Words for the New Church was overly optimistic.

B. Granting of a Degree to R. J. Tilson

Late in 1879 it became known that the Academy had awarded its degree of Bachelor of Theology to Robert J. Tilson, upon his graduation from the Conference theological school, the New Church College. Theological tutor of the New Church was Dr. R. L. Tafel, charter member of the Academy. Tilson had absorbed the views of his tutor, and at Tafels suggestion, had submitted a number of papers and sermons to the Academy Council in application for its degree. It was Dr. Tafels scheme to publicize the new Academy in England. It worked; but along with the publicity, hornets nests were stirred in both Conference and Convention. Dr. Tafel lost his job as theological tutor, and the students were sent where he could not reach them. Publications on both sides of the water berated the Academy.4


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 67 In America Rev. Chauncey Giles of Conventions Broad Street Church, Philadelphia, drew blood with this printed barb: ...when a few teachers of no prominence start a private school and call it a college or a university, and begin to confer degrees, they do themselves no honor, and their degrees are an indignity to the unfortunates upon whom they inflict them.1

4 Benade, W. H., to R. J. Tilson, Oct. 14, 1879; IR, Aug. 1880, XXVII, 513F.; Ibid., Nov. 1880, 594ff.
       1 New Church Messenger, hereinafter, Mess., Sept. 22, 1880.

So intense was the undeclared civil war between the Academy and the parent bodies that it is surprising that open secession could be delayed ten more years.

C. Revolt of Rev. and Mrs. J. R. Hibbard

The Rev. J. R. Hibbard, charter member of the Academy, was a trusted lieutenant of Benade, and his wife, as head of the new Girls School, a highly-respected co-worker. Hibbard was recognized as coadjutor bishop of the General Church of Pennsylvania by Benade.2

2 Minutes of the General Church of Pennsylvania, May 23, 1885; supra, 63.

When, in April 1886, Mrs. Hibbard suddenly resigned as head of the Girls School, her husband published the correspondence in the New Church Messenger, Conventions official journal, and himself resigned as director of the Academys orphanage. He declined to attend council meetings, charging Benade with autocratic leadership and the other council members with spineless acquiescence.3 A committee of council called on Hibbard and asked his resignation.4 By the end of the summer, the Hibbards had resigned from the Academy, and taken their daughter, Eadith, to Paris.5

3 ANC Council Minutes, May 7, June 3, 1886.

4 Ibid., June 3, 1886.

5 Hibbard, J. R. to C. T. Odhner, Nov. 19, 1886.

The defection of the Hibbards, initially caused by a difference of opinion over the principle and the use of corporal punishment in connection with the Hibbards talented and delicate only child, and later aggravated by differences concerning supervision of the Girls School teaching, must have been unsettling to the Academy, but Benade refused to linger on it.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 68 He wrote to a friend that the Hibbards had lost their balance and do not know what they are saying and doing. Some time they will be very sorry for it all, I trust. The Schools are relieved, and things are progressing well.1

1 Benade, W. H., to Mary, probably Mary Glenn, May 30, 1886.

D. The Tafel Disturbance

Only a year and a half after the Hibbards disgruntled and well-publicized departure, another important figure of the Academys inner circle resigned amid Convention-wide tumult. This time it was Rev. L. H. Tafel, wheelhorse scholar of the Academy faculty, pastor of the Advent Society that shared the Cherry Street building, and Academy Charter signer. And once more it was corporal punishment that lit the fuse.

Two fourteen-year-olds were punished with a rattan by Boys School headmaster E. J. E. Schreck, December 16, 1887, for repeated neglect of assignments and poor behavior.2 On the next school day, a Monday, the same two boys were reported by Miss Alice Grant for disorder and impudence.3 Schreck, with concurrence of other teachers in the Boys School, again punished the two with the rattan.

2 Schreck, E. J. E., Letter and Statement to Chancellor W. H. Benade, Dec. 28, 1887, hereinafter, Schreck Statement, ANCAR.

3 Price, E. S., Statement. of Jan. 6, 1988.

After hearing complaints by the boys of the schools brutality, A. J. Tafel, parent of one of the boys, wrote to Schreck in protest, withdrawing his boy from the school. L. H. Tafel, uncle of the other boy, (whose father was then ill) protested loudly to Schreck at school of the latters brutality.4

4 Schreck Statement.



Benade called for written reports from all concerned and held a meeting of the council to review the case. The council decided against L. H. Tafel and in favor of Schreck, and Tafel offered his resignation as professor.1 Early next morning, however, Tafel wrote Benade that the meeting had in great part changed his mind, and offered to make amends. To this letter Benade responded in affectionate terms the same day.3 Unfortunately for the Academys peace, however, Tafel later withdrew his retraction, and represented himself as having been victimized at the Council meeting.4

1 ANC Council Minutes, Jan. 6, 1888.

2 Tafel, L. H., to W. H. Benade, Jan.7, 1888.

3 Benade to Tafel, Jan. 7, 1888.

4 Tafel, L. H., to the Council of ANC, Jan. 16, 1888.

School was resumed, and with the exception of the eventual withdrawal of the two boys who had been punished, and L. H. Tafels placing his own children in a Friends school, no matter of moment occurred till June. But the Academy Council, at Benades suggestion, took up Tafels resignation as professor, ostensibly to free him to take a pending appointment by Benade as assistant bishop of the General Church of Pennsylvania.5

5 ANC Council Minutes, May 4, 1888.

Pastor Tafel was also head of the Advent Churchs Sunday school, about half of whose scholars were also students of the Academy Schools. In June a Sunday school picnic was held out in the country, at Alnwick Grove, present site of Bryn Athyn. An incident of disobedience occurred, with something like mass defiance of an Academy woman teacher by the Sunday school group.6

6 Documents Concerning the Disturbance Caused by the Rev. Louis H. Tafel in the Academy of the New Church and the General Church of Pennsylvania, ANC, Philadelphia, 1890, hereinafter, Disturbances, 295f.



Feeling a lack of support by parents in the Advent Society, Benade notified the audience orally and in writing at the Commencement exercises of the Academy that students would only be accepted in future whose parents supported the Academys authority, and also that Academy scholars were to attend no schools for religious instruction but that of the Academy of the New Church.1 The reason given for the interdiction in the Academy Council was that under Tafel the Sunday school was disorderly and worse than useless, and instruction being in the hands of untrained young people, its effects tended to vitiate the expert instruction given in the Academy classes.2

1 Benade, W. H. Notice of June 21, 1888.

2 ANC Council Minutes, Nov. 23, 1888.

The next fall, enrollment fell from 21 to 6 in the Boys School.3 At a meeting of the Council Nov. 2, Tafel read a paper severely critical of Benade and, resigning from Council and Academy, he Charged dictatorship by Benade and false doctrine in regard to Benades idea that the Academy was itself an internal church. The Council, after prolonged discussion, rejected Tafels charges as unfounded.4

3 Aoys School Rollbook, I.

4 ANC Council Minutes, Nov. 2, 1888.

Five members of Tafels society now brought counter-charges against their pastor, asserting that in several ways he had caused disturbance in the society. These charges were considered by Benade and his consistory of the General Church of Pennsylvania for several days, Tafel appearing in his own behalf. Benade called a meeting of the Advent society to which he announced that Tafels pastorship was at an end. The meeting broke up in confusion when Attorney E. S. Campbell attempted to gain control and pass a resolution rejecting Benades decision. Benade called police, whereupon Campbell, Tafel and about half the society left the meeting.5

5 Disturbances 262f.



The conflict, having been brought to the floor of the Convention of 1889 by a petition of sixty-three members of the Advent Society, drew from Convention a resolution of sympathy for L. H. Tafel, substantially rejecting the decision of the General Church of Pennsylvania, and still further widening the rift between Convention and the Academy.1

1 Convention Journal, 1889, 7-9, 15-17.

E. Separation from Benade in 1897

Perhaps the battles were coming too frequently for the aging war-horse. In July, 1889, a year after the Tafel disturbance, Benade, aged 73, suffered a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage while on a trip to England. According to Dr. J. T. Kent, a leading homeopathic practitioner and medical writer who attended Benade, (writing seven years later), the Chancellors disability was such that progressive mental deterioration was inevitable, and that Benade was not to be considered responsible for actions that led to the wholesale withdrawal of his followers in 1897.2 Unfortunately, this was not recognized at the time.

2 Kent, J. T., to Dr. Edward Cranch, Feb. 10, 1897.

After a seemingly rapid convalescence, Benade led the General Church of Pennsylvania and the Academy to withdraw from the Convention by action of November 15, 1890.3 This step was hastened by Conventions action the previous June castigating Benades consecration of W.F. Pendleton as a bishop.4 The new name for the General Church of Pennsylvania became The General Church of the Advent of the Lord.5 Pastor John Whitehead and a voting majority of the Pittsburgh society revolted against Benades rule, and when the latter suspended Whitehead, he and his society faction seized the new church-school building and voted to be independent.1

3 64th Meeting of the General Church of Pennsylvania, NCL, Jan. 1890, X, 2-12.

4 Report of the Council of Ministers, Conv. Jour. 1890, 46.

5 NCL, Feb., 1891, XI, 50.

1 NCL, April, 1892, XII, 63; Equity Suit of George A. Macbeth, et al, vs. 1st New Jerusalem Society of Pittsburgh and Vicinity, et al May Term, 1892, Court of Common Pleas #3, Answer of Defendants, 4f., ANCAR 740.



In June 1892, the first full-dress meeting of the General Church of the Advent was held in Pittsburgh, when the idea of the Academy as in internal church devoted to education within the external body of the general church was laid down in an address prepared by Benade, and generally accepted.2 A year later, Benade went to England where he stayed a year and a half, returning at the end of 1894 with an English wife. By this time a committee of the Academy had decided to move to the Huntingdon Valley area, a decision with which Benade evinced increasing discontent.3 As time wore on he came to imagine in the removal to what is now Bryn Athyn a plot to undermine the Academy in which his most trusted aide, Bishop W. F. Pendleton, was the arch-plotter.4

2 Minutes, 1st Gen. Meeting of the Gen, Church of the Advent of the Lord, G. C. A. L., Philadelphia, 1892, 9ff.

3 NCL, Feb. 1895, XV, 30.

4 Benade, W. H., to Arthur Schott, Jan. 24, 1895.

As moods of imperiousness grew, Benade took more and more unilateral actions with far-reaching results. When, in 1893, E. C. Bostock, confessing himself unable to understand: Benades concept of the two churches, refused Benades offer of an episcopacy, the Chancellor turned against him.5 Always distrustful of democracy, (viewing the government of the Lord through the priesthood as the idea) Benade began to lay about him. He made it clear that he had lost confidence in lay advice, even in matters of business.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 73 By the end of 1893, he was ready to abolish the Academy Council and to operate the Academy by his own enlightenment.l Academy members were asked to sign disclaimers of their corporate rights so that these could be invested in a new corporation. This having been obediently done, Benade acting as Corporation Sole, selected seven laymen and made them a new corporation for the administration of the Academys temporalities. The inference was that Benade would take care of all important matters himself.2 The seven laymen became the Academys new Board of Directors, electing Robert M. Glenn president. The others were Walter Childs, S. H. Hicks, C. H. Asplundh, H. L. Burnham, G. A. Macbeth, and John Pitcairn.3

5 Benade to R. M. Glenn, June 26, 1894.

6 Benade to W. F. Pendleton, Oct. 19, 1893.

1 Ibid., Dec. 22, 1893.

2 Benade to R. J. Tilson, May 4, 1896.

3 Benade to R. M. Glenn, July 20, 1895.

One of the personal tragedies hinging on the Chancellors condition was the passage from the Academy of a relatively young man of great promise, heretofore possessed of Benades full confidence. This was Eugene J. E. Schreck, headmaster of the Boys School during the stormy Tafel trial, now dean of the faculty, and editor of New Church Life. He had been characterized by Benade in 1893 as a man of real intelligence... a born leader of men.4 In fact, Benade had planned to make Schreck secretary and third member of a triumvirate with W. F. Pendleton and himself to direct the affairs of the Church.5 Suddenly, in the winter of 1896, Schreck fell from favor with Benade, and apparently without a friend in the Academy, found himself without employment at the end of the school term in June, 1896.6 The chief reason behind Schrecks downfall seems to have been his perceiving that Benades age and illness had unfitted him for his work, and speaking of it prematurely.7

4 Benade to W. F. Pendleton, Aug. 8, 1893.

5 Ibid., Dec. 22, 1893.

6 Benade, W. H. to R. J. Tilson, May 4, 1896.

7 Ibid.



As Benades dangerous petulance and irascibility grew, on request of two ministers, a meeting of priests with Benade was held January 8, 1897, The Chancellor was told of increasing lack of confidence in his judgment, and though he rejected the notion, he consented to hold weekly meetings with the ministers.1

1 Glenn, Robert, Hicks, Samuel, and Asplundh, Carl Hj., A Statement Concerning Recent Disturbances in the Church of the Academy of the New and in the General Church of the Advent, ANC, Philadelphia, 1897, 10f.

On January 20, 1897, occurred an extraordinary meeting between Benade, Homer Synnestevdt, and W. F. Pendleton in which Benade made intemperate charges against the Vice-Chancellor of devilish and malicious scheming against the Academy. Pendleton responded with a letter of resignation from his offices of Vice-Chancellor and principal of the Theological School in which he declared. I have lost confidence in the ability of the Chancellor to govern the Church, in his discretion as a leader, in his judgment of character of men, and in his sense of justice in dealing with his subordinates.2 Benade immediately accepted the resignation.3

2 Ibid., 15, 17. It was probably about this time that, according to an oral tradition, Bishop Pendleton suffered a blow from the Chancellors cane. Information from Rev. C. E. Doering, c. 1950.

3 Statement of 1897, 17.

On February 4, five ministers wrote a joint letter of resignation from all connection with Benade and from the two organizations governed by him. Benade promptly accepted the resignation and issued a notice that the collegiate and boys departments of the Academy in Philadelphia would be suspended on February 9 to await a reorganization. Meanwhile, other resignations began to come in.4

4 Ibid., 20f.



President Robert Glenn now called a meeting of the board of directors to consider the crisis. The board voted to close all the schools till further notice, and Benade, who attended the meeting, declared that he would vacate the office of Chancellor.1 In a lucid interval, Benade spoke of his mental anguish and fears for the church, and Glenn replied in words of consolation. The Chancellor agreed to mail to the board his resignation.2 However, in a later meeting, he denied that he had resigned.3

1 ANC Board Minutes, Feb. 13, 1987; Statement, 24.

2 Ibid.

3 ANC Board Minutes, Oct. 9, 1897.

On February 6, five ministers, four of whom were connected with the Academy Schools, having resigned from both church and school, formally applied to Bishop W. F. Pendleton, requesting that he inaugurate a new general body of the New Church, which he consented to do. The next evening Pendleton announced to the Huntingdon Valley congregation his action in inaugurating a new priesthood and invited lay applications into a church organization based on the old principles of the Academy but with revived emphasis upon a policy of counsel and assembly; With the help of printed resignation forms, by the end of the spring of 1897 nearly all the ministers and laymen had resigned from the two organizations headed by Benade. By February 15 classes were opened in Huntingdon Valley for the students of the suspended schools.4 The remaining years of Benades life were spent in retirement until his death in London, May 22, 1905.5 His name was honored in memorial meetings and publications of the Church after his death.6

4 NCL, March 1897, XVII, 43, 48.

5 Ibid., Aug.-Sept. 1905, XXV, 521.

6 Ibid., July 1905, XXV, 427; 443.

F. The General Church of the New Jerusalem (1897)

The General Church of the New Jerusalem was established as a new organization inheriting the principles of the General Church of the Advent of the Lord in an assembly at Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, June 25-29, 1897, with W. F. Pendleton as Bishop and provisional head.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 76 On July 10, 1897, the board of directors voted to request Bishop Pendleton to become superintendent of the Academy schools and to sell the city property and open its schools in Huntingdon Valley in the fall term of 1897.2 Henceforth the Academy of the New Church would be linked with the General Church of the New Jerusalem, not as a separate internal church, but as its educational arm. After the death of President Robert Glenn in 1901, Bishop Pendleton was elected president of the Academy by the board of directors April 5, 1902. Since that time, the executive bishop and head of the General Church has also been chosen president of the Academy.3

1 Ibid, July 1897, XVII, 99-109.

2 ANC Board Minutes, July 10, 1897.

3 Ibid., April 5, 1902

G. The Role of Personalities in Reorganization of (1897)

i. W. F. Pendleton (1845-1927)

After years of capricious one-man government by an aged leader no longer sane, it was W. F. Pendleton who restored confidence in the people of The Academy and gave them balm for the wounds caused by a personality leadership gone awry.

On February 4 and 6, 1897, five ministers, four of whom were on the staff of the Academy Schools, took two important steps: First, they wrote their resignation, individually and collectively, from the Academy of the New Church and the General Church of the Advent of the Lord, and severed all allegiance and subordination to Bishop Benade; second, they met with Bishop W. F. Pendleton and asked him to assume the headship of the church, assuring him of their confidence and subordination in its uses.4

4 Minutes of meeting of Feb. 6, 1897, between Bishop Pendleton and Five Younger Priests, ANC Archives XIV.



In the second meeting, Bishop Pendleton accepted the charge of the younger ministers, and agreed to go forward, with your help. He said that without their seeking it, there had arisen the need of a new General Church. He pointed out that in proceeding to the work of establishing such a church, it was of fundamental importance that we do not recede from any essential principle, which we have thus far recognized as true. We are not here to proclaim a new doctrine, but a new spirit and a life in the Doctrine. I am willing to go forward, and accept you, each and all, as priests of this church.

Pendleton then pledged a renewal of council and assembly, which had languished in the Benade decline. There would need to be both a Council of the Clergy and a Council of the Laity, with occasional joint councils. And the very [Latin] word for Church means Assembly--ecclesia,--he pointed out.

Tentatively the name of the new body was agreed upon (pending confirmation by a general assembly of the future): The General Church of the New Jerusalem. The uses of the new body would be those of worship and evangelization, but the latter would involve education, and Pendleton supposed the body would plan to have in charge a theological school and schools for boys and girls.1

1 Ibid.

At the initial assembly of the new body of the church in Huntingdon Valley, more than 200 persons listened to speeches on organization and government over a period of several days. On the fourth day of the deliberations, Bishop Pendleton read a brief paper entitled Notes on Government of the Church followed by a tentative plan of organization for the Church. Response to the Bishops presentation was an enthusiasm, (vented in prolonged cheering) rarely seen in an ecclesiastical gathering....2 This testified to the restoral of confidence to the Church. One witness wrote of this Assembly as beginning with the spiritual sky... overcast by many ominous clouds but ending in the sunshine of restored unity and mutual confidence which inaugurated an era of peace and orderly development.1

2 NCL July 1897, XVII, 104.

1 Odhner, C. T., Outline of the History of the Academy Movement, MS. read at Bryn Athyn, June 19, 1903, ANC Archives, 654, p. 48.



With the peoples confidence restored, plans for resuming the Academy activities in education ensued. It was agreed that there was to be no external jointure between the church body and the Academy, but that there must necessarily be the closest kind of spiritual relation between the two bodies.2 The Academy Corporation announced that the Theological School and the Collegiate Departments, including the Girls School, would re-open in the fall.3

2 NCL, July 1897, XVII, 106.

3 Ibid.

Pendleton accepted the superintendency of the Academy schools upon invitation by the board of directors, and the schools re-opened in Huntingdon Valley, October 4, 1897, with Pendleton as Principal of the Theological School; Rev. Enoch S. Price as Dean of the College, Miss Harriet S. Ashley, Principal of the Girls School. Superintendent Pendleton also announced formation of a Teachers Institute for consultation of Academy and local Schools staff; a Board of Education, a Board of Publication, and a Library Board.4

4 Ibid., Nov. 1897, XVII, 175.

During the early years of his superintendency, Pendleton also gave impetus to scientific studies, especially encouraging an investigation of Swedenborgs extensive scientific works and their comparison with current findings. In one of his addresses, he encouraged the scrutiny of evolution, pointing out that what is evolved must first have been in-folded or involuted.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 79 He encouraged the studies of Miss Lillian Beekman in correlating the Swedenborg scientific works with modern science, and brought her to the staff of the Academy, where she expounded her findings and theories to theological students and, frequently, to ministers, including Bishop Pendleton himself.2

1 Pendleton, W. F., New Church Science, NCL, Oct. 1898, XVIII, 150.

2 Grace Lillian Beekman, New Philosophy, hereinafter, NP, July 1953, LVI, 88f.

While it was, after 1897, no longer held that the Academy was a church, nevertheless, The Academy was a concept, an idea, and a body of principles which had sufficient power to bind people together in an organization and to affect their way of life. In an effort to define what the Academy was, Bishop Pendleton, before the Third Annual Assembly of the new church organization in Berlin, Ontario, Canada, in 1899, presented a paper called, The Principles of the Academy. According to Pendleton, there were twelve principles of the Academy, which, briefly stated, are:

1. The Divinity and consequent infallibility of the Theological Writings of Swedenborg.

2. The former Christian Church is dead, and the New Church should be distinct from the old in faith, and way of life.

3. The Priesthood is not to be placed under external bonds in exercise of its function.

4. Baptism is the door of introduction into the Church and,

5. with the Holy Supper, these two sacraments constitute the essential worship of the Church.



6. Marriage should between those of the same faith and mind.

7. Man should not interfere with the law of offspring in marriage.

8. The laws in the latter part of Swedenborgs work on Conjugial Love are laws of order, and have validity.

9. The New Church consists of all who receive, from the wise even to the simple. The doctrine may be celestial, but the church is not, as such.

10. Unanimity is a law of heaven and ought to be inscribed upon the life of the Church.

11. Legislation other than what is seen to be needed is a mistake.

12. The true field of evangelization is with the children of New Church parents. In order to occupy this fruitful field of work, New Church schools are needed, that children may be kept in the sphere and environment of the Church, until they are able to think and act for themselves.1

1 Pendleton, W. F., Principles of the Academy, Journal, Third General Assembly, Church of the New Jerusalem, 1899.

Bishop Pendleton restored the Church and the Academy to a state of order and balance after a harrowing interval. He encouraged freedom of all kinds in the schools, and exercised a benign leadership in which personality was submerged in law and justice. He linked the Benade era with the later days, and managed to preserve the strength-giving principles developed under the earlier era at the same time that he repudiated the concept of sole responsibility in the leadership of the organization.2

2 Pendleton, N. D., Address by Bishop N. D. Pendleton, NCL, Aug.-Sept. 1916, XXXVI, 504ff.



ii. John Pitcairn (1841-1916)

If Bishop W.F. Pendleton was responsible for much of the carry-over of fundamental theory from the Benade era to the Bryn Athyn transplantation, John Pitcairn was largely responsible for the financial carry-over. This does not mean, however, that his interest in the Academy at any time was only financial. As traveler, writer, polemicist, student of Hebrew and theology, and encourager of social graces and relaxation, he entered intimately into the Academys thought and culture and contributed to it in many ways.

When the Academy began its work in what was to be called Bryn Athyn, John Pitcairn was chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, and it was his money which paid for the buildings in the new location. In 1899 he established an endowment of $400,000 for the Academy in form of investments whose income would provide, in the words of Robert Glenn, A stability it the [Academy] had never had before.1 Such was Pitcairns munificence that the buildings subsequently raised were entirely additional to that endowment.

1 ANC Board Minutes, Jan. 28, 1899.

Despite the position of power which his contributions gave him, Pitcairn made remarkably little effort to wield that power. He wrote to an English correspondent just after the separation from Benade, We have been in a state of suppression for a number of years....2 And he wrote to Mrs. Benade in answer to a request implying that he would use his influence with Academy officials, I am not an official of the Academy, but simply a director. I do not control, nor do I wish to control, the actions of that body.3 It was characteristic of the personal interest with which he directed his generosity that he appended this paragraph to the same letter: In view of your circumstances, and in appreciation of Bishop Benadess great work for the New Church, I take the liberty of enclosing a draft on Samuel Montague and Company of London, to your order, for One Hundred Pounds.1

2 John Pircairn to R. J. Tilson, Aug. 4, 1897.

3 Pitcairn, John, to Mrs. W. H. Benade, Sept. 14, 1905.

1 Ibid.



If there was any time when Pitcairn showed a tendency to exert control over the Academy movement, it was in his latter years in connection with the vaccination controversy of 1906 and the controversy in the years before 1915 over The Bodies of Spirits and Angels. Perhaps Benade had trained him too well in the doctrine of the Priesthood for him ever to have tried to dictate, but he did raise his voice in councils of church and school as an elder statesman.2

2 Infra, 11, 7-B and D.

iii. C. E. Doering (1871-1957)

The Rev. Charles Emil Doering, a native of Ontario of German extraction, was one of the five younger ministers who withdrew from Benade and asked W. F. Pendleton to organize a general church anew.3 After some experience in the pastoral field, he found that he really preferred teaching in the classroom, and so wrote to Bishop Pendleton.4 In the early days of moving to the country, Doering was rugged enough to travel by bicycle between the Wallace Street Schools and the Huntingdon Valley location, about thirty miles round trip, and teach classes at each end.5 Mathematics was his specialty, but he served, in the Academy tradition, wherever he was needed. In 1905 Doering was listed as member of the corporation and board of the Academy, and treasurer of that body; manager of the Book Room; professor of mathematics and treasurer of the school; and professor of Swedenborgs Science and Philosophy in the Theological School.6 The following year he added to these duties the post of Librarian.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 83 He was appointed superintendent of the Academy Schools in 1908,2 a position which he held until the presidency of N. D. Pendleton in 1914, when he was appointed Dean of Faculties.3

3 Supra, 73.

4 Doering, C. E., to W. F. Pendleton, Sept. 5, 1895.

5 Information confirmed by Dr. William Whitehead July 25, 1967.

5 Jour. Ed., 1905, 33-50, passim.

1 Ibid., 1906.

2 Ibid., 1909, 16.

3 Ibid., 1917, XVI, 183.

iv. E. S. Price (1856-1934)

Enoch Spradling Price, of Irish, English, and German descent, came to the Academy from De Kalb County, Illinois, a new and enthusiastic convert to the New Church, and with six years experience in teaching in the public schools of Illinois.4 Though he was twenty-five years old, and had been a teacher, he studied six years in the Academy Collegiate Department until he had been granted a bachelor of arts degree. During his undergraduate years he authored a petition to Bishop Benade and the Academy Council humbly requesting the discharge of their instructor in ancient languages. According to the petition, which was signed by six students, including C. T. Odhner and N.D. Pendleton, their instructor (who was not a New Churchman) was a poor teacher, lacked personal neatness so as to make each of us detest coming into his presence, especially when the weather is so cold as to make closed windows necessary, and more than once came to class intoxicated.5 The instructor was dismissed during the same school year.6 After four more years of study, Price received his bachelor of theology degree, and appointment to the Academy staff as Professor of English Language and Literature.7

4 Price, E. S., How One Old Churchman Became a New Churchman, Theta Alpha Journal, 1927, II, 3ff.

5 Prite, E. S., Petition to the Right Rev. Wm. Benade, Chancellor of the Academy of the New Church, and the Council, Nov. 18, 1885.

6 Boys School Rollbook, 1885-86.

7 NCL, Nov. 1934, LIV, 395f.



In the spring of 1896, Price was appointed head of the Collegiate department of the Academy by Benade, who also asked him to draw up a curriculum and suggest a name for the department.1 After due consideration, Price suggested the name Maschil, a Hebrew word signifying making or causing to be intelligent, which was immediately accepted by Benade. The curriculum as drawn up was put into effect, and written up in the New Church Life.2 After the reorganization of 1897, Price was retained as head of the College, and undertook with his colleagues a further study and revision of the curriculum, published in the New Church Life for 1900.3

1 Price, E .S., The College of the Academy of the New Church, Address at Founders Day Dinner, Jan. 14, 1901, 2f.

2 NCL, 1896, XVI, 122, 184.

3 NCL, Oct. 1900, XX, 542ff.

Price pointed out that the revised curriculum was essentially on the secondary level as defined by the Federal bureau of education, and offered the same courses found in the classical course of most American secondary schools, with the addition of religion and Hebrew. We reported that it had been found necessary to arrange a preparatory or intermediate course of two years to precede the four-year College course. This intermediate level, he wrote, corresponded to the course of the city grammar schools of this country, which constitute the last or highest part of primary education.4 The two intermediate years, plus the four regular years of the College program, brought to six the number of years embraced by the total College curriculum of 1897-1908. In the latter year, Price stepped down from the principalship, becoming Professor of Ancient Languages.5

4 Price, E. S., College of the ANC, 6.

5 NCL, Nov. 1934, LIV, 396.

E. S. Price, in addition to heading the College and developing its curriculum, taught a variety of courses, including Hebrew, Chaldee, and Latin. He was a writer of sermons, articles, and scholarly papers published in Academy and Church periodicals. He translated the Psalms for the Academy Psalmody, for which C. J. Whittington of England composed the music.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 85 Price also translated Swedenborgs work on the five senses2 and wrote a Hebrew textbook.3

1 A Psalmody for the New Church, Academy of the New Church, Philadelphia, 1898.

2 Swedenborg, Emanuel. The Five Senses, Swedenborg Scientific Association, Philadelphia, 1914.

3 Price, E. S., Elements of Hebrew, ANC Book Room, Bryn Athyn, 1922.

v. Alice E. Grant (1558-1930)

At the time of the reorganization of 1897, Alice E. Grant, familiarly known as Miss Alice, was associated with the elementary school, where she had charge of the primary grades.4 In the lower grades she had been Benades right hand in carrying out in practice the theories and suggestions of his Conversations on Education in the realm of pedagogy. Although she did not write and publish any texts, she did develop copious notes on history, mythology, art and pedagogy which were used by other teachers and in teacher-training classes. She studied extensively in university circles, attending classes at Columbia, Chicago University, and Col. Francis W. Parkers lectures at Marthas Vineyard.6

4 Jour. Ed. 1901, 81.

5 Synnestvedt, Homer, Miss Grant and Childhood Education, NCL, July 1930, L, 418.

6 Grant, Alice E., to W. F. Pendleton, Aug. 15, 1902.

Miss Alice was made principal of the Girls School in 1906, a post she continued to hold until 1918, when she became Dean of Women in the College. Appreciative of good teaching and eager to improve the work of the Academy schools, she wrote of receiving a revelation in 1902 while attending the experimental school organized by Colonel Parker at Chicago University. She urged that the best teachers be obtained for the elementary grades, or else the work of the Academy at the higher levels could not succeed.7

7 Ibid: NCL, July 1930, L, 418.



Miss Grants work was of importance in two directions: she made an important link in the field of elementary and girls education between the Benade era and the later Academy; and she also linked the work of the Academy with the developments in theory and practice in the larger world of American education.

vi. Homer Synnestvedt (1867-1945)

Homer Synnestvedt, of Norwegian and Danish ancestry, was an Academy educator and minister of the New Church of hearty demeanor, and broad, humanitarian leanings. He was head master of the Boys School at the time of the break with Benade, and he was one of the first to openly declare to the ailing chancellor his lack of confidence in his leadership.1 In 1897 he became pastor of the Huntingdon Valley Society, and in 1902, principal of the Bryn Athyn Elementary School and housemaster of Stuart Hall, the dormitory for male secondary and college level students. He held these two posts together until 1913.

1 Synnestvedt, Rev. Homer, Biographical Notes, ANC Archives, 721; Statement of Recent Disturbances, 1897, 13ff.

Through teaching and administration, and through talks and sermons, Synnestvedt placed a large emphasis upon education and promoted it among the Academy public. From the early Benade period Synnestvedt took charge of informal but strenuous gymnastics, military drills, and camping activities. He was a lover of the outdoor and strenuous life in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, whom he somewhat resembled.

In 1915 for the second time, Synnestvedt baulked at following an intellectual advocate whose views seemed wrong to him. He broke with Miss Lillian Beekman, and his forthright common sense ended her influence over many minds. John Pitcairn wrote of him, [he] has rendered the Church the greatest possible service in exposing the origin and true nature of the Beekman propaganda.2

2 Journals, Joint Council of the General Church, June 26, 1915, and Nov. 27-28, 1915, 221.




DEVELOPMENT, 1897-1965

1. Redefinition of the Aims of Academy Education

During the opening years of the newly established Academy in Bryn Athyn,1 the aims and practice of education under the General Church of the New Jerusalem received redefinition. However, the general shape and purpose of its education remained essentially what it had been under Benade. Bishop William F. Pendleton, the new Academy president, discriminated between the end sought by the schools and that of the church. The purpose of the New Church school was to prepare men for civil life and the church, while the church existed to prepare them for heaven. Benade had written, The end ... for which man is to be educated is--not this world, but--an angelic heaven.2 The newer concept would correct an exaggerated conception of the responsibility for the childs lot hereafter, which might be supposed to rest upon the teacher.3 Three prerequisites for New Church education were seen as: 1. Systematic, persistent, and emphatic instruction in the Heavenly Doctrines.... Spiritual homogeneity of faculty and pupils, and 3....New Church Baptism as the inviolable condition for admission into New Church schools....4 But prerequisite to education in church schools was early education in the home, where the parents were the teachers, and celestial remains were implanted. Effects of this first education--through the first six years--were held to be most definitive and far-reaching, and more attention was now to be given it.5


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 88 Teaching of smaller children, and of the local schools generally, had been transferred from the supervision of the Academy to that of the pastors of societies, bringing these phases of education into the sphere of the General Church. The second stage of education, from age seven to fourteen, belonged to the parochial schools, and would prepare the pupils for Academy education, which began with the secondary school.1

1 Welsh for Hill of Cohesion--name adopted in NCL Oct. 1899, 1899. XIX, 159.

2 Benade, W. H., Conversations on Education, 1.

3 ,Re-opening of the Academy Schools, NCL, Nov. 1897, XVII, 175.

4 "What Constitutes a New Church School? NCL, Nov. 1901, XXI, 597f. Infra. 104.

5 NCL, April 1898, XVIII, 54f.

1 Ibid.

Under President Pendletons leadership, a number of practical developments occurred. The first of the Academy uses stated in the charter, viz., the propagation of the Heavenly Doctrines and the establishment of the New Church, plainly a church function, was henceforth to be the charge of the General Church, while the Academy would focus upon the specific educational uses of education, publication, and the establishment of a library. A teachers institute was formed to consider and take charge of Academy educational affairs. Three boards were also created a board of education, composed of theological and college faculty members and the board of directors; a board of publication, and a library board.

The schools now under the Academy were the Theological School, the College, and the Seminary. The College educated boys starting with ninth grade as far as theological classes; the Seminary was the new name for the old Girls School, which had a scope corresponding to that of the College. The local societies, wherever possible, were to operate parochial schools for boys and girls through eighth grade.

The aims and approaches to certain studies were to be modified, Pendleton announced. For example, Hebrew, while still retained in all the schools, would not be studied scientifically until the Theological School. Previous to that level it would be conveyed in the more affectional sphere of religion classes.2

2 NCL, Nov. 1897, XVII, 175.



In the newly-organized teachers institutes, which were held monthly during the first year, Academy educators showed a growing tendency to look for educational ideas beyond their own walls, which they called borrowing from the Egyptians.1

1 Minutes of Teachers Institutes of the ANC, 1897-1902, Sept. 8, 1897, ANCAR X 37, 29-31.

2. Changes in Administrative Policies

A. Tender Spots in the Relationship of the Academy to Other Bodies.

i. Building the Assembly Hall

If, in the world of business, as Ben Franklin declared, three removes are as bad as a fire, in church affairs a new building project can be nearly as divisive as a schism. In 1928 those in charge of the Academy and of the Bryn Athyn Church decided to erect a building jointly. This structure was to serve the needs of school and society, and also the occasional uses of the General Church. The Academy needed a new gymnasium, assembly room, and stage; the Bryn Athyn Church needed a hall for society meetings, including the weekly Friday suppers, and the General Church needed facilities for holding one of its triennial or quadrennial assemblies in Bryn Athyn in 1930. Accordingly, Bishop N.D. Pendleton, president of the Academy, who, as presiding bishop of the General Church was also ex-officio pastor of the Bryn Athyn Society, appointed a committee to study the question.2

2 Minutes of Pastors Council, Bryn Athyn Church, Feb. 18,1928.

Three months later a joint committee representing both society and Academy, and two other interested elements was appointed. One of the additional elements was the Civic and Social Club, traditionally the social am of the society, and the second was a young peoples organization which came into being with the idea of rendering service to, and gaining a voice in society affairs. The young people, most of whom were married and launched upon careers, offered to collect money for the building, made suggestions as to site and structure, and saw four of their members appointed to a ten-man steering committee in charge of the buildings construction.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 90 But nearly a year later, when plans for the building were nearing completion, Robert B. Caldwell, Jr., spokesman for some of the young people on the pastors council, brought in a minority report urging that the joint building be abandoned in favor of two buildings. One of these would be built by the Academy specifically for its purposes, and the other by the society, for its uses. Something of a declaration against centralization of power in the hands of the Academy was inferred in Caldwells report.2 The issue was debated in two meetings of the society, and when brought to a vote, the original plan was sustained 111 to 24. Caldwell then moved that the vote be recorded as unanimous, which was done.3

1 Ibid., May 26, 1928; Report of Young Peoples Committee, Bryn Athyn, Pa., April 15, 1928. Typescript in possession of Dean Eldric S. Klein, former secretary of Young Peoples Organization, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

2 Minutes, Bryn Athyn Pastors Council, Feb. 23, 1929.

3 Minutes of Bryn Athyn Society, Adjourned Meeting, March 2, 1929.

Although the vote had been technically unanimous, a sizable group of young people remained dissatisfied with the arrangement, wishing the society to own its own building. Among these were a number who resigned from the General Church and joined the Hemelsche Leer movement4 about eight years later, making Bishop George De Charms who had strongly backed the joint building, the butt of their resentment.5 Despite the dissent, the $100,000 building was duly completed in time to house the assembly of June 1930, the cost being evenly divided between society and Academy.6

4 Infra.

5 Minutes of Bryn Athyn Society, March 2, 1929; information from Dean Eldric S. Klein, Bryn Athyn, Dec. 28, 1965.

6 Minutes of Bryn Athyn Church, III, Oct. 3, 1930, ANCAR.



ii. Separation of Bryn Athyn Elementary School from Academy Control

a. Principals Employment

Operation of the Bryn Athyn elementary school, after the reorganization of 1897, was intended to be a function of the society of the Bryn Athyn Church.1 In June 1902, the Rev. Homer Synnestvedt resigned as pastor of the Bryn Athyn Church in order to take charge of the elementary school (often called the local school,) and also of the new (secondary and college) boys dormitory, Stuart Hall.2 Yet so intertwined were the different levels and functions of education that Synnestvedt spoke of being called to Academy work.3 After eight years, owing in part to Synnestvedts illness, the Bryn Athyn Church invited the Academy to take charge of instruction in the local school, and the Academy complied.4 As recently as 1939, the salary of the principal of the elementary school was paid by the Academy, although the Academy board of directors noted that it ought to be paid by the Bryn Athyn Church board of trustees.5 Some months later the Bryn Athyn Church trustees voted to take on the payment of the principals salary.6 However, as the principal taught some classes in the Academy, and a portion of his support continued to come from the Academy, the close integration of the two schools continued in practice.7

1 Stroh, Emil F., A Short History of the Bryn Athyn Church of the New Jerusalem, read at the Annual Meeting of the society, Oct. 4, 1907. Bound in Vol. I, Records and Minutes of the Bryn Athyn Church of the New Jerusalem, 12ff, hereinafter, BAC Min.

2 Minutes Bryn Athyn Pastors Council, June 15, 1902.

3 Ibid.

4 Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Academy of the New Church, hereinafter, ANC Board Minutes, May 10, 1910. Minute books from 1897 to present in possession of Lachlan Pitcairn, Pitcairn Company, Jenkintown, Pa.

5 Ibid., Dec. 15, 1939.

6 BAC Min., April 26, 1940.

7 Ibid.



b. Childrens Library

After the Academy library was established in its own building by John Pitcairns gift of 1911,1 the elementary school children had mingled with older students, teachers, and community residents in using the library. As both library acquisitions and school enrollments increased, it became evident that a separation of the childrens library from that of the Academy was in order.2 Accordingly, in the summer of 1959, the childrens collection was removed from the front rooms of the library building and placed in a large recreation room on the ground floor of De Charms Hall, in charge of its own childrens librarian. In the first year in its new location, the childrens library circulation and attendance figures showed a tremendous increase, while the older library users enjoyed more room and enhanced opportunities for concentration.3

1 NCL, May 1911, XXXI, 353f.

2 Stebbing, Lois, Report of Librarian, Jour. Ed., Fall, 1958, XXXII, 38ff.

3 Ibid., ANC Jour., 1959-60, I, 16.

B. Salaries

In 1912, Superintendent C. E. Doering suggested a revision of Academy salaries according to a plan used in certain universities. According to this plan, young teachers would be hired as instructors at a bare living wage. Some four or five years later they would be named assistant professors, and after another fifteen or sixteen years would be designated full professors at four or five times their original salary. The full professors salary would thereafter increase every five years until a certain age, with large increments upon assumption of additional responsibilities. Doering thought that such a plan would augment teacher efficiency, and further urged that teachers should be trained in the Academys own normal department. He suggested that men should be trained for the positions, rather than taking the men available and making positions to fit them.



In discussion the board felt that the suggested system did not fit the Academys needs. Those carrying administrative offices should come first in the salary scale, and in the realm of instruction, the teaching of theology was the highest of functions and should receive primary recognition. Moreover, the Academy was more than an ordinary educational institution because its chief end is the upbuilding of the theology of the New Church. Hence it was important to hold and afford opportunities to men of unusual ability in the broader aspects of the work.

In setting salaries, the board thought that various circumstances ought to be considered, such as the ability and qualifications of a teacher, his length of service, the size of his family, and so on, and the adoption of a salary system was seen as a gradual development.l In 1941 President George De Charms appointed a standing committee of the board which thereafter made investigation and recommendation to the board on all salaries.2 In recent years the board has taken cognizance of income from part-time employment outside the Academy in adjusting salaries. Staff members have been permitted to engage in summer and other part-time employment after personal consultation with the president, considerations being the maintenance of Academy commitments and the permanent value of the outside experience.3

1 ANC Board Minutes, June 10, 1912.

2 Ibid., March 27, 1941.

3 Ibid., April 25, 1962.

Among the fringe benefits Academy employees enjoy are financial aid at low interest in times of unusual expense, and continuation of wages or salaries despite illness.4 Academy teachers also receive free tuition for their children in the Academy schools. A teachers building fund was established by the three Pitcairn brothers, Raymond, Theodore, and Harold, then merged into the Assembly Hall project, and subsequently re-established.5


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 94 This fund has since been merged into the general endowment fund, but in practice, staff members showing need of housing loans or aid have received it.1 During the depression of the 1930s, staff salaries were cut ten percent, and were a long time being restored.2 Under the guidance of the boards standing committee on salaries, and at the urging of the president, in the fifties and sixties of the present century Academy salaries were frequently reviewed and brought into line with rising costs of living and with comparable salaries in similar institutions.3 In 1956, acceptance of an unsought Ford Foundation grant made possible a very modest augmentation of income for members of the College faculty.4

4 Ibid., June 11, 1928.

5 Ibid., Nov. 16, 1928; Oct. 21, 1932.

1 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Treasurer of ANC, Aug. 3, 1966, at Bryn Athyn.

2 Jour. Ed., July 1932, XXVI, 1.

3 ANC Board Minutes, April 10, 1952.

4 Ibid., June 25, 1956.

C. Hiring and Discharge of Staff

In Academy practice, the board of directors hires and discharges or retires or promotes all members of the teaching and administrative staff upon recommendation of the president, who presides over board meetings. This policy was made clear in 1913 when the Academy librarian virtually asked an assistant for her resignation. The secretary of the board wrote to the librarian by order of the board to convey the fact that no officer of the institution is given the right to discharge employees engaged by the Board.5 The assistant was retained and the librarian reprimanded.

5 Ibid., Aug. 13, 1913.

D. Professorships and Status of Teachers

In a resolution of 1945, the Academy board of directors reaffirmed its earlier recognition of only two classes of teachers--instructors and professors. Professorships were to be granted only for academic qualifications and experience, and never as an honor for an administrative position in itself. Professorships would be created by the board upon recommendation of the president, approved by the Presidents Council.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 95 This was also the avenue for the granting of honorary degrees in future.1 It was observed by the board that all thirteen professors comprising the presidents Council in 1945 held degrees indicative of their professional standing.2

1 Ibid., Sept. 24, 1945.

2 Ibid.

From its beginning the Academy has expected teachers to perform on various scholastic levels simultaneously. The majority of teachers instructed in both secondary and college classes, and occasionally in the elementary classes also. It was not considered remarkable that Chancellor Benade and Louis Tafel in the 1880s should hold classes with youngsters of the Boys School at the same time that they were lecturing to theologues.3 But it was also understandable that as teachers became older they tended toward college and theological classes and away from the hurly-burly of the secondary school. In 1959 a committee of younger faculty members presented a report to Dean Charles S. Cole of The College in which they spoke for a separate college teaching staff. They contended that the work of a college teacher was different in preparation and approach, and that a blurring of the distinction between the two levels was a detriment to highest success. The report continued, We reject the idea that a college teacher is just a high school teacher with more study, experience, and seniority. Success in secondary school teaching requires preparation as sound, and application as broad, as that of a college teacher, but different, distinct.4 In response to the faculty committee President Willard D. Pendleton stated his agreement in principle, but warned that the provision of a completely separate staff would take time.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 96 Since the Academys policy is to draw full time teachers only from the Church membership, and preferably from those who have had some Academy training, if possible on the college level, the numbers eligible are perforce limited. Second, funds are limited, and third, the college must not be built up at the expense of the secondary schools. The last-named course would be to undermine the foundation of New Church higher education, said Pendleton.1

3 ANC Boys School Rollbook, 1881-91.

4 Pendleton, Rt. Rev. Willard D., A New Opportunity in New Church Education, Presidential Address, Academy Journal, I, Sept. 1959, 6.

1 Ibid., 6ff.

The contention of the younger teachers that they should not be asked to undertake tasks out of their field of specialization thus ran up against the older tradition which called for an Academy teacher facing up to whatever tasks needed doing. It was a kind of stalemate, but the development of the institution toward maturity and efficiency clearly called for more attention to specialization.

E. Presidents Role Defined

When in 1914 Bishop N. D. Pendleton became president of the Academy, he made it clear that he intended to grasp the reins of office firmly. Powers and responsibilities relinquished by his older brother and predecessor, Bishop W. F. Pendleton, would be restored to the presidential office. The new president would act as actual executive head of the Academy. Thus he would preside over the board of directors, and head all the schools of the Academy, with power to preside over all Faculties and Departments, with a view to the administration of their affairs. This includes the appointment of all teachers and heads of Schools and Departments, with the approval of the Board of Directors.2 C. E. Doering, formerly superintendent, would now assist the president as Dean of Faculties. President Pendleton also established a General Faculty consisting of all teachers in all schools, including the Bryn Athyn Elementary School. This group would meet monthly with Pendleton presiding.3

2 Jour. Ed. Oct. 1914, XIV, 71.

3 Ibid., 6ff.



This strong position of the president, with decisive power of administration under the board of directors, has been maintained to the present. However, under the presidency of Bishop George De Charms, the office of Executive Vice President was created (1946)1 and filled by Bishop Willard D. Pendleton for twelve years until 1958.2 During this period the presidential powers were given over to and wielded by the executive vice president as the presidents agent, the president retaining final control. The new position was vacated by Pendletons resignation from it in 19583 followed by resignation of President De Charms and selection of Pendleton as his successor in the presidency on October 18, 1958.4 The executive vice presidency was restored in the fall of 1966 with the Rev. Martin Pryke, lately Toronto society pastor, as incumbent. For about two years from 1962 to 1964 President Willard Pendleton had the services of Donald C. Fitzpatrick, Jr., as Assistant to the President. In 1965 Fitzpatrick became Dean of Schools.5

1 Jour. Ed., Aug, 1947, XXVIII, 195.

2 Jour. Ed., Fall, 1958, XXXII, 9.

3 Ibid.

4 Acad. Jour., Sept. 1959, I, 12-14

5 Pendleton, W. D., Report of the President, Acad. Jour., 1962-63, II, 5; Ibid., 1964-65, III, 4f.

F. Student Dismissal and Suspension

When, in the post-World War school year of 1921-22, academic and disciplinary inadequacies among college students had caused dismissal of several, President N. D. Pendleton made a declaration. Thereafter, he wrote in his annual report, the faculty will be under the necessity of demanding a stricter accounting with reference to all student obligations... conduct, scholastic standing, and school work. If more advanced students--college age, particularly--cannot or will not meet academic requirements, he said, there must be an end to it. Continuance in the school is of no advantage to the student and is demoralizing to the school.6

6 Jour. Ed., July 1922, XX, 5f.



However, in practice over the years, purely academic shortcomings have been treated with considerable leniency when ability or background was limited on the basis that the Academy has a responsibility to serve the whole church, and no academic screening device is used beyond satisfactory completion of previous grades.

In 1957, at the suggestion of the executive vice president, a disciplinary action committee came into being to handle the more grave student offences.1 Heretofore such cases had been the subject of consultation between the dormitory or school head concerned, with the president or executive vice president. Under the newer arrangement, a committee was formed of the school head, the dean of faculties, the dean of schools if a secondary school case, and the dormitory head concerned, if a resident student was involved. In several cases students concerned met with the committee both before and after a decision had been reached in an effort to emphasize that the committees actions were neither personal nor retributive.2

1 Ibid., Fall, 1957, XXI, 27.

2 Fitzpatrick, Donald C., Jr., Report of the Assistant to the President, Acad. Jour., 1963-64, IV, 6.

During the school year 1963-64 the principal of the Bays School thought it necessary to put out a special communication on the unusual attrition in the Boys School that year, which resulted in nine students leaving school before the Christmas holidays and one more in May. He wrote, we look toward another school year with increased determination that this painful process of partial adoption and subsequent separation must be reduced if not eliminated....We must insist that students who come to us have demonstrated a willingness to obey properly constituted authorities.

We are a school that serves the General Church. Therefore we hold open our doors to all children of the Church who can and will come to us and work well and live in sympathy with our regulations.... More than most schools, we seek to establish with our students a close and permanent relationship, looking toward General Church membership and association.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 99 We cannot lightly part with our students, no matter how short a time they have been with us. It hurts us, the staff, the school, and, probably, the Church whenever a student leaves. And undoubtedly it hurts the individuals who leave, although this may also be in some cases a necessary step in their growing up.1 The writer noted that of the nine who left before Christmas, at least six had expressed a deep regard for the school,2 and that in no case do we consider that the doors of the school are permanently closed to any of the nine.3

1 "Report of the Principal of the Boys School, Ibid., 18ff.

2 Ibid., 20.

3 Ibid.

By the time of the late fifties and early sixties of the Twentieth Century, the Academy had ceased to think in terms of dismissal, but instead of suspension of students. In accordance with a religious philosophy which called for confining judgment to the act, rather than the person, it was tacitly acknowledged that the commission of no act in itself should permanently disqualify an individual from a society of the church, provided there was repentance and a genuine desire to make amends. The length of suspension from school would be a matter of judgment, and in the words of the principal just quoted, We would, of course, seek evidence of increased maturity and self-discipline in cases where disregard of regulations has been a fault.4

4 Ibid.

G. Faculty Preparation and Background

The Academy tradition is intellectual, and its teachers have generally been well-qualified academically for their posts. Early Academy teachers--Benade, the Tafels, Mrs. Hibbard, E. S. Price, E. J. E. Schreck--these had masters degrees or the equivalent, or better, plus professional experience.5

5 Supra, 10, 34, 63, 82, 72.



However, to choose a staff from so small a church body was not easy. Sometimes the solution seemed closer to expediency than to the ideal, and loyalty or doctrinal soundness might be more evident than pedagogic skill. Moreover, in the gentler academic climate before Sputnik, the holder of a bachelors degree might well aspire to teach most subjects. Academy teachers engaged in editorial work, translating, or preaching sometimes missed classes or skimped on preparation with a reasonable confidence that their shortcomings would be overlooked.1 Still, every period of Academy history seemed to have its faculty giants, and over the years, the Academy tradition of devotion to the Writings and to use created a vital unifying spirit. In the years of faculty building following World War II, classroom performance and subject mastery received greater emphasis.

1 Bellinger, Doering, to Homer Synnestvedt, March 8, 1907; Lechner, Harvey, to Homer Synnestvedt, March 15, 1907.

In 1939 the board of directors inaugurated a policy of defraying tuition for teachers graduate work. Although this step was encouraged by the Middle States Association, individual teachers had previously been assisted in this way.2 Between 1937, when the Academy Boys School was dropped from membership in the Middle States Association for failing to meet the Associations standards for teacher preparation, and 1947, when accredited standing was renewed, determined efforts were made to improve teacher preparation through attendance at graduate schools.3 In 1961, of fourteen regular teachers in the Boys School, all had bachelors degrees or more. Eight had masters degrees, with two doctorates in progress; two had the doctorate. Twelve had bachelor degrees from outside colleges or universities.4 The fact that most of the secondary school teachers either taught in or hoped to teach in the College or Theological School made for a keener pursuit of specialization.

2 De Charms, George. Report of the President, Jour. Ed., Sept. 1939, XXVII, 121.

3 Infra.

4 Acad. Jour., 1961-62, I Catalog No., 4f.



An important phase of background for the Academy teacher has to do with religious orientation. Not only are teachers chosen from New Church ranks, but also they are expected to exert a steady influence in their classes and through example favorable to the New Church way of life. In 1924, Bishop N. D. Pendleton, president of the Academy, expressed concern for what seemed to be a lack of religious influence in the lives of students outside their classes and especially in the dormitories. He suggested the Rev. K. R. Alden, then pastor of the Olivet Church, Toronto, as the one man in the General Church peculiarly qualified to obtain the desired results. Mr. Alden thereupon was hired by the board to be principal of the Boys School and housemaster of Stuart Hall.1 Fifteen years later in a board discussion it was pointed out that in its effort to perfect a New Church system of education, the Academy, as the educational arm of the General Church, was moving in a direction opposite to the national trend toward secularization of all religious institutions. The opinion was expressed that as a protection against the secularization trend, the Academy ought to retain on its faculty enough ordained ministers so that their sphere and influence might predominate in the Faculty.2

1 ANC Board Minutes, Feb. 17, 1924.

2 Ibid., March 28, 1941.

H. Interrelation of Academy and General Church

In an effort to clarify and solidify the long-continuing interrelationship of the Academy and the General Church, the corporation of the Academy in 1943 adopted a resolution reading in part as follows: Be it Resolved: That the Academy as an Independent Corporation, freely acknowledges the spiritual faith and ecclesiastical principles set forth by the said General Church of the New Jerusalem in its Statement of Order and Organization (1935) as being in accord with the teachings of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg for promulgation of which the Academy was founded.... The Academy proclaims its principal object to be to labor for the establishment of that faith and promotion of those principles through the medium of educational uses.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 102 That this end may be accomplished, it has, since the inception of the General Church ... looked to the priesthood of that body for supervision of its ecclesiastical affairs, and for the ordination of its graduates in Theology.

While, therefore, the Academy ... and General Church ... are and in future should remain legally and financially distinct, they are united by spiritual bond of a common faith, and by mutual need and use.1

1 De Charms, George, Report of President, Jour. Ed., Aug. 1943, XXVIII, 274.

This statement made clear that the Academys allegiance was to the General Church interpretation of Swedenborgs theological works, and not to that of the 1937 offshoot Of the General Church called The Lords New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma, It also did away with any lingering idea of the Academys being a second or internal church, as Benade had asserted in 1892.2 And it established the Academys position as the educational arm of the General Church, a definition which even Academy officials had been loth to accept as recently as 1935.

2 Supra, 71.

I. Deferment of Teachers

During the Second World War a threat to the effective operation of the school occurred because of the Academys status as a small private institution. Dr. C. R. Pendleton, Dean of the College, went to Cramps shipyard, Philadelphia, where he was in charge of the trainee program in the afternoons; Professor E. F. Allen of the Science and Mathematics departments did part time war work at first, and eventually left teaching to work under the auspices of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia in the development of technical devices for the armed services. Stanley F. Ebert, athletic coach and French teacher, offered a Navy commission to condition Navy fliers in the V-5 program, remained at the Academy after President De Charms wrote a letter requesting his deferment.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 103 Another of the younger teachers was deferred by a service official on the basis of several factors, including his part-time work at a defense plant.

Raymond Pitcairn, secretary of the board of directors, and an important contributor to the support of the school, saw in the attitude of the federal government toward deferment of private school personnel a threat to the future of private education. In his report as secretary for 1944, he wrote in part as follows:

The question of deferment of our younger teachers ... seriously threatens the Academys present educational program. The attitude of the Federal Government toward private schools has become apparent from this new angle. It takes the form of advice, inter alia, that there is little hope for deferment for Academy teachers because we are a small private school, and therefore our teachers should plan accordingly ... matter of very grave concern.

And so we find as a by-product of the war another symptom of the encroachment of government on private schools that constitutes a new hazard and further threat to the freedom essential to New Church education. The need to guard the cause of private and religious education has never been greater in the history of the Academy.1

1 Jour. Ed., July 1944, XXVIII, 16.

Earlier in the war, the board had favored part-time war work for Academy teachers as a patriotic contribution to the war effort.2

2 Ibid., Sept. 1942, XXVII, 239.

Although patriotism was an important principle of the General Church, and many Academy students and graduates entered the armed services, behind the concern for teachers was the fear that the Academys work would be crippled or halted, thus affecting the special mission attributed to the New Church in Swedenborgs words: Unless the New Church be established by the Lord, no one can be saved....1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 104 However, New Churchmen sometimes remind themselves of the import of the phrase by the Lord and take warning not to be presumptuous.

1 Swedenborg, Emanuel, A Brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church, hereinafter, BE, 91.

During the first World War the problem of deferment did not exist for the Academy. It was a relatively short war, and the draft did not extend to any of the staff, who were beyond the age of military service.

3. Definition of School Policies

A. Admissions Policies

After the reorganization of 1897 in Bryn Athyn, the rule of New Church baptism as prerequisite for admission into the Academy schools continued in force as it had been since 1890.2 An advertisement in the New Church Life in 1899 stated: Only children and young people baptized into the New Church are admitted to the Schools.3 President N. D. Pendletons report for 1920 observed that on occasion, it may be desirable to delay the performance of the baptismal rite, and that judgment should be used. Evidently Bishop Pendleton was concerned lest a rite of the church should become something so perfunctory as an admissions screening device.4 He urged that at all costs the Academy must be preserved as a New Church school, and called attention to the beneficial effects of the working scholarship plan in helping to fill the dormitories.5

2 ANC Faculty Minutes, Oct. 6, 1890, ANCAR 36.

3 NCL Sept. 1899, XIX, 144.

4 Jour. Ed., July 1920, XIX, 16f.

5 Ibid.

Thirty-nine years later, N. D. Pendletons son, now president and bishop also, warned that the Academy, faced with a limited staff and increasing enrollments, would either have to expand or resort to a new policy of restricting enrollments.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 105 He also noted that the Academys long-time goal is a New Church university with departments and schools embracing every field of knowledge.1

1 Pendleton, W. D., A New Opportunity, Acad. Jour., Sept. 1959, I, 4ff.

In 1964, Bishop Willard Pendleton announced a new admissions policy. No longer would baptism be a strict prerequisite. In special situations exceptions could be made; this had been the Academys actual practice in the past, and the new statement was in closer conformity with practice. Under the new regulations, the parents or guardians of a child not yet baptized would be required to give satisfactory reasons to support the application; if the child were eighteen years old, he could speak for himself. Next, the applicant must be recommended by a minister of the General Church, and finally be approved by the president of the Academy. The new statement of policy had been approved by the faculty, board of directors, and bishops consistory.2

2 Pendleton, Willard D., Report of the President, Acad. Jour. 1963-64, IV, 5.

The new policy would help to reduce the Academys air of exclusiveness, which seemed not altogether appropriate for an institution dedicated to the spread of spiritual good tidings intended for all people. Also it would reduce the risk of debasing a sacrament by its use as a mere expedient.

B. Church and Chapel Attendance

In 1915, the board of directors agreed that attendance of students of the Academy schools at public worship of the Bryn Athyn society should be insisted upon--required, rather than expected, as theretofore. The cooperation of Bryn Athyn parents was to be requested.3 This became the rule for dormitory students of secondary school level, but college and theological school students remained in the expected category as far as church attendance was concerned. Attendance of settlement (Bryn Athyn) secondary school students was left to their parents, and in general a large proportion of these young people attend church regularly.

3 ANC Board Minutes, April 22, 1915.



As to Chapel, secondary school students are required to attend daily,l and since the service begins the morning, those arriving on time attend regularly. College students are expected to attend chapel if they have classes immediately before or after the service with a minimum attendance of three times a week. College has its own chapel service, which is held at a different time from that of the secondary schools.2

1 Jour. Ed., October 1916, XVI, 14f.

2 ANC College General Rules, Academic Practice, Social Customs, 1966-67 (dittoed) 2.

From time to time College deans have attempted to put Chapel attendance on a voluntary basis, but attendance has fallen off so much that the present rule has been installed. Chapel services customarily feature reading from the canonical books of the Bible (the Word)3 with brief talks or addresses occasionally to the College, and nearly daily for the secondary schools. A minister always officiates.

3 Swedenborg, Emanuel, The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, NJHD. 266.

C. Certificates of Graduation

In 1939, at the suggestion of President De Charms, the board of directors voted to approve in principle the offering of Certificates of Graduation as well as diplomas. This step was intended to give recognition to students whose previous training and aptitudes do not fit into the required secondary school courses4. The certificate enabled the student to graduate with three instead of four major units a year for a total of twelve in the four-year period, and more leeway was permitted in the selection of courses.

4 ANC Board Minutes, May 22, 1939.

By Commencement of 1965, two kinds of certificate were in uses in the secondary schools--the Boys School and the Girls School: the certificate of graduation, as just defined, and a certificate of attendance for those who through illness or other incapacity could not gain the necessary credits for diploma or certificate. This enabled anyone who had done his best to stand up with his class at graduation.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 107 It was made plain, however, that entrance to post-secondary school educational or training institutions would be determined on the students transcript of credits.

D. Two-Year Graduation Rule

During the second World War, the board of directors affirmed the long-standing two-year attendance requirement for graduation at the same time that it noted and authorized exceptions in case of war. The boards resolution stated that the rule had worked well. In principle it was recognized that Academy diplomas are given for a New Church education, and not for a years scholastic standing.1

1 ANC Board Minutes, Sept. 6, 1944.

However, at mid-year, 1943-44, eleven seniors of the Boys School were graduated because the Selective Service was calling up boys at the time of their eighteenth birthday.2

2 Jour. Ed., July 1944, XXVIII, 22.

While other private schools have a two-year requirement,3 this regulation tends to set the Academy apart from many preparatory schools. The assumption behind the Academys two-year rule, which the board believed had been properly tested by experience, is that less than two years provides an inadequate exposure to the schools aims. In practice, few students enter the secondary schools as seniors, and those who do so remain for a year of college, after which a secondary school diploma or certificate may be given.

3 Sargent, Porter, Handbook of Private Schools, Porter Sargent, Boston, XLII, 1961, pp. 811, 414, 734.

E. Coeducation at the Secondary School Level

The Academy schools began without coeducation. Men occupied the Theological School and Collegiate Department, and boys the Boys School. Girls had their place in the Girls School, and in a sort of post-graduate level, in the Normal Department, which began with lectures from Chancellor Benade in 1884, but as a separate school in 1890.1

1 ANC Record, 40-43 passim.



With the moving of the schools to what is now Bryn Athyn and their reorganization in 1897, the elementary grades of both the Boys and Girls Schools were combined into the local school2 which was to a degree separated from the Academy, as we have seen. Coeducation began at the college level in 1910-11 informally, and formally with organization of the College and Normal Departments into one school in 1914-15.3

2 Supra, 90.

3 ANC Record, 57f.

But coeducation at the secondary school level, strictly limited and possibly temporary, began as late as 1944 (excepting chorus, which was held jointly from early times largely for the sake of practicing congregational singing). Then during the Second World War, the teacher of the Boys Latin class regretfully decided to teach both boys and girls together in the freshman year.4 This merging of secondary school classes, caused by shortage of teachers, occurred from time to time both in Latin and chemistry classes. It has been continued from year to year for over a decade in typing and half that in fourth-year mathematics.5

4 ANC Board Minutes, Sept. 6, 1944

5 ANC Catalog, 1953-54, p. 38; Acad. Jour. 1960-61, Catalog No., I, 54.

While there has been some-faculty discussion of the desirability of intellectual contact between older boys and girls of secondary level under the aegis of the school, and a minor amount of experimentation with this, as of 1966, no regular means of bringing it about has been worked out during the regular school day. However, a discussion group for secondary school young people has been held Friday evenings under student leadership with faculty supervision.



That boys and girls should be educated for the most part separately during adolescence is, then, an Academy tradition; it is also defended in the statements of two Academy Presidents. Bishop N. D. Pendleton, speaking to the Academy faculty in 1922, not only approved the separation for the adolescent years, but urged it for the seventh and eight grades as well. Bishop Willard Pendleton bolstered the tradition by arguing that womans mind is basically in a different form from mans, and because of this it is natural for her life to be centered in the home in a way that mans cannot be. Since the form of her mind is different, her education should be correspondingly different, and conducted from a different approach.l

1 Pendleton, N. D., The Modern Tree of Knowledge and Spiritual Anthropophagi, in Selected Paper and Addresses, ANC, 1938, 152f. Pendleton, Willard D., Education for Feminine Uses, in Foundations of New Church Education, Acad. Book Room, Bryn Athyn, rev. ed., 1960, 156-72.

F. Distinctive Social Life

In 1899 Bishop W. F. Pendleton, superintendent of the Academy schools, redefined the principles of the Academy in an address to the General Church. In the second of the twelve formulations he declared: The New Church is to be distinct from the bid in faith and practice, in form and organization, in religious and social life.2 If education was to be effective, environment had to be controlled, the common sense of the Academicians told them. The unformed character and tastes of youth had to be guarded--The Friends also understood this.3 Adults could circulate in the world more freely: if their use took them there, it would also protect them. But students of the Academy schools were to confine their social contacts as much as possible to other New Church young people.

2 NCL, Aug. 1899, XIX, 118.

3 History of George School, 1893-1943, written by a committee of the George School Alumni Assn., George School, Pa., 1943, 7f.



In 1916 President N.D. Pendleton heard from all quarters concerning the influx of outsiders at an Academy performance of Pinafore, and this provoked a discussion in the board of directors. It was decided that it was undersirable to sell tickets for school entertainments in an endeavor to make money out of such entertainment. The school required privacy. Moreover, it was desirable to differentiate between the states of older and younger students in regard to their social life. While in the past Academy ideas on distinctive social life may have been too rigid, the board concluded, yet the danger from outside influences, especially on the plane of social life, was recognized.1

1 ANC Board Minutes, March 16, 1916.

In 1949-50 it was social entanglements which played a part in the Academys withdrawal from the Inter-Academic League of the Philadelphia region. Although this was a league organized for athletic contests primarily, eventually student councils of other schools invited the student councils of the academy to their dances, with requests for reciprocal attendance at Academy dances. This, in addition to unsatisfactory rulings about the eligibility of Academy athletes, caused the Academys withdrawal.2

2 Jour. Ed., Sept. 1950, XXIX, 222.

Social contacts with outsiders are generally much freer in the summers, when Academy young people are widely scattered in jobs, summer camps, and homes outside Bryn Athyn. And individual Bryn Athyn homes, of course, are free to operate as they see fit throughout the year. Outside students are sometimes invited to Academy socials, but an effort is made to determine if the visitor has some interest in Academy ideals and way of life. However, in 1966 (February 19) the entire student body of George School was invited to supper at the Academy between an afternoon wrestling and an evening basketball match.3

3 Presidents Council Minutes, Jan. 18, 1966.



G. Fraternities and Sororities as House Clubs

Noting that fraternities and sororities are more suited to college than to secondary school life, President N. D. Pendleton called attention in 1916 to the fact that the Deka, the sorority of the girls dormitory, Glenn Hall, had been converted into a house club to include all the students in Glenn Hall.1 The Deka was organized in 1907 to promote sisterhood among the resident girls and college women, and is the oldest of the fraternities and sororities, although the College Gymnasium, a discussion group, antedates all Academy student organizations.2 In 1909 the Phi Alpha Fraternity was formed in Stuart Hall for secondary and college male residents. The Sigma Delta Pi was organized in 1911, and is composed of settlement male students, while the Alpha Kappa Mu, composed of girls living in the community, came into existence in 1911.3

1 Jour. Ed., Oct. 1916, XVI, 14f.

2 College Gymnasium Minute Book, No. 1, 1878, ANCAR.

3 Alpha Kappa Mu Charter, Room 329, Benade Hall; Sigma Delta Pi Charter, Room 311, Benade Hall; The Schools of the ANC, An Introduction, ANC, 1940, 16.

Originally, and continuing for many years, the fraternities and sororities consisted of secondary school and college students together. However, with the numerical growth of the College and the formation of a College club, the fraternity and sorority activities were confined to secondary student.

The clubs or fraternal organizations from their founding were open to all in their sphere who wished to join. For example, all in Stuart Hall were expected to join the Phi Alpha, and after undergoing initiation ceremonies, were inducted. In 1935 by action of the Presidents Council, all initiations involving hazing were barred from the Academy schools.4

4 Jour. Ed., July 1935, XXVI, 91.



H. Department of Education Founded

The education and preparation of teachers for its schools and the parish schools of the General Church has been a concern of the Academy almost from its beginning. One of the first steps in the development of teacher education was the offering of Benades Conversations on Education in lecture form starting in January 1884 and continuing two years.1 In 1890 a rather loosely-organized course in pedagogy was centered about occasional lectures by Benade and instruction in kindergarten and primary work by Miss Alice Grant. In 1892 a graduating normal class of five young ladies was addressed by the Chancellor.2

1 NCL. Feb. 1884, IV, 32.

2 Ibid., Sept. 1892, XII, 147.

A Normal School recognized by the board of directors as a distinct department of the Academy schools was created in 1904, with Rev. Homer Synnestvedt as principal.3 This arrangement continued until 1914, when it was merged again with the newly-organized College, its principal having been called to pastoral work. The change did not signal diminishment of activity, to judge by over a score of teaching courses advertised in the catalog, and fourteen students, in addition to visitors, enrolled.4

3 Jour. Ed., 1904, 58.

4 Ibid., July 1914, XIV New Series, 21ff.

In 1940 President De Charms reported the formation of another department of education to study the teacher training courses offered in the College.5 Membership of the department would consist of all those actively engaged in the training of teachers. Following a years study, the department recommended that the standards of the teacher training courses be raised, and adjusted to the needs of the: schools, and that a well-balanced program be devised leading to the degree of bachelor of science in education. The balance referred to should be established between general arts and teacher training. The program would begin after one year of college, and continue a total of four years, with definite requirements in practice teaching and the addition of specific and practical courses in the art of teaching.1

5 Ibid., Sept. 1940, XXVII, 162.

1 Ibid., Sept. 1942, XXVII, 237f.



During 1965-66 the Education Department took charge of the education of teacher candidates, supervised practice teaching, and arranged visits of degree candidates for week-long teaching experiences in parochial schools in other General Church centers. The department head personally visited all the outlying General Church schools on the North American continent, namely those at Toronto and Kitchener (Caryndale),Canada, Pittsburgh, and Glenview, Illinois.2 Visits were also made to the Winnetka Schools, and Northwestern University.

2 Min. Ed. Fac., April 26, 1966.

I. Separation of Secondary Schools and College as to Social Life

An effective separation of secondary school and college social activities was realized for the first time during the school year 1946-47, according to the contemporary executive vice president, Bishop Willard D. Pend1eton. A good part of the cause for this happy circumstance, he reported, was the large number of college students on campus, some of them back from war service with the maturity of their experience and added years.3 Speaking as president twelve years later, Pendleton commented on the further development of the College, noting that the administration and faculty looked ahead to the day when the College could become an institution in its own right--having not a separate existence, but being free from dependency; a self-contained unit. The development of the College would come to a grinding halt unless more effective separation of the College from other departments of the Academy were forthcoming.4

3 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1947, XXVII, 196.

4 Acad. Jour., Sept. 1959, I, 4-10.

The college-level visiting committee of the Middle Atlantic States Association had in 1952 urged more separation in dining hall, Chapel, activities, and dormitories- between college and secondary schools.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 114 As result of an expansion program which focused largely on the needs of the College, effective response to each of these recommendations had taken place by 1965, and with plans for a new College campus, considerably more development was in prospect.

1 Report of the Inspection Committee for the College of ANC, Jan. 14-16, 1952, p. 3, item 10, ANCL.

A separate College dining area was in service in 1960.2 Separate Chapel services were developed for the College,3 as well as its own orientation program and social life.4 And after several expensive experiments in adapting large houses and estates for dormitory use,5 a solution was found in a large new addition to Glenn Hall for college womens housing, (1960) and the construction of a new college mens dormitory, occupied in 1963.6

2 Acad. Jour. Ann. No., 1960-61, II, 25.

3 Ibid., 11.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid., 25.

6 Ibid., 1962-63, III, 27.

J. Interdependence of Schools

While a degree of separateness for the College was a necessity, the amount and timing of that separation must be carefully calculated, President Pendleton warned the faculty and board of the Academy in an address of 1959.7 The Academy faced an opportunity for further development, but in order to realize that development, two things were needful: First, the Academy must meet the greatly increased demands on its secondary schools; if it failed here, the College would die on the vine. Second, the Academy must create in the College an intellectual and social environment that would win the full confidence and support of the Church.

7 "A New Opportunity in New Church Education, Acad. Jour., Sept. 1959, I, 4-10.



A committee of the younger faculty members had submitted a report to the dean of the College, the president noted, emphasizing procedures to liberate the Junior College from the thought and life of the secondary schools, including a separate college campus and a distinct teaching staff. But, Pendleton cautioned, in the upbuilding of a college staff we must be sure that we are not proceeding to the detriment of our secondary schools.... if in our enthusiasm for higher New Church education we undermine its foundations, we will succeed only in creating a top-heavy structure which in time will collapse.1

1 Ibid., 6.

The same warning, Pendleton continued, applied to the growth and development of the Academy schools in relation to the primary schools of the General Church. These are to secondary education what secondary education is to the College. Each successive level of education depends directly upon those on which it rests, and all depend upon the home. The Senior College depends upon the Junior College.

The college Year 1946-47 provided a good example of the value of the College to the whole Church. Of the 104 students of that year, four became priests of the General Church, eight became members of the Academy staff, and twenty more had taught in one or more of the General Church schools. The rest, with few exceptions, were active members of some society, circle, or group of the General Church. This in itself, Pendleton said, is sufficient testimony to the contribution that the Academy College has made, and is continuing to make, to the Church as a whole.2

2 Ibid., 8.

However, the success of the College year of 1946-47 did not just happen. It involved foresight, planning, and great efforts by board, administration, and faculty.3

3 Ibid.



Recent faculty thought in response to the presidential address combined a desire for separateness of the College along with a planned joint pursuit of common aims, the latter purpose to be reached through articulation of all educational levels through the existing departments of the Academy. These are subject-field departments through which coordination and leadership have been exerted in all General Church schools and levels by means of the General Church Educational Council and publications.

K. Use and Status of the Academy in Relation to Other Bodies.

The Academy is a service organization: that is, it exists not primarily for itself, but in order to serve other bodies of the New Church, as well as individuals thereof. Among the important uses currently seen for the Academy are: provision of New Church education for children of secondary age till this use can be taken over by societies and districts of the church; development of the Junior College; development of an effective program of teacher training; preparing young men for the ministry and support of the Theological School; upbuilding of the library, with emphasis upon the preservation of Swedenborg manuscripts; translation of the philosophical and theological works of Swedenborg, and publication of collateral literature for the church.1

1 Ibid., 8f.

In addition to uses to the General Church,2 the Academy also served the General Convention and Conference, and to a considerable degree, the Nova Hierosolyma Church (Hemelsche Leer), formed after a schism of 1937, as an educational facility. It also, to a limited extent, accepts students who are not members by baptism.3

2 Supra, 100f.

3 Supra, 104.



4. Pedagogical Principles Affirmed

A. Revelation and Science

The most obvious and difficult stumbling block, at least in the popular mind, lying in the path of an educational institution based upon a supernatural religion, is the problem of reconciling revelation and science. A large part of the problem comes about with efforts to reconcile accounts of the marvelous, such as exist in the Bible, with the facts of science, Of course, with the Swedenborgian view of the Bible as having an internal sense, or a series of inner meanings, the New Church educator enjoys some advantage over the fundamentalist interpreter. Bishop N. D. Pendleton, early in his Academy presidency, attempted to establish or restate a fundamental view-point on the relationship of science and faith for the Academy in language so trenchant that some of it will be given here.

After calling attention to the great need, in an institution such as the Academy, for freedom of inquiry and also for a clear view of the nature of Divine Revelation, Pendleton stated: ...we must hold supremely, at all times and in every mood, to our faith that the Lord has in very fact made His Second Coming in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The work of New Church education must at all points be based on recognition and acknowledgment of this truth; but in addition, it calls for the coordination of the sciences. It should be understood, however, that any science that will not sustain this truth must be rejected--at least from anything like a dominating place in the mind. This is what is meant in the Writings throughout by the affirmative. When there is conflict between science and revealed truth, the New Churchman must affirm the truth of Revelation. He must say that the doctrine as revealed is true, and his saying it must be heard and heeded by all spirits with him....

In the perennial conflict between revealed truth and the discovered sciences, we may not adroitly bend the truths of revelation to meet with the demands of science; on the contrary, there must be yielding and obedience on the part of science. When Joseph was about to be conjoined with his brethren, he commanded every man of the Egyptians to go out from the midst to the sides where they are partly not seen and partly regarded as Of no account.



The speaker here referred to the explanation of the inner meaning of the Joseph story in Swedenborgs Arcana Coelestia, No. 5871, where Egyptians signify memory-knowledges, scientifics, or broadly, the sciences, and Joseph the internal celestial quality or faculty of man.

Bishop Pendleton continued: On the other hand, not all scientifics are to be rejected.... What is the need of this conflict between the truth of Revelation and science ... since the laws of God on all planes are in agreement? The conflict exists because of mans fallible apperception of the laws of nature on the one hand, and on the other because of his imperfect comprehension of the law revealed. The conflict thus engendered is the means in Providence by which the spiritual rational mind is formed and confirmed....

Nothing is of permanent value to man unless he can bring it into accordance with his faith.... If the sciences be tested by revealed truth, spiritual faith will be confirmed; but if the attempt be made to prove the truth by science, faith will be destroyed.... There never has been, and there never will be any such thing as a scientific religion....

It is revealed in the Prologue of The Canons of the New Church that at this day nothing else than the self-evidencing reason of love can reestablish that which has fallen away....on no other ground may the permanent structure of New Church education be based.1

1 Pendleton, N. D., Address Delivered at the Opening of the Academy Schools, September 15, 1915, Jour. Ed., Oct. 1915, XV, 1-7, passim.

In a sense, man is deliberately placed in this dilemma of science and faith in order to develop his mind and character. The struggle to understand, to accommodate seeming, but only seeming contradictions is what makes a man of him. If he settles blindly, hurriedly, or passively for one extreme or the other, his real, that is his spiritual development is arrested, if not doomed.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 119 The truest goal of education, then, is to perceive truths without reasoning.1 Thus the Academy lays claim to a distinctive goal of education, possibly unique in todays world.

1 AC 5556; vide Acton, Alfred, Debating: Has it a Place in New Church Education? NCL, May 1927, 269-282.

B. Religious Influence in Dormitories

In 1924, President N.D. Pendleton felt a lack of religious influence in the life of the students, out of class, and especially in the dormitories. As a step toward the solution of this problem he suggested the employment of the Rev. Karl R. Alden, then pastor of the Toronto, Ontario, society. The board acquiesced and Alden was appointed housemaster of Stuart Hall and principal of the Boys School, the latter of which two positions he held for an unprecedented (in Academy history) twenty-six years.2

2 ANC Board Minutes, Feb. 17, 1924.

During his tenure, and occasionally after his retirement, Alden gave worship services in the evenings for the campus students, both boys and girls. Worship is administered informally by housemaster and housemother of secondary school students in their respective dormitories, although there is now no minister resident on the campus. Theological students often serve as assistant housemasters, and in 1965-66, the head of the dining hall was a ministerial candidate.

Probably the most effective religious influence in a dormitory comes through the quality of the religious instruction in the school.

5. Changes in Administrative and Instruction of Personnel

A. Administrative Changes

On July 10, 1897, the board of directors resolved to request Bishop William F. Pendleton, formerly vice-chancellor of the Academy under Bishop W. H. Benade, to accept the superintendency of the Academy schools.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 120 The board also voted to sell the Philadelphia property and remove to what is now Bryn Athyn.1 On August 12, 1898, the board, which was headed by its president, Robert M. Glenn, a layman, voted to recognize the bishop of the General Church of the New Jerusalem as ex officio head of the ecclesiastical uses of the Academy.2

1 ANC Board Minutes, July 10, 1897.

2 Ibid., Aug. 12, 1898.

Four months after President Glenns untimely death on Dec. 26, 1901, Bishop Pendleton was elected a director, and then president of the board of directors, on April 5, 1902.3 In an apparent effort to give a wide berth to the Benade example of dictatorship during his decline, Pendleton resigned his post as superintendent on June 8, 1903. The board accepted his resignation and appointed the College faculty to take charge of the management of the school for one year.4 This arrangement apparently continued until 1907, when the faculty passed a resolution that the general government of the schools should be in charge of a faculty consisting of the heads of departments, with the president of the Academy acting as chairman. The faculty asked and received the approval of the board.5 This is the pattern and composition of the latter-day Presidents Council.

3 Ibid., April 5, 1902

4 ANC Faculty Minutes, June 8, 1903, ANCAR 36.

5 ANC Board Minutes, June 10, 1907.

At a joint meeting of the corporation and faculty in 1908, Rev. C. E. Doering was nominated to the board of directors as superintendent of schools.6 Doerings appointment was renewed annually until N. D. Pendleton became president in 1974.7

6 Jour. Ed., NCL Supplement, XXVIII, 10f.

7 ANC Board Minutes, June 17, 1912; Supra, 95f.



N. D. Pendleton was selected by the board as an assistant to W. F. Pendleton, and a years salary for him was appropriated, to begin February 1, 1914.1 However, the older brother wished to retire from active administration in the school, and N. D. Pendleton assumed the presidency October 3, 1914, when he delivered an oral statement to a joint meeting of the corporation and faculty and discussed his policies.2 The new president took decisive charge, not only as president of the board of directors, but also as head of every faculty, including the newly-named General Faculty and Presidents Council. He announced that responsibilities and powers which had been delegated to others by the retiring president would be resumed by the new one.3 Superintendent Doering now became Dean of Faculties, nominally head of the faculty, but final power was now centralized in the hands of the president, with the support of the board.

1 ANC Board Minutes, Dec. 23, 1913.

2 Jour. Ed., Oct. 1914, XIV, 71f.

3 Ibid.

The next large change in administration occurred in 1936 when Bishop Pendleton retired as of June 21, and the duties of the office of president devolved on Rt. Rev. George De Charms, who had been elected vice-president in 1931.4 Bishop De Charms took office in the midst of a General Church schism which resulted in the resignation of Rev. Theodore Pitcairn and his associates in the Dutch Position, or Hemelsche Leer movement.

4 Ibid., Oct. 1937, XXVII, 29; July 1931, XXV, 97f.

Ten years after Bishop De Charms became president, Bishop Willard D. Pendleton, son of N. D. Pendleton, became executive vice-president of the Academy. He played an important part in building up the faculty and preparing for the large influx of college students just after the war. He resigned as vice-president early in 1958, and was elected president on October 18 the same year, Bishop De Charms meanwhile having retired from the presidency.5

5 Acad. Jour. Sept. 1959, I, 12f.



In 1966-1967, the Academy consisted of five schoolsTheological, Senior and Junior College, Boys School, and Girls School--each, except the two divisions of the College, having its own head; the Colleges have one dean. The administration was headed by the president and the executive vice president, responsible to the board of directors. In addition to the usual subject-matter departments, there are numerous faculties, councils, and committees. Thirty-seven faculty members, twelve of whom are professors, conduct their educational work in, or with the aid of ten buildings, one of which is jointly owned with the Bryn Athyn Church.1

1 Catalog Number, Academy Journal, 1966-67, V, 4-9.

B. Changes in Instructional Personnel

It lies beyond the scope of the present study to give anything like an individual account of each teachers appearance on, or disappearance from the staff of the Academy over the period of ninety years. But we shall try to note the major trends in personnel change and in faculty preparation and training where this does not duplicate Section 2-6 of this chapter.

Most obvious change relating to staff over the years is the gradual growth in numbers from 1897 to 1966, and the change from clerical to lay majority. In 1897 the staff numbered eight members, five of them ministers, led by Bishop and President W. F. Pendleton.2 During the school year 1965-66, the thirty-six members of the teaching staff included two bishops and all deans and administrators, and a total of eight ministers, including all degrees Of the priesthood.3 A comparison shows that in 1897 the faculty was 62-1/2% clerical, and in the later year, only 22%. In 1897, all heads of schools were ministers, except for the Girls School; today the President, president emeritus, Dean of Theological School, and newly-chosen executive vice-president are ministers, while the Dean of the Colleges, Dean of Faculties, (as of 1965-66) Dean of Schools, and principal of the Boys School are laymen--the woman principal of the Girls School is also of the laity.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 123 However, although not so saturated with ecclesiastical personnel as in the past, the staff members today, generally speaking, continue to look to the clergy for theological and spiritual leadership, but certainly not exclusively, since in the General Church, the sole final authority rests in the Old and New Testaments as interpreted in the theological writings of Swedenborg.

2 Odhner, Carl Th., An Historical Sketch, Jour. Ed., 1901, 66f.

3 Acad. Jour. 1965-66, IV, 4f.

At a conference of independent school people a number of years ago, one speaker reported, Our teachers administrate, and our administrators teach. This description fits the Academy to a considerable degree. Among the Officers of Administration listed in the latest catalog, only the treasurer and the librarian do not regularly teach.

6. Changes in Curriculum

A. In the Separate Schools

i. Theological School

The theological course in the Academys 1901 catalog (we lack a full statement for the 1897 year) was a three-year program designed for thorough and systematic understanding of the Theology of the New Church and a familiar grasp of the languages of Divine Revelation. Subjects included theology of the New Church, church history, languages, and Swedenborgs science and philosophy.2 In the catalog for 1965-66, the program in theology is described as a three-year course designed to give the student instruction in the theology of the New Church, the principles and practice of exposition, pastoral duties, church history, and philosophy. Pre-theological requirements are named as Hebrew, Greek, Latin, education and philosophy.3

1 Ibid., Catalog No., 1966-67, V, 3.

2 Jour. Ed., 1901, 10ff.

3 Acad. Jour., Catalog No., 1.965-66, IV, 17f.

In comparison, the earlier program lists but two aims, while the modern one states five. However, the real differences are not so great, as a study of the course offerings in the respective catalogs shows.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 124 The older catalog offered courses in exposition, church history, and philosophy. Only in the area of Pastoral Duties do we see anything like a departure in the newer catalog. The later statement includes instruction in Priestly Duties; Priesthood and Government, Liturgics, and Conversations on Marriage, as well as requirements in educational philosophy and psychology and history of New Church education.

It is indicated that the modern graduate of the Theological School is as solidly grounded in theology and doctrine as his 1901 predecessor, but is more definitely oriented toward such aspects of ministerial work as congregational leadership in the wider sense. He should also be better prepared for counseling and dealing with personal problems. Through a course of seminars with experienced priests and headmasters, he would also be oriented toward missionary work, teaching, and school administration, and various other practical problems of the ministry. A summers work in a society or missionary field is also required.1 It seems fair to conclude that todays graduate is less the secluded scholar than his earlier counterpart would, by his training, be inclined to be. The modern graduate is rigorously disciplined by tightly-organized program of studies and activities, whereas the earlier student had more liberty to go at his own pace.

1 Ibid., 19.

ii. The College (Boys School)

With the reorganization of the Academy in Bryn Athyn in 1897, the College was placed under Rev. E. S. Price as principal. It was one of the three schools now constituting the Academy, the Theological School and the Girls Seminary being the others.2 Of the eleven pupils in the College in 1901, eight were in the first group, Class B, two in I, and one in II.3 Courses offered in 1900-01 were religion, drawing, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, English, physics, chemistry, zoology, descriptive astronomy, anatomy, and mathematics.

2 NCL, Sept. 1899, XIX, 144.

3 Jour. Ed., 1901, 17ff.



This so-called college embraced the years from seventh and eight grades through secondary school, and perhaps a year or two more. In so small a school it was possible to tailor the curriculum to the individual to some extent.

By 1973, the College had four classes for its thirty-one pupils, and offered German, music, biology, metallurgy, physical education, English composition and anatomy, in addition to the courses offered in 1901. In the fourth or senior year, a course in marriage and generation was taught by a minister, using Swedenborgs Conjugial Love and Generation as texts.1 This course is viewed in the Academy as a preparation for marriage, teaching both the religious and moral ideals and the physical aspects of sex. It continues to be taught in essence in the senior year of the Boys School and in the Junior year of the Girls School, because of girls earlier maturation.

1 Jour. Ed., New Series, July 1913, XIII, 48, 52ff.

By 1965-66, the College as we have been considering it, had become the modern Boys School, with ninety-three students distributed among four classes. Courses added since 1913 included current events, speech, typing, band, (for several years prior to 1965-66) medieval and modern history, health, church history, French, chemistry, and mechanical drawing.2

2 Acad. Jour., Cat. No., 1965-66, IV, 41ff.

Comparing the curricula of 1901 and 1965, it would seem that the advance in numbers is reflected in an advance in logical arrangement. The 1901 curriculum seemed fortuitous, reflecting the interests and abilities of the small staff. It was also uneven: no mathematics was offered in class B, but one leaps to trigonometry and higher algebra in II; two sciences (astronomy and zoology) were offered in B and II (chemistry and anatomy). Approximately the same number of courses, judging by the catalogs, were offered in the two different periods.



ii. The Girls School

In 1897 the Girls Seminary, as it was then labeled, consisting of eleven pupils in two classes, was placed in charge of Miss Harriet S. Ashley as principal.1 Courses offered in 1901 included religion, Hebrew, English, Latin, reading, history, anatomy, physics, algebra, French, and nature. In addition there were general lectures to all departments, and singing.2

1 NCL, Sept. 1899, XIX, 144; Jour. Ed., 1901, 24-28.

2 Jour. Ed., 1901, 24ff.

By 1904 enrollment had increased to about thirty pupils with a prospective graduating class of twelve. The normal course was considered a post-graduate adjunct of the Seminary, and its two students were studying pedagogy, anatomy, religion, mythology, and English literature, in addition to some of the regular Seminary courses. The whole Seminary had general lectures--from C. T. Odhner in the Swedenborgian Science of correspondences and with Bishop W. F. Pendleton in Conjugial Love. Mothers and teachers were also invited to the latter class. Swedenborgs Latin was studied in the Latin class so that students could read his writings in the original. A Shakespeare class was conducted by having a play read through, then studied thoroughly. Each girl would choose a character and make a study of the character in as much depth as possible; then the play would be acted out with each girl trying to enact the part she had

3 Buell, F. M., NCL, March 1904, 161-62.

Courses offered in 1965-66 but not noted herein in the earlier curricula cited include French, medieval and modern history, church history, physical education, home economics, chemistry, and human body.4 Driver education, introduced into the Boys and Girls School in the 1950s, came into being to solve the familiar problem of youthful aberrations when behind the wheel of a car. The classroom part of the course is taught by a physics teacher, and the borough police take charge of the driving.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 127 A special feature of the history offered in the Seminary was the connection of all history with the history of the churches as given in Swedenborgs writings. Mathematics was recognized but not emphasized in the effort to design a curriculum especially for the feminine mind. In this connection, there was a guarding against too much memory work, or book work or drudgery. But then, as former Girls Seminary Principal F. M. Buell explained, it was found necessary to guard against ... imaginary effortless heavens, where use ... is disregarded.1

4 Acad. Jour., Cat. No., 1965-6, IV, 48-55.

1 Buell, F. M., Education of Girls, Paper read to faculty of ANC, March 7, 1935. Annotated copy in present writers possession.

The Girls School or Seminary curriculum represents a considerable study by many minds over many years in an effort to create a program for girls of the New Church. It will only be noted here in summary that the more recent curriculum, in comparison with the 1901 program, is more practical, less bookish, and probably, less distinctive.

iv. Development of the Modern College

In 19012 the departments of the Academy as listed included II. A College and Intermediate Department for the Education of Young Men and Boys.3 Under Curriculum two years were listed as Intermediate and four as College. From the courses listed, the first year of the intermediate department corresponds to a modern eighth grade, and the second year to the ninth grade today. Under the College heading, the third year seems to correspond to the present secondary school senior year, offering geology, anatomy, trigonometry, Latin and Greek, while the fourth year corresponds roughly to the first year of a modern college course, including history, astronomy, analytical geometry, calculus, Latin and Greek. All these courses were taught by a faculty consisting of four ministers and one layman. A bachelor of arts degree was given after four years of this College, in keeping with the practice of that day.

2 Jour. Ed. 1901, 38.

3 Ibid., 46.



Normal school courses were offered at this time to teacher-candidates and others, but the development of the Education Department is discussed in another place.1

1 Supra, 111.

In 1910-11, The Boys College is listed2 as a secondary school, and the year IV in the Collegiate Department is listed as offering a year of advanced work prerequisite to the theological course, or of normal work for prospective teachers.3 In 1914-15, with the appointment of R. W. Brown as head of the merged Normal and Collegiate Departments, and C. R. Pendleton in charge of science and philosophy, we have the dearest launching of the modern College. In this year Brown pointed out the great importance of higher education in the development of the church, noting that it had been neglected heretofore in concentration, after the Theological School, upon lower education. The Academy was losing her students to other colleges and universities at a crucial point in their development as rationally mature, adult New Churchmen.4

2 Jour. Ed., 1910-11, 15.

3 Ibid., XIV, 108

4 Ibid., 177ff.

A course of study leading to the degree of bachelor of science in education was published in the summer of 1915. It consisted of two years of senior college work featuring educational courses based upon two years of liberal arts work in the junior college. Requisite for the degree were courses in history of education, principles of education, theory and practice of education, but twenty-one other professional courses were offered in the catalog.5 A growing richness of offerings was indicated in some of the non-professional courses listed: cosmogony, political science, histology and anatomy, three physics courses, four chemistry courses, including metallurgy, two geology courser, and art and music.l

5 Ibid., July 1915, XIV, 31f.

1 Ibid.



Acting Dean Brown reported further progress the same fall. Eleven men and six women were registered for the full course; nine, including teachers, for a lighter load; eleven other teachers were taking one or more courses, in all thirty, for college and educational courses, plus forty-one extension students for a grand total of sixty-two students in the College. Three student teachers were conducting classes in the secondary schools under supervision of professors--a suggestion of the fellowship idea.2

2 Ibid., Oct. 1915, XV, 10ff.

In 1921-22 the College for the first time offered programs leading to the bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science degree in addition to the Bachelor of Science in Education degree.3 However, the bachelor of arts degree was given at commencement that same year to Miss Dorothy Burnham of the faculty.

3 Ibid., July 1921, XX, 23f.

At the suggestion of the visiting committee of the Middle States Association, the board of directors voted to suspend granting the bachelor of arts degree in 1952.4 Therefore, the two purposes which the Senior College continues to serve in 1966 are to prepare teachers for New Church schools or candidates for the Theological School. It is hoped that a four-year liberal arts program may be offered before long.5

4 Report of the Inspection Committee for the College of ANC, Jan. 14-16, 1952, 3 n.

5 ANC Self-Evaluation Report to the MSA, Jan. 1963, 25.

The Junior College has offered a diploma for a two-year liberal arts program since 1924. About half the secondary school graduates of the Academy attend for one year before transferring elsewhere. A smaller group attend for two years.6

6 Ibid., 35.



Curricular study was in 1966-67 being seriously undertaken in the College on a long-term basis, and gradual improvement and enrichment of offerings was proceeding. The development of a separate College campus, already under way with two buildings completed and a new College and Theological classroom building rising, promised to lend impetus to the over-all growth and curricular development.

7. Problems and Controversies

A. Student Work (scholarships)

Education at the Academy was never expensive, it being the endeavor to make it attractive economically to those unable to pay the usual private school rates. In 1899 tuition was $50 a year and board $3.50 a week, with room free if parents were unable to pay.1 Bishop W. F. Pendleton suggested scholarships as early as 1899.2 As early as 1904 a very few scholarships were in existence, and an appeal went out to the New Church public to subscribe to the worthy cause, at $200 for each full scholarship per year (tuition, board, room).3 The scholarships were awarded to deserving students who tacked the means of paying for all or part of their Academy schooling.

1 NCL, Sept. 1899, XIX,

2 Ibid., June 1899, XIX,

3 Jour. Ed., 1904, 64

Apparently the early scholarship students were expected to perform certain tasks for the school in return for their grants, because we find in 1913 Superintendent and Treasurer C. E. Doering complaining to the board of directors about the poor work done by the scholarship boys; the girls, on the other hand, had worked conscientiously as a rule. The board grumbled that promiscuous granting of scholarships cheapens our education.4

4 ANC Board Minutes, April 5, 1913.



In 1917 the working scholarship plan came into being. Bishop N. D. Pendleton had announced the previous fall that students could now pay in work for a portion of their fees, and that would, he hoped, enable all, or nearly all, (who wished) to enter the schools. The work would be supervised by the faculty, and an educational idea would enter in. Age and strength of the students would be considered in assigning work.1 The following year President Pendleton devoted most of his annual report to the working scholarship plan. If scholarship funds were divided among more students, and the students pieced out their costs by doing scholarship work, twice as many students could come to the Academy. The ideal should be that every boy and girl in the church of sound mind and body should come. We ought to fill these large buildings with students, Pendleton declared.2

1 "Report of President, Jour. Ed., Oct. 1916, XVI, 16.

2 Ibid., Oct. 1917, XVII, 16f.

Early in 1917 the Academy held a public discussion of the scholarship plan, and overwhelming sentiment favored continuance and extension of the plan. Women of the community were urged to consider ways to find work for students, and one speaker inveighed against the lurking idea that work is not respectable. He declared Work is the most honorable thing in the world, and about the only respectable thing there is. Our doctrine of uses has settled this question for all time.3

3 Ibid., 44f.

As of 1966, student work (instead of scholarship as it came to be known, somewhat confusingly) had been cut to eight hours a week for those on full work program, and four for those doing the minimum. Every resident student now does some student work, unless his parents make a special request to have him excused, except for second and third year theological students. Non-resident as well as resident (dormitory) students may participate in the plan. A Variety of jobs are involved, although the majority of the student workers are engaged in cleaning the buildings each day.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 132 Laundry operation in the Field House, stenography in the offices, library assistance and dining hall service are among the types of work performed.1 And student work is a two-way street; it benefits the Academy as well as the students. Treasurer L. E. Gyllenhaal estimated in 1966 that the monetary value to the Academy of the entire program totaled more than $35,000 a year.2

1 Acad. Jour., Cat. No., 1965-66, IV, 14.

2 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Bryn Athyn, Aug. 12, 1966.

The educational perspective which N. D. Pendleton began the program with has not been lost sight of. As the program grows older, it becomes more efficient. It is felt in the Academy that definite educational benefits accrue to the students in having regular hand work each day under supervision, although as yet, vocational aspects have not been much developed. Supervision is the key to successful operation, and today little of the supervision is done by the teaching staff, which has other duties. The buildings look well, and the system is the envy of other schools. One problem posed by the program is the regular hour that it takes out of the academic program every day. Also, Saturday mornings are occupied with student work and no other projects can be scheduled then.

B. Bodies of Spirits and Angels.

The traditional debate of medieval scholasticism as to the number of angels that can stand on the head of a pin was almost matched by a debate in the Academy from 1911-1915 as to the nature and form of the bodies of spirits and angels. Basis for the argument exists in two seemingly divergent views in Swedenborgs writings. In his standard self-published works, such as Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg emphasized the close resemblance of the post-death human being to his appearance while on earth.3 But in his Spiritual Diary, a daily recording of his spiritual experiences, much of it written in rough form before he began his standard doctrinal works, and apparently not intended for publication, an impression can be gained of almost formless disembodiment.

3 Heaven and Hell, hereinafter, HH, 74.

1 SD 355.



The controversy was launched in 1911 by publication in New Church Life of a paper by W. Rey Gill, a British New Churchman who had come under the influence of Miss Lillian Grace Beekman.2 Gill agreed that while human beings appear as such in the other life, their actual basic form is not that of the human body, but something a good deal less definite, such as the processes of the brain.3

2 Gill, W. Rey, The Bodies of Spirits and Angels, NCL, Nov. 1911, XXXI, 728-38.

3 Ibid., 733, 738.

This argument was answered by a number of persons who apparently saw in it a threat to the teachings of Swedenborg about the survival of the human form after death. In the years 1911-1915, sides were formed--on one side Miss Beekman and her followers, including in addition to Gill, Rev. Alfred Acton, Rev. E. I. Iungerich, and for a time, Rev. Homer Synnestvedt. Bishop W. F. Pendleton did not take part in the controversy, but Miss Beekman was his protegee, brought from the Mid-west to study Swedenborgs heretofore neglected philosophical works and to attempt their correlation with his theological writings. On the other side, in addition to Odhner, were the conservative elements in the clergy and notably, John Pitcairn.

Since Miss Beekman was an instructor in the Theological School and had served as an unofficial teacher to some of the leaders of Academy and Church, the controversy became acute in Bryn Athyn, and a lack of freedom to discuss the subject hung over the Academy for some years. Agitation grew so strong that finally the Joint Council of the General Church was called together to discuss the matter. Between their first session in June of 1915, and their final meetings in November, the figure at the heart of the conflict decamped, removing some of the heat with her. On August 4, Miss Beekman withdrew from the General Church and renounced Swedenborg and the idea of revelation through him in strong terms.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 134 She associated herself with the Catholic Church for six years thereafter.1

1 Acton, Alfred, Lillian Grace Beekman. New Philosophy, hereinafter, NP, Oct. 1953, LVI, 131.

In the course of a long discussion, the Beekman controversy was linked to Feminism,2 academic freedom,3 and disturbance throughout the Church4 and in the Academys classes.5 The view was expressed that John Pitcairn, leader of anti-Beekman forces, was unduly disturbed6 and that theological students of the Academy, at least, were able to examine these or any other teachings in the light of revelation without danger and with some profit. 7

2 Journal of the Joint Council of the General Church, Bryn Athyn, 1916, Nov. 27, 1915, record of June 26, 1915, 48.

3 Ibid., 5f.

4 Ibid., 40.

5 Ibid., 16.

6 Ibid., 47f.

7 Ibid., 48ff.

After Miss Beekmans withdrawal in August, the issue was less agitated. John Pitcairn was ill, and W.F. Pendleton had resigned the council chairmanship in favor of his younger brother and incoming Bishop and Academy President, N. D. Pendleton. Yet the discussion was carried on in a two-day meeting Nov. 27-28, 1915, to complete the discussion and resolve, if possible, the differences.

The final meeting began in a mood of sober self-examination an assessment of the extent of the conflict, and of the damages to church and school. John Pitcairn had led the fight against Beekmanism, seeing in it a mortal threat to the survival of the Academy ideas.8 Others focused the blame upon the editor of the New Church Life for publicizing heretical notions, and upon the leaders of the church for negligence and supineness.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 135 Carl Theophilus Odhner, editor of the Life and Academy teacher, spoke of his despair over the division in the church and vitiation of fundamental Academy doctrines through Miss Beekmans subtle teachings.2 Homer Synnestvedt and N, D. Pendleton disclosed that in private conversation and correspondence Miss Beekman had repudiated Swedenborgs authority scornfully.3 At the end of the long discussion, Homer Synnestvedt called for a suspension of debate to give the Church time to sort out the true from the false in Miss Beekmans teachings.4 Bishop N. D. Pendleton, whose elevation to leadership had probably been hastened by the Beekman conflict, said that there would be no official pronouncement of doctrine by the council of the clergy, since this is explicitly condemned by the writings of Swedenborg, and urged that leisurely consideration of the issues be conducted individually in the light of the writings of the Church. Finally, the assemblage expressed relief from former fears as to the life and unity of Church and Academy and tacitly accepted the idea of a long truce in an atmosphere of greater freedom and tolerance.5

8 Ibid., 220f.

1 Ibid., 38f; 209f.

2 Ibid., 170f.

3 Ibid., 145ff; 8f.

4 Ibid., 145ff.

5 Ibid., 212f.

C. The Status of Swedenborgs Scientific and Philosophical Works

In the early days of the Bryn Athyn manifestation of the Academy, W. F. Pendleton had urged the study of the philosophy and science of Swedenborgs pre-illumination period. During his period of science and philosophy, Swedenborg wrote more than one hundred works on inventions, such as a flying machine and a submarine on projects such as mines and docks and dams; mathematics, anatomy, cosmogony, psychology.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 136 President Pendleton had encouraged Miss Beekman in correlating Swedenborgs philosophical works with his theological works.l Pendleton believed that a full understanding of the theological works required a prior study of Swedenborgs scientific and philosophical works, as certain laws of creation are taken for granted in the Writings because they are already set forth in earlier works.2 He urged a full hearing for Miss Beekmans ideas as stated in her book, Outlines of Swedenborgs Cosmology.3

6 Whitehead, John, Ed., A Brief Bibliography of Swedenborgs Works, Posthumous Theological Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, II, 565-592.

1 Pendleton, W. F., New Church Science, NCL, Oct. 1898, XVIII, 149.

2 Pendleton, W. F. Discussion, Reports of the Seventh Chicago District Assembly, Ibid., Jan. 1908, XXVIII, 54.

3 Beekman, Lillian G., Academy Book Room, 1907.

Dr. H. Lj. Odhner criticized the Beekman Correlation Theory severely, but credited her with kindling our imagination with an organic view of the universe leading to new studies of the philosophical works of Swedenborg.4 Dr. C. R. Pendleton, former Academy dean and professor of philosophy, felt that Miss Beekman had exerted an enormous effect although the thought of church and Academy has since gone beyond her. She erred in assuming that Swedenborgs Principia scheme for the origin of the universe was fixed and permanent; yet Swedenborg modified his former scientific ideas in his theological works, altering many Principia concepts.5 In a later statement Dr. Odhner emphasized the idea that Swedenborgs mind was constantly growing as he was led by the Lord to receive and formulate the truths of heaven. In the preparatory period, Odhner stated, may be seen the principles of a philosophy which may help lead mankind out of the confusion and darkness of a skeptical age. In the Divine Providence Swedenborg was led to perceive certain universals which took an ever-clearer form as he progressed in his studies.l

4 Odhner, H. Lj., A Critique of the Beekman Correlation Theory, NP, July 1944, XLVII, 90ff.

5 Information from Dr. C. R. Pendleton, October 5, 1960.

1 Odhner, H. Lj., Principles of the New Philosophy. NP, April-June 1965, LXVIII, 40f.



As to Swedenborgs status in the world of science and philosophy, three examples may be cited. In 1962, the Smithsonian National Air Museum of Washington, D. C., accepted a model of Swedenborgs flying machine with the comment, We are pleased to receive this very fine model whereby we can accredit the far-sighted aeronautical concept of one of the worlds great philosophers and theologians.2

2 Genzlinger, Gustav, A Model of Swedenborgs Flying Machine. NP April-June, 1962, LXV, 33-40.

In 1962 also the magazine Medical History published a paper which dealt with Swedenborgs contributions to the study of neurology, including his description of the cerebro-spinal fluid and its course, and closing with these words: Emanuel Swedenborg ... clearly deserves a more prominent position in the history of neurological science than he has up to now been accorded.3

3 Akert, Konrad, and Hammond, Michael P., Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) and His Contributions to Neurology, in Medical History, July 1962, VI, reprinted in NP, April 1966, LXVI, 210-221.

Finally, there has been speculation in scientific circles for at least sixty years as to whether Kant got his idea of the nebular hypothesis directly, indirectly, consciously, or unconsciously from Swedenborg, whose very similar treatment of the same subject was published twenty-one years before Kants, and sixty-two years before Laplaces version, which has been described as that of Kant with the mistakes left out. While proof may never be established, the evidence is intriguing. First, Swedenborg was well known to Kant, who wrote a book about him, Traume eines Geistersehers, and corresponded with him and about him.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 138 Next, a review of Swedenborgs Principia (1734) containing a full account of his cosmogonical theory was published in the August number of the Acta Eruditorum in 1737 in Leipzig.1 Finally, Professor Svante Arrhenius traces Swedenborgs ideas to Kant through George L. L. Buffon, his predecessor, whose name and the date 1736 appears on the title-pages of a set of Swedenborgs Opera Philosoohica now preserved in the American Swedenborg Printing and Publishing Society, New York.2

1 Mann, C. Riborg, Swedenborg and Kant on the Nebular Hypothesis, NP, Oct. 1900, III, 147f.

2 Sigstedt, Cyriel Odhner, The Swedenborg Epic, Bookman Associates, New York, 1952, n. #569, p. 472.

D. The Vaccination Crisis

In the spring of 1906, the Academy was so racked by internecine strife over vaccination that Bishop W. F. Pendleton wondered if the church and school could survive. A teacher (Celia Bellinger) developed smallpox early in February, 1906. By February 13, two new cases (Aurora and Lucille Synnestvedt) occurred, and on February 77 a sister of Celia (Olive Bellinger came down with smallpox. By February 16, the boys had been moved out of Stuart Hall, and (Homer Synnestvedt, father of two of the sick, was then housemaster, and he and his family occupied the dormitory housemasters quarter), the smallpox patients had been isolated in Stuart Hall with nursing and medical care operating smoothly. Vaccination had been carried out on some 100 of Bryn Athyns 250 population, President Pendleton and his family being the first to submit to it.3

3 Pendleton, W. F., to Mrs. W. F. Pendleton, Feb. 23, 1906; Ibid., Feb. 17, 1906.

In Pennsylvania vaccination was an agitated question. The state in the early 19005 suffered heavily from smallpox, with 404 of the nations 606 deaths from smallpox for the last half of 1904 reported there.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 139 Nevertheless, opposition to vaccination was strong, particularly among adherents to the homeopathic school of medicine, which was especially popular among New Church people at that time. At the beginning of the school year 1905-06, the Pennsylvania Commissioner of Health sent a notice to all schools of the commonwealth, calling attention to the Assembly Act of June 18, 1895 requiring vaccination of all school children unless they had already had smallpox. He pointed out that no action of local school directors could set aside the law.2

1 Philadelphia Press, Feb. 18, 1906, ANCAR 835.

2 Dixon, Samuel G., Letter to Principals, etc., Sept. 1, 1905, ANCAR.

President Pendleton saw no alternative but to cooperate with health authorities and obey the law, and in this stand he had the support of three other members of the board of directors. However, a number of teachers and other members of the board, notably, John Pitcairn, wanted to defy the state. Some parents objected by telegraph to vaccination of their children. E. S. Price, Dean of the Faculties, wrote a letter to a Harrisburg newspaper discounting the value of vaccination which elicited from the state health commissioner the epithets rabid and superficial.3

3 Pendleton, W. F., to Mrs. W. F. Pendleton, Feb. 18, 1906; Ibid., Feb. 16, 1906; Harrisburg Star-Independent, Mar. 23, 1906, ANCAR 835.

When Philadelphia health authorities learned that two of the twenty men commuting daily from Bryn Athyn refused vaccination, they wrote to Dr. Dixon, state health commissioner, who dispatched two medical inspectors to Bryn Athyn to take charge of the situation.

Chief opponent in Bryn Athyn to vaccination was John Pitcairn, who later in 1906 organized, along with Academy teachers and others, a National Anti-Vaccination League.4 By March 22, after a two-day consideration in the consistory, the embattled president was able to write his wife, Things [are] looking much better. Mr. Pitcairn after the talks, was able to accept at once the verdict of consistory that the whole matter was to be dropped for the present.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 140 He added that he had been disappointed in Miss Beekman, who had been turned by John Pitcairn to writing articles supposedly lending the weight of Swedenborgs philosophy in opposition to vaccination.2

4 Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 18, 1906; Philadelphia Ledger, Feb. 18,

1 W. F. Pendleton to Mrs. W. F. Pendleton, Mar. 22, 1906.

2 Ibid.

And so, after two hectic months, a collision between the Academy, together with its community, and the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was avoided. The Academy had bowed to state authority when it had agreed to meet the conditions required by the chief medical inspector, who had conferred with C. E. Doering in Bryn Athyn.3 Not all the individuals in the Academy had been won over to vaccination, but President Pendleton had established the Academys survival as the first value to be preserved, above that of personal convictions, no matter how strong, about medical practice.

3 Johnson, Fred C., to C. E. Doering, Feb. 19, 1906.

E. The Kramph Will Case

Fred J. Kramp joined the New Church in 1836. A wealthy merchant tailor, he was a friend of Benades in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and helped convert him to the New Church. He encouraged Benade in his idea of a New Church university.4 Kramphs will of 1854 bequeathed his residuary estate to seven trustees for the purpose of endowing a university of the New Jerusalem, to be founded ... in Philadelphia ... for universal New Church education. In the event that such an institution should already be in existence, the residuary fund should be paid directly to the trustees.5

4 Kramph Will Case, ANC, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1910, 86f.

5 Ibid., 89, 104.

By 1908, when the will came to court, all the seven original trustees had died, and of their successors, only one, John Pitcairn, was a member of the Academy. The other six were members of the Convention, and one of them, William McGeorge, a Philadelphia lawyer, had shown hostility toward the Academy since its founding.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 141 In the years following Mrs. Kramphs death in 1902, Pitcairn had tried for settlement out of court with award of the legacy to the Academy, but felt that his efforts were blocked by McGeorge.2 The Rev. William L. Worcester, another trustee, wrote Pitcairn that the six Convention trustees would promptly and cheerfully award the money to the Academy but for the position that we understand the Academy to take upon the so-called permissions in Conjugial Love.3 Pitcairns letter asking wherein Worcester deemed the Academys interpretation of Conjugial Love to be in error received no satisfactory answer, nor would the other trustees disclose the name of the attorney they had retained. Hence, further efforts to settle the case were in vain.4

1 Supra, 65.

2 Kramph Will Case, 111-132.

3 Worchester, W. L., to J. Pitcairn, Jan. 8, 1908, in Ibid., 130f.

4 Ibid., 131.

The contest in the Orphans Court of Lancaster opened July 1, 1908, before Judge E. G. Smith, who rendered his decision July 13. Though the Academy fulfilled the requirements of the will, he, Judge Smith, considered the writings of Swedenborg in conflict with the laws of Pennsylvania. He awarded the funds to the heirs.5

5 Ibid., 234-40.

Exceptions to Judge Smiths decree were filed, both by the Academy and the McGeorge trustees. After further arguments were heard, Judge Smith dismissed the exceptions, confirming and attempting to clarify his original opinion. This decision was rendered March 4, 1909.6 The Academy and the McGeorge trustees now appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,
Eastern Division, meeting in Philadelphia.

6 Ibid., 296.

The response of the Supreme Court, rendered June 27, 1909, reversed the decision of Judge Smith unanimously. The decree must be reversed. It cannot be sustained on any ground whatever. On the Conjugial Love aspect, the court wrote: ...while there are writings of Emanuel Swedenborg which may be susceptible of a construction which would make them obnoxious to certain of our common standards of morality, yet it does not appear that such writings constitute any part of the religious doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, at least not with that interpretation put upon them which would make them offend.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 142 A year later the court awarded the legacy of $38,785.00 to the Academy, July 1, 1910.2

1 Ibid., 405f.

2 Philadelphia Record, July 2, 1910, ANCAR, X 200.

How much the Academy lost in injury to its good name because of sensational newspaper coverage of the trial is hard to estimate. However, there were neutral voices on the Academys side. An Episcopalian writing to the editor of the Philadelphia Public Ledger after Judge Smiths first decision defended Swedenborgs teachings on conjugial love and deplored the misunderstanding of them.3 The editor of the Oregonian published a similar statement, excoriating Judge Smith as a petty rural magistrate in the benighted state of Pennsylvania.4

3 Philadelphia Public Ledger, Dec. 23, 1908.

4 Seattle Oregonian, July 19, 1908, in Kramph Case clippings ANCAR #X200.

McGeorge and the other Convention trustees declared that they abrogated the second part of Swedenborgs work, Conjugial Love. The Academy took the position that all of the theological writings of Swedenborg were divinely inspired, and that while they did not practice the indulgences or permissions defined in the second part, yet it was incumbent upon them to let them be known for the sake of those comparative few for whose salvation they were designed.5 The amount of the legacy, while considerable, was not critical to the operation of the Academy, already well-endowed. It would certainly have been easier for the Academy to avoid a court trial, but this solution was not considered, the battle for the status of the theological writings of Swedenborg being considered imperative.

5 Kramph Will Case, 469-530.

F. The Hemelsche Leer Schism

The Academy schools were disturbed, along with the General Church as a whole, when in 1936-37, a schism occurred initiated by the so-called Hemelsche Leer Movement, or The Dutch Position.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 143 The general idea of the new movement was that the theological writings of Swedenborg held an internal sense, just as Swedenborg wrote was true of the Old and New Testaments. Another part of the position was that a special enlightenment was enjoyed by regenerating men. Part of the movement was launched with the announcement (presumably from the enlightenment of regenerating men) that the General Church was spiritually dead,

Among the leaders of the new movement were the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer of the Hague, and Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, second son of John Pitcairn. Pfeiffer an Academy graduate, was declared separated from the General Church for disturbing it, and Pitcairn resigned.1

1 Documents Concerning the Separation of the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer from General Church of the New Jerusalem, April 7, 1937, General Church of the New Jerusalem., Bryn Athyn, 1937, 14f.

More than a score of resignations from the General Church occurred because of the split, but for the most part, the Hemelsche Leer group have continued to send their children to the New Church schools at Bryn Athyn, lacking schools of their own, and the Academy has received them.

8. The Academy and the World

A. Early Efforts of the Academy to Operate Parish Schools

In 1886, a semi-confidential report of Academy doings called College Letters contained this announcement: Besides the Philadelphia Schools, the Academy has now under its charge one in Pittsburgh and one in Chicago.... The schools were opened in the three cities September 15.2

2 College Letters, Dec. 10, 1886, I.

In a catalog put out by the Academy in 1890-91, the following schools were listed: Philadelphia Schools, fifteenth year; Pittsburgh School, sixth school year; Chicago School, fourth school year; London School, first school year. Headmasters For the schools were also listed, and in all but one case, these were different from and additional to the society pastors.3

3 Catalog of the Schools of the Academy of the New Church, 1890-91.



In 1897 the school in Berlin (now Kitchener) Ontario, begun and sustained by Academy enthusiasts, was taken from the charge of the Rev. F. W. Tuerk and placed under control of the Academy. A split in the society over Academy principles occurred at the same time.1

1 Communicated, Recent History of the Church in Berlin, Canada, NCL, Oct. 18911 XI, 191f.

Wariness and imperiousness are blended in Benades notice to the tendon Academy group relative to the resumption of their school under the Rev. E. C. Bostock: Conditions on which the Academy of the New Church will take charge of the school to be established anew in London, England: 1. That members of the New Church in England will provide the expenses. 2. That members of the New Church in England will pledge themselves to abstain from interference with the management of the school. 3. That the manager of the building ... secure to the Academy sole and undisputed use of the same.2

2 Benade, Chancellor W. H., Memorandum, Sept. 5, 1894.

In a letter to Rev. R. J. Tilson of London in 1896, Benade announced that he had put the various local schools under the superintendence of the several pastors. This was not the ideal, he pointed out, which was control by the Academy; but support of the schools had been so poor that the new arrangement was demanded by expediency.3

3 Benade, W. H., to R. J. Tilson, Oct. 29, 1896.

Just a few months later came the storm ending Benades control, and reorganization under the General Church of the New Jerusalem in Bryn Athyn. After the clouds had cleared away, an announcement in the New Church Life defined the new arrangements: The Schools of the Academy are now all collegiate, the Primary Departments having been relinquished. This work is being taken up by the local schools.4 Five such schools were listed, in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Parkdale (Toronto), Berlin, and Huntingdon Valley.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 145 Ever since 1897, the control of each local school has been under the local society in the given location. The General Church, however, has taken over some of the earlier functions of the Academy by guaranteeing (starting January, 1948) a minimum salary to teachers,l and through the Educational Council, helping in supervision and curricular plans.

4 NCL, June 1899, XIX, 86.

1 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Treas., GCNJ, Aug. 18, 1966.

B. Relations with the Middle States Association

The Boys Academy and the Girls Seminary were accepted into membership of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1926 on the basis of application and submission of the required filled-in forms, as was then the custom for membership. As early as February 10, 1931, minutes of the Boys Academy (as it was then known) note correspondence with Dr. E. D. Grizzell, Chairman of the Committee on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association.2 In 1936 a letter listing the following shortcomings of the Academy was received: 1. Inadequate guidance program; 2. Paucity of provisions for hobbies and non-technical arts, and 3. Lack of use of a gymnasium in the winter. As an economy measure the gymnasium had been closed (1935-36) during the cold months, because of the Depression.3

2 Minutes, Boys Academy Faculty, Feb. 10, 1931, ANCAR.

3 Ibid., Feb. 11, 1936.

In discussing these criticisms, the faculty acknowledged its lack of an organized system of guidance, but felt that the small size of the school and the Principals close contact with the students and the extra personal assistance given by faculty members was an adequate substitution.4 The quite unexpected bombshell exploded when in January 1938, the Middle States Association dropped the Academy secondary schools from its accredited list.5 Basis for the action was the Associations Standard Four, having to do with teacher preparation. Standard Four called for a four-years course in a college approved by the association, or a college of equal rank.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 146 While eleven of the twelve faculty members had degrees, six of their degrees were granted by the Academy College, opening the institution to the charge of being ingrown .1

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid., Jan. 25, 1938.

6 Alden, Karl R., Report of Principal of the Boys Academy, 1937-38,1 in ibid.

1 ANC Catalog, 1936-37, p. 33.

Following an interim in which a number of faculty members took graduate work in various colleges and universities to validate their Academy degrees, in the fall of 1947 the Boys Academy was placed again on the accredited list of the Middle States Association, following self-evaluation by the faculty and a visit by a committee the previous year.2 The Girls Seminary was not visited in that year.

2 Ibid., 1947-48, I.

The Boys School, Girls School, and Colleges of the Academy, including the Theological School, were visited by two committees of the Middle States Association headed by Dr. Eugene S. Farley, president of Wilkes College, in 1952, and received notice of accreditation early in January 1953.3 The College also gained recognition by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction and the Federal Selective Service System after some misunderstanding.4 This enabled college students to obtain deferment under Selective Service Law.

3 Jour. Ed., Sept. 1953, XXX, 173.

4 De Charms, George, Report of the President, Ibid., 156.

On recommendation of Dr. Farley, head of the College Visiting committee, because of its limited offerings in the liberal arts fields, the faculty and board of directors voted to suspend granting of the bachelor of arts degree for the time being. This enabled the visiting committee to recommend accreditation of the entire institution, which was granted by the respective agencies of the Middle States Association in April 1952.5 It was agreed that the Academy would grant only the bachelor of science degree to four-year graduates until further notice.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 147 The Junior College diploma was unaffected.1 All schools of the Academy received accreditation in January 1964, following a joint visit of two committees representing the Middle States Association at college and secondary levels the previous year.2

5 Ibid., 1952, XXIX, 100f.

1 Klein, Eldric S., Report of the Dean of the College, Jour. Ed., 1953, XX, 168.

2 Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1963-64, IV, 18.

Curricular Studies have been carried on throughout the Academy schools since 1964 looking toward preparation of interim reports to the accrediting association.

C. Private School Teachers Association

Since the early 1950s the Academy staff, along with Bryn Athyn Elementary School teachers, have participated in meetings and business of the Private School Teachers Association of the Philadelphia region. On three occasions the Academy has been host to the semi-annual meetings of the association, and Academy staff members have served in its administration and as president. Dean Stanley F. Ebert was president of PSTA from 1954-1956, and Professor E. Bruce Glenn from 1963-1966.3

3 Information from Mrs. Hobart Smith, Bryn Athyn, former secretary of PSTA, May 15, 1966.

D. Membership in other Associations

For many years the principal of the Boys School has maintained membership in the Boarding School Headmasters Association of the Philadelphia Region. Both K. R. Alden and R. R. Gladish served terms as presiding officer. Dean Eldric S. Klein has for many years been a member of the Classical Society of the Middle States Association. Other member of the staff have maintained memberships and attended conventions of a wide variety of professional associations, such as the National Council of Teachers of English.4

4 Information from the individuals concerned.



E. Relations to Borough, State, and Federal Governments

Although there is little official connection, a close relationship exists between the Academy and the Borough of Bryn Athyn, which came into existence as a separate political unit in 1916.1 The Academys size and position atop a hill at the center of Bryn Athyn makes it the boroughs chief interest and industry. Of the 30.1% of Borough residents employed in the borough, most are on the staff of the schools.2 Members of the Borough Council and administrators of the borough are also, for the most part, Academy graduates. The same names have a way of recurring on the Board of Trustees of the Bryn Athyn Church, the Board of Directors of the Academy, and the Borough Council. However, there is a sturdy effort to keep school-church and government interests separate, although in this strong Republican borough, it is hard to do at times.

1 Decision of Judge Aaron S. Swartz, Court of Quarter Sessions, Montgomery Co., Feb. 8, 1916, reprinted in Bulletin of the Sons of the Academy, Bryn Athyn, Pa., Feb. 1916, LV, 7-11.

2 Dahlem, D., and Hilderbrand, R., Summary and Analysis of Bryn Athyn Borough Resident Questionnaire, Montgomery County Planning Commission Norristown, Pa., Aug. 1965, ANCL 5.

Some of the places where contact between borough and Academy is important are in the boroughs payment of $700 annually in partial support of the Academy library;3 in police and fire protection; in matters of zoning;4 and collection of school and real estate taxes. In 1966 the Academy was freed from the further necessity of paying real estate taxes to borough and county, after having paid them for fifty years.5

3 Information from H. C. Walter, Secy Borough Council, Aug. 18, 1966.

4 Johns, Hyland R., Jr., Notice to Bryn Athyn Residents concerning Zoning Ordinance of 1950.

5 Tripician, Joseph F., Green, Charles A., Board for Assessment and Revision of Taxes, Montgomery County, to Rt. Rev. Willard D. Pendleton, President ANC, Jan. 12, 1966.

The Academys secondary schools are accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 149 The school board of Bryn Athyn, which has no public school to support, and whose function is to pay for the education of the few children living in the borough who do not attend the Academy or Bryn Athyn Elementary School, was ordered to merge with Lower Moreland, but the merger was delayed in the courts.1

6 Acad. Jour. Catalog 1967-68, VI, 15.

1 B. A.-L. M. Merger Postponed Breeze, May 26, 1966. Brief for School Dist. of Borough of B. A. to State Bd. of Ed., Aug. 16, 1965, ANCL.

Among federal connections, the Academy numbers its colleges listing in the Educational Directory of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as this is required to enable the Academy to receive gifts tax-free, to enjoy deferment rights under Selective Service, and through the Office of Immigration, to enroll students from foreign countries.2 Another point of interaction was emphasized recently when, with advice of the Internal Revenue Service, the Academy treasurer converted the former Sons of the Academy Tuition Savings Plan into the Tuition Prepayment Plan of the Academy of the New Church.3

2 Educational Directory, 1960-61, U. S. Dept. Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, 1960, 143; information from Dean of Faculties, E. S. Klein, Aug. 18, 1966.

3 Gyllenhaal, L. E., Report of the Treasurer, Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1964-65, 23.

9. Student Life

A. In the First Decades - to 1897

Benade and his associates set out to create a distinctively New Church education- a favorite phrase. Education was meant to be complete, and their new ideals were to lead them to original approaches to all living and thinking, including recreation and social diversions.

The first, and in origin, perhaps the most distinctive extra-curricular activity of the Academy was the Gymnasium, organized by the theological students during the first year of the school, in 1877. Modeled on schools of wisdom such as those described by Swedenborg,4 the Gymnasium was a club for mutual improvement in speaking, debating, reading, behaving, etc.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 150 Less intellectual and more convivial was a sub rosa club, Knights of the Midnight Pitcher, conducted by the older students in which there was considerable emphasis on beer drinking, with a minor mention of culture.2

4 CL 151(2).

1 Stuart, J. P., to W. H. Benade, Oct. 24, 1877.

2 Record-book, Knights of the Midnight Pitcher, ANCAR.

Social life for both sexes existed in some variety. Dancing was encouraged--in a way. The faculty hired an expert to teach the minuet to a set of eight who would then teach the rest of the school this graceful, stately dance.3 Gloves were to be worn by both boys and girls, and Mr. Schreck, the Boys School Dean, on at least one occasion, upon information from the Lady teachers, appointed escorts for those who needed them.4 In addition to dancing, there were card parties, although Schreck frowned upon them; dramatics, picnics, nutting at Knights Hill, where Cairnwood (the former John Pitcairn home, in 1467 occupied by President Pendleton) now stands, in Bryn Athyn, and school feasts at commencement time.5

3 Minutes of Teachers Meetings, Nov. 6, 1891, ANCAR.

4 Ibid., Jan. 30, 1891.

5 Ibid., May 22, 1891; Oct. 9, 1892.

Games and sports were conducted informally before the move to Bryn Athyn; card games, tennis, and baseball were played by the boys with little supervision. Mr. Schreck once asked the faculty what they knew about the character of the game of poker, and was told that it was a game of bad character, the principal point of it being who could most skillfully deceive the neighbor. Schreck said that he had tried to root out in the minds of the boys the desire of beating their neighbor, since games should consist simply in pleasant emulation.6 As to the game of baseball, Chancellor Benade pointed out that the ball should be thrown so that the batter can hit it, and other things modified accordingly. Bishop Pendleton explained that the modern way of pitching was dishonest, because although they pretend to pitch it for the batter to hit, and it is necessary to the game that he should hit it, yet they nevertheless try to prevent him from hitting it, by trickery.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 151 Perhaps the elder Pendleton had been shocked by watching his younger brother, N. D., who was said to have turned his back on a promising career as a pitcher when he went into the ministry.2

6 Ibid., Mar., 17, 1890.

1 Ibid., April 30, 1891.

2 Information from Bishop W. D. Pendleton, June 6, 1866.

In the small school there could be an effective kind of informal guidance. A student who showed talent in music would be given special testing by experts, and suitable instruction thereafter. A lad of mathematical bent was given special tutoring by a university professor, and the Academys faithful janitor and handy-man gave informal lessons to the boys in manual training.3

3 Min.Teachers Meetings, March 10, 1892

B. Developments to Present

Signs of a roomier rural environment appeared with the move to the country in 1897. Picnics, long walks, canoeing, skating, and the beginning of organized sports with the first interscholastic football games of 1904 occurred in accounts of the period.4 Social life indoors featured dancing, visiting of homes, dinners and banquets, plays, teas, holiday celebrations, including the distinctive ones of Swedenborgs Birthday, Founders Day, and Charter Day; chamber music, orchestra and vocal concerts, operettas--nearly always Gilbert and Sullivan--in which students and faculty joined their talents for mutual fun.5

4 NCL, Jan. 1904, XXIV, 50f.

5 Ibid., May 1909, XXIX, 316f.

In the span of nearly seventy years from 1897 to 1966, student activities became more numerous and more thoroughly organized with stricter faculty control. In the 1930s and 1940s a gradual separation of college and secondary school social life occurred.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 152 By 1946-47, the College was organized socially with its own program of activities, the social director noting that thus the high school state would not be advanced, nor the college state retarded.l Until this time, and especially through the 1920s, class and school demarcations played relatively little part in social and extracurricular matters. In 1923, for example, eleven school dances were held with all students from elementary level through Theological School invited. Dances were sponsored by each of the fraternities, sororities, and the College.2 Competition between the sponsoring groups often led to elaborate and expensive functions3 until the faculty social committee set up limitations on costs and time spent on decorations. In the 1960s decorations were often elaborate and ingenious, artistic creations of joint boy-girl committees representing two clubs, or classes, putting on a dance for the entire enrollment of the Boys and Girls Schools. Rock and Roll music and the so-called modern dancing associated with it was forbidden at formal dances, but sometimes permitted at informal occasions.4

1 Macauley, June, Report of the Social Director, Jour. Ed., Aug. 1947, XXVIII, 221.

2 Social News, Boys Academy Yearbook, 1923, 29f.

3 Phi Alpha in Action, The Dragon, published by the Phi Alpha Fraternity, ANC, June 1925, II, 9.

4 Social Committee Minutes, Feb. 15, 1966, in possession of Morna Hyatt, Secretary.

A variety of literary productions, from hand-written or mimeographed sub rosa student sheets to club and class annuals or year-books representing the Academy as a whole, appeared over the years. In the 1960s two fairly stable periodicals were published by student groups--the College Commoner (begun 1950) and the Academian (1937). Senior classes of Boys and Girls Schools were turning out jointly class books or annuals each year by the 1960s.

In addition to the clubs previously mentioned,5 a number of ad hoc clubs appeared from time to time, usually briefly.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 153 Some of these were stamp clubs, radio ham, science, and photography clubs.

5 Supra, 110.

Dramatics and music were well-represented over the years. In addition to the ever-popular Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, presented at two or three-year intervals by the Academy as a whole, and later the Boys and Girls Schools jointly, the College usually put on a play annually, and secondary senior classes did also in non-operetta years. Concerts sponsored by the Academy and financed by private patrons have brought to Bryn Athyn such well-known artists as Rudolf Firkusny and Paul Robeson. As early as 1903 an orchestra was formed in which students and older Bryn Athyn residents mingled to put on an ambitious program.1 A distinctive choral group organized by Principal K. R. Alden to sing the psalms as set to music by the New Church composer, C. J. Whittington, in 1933 was honored by singing with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Conductor Leopold Stowkowski.2 Biblical pageants with music and dancing, sometimes performed outdoors by a cast including all the students of the upper schools, constituted distinctive dramatic productions. Created and organized by Professor Frederick A. Finkeldey, the pageants of Joseph and David were given in 1930 and 1935 respectively.3

1 Program, Bryn Athyn Orchestra Society Concert, June 6, 1903.

2 Jour. Ed., July 1933, XXVI, 39f.

3 ANCAR 49, 49X.

Debating was popular at various times in Academy history until discontinued in favor of oratorical contests in 1928. A boys debating club was well-established by 1893, holding its twenty-first meeting in that year.4 Debates with other schools were held, among other years, in 1927, when they were resumed briefly. Formal debating was halted in the Academy Schools after publication in the New Church Life of a paper on the subject by Rev. Alfred (later Bishop) Acton in which the writer asserted that the process of debating was opposed to the spirit of New Church education.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 154 Since 1925 the Boys School has held an oratorical contest annually, latterly an evening function with the public invited, at which the winner receives a silver cup.2

4 Academy of the New Church Debating Club Minutes, 1899-1903.

1 NCL, May 1927, XLVII, 269-282.

3 Oratorical Contests, file in Boys School Office.

Student participation and opinions played an informal part in early Academy life, as seen when the Gymnasium prepared a letter to the New Church Messenger in 1880,3 and in the student management of the Athletic Club.4 However, in the 1920s, student government groups were organized in both secondary schools. A moribund Boys School Committee was reactivated in 1927 as the Student Council under Principal K. R. Alden, holding monthly meetings in the principals home. It consisted of the fraternity presidents, the Junior and Senior Class presidents, and the president of the Athletic Association.5 Other positions were added, including Academian editor, social representative, house committee chairman, member at large, and sophomore representative to the number of ten.6

3 To counter scathing remarks in the Tilson case, supra, 66.

4 ANC Athletic Club Minutes, 1896-1899, ANCAR 75.

5 Alden, K. R., Report of Principal, Jour. Ed., Feb. 1927, XXIII, 118f.

6 Student Council file, Boys School Principals office.

The Girls School Students Council was organized in 1921, gradually replacing the older Polygon Club, and took the name Factores Seminari (Latin for doers and/or workers of the Seminary) January 8, 1923.7 Its members correspond generally to the offices represented in the Boys Student Council, and in 1966 numbered eleven.8

7 Factores Seminari Minute book #1, 1921-1939, passim. in Girls School Principals Office.

8 Information from Miss Morna Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa., Aug, 22, 1966.



In the College, the College Club came into being in 1946-47 to handle matters relating to student government and relations with faculty.1 The College Gymnasium, the male discussion group, continued with monthly meetings, and the Young Womens Discussion Group served a corresponding function on the distaff side. The College has its own schedule of dances and social
activities, commencing with an annual Orientation Week at the beginning of the school year.2

1 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1947, XXVIII, 221.

2 ANC College Theological Self-Evaluation Report to the MSA, Jan. 1963, 40f.

The College Commons Room, on the College classroom floor, is a place for informal relaxation between classes where coffee and cigarettes and refreshments may be obtained. It is operated by the College Club. Since 1960, a Snack (and recreation) Room has been operated for Secondary School and College students on the first floor of the Dining Hall by faculty and a parents committee, with the help of student workers.3

3 Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1960-61, 6.

Other highlights of a rather full activity schedule include the Charter Day weekend, a homecoming celebration in October commemorating the granting of the Academys Charter, Boys School Forum programs, featuring student talks and discussions; home room, about every third week, alternating two to one with Forum; Senior (secondary) Class trip to Washington; Academy Clean Up Day, when all classes are excused to rake and tidy the campus; Academy Play Day, when students and faculty vie in sports and entertainment; the weekly Friday Suppers of the Bryn Athyn Church, to which the Juniors and Seniors of secondary school and college students are invited; the Sons of the Academy Banquet to the Boys School and College men, and the Theta Alpha tea for the Girls School and College women, and the annual General Church Ministers Meetings, when visiting ministers address the students at Chapel.

From time to time the faculty has attempted to formulate principles of social life or good manners, and to discuss these with the students.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 156 In 1958 a joint faculty-student committee on manners brought in a statement which was put before the students and engrossed in a framed glass holder in the halls of the schools.1 The basic concept is that of use to the neighbor, emphasized in Swedenborgs writings. In 1961, a faculty committee produced a statement of principles of social life for the secondary schools, opening with three general principles to guide all social life in the New Church. These were: 1. [social life] should be inmostly regarded as a means of recreating the mind and body for the sake of use. 2. It should offer opportunities for hearty enjoyment. 3. It should serve to draw New Church men ever closer together in the Church. These were followed by more particular statements of principles, including some concerning the state of secondary school students, and the relationships between boys and girls, with documentation through passages from the theological writings of Swedenborg.2

1 Principles of Good Manners, framed statement, signed by committee headed by Rev. K. R. Alden, June 13, 1958.

2 Principles of Social Life in the Secondary Schools, November, 1961, dittoed, Rev. Dan Pendleton, committee chairman.

Academy social life had a character of its own. It was generally confined to the church, yet it had flair and glamor reflected from the larger world of society and travel in which some of the church leaders moved. John Pitcairn, world traveler, associate and competitor of great figures of the era such as John D. Rockefeller; David McCandless, a business leader of Pittsburgh; Walter C. Childs, whose family moved in influential Pittsburgh circles; the scholarly Tafels and Mrs. J. R. Hibbard, cultured head of a girls school in France; Benade himself, whose driving force and spacious intellect made him leader of men like Pitcairn, Childs, and Pendleton. New Church social life was gay but not wild; free but not profligate; proper but not pious. Philosophy and laughter found companionship within it.



10. Influence of Economy, War, and Other Factors

A. John Pitcairns Aid; Later Support

John Pitcairn accepted the chairmanship of the Academys executive committee on the board of directors in 1898,1 and a year later established an endowment fund with a gift of $400,000 in securities.2 As the minutes of the hoard of directors observed, after expressing a sense of the Lords bounty and high appreciation of this generous aid, ...this gift gives the Academy a stability it never had before.3 In 1902, john Pitcairn gave eighteen acres of land in what is now Bryn Athyn as college grounds--the Academys main campus in 1965.4 In 1909, at Commencement, he gave a check for $100,000 to add to the endowment.5 Benade Hall, Stuart Hall, DeCharms Hall, the Library, Glenn Hall, the Dining Hall, and the Power House were all his gifts, and added to the campus between 1902 and 1913.6

1 Pendleton, W. P., to John Pitcairn, Oct. 8, 1898.

2 Of these, $303,000 were Pittsburgh Plate Glass Bonds. The fact that PPG today ranks 73d among the top 500 corporations in America (Fortune, July 1966, LXXIV, 234) underlines the steady support the Academy has enjoyed. Its securities have been steadily added to, principally by the Pitcairns, also by many legacies and gifts from a variety of sources.

3 ANC Board Minutes, Jan. 28, 1899.

4 With an elementary school campus to the east, and a new college campus taking shape to the north, the concept of a main Academy campus may be disappearing in 1966 and following years.

5 NCL, July 1909, XXIX, 410f.

6 Supra, 44f.

By 1966 the Pitcairn families, in addition to four foundations, (Glencairn, established by the Raymond Pitcairn family; Cairncrest, established by the Harold Pitcairn family; Beneficia, established by the Theodore Pitcairn family, and the Asplundh, established by Messrs. Lester, Carl, and Edwin Asplundh) contributed heavily to support of the Academy and development of its new college campus. Backing was sufficient in the spring of 1966 for the Academy to be able to design and plan to construct a College-Theological classroom building, a womens dormitory, a boys dormitory, and a girls dormitory.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 158 This construction was planned for the years 1966-71. Further construction, including a college commons and dining hall, and a college library, was contemplated but not planned as of May 1966.1

1 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Academy Treasurer, Bryn Athyn, May 26, 1966.

B. The Wars

i. World War I

Official Academy reports note little about the First World War aside from C. R. Pendletons absenting himself from the faculty to supervise trainees at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and enthusiastic boys planting a campus garden and taking semi-military weekend camping trips under F. A. Finkeldey.2

2 Academy Schools Today Charter Day Banquet Program, 1953, ANCAR 47; Jour. Ed., Oct. 1917, XVII, 30.

However, the school and church as a whole were keenly aware of the war, and patriotism ran high, forty-three enlisting out of a population of 400.3 An Academy War Service Committee was established in October 1917, which kept in touch with those in service, and printed news of the soldier alumni in the New Church Life and the Sons of the Academy Bulletin. They also knitted and sent sweaters, socks, and other clothing to the servicemen, and supplied them with church literature and periodicals. The Roll of Honor listed those killed in the service of their country, and was headed with this sentence from the writings of Swedenborg: Who does not remember and love him who fights even unto death that his country may be free? (TCR 710)4

4 The Academy War Service Committee, Report, NCL Dec. 1918, XLVII, 765-69.



ff. World War II (Dec. 7, 1941 - Aug. 12, 1945)

World War II had a much greater effect upon the Academy than the first World War. As to personnel, Edward F. Allen of the mathematics and science departments, was granted a leave of absence for the duration of the war to work on sonar and fire control devices for the Air Force and Navy under contract to the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.1 C. R. Pendleton, having acquired a doctorate of philosophy in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, performed part-time work at Cramps shipyard.2 R. R. Gladish, instructor in secondary school and college, worked afternoons and holidays at the Budd Plant, making cargo planes for the Navy. Stanley F. Ebert, French instructor and coach, turned down a commission in the Navy as an officer involved in the physical training of air pilots to remain with the Academy. The local draft board suggested that the Academy put in a request for deferred status for Gladish and Ebert, and the board of directors understood that secondary school teachers were, in April 1943, regarded as filling essential occupations.3 Dr. Melville Goldsmith replaced Dr. A. A. Doering as Academy physician when the latter became a flight surgeon with the Air Force.4

1 Jour. Ed. Sept. 1942, XXVII, 238.

2 Ibid.

3 ANC Board Minutes, April 9, 1943.

4 Ibid., Oct. 20, 1942.

As to curriculum, of the various schools of the Academy, the Boys Academy was affected the most. In 1942, the Academy organized a weekly military drill unit for all male students, supervised by William R. Cooper, former drill master for the Canadian army, and complete with uniforms and student officers.5 In the same school year, physical education periods were increased from two to five in the first semester, and four in the second, and a commando course was constructed and employed by the students with faculty supervision. An intramural sports program involved every able-bodied boy, and tournaments were held in several sports, including boxing and wrestling.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 160 However, this intensive program could not be sustained because of shortage of faculty manpower. The following year physical education was reduced to two periods plus military drill once a week, weather permitting.2 A wartime innovation in the classroom was professor F. A. Finkeldeys course in visual acuity, patterned after the armys aircraft recognition course, using equipment Finkeldey built himself.3

5 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1943, XXVII, 288; ANC Board Min., Sept. 25, 1942.

1 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1943, XXVIII, 288.

2 Ibid., July 1944, XXVIII, 24.

3 Ibid.

Most of the College men registered in 1942-43 for courses looking to future service in the armed forces. College physics was modified to include meteorology, and astronomy emphasized navigation. A new course in trigonometric calculations was added.4

4 Ibid., Aug. 1943, XXVII, 285.

The Theological School was closed from the fall of 1941 until the fall of 1945, a total of four school years, for lack of students.5 The initial annual enrollment of the Boys Academy was not noticeably affected by the war, but during the school years from the fall of 1942 to the spring of 1945, some students left each year to enter the armed services. The heaviest loss occurred in 1943-44, when thirteen left for this purpose. In February of that year, nine senior boys received their diplomas in an evening ceremony.6 On faculty recommendation, the board of directors waived the two-year graduation rule and ordinary academic requirements, enabling students called in the middle of their graduating year to receive their diplomas before entering the services.7


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 161 College male enrollments were light during the war period, starting with eight in 1941-42, and dropping to one in 1944-45. Out of an initial enrollment of four college men in 1943, three had left before the end of the school year. A restlessness was evident in the schools.2

5 Jour. Ed, appropriate years.

6 Ibid., July 1944, XXVIII, 25; Sept. 1942, XXVII, 246f; Aug. 1943.

7 ANC Board Minutes, May 7, 1943; Jan. 7, 1944.

1 Jour. Ed., 1943-44, XXVIII, 22.

2 Ibid., 27.

The board placed the facilities of the Assembly Hall at the disposal of the Bryn Athyn Council of Defense for emergency use, and the most valuable books of the library were placed in the crypt at the Cathedral for safe-keeping.3 These two measures record the fact that enemy bombing of the area was considered a possibility, if not likely, in the early war years.

3 ANC Board Minutes, May 11, 1942; Jour. Ed., July 1944, XXVIII, 29.

iii. & iv. The Korean War (June 27, 1950-July 27, 1953) and the Academys Attainment of Status with the United States Selective Service

In order to assure its right to receive foreign students (27% of the College enrollment in 1951-52), to render its graduates eligible for office training in the armed forces, and to facilitate transfer to other liberal arts courses in other institutions without loss of credit; the Academy determined to apply for accreditation with the Middle States Association in 1952.4

4 Klein, E. S., Report of Dean of College, Jour. Ed., Sept. 1951, XXX, 62f.

But having gained accreditation with the Middle States Association, problems remained. First, the Middle States Association asked, in September 1952, to inspect the Academys charter, and promptly recorded its approval of the Academys right to award degrees. The Academy then applied to the Veterans Administration for the right to educate returning servicemen under new legislation.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 162 The Veterans' Administration required, in addition to approval of the regional accrediting association, the approval of the state council of education. The Pennsylvania Council of Education indicated that the Academy's charter placed it outside the Council's jurisdiction, although it found no fault with the charter. Therefore the Veterans' Administration approved the Academy under the new law.

However, in March 1953, two Academy College men were denied deferment because the Academy did not appear on the Department of Public Instruction's "List of Institutions of Higher Learning Legally Authorized to Grant Degrees." After meeting with the state director of Selective Service, the Academy received assurance that its name would henceforth appear in the Department of Public Instruction's Bulletin 70, Pennsylvania Educational Directory.1 The two college men were deferred.2

1. Ibid., Sept. 1953, XXX, 166-171.

2 Information from Dean E. S. Klein, Aug. 24, 1966.

On the whole, the Korean War was far less disturbing to the Academy than the Second World War. One faculty member, C. S. Cole, did part-time defense work while continuing to teach classes at the Academy. A suggestion that the Academy take on laboratory defense projects for the government was voted down by the board of directors when Professor Allen advised that such projects might mushroom, and halt or impair the school's regular uses.3 Secondary students were not taken out of their classes as had happened in the Second World War, and very few college students had their educational careers changed by the Korean conflict.

3. ANC Board Minutes, Feb. 16, 1951.

C. Benade Hall Fire of 1948

Benade Hall, the central campus classroom building, housing College and Secondary Schools and offices of the treasurer and administration, was gutted by an arsonist's first Nov. 11 (Armistice Day), 1948. Under the threat of the fire's spread, the most valuable library books were moved during the fire by a human chain of students and townspeople from Room 17 to the Assembly Hall.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 163 However, the fire was confined to Benade Hall.

The arsonist, a demented fire policeman, was apprehended and confessed. Only one day of school was lost, and the football game scheduled for the day following the fire was played.

Over a period of a year, Benade Hall was rebuilt in a larger and more modern version. The original grey granite fieldstone walls were used except where the central transverse section was extended toward the east. For example, the chapel-auditorium was enlarged from a seating capacity of 128 to 364. Insurance returns of $387,000 covered something over a third of the costs of the rebuilt structure, which cost close to a million dollars.1 The editor of the Journal of Education wrote: For some $925,000, the Academy is getting a building which compares with the old Benade Hall as the Queen Mary would compare with the Mayflower.2

1 The Benade Hall Fire, Jour. Ed., Mar. 1949, XXIX, 83-89; New Building Plans, Ibid., 90-92.

2 New Benade Hall Monument to Cooperation was Well as New Church Education. Ibid., Mar. 1950, XXIX, 170.

11. Achievements of the Faculty in Relation to Development of the Academy and Outside Interests

A. Dr. C. R. Pendleton

Charles Rittenhouse Pendleton was graduated from the Academy College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1904, and from the Academy Theological School with the Bachelor of Theology degree in 1907. Thereupon he commenced teaching mathematics and science in the Academy College and also at other levels. In 1914 he was made head of the Science and Philosophy departments.3 In 1917-18 he had a part in training men to build ships at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, teaching part time at the Academy. In 1927 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, majoring in psychology, from the University of Pennsylvania.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 164 In 1930 he was appointed Dean of the Academys College,1 a position be held until 1947.2 Pendleton studied and taught through the Academys Beekman era, and while he admired Miss Beekmans scholarship and contributions, he developed and maintained his own viewpoints. An able scholar, he taught science and philosophy in the Academy from 1907 to 1962, a span of fifty-five years. Among his published studies are, Is the Pithecanthropus Human?3 and The Academys Adaptations to Science.4 In the latter paper he compared four theories of evolution, two of them developed in the New Church, and urged that the church embark seriously upon a long-tem study and research in science.

3 Jour. Ed, 1907, 71; Ibid., 1914-15, XIV, 108.

1 Ibid., Aug. 1930, XXIV, 217. He also did war work during this period.

2 Ibid., Aug. 1947, XXVIII, 108.

3 Jour. Ed., July 1925, XXII, 111-136.

4 Ibid., April 1928, XXIII, 204-227.

B. R. W. Brown (1877-1937)

Reginald W. Brown, Canadian-born, Academy-educated minister of scholarly attainments, who served the Academy as professor of science, Dean of the College, and Librarian, was deeply interested in educational theory and method. After coming to the Academy in 1892, he received the Academys B. A. in 1897, and B. Th. in 1899, and was ordained in 1900. He was pastor of the Pittsburgh society till 1903, then studied at the University of Chicago, where he taught physiography in 1904-05. He studied in the summers at various universities, receiving an M. A. from Columbia. In 1905 he joined the faculty of the Academy, and in 1909 was appointed Professor of Physical Science, teaching chemistry, geology, and astronomy, among other sciences, in the College,5 until 1937.6 He was appointed Dean of the College in 1917, withdrawing from that post in 1918 to become Librarian of the Academy, a position which he held at his death in 1937. He was an active member of the Swedenborg Scientific Association, an association devoted to study of Swedenborgs non-theological works, serving as president of that body in 1935.

5 Jour. Ed., 1909-10, 25f.

6 Caldwell, W.B., Biographical Sketch, NCL Nov. 1937, LVII, 531.



As Librarian, Dr. Brown (he received an honorary doctorate from the Academy in 19361 strove to build up the Academys collection into a New Church library second to none, and to a large degree succeeded. His scholarly interests included the Academy museum, which profited from his ability to decipher hieroglyphics.

1 Jour. Ed., Oct. 1936, XXVII, 31.

Among his published papers and addresses were Learning by Doing2 in which he justified the title by quotations from Swedenborgs writings, but does not mention Dewey or other contemporary theorists of activism in education; Essentials of Educational Method,3 in which he analyzes Benades Conversations on Education and explains Benades terms as defining the New Church ideal of education--feading and guiding the child by means of the affections. In this article, Brown quotes John Dewey on the stimulation of thought. In a third paper, delivered in 1918 to the Council of the Clergy of the General Church, Brown makes a strong plea for science in these words: The church which loses sight of the place of science as fundamental, second only to revelation, is doomed. The development of rational faith based on the authority of revelation without the counteracting influence which Providence provides through the sciences is impossible.4 Again: As the sciences have closed the understanding, so are they to open it.5

2 NCL, 1924, XLIV, 341ff.

3 Ibid., Oct. 1923, XLIII, 610.

4 Ibid., Two Foundations of Truth, Sept. & Oct. 1918, XXXVIII, 550ff., 610ff.

5 Ibid., 617.

C. F. M. Buell

Frances Margarita Buell, born in Bay City, Michigan, of Canadian parentage, came to Bryn Athyn as a Seminary student, graduating from the Seminary in 1904, and from the normal course in 1906. Her education continued at several colleges and she received a B. S. E. degree from Columbia in 1914. She became assistant to the Dean of the College in 1917, and Principal of the Girls Seminary in 1920,1 a post she held till 1936.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 166 Miss Buell, an accomplished teacher of English, became head of the English department in 1922, a position she held twenty-seven years until 1949.

1 Jour. Ed., July 1920, XIX, 16.

As head of the Seminary faculty, Miss Buell stimulated discussion and experimentation with new ideas and practices in an effort to build an ideal curriculum for girls of the New Church. She felt that the early Academy, through Benade, Mrs. Hibbard, and W. F. Pendleton, was in essentials ahead of the Progressive Education movement. Among the experiments in the Seminary was a curriculum in which each girl proceeded at her own pace on an individual schedule. The faculty sought to work through the affections of the students, and not to imitate boys education. These words at the close of one of her reports fairly characterize the efforts she stimulated in the early 1920s: ...the stand was taken by the Faculty, that although we shall keep up our standards in comparison with the best education in the Old Church, our aim is New Church Education, (and) our preparation for Old Church colleges is subordinated to this aim.2

2 Buell, F. M., Report of Principal of the Girls Seminary, Jour. Ed. Feb. 1924, XXI, 10.

Among Miss Buells papers, marked by sound scholarship and originality as her work was, are Communication, a dittoed handbook for Academy English teachers, Education of Girls (1935), an explanation of the revised Girls Seminary curriculum of 1935,3 Natural Laws of Composition,4 and The Poets and Eternal Justice.5 In the article on composition, the writer emphasized that students should understand that writing is not a trick, but is achieved through the laws of order of the rational mind. The Greeks used one word for order and ornament - [scanner unable to insert word. She closed with a quotation from Swedenborgs Rational Psychology 116: No speech can originate from imagination alone .... both intellect and thought are requisite; for there is in every composition of words something intellectual, analytical, and philosophical - yea, spiritual.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 167 In The Poets and Eternal Justice, the writer asserted, We know a poet if we know his attitude toward eternal justice.2 Then citing world literature from Job to Ibsen, she demonstrated which writers had a concept of divine justice and which did not. Finally, in regard to modern literature, she pled for an unshrinking scrutiny of modern works with the words, A sweeping statement based on ignorance is dangerous to the Church, and ventured a formula for modern literature--pity and revolt, instead of Aristotles pity and terror. The present age is one of revolt, spiritual and natural, beginning in that great revolution in the other world,-the Last Judgment.3 Miss Buells paper, which was delivered to a joint session of faculty and clergy, closed with these words: In the Ancient Church Job was one long dramatic question with an incomplete answer. In the New Church, to the question of poetry, we have in the Writings an answer.4

3 copy in possession of present writer.

4 Jour. Ed., Oct. 1913, XIII, 99-107.

5 Ibid., April 1928, XXIII, 228-234.

1 Op. cit., 107.

2 Op. cit., 228.

3 Ibid., 233.

4 Ibid., 234.

D. Karl R. Alden (1892-1963)

The Rev. Karl Richardson Alden, born in Philadelphia, son of the Rev. William Hyde Alden, a Convention minister who transferred to the General Church, was principal of the Boys Academy from 1924 to 1950, a period of twenty-six years. After retirement from the principalship, he became head of the General Church Religion Lessons, correspondence courses in religious training for children of isolated General Church families, enrolling about 500 students. K. R. Alden also served as housemaster of Stuart Hall for thirteen years while principal from 1924-37. He served on visiting committees of the Middle States Association, sometimes as chairman.

During his long leadership of the faculty and students of the Boys Academy, he saw established a number of new elements calculated to strengthen and liberalize the schools offerings.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 168 During this period the oratorical contest was developed as an annual function involving the whole school; the student council took a prominent part in communication between faculty and students, and the principal promoted among the students with help of student council a strong tradition against cheating. Mr. Alden, who was trained in music, organized the Whittington Chorus among the secondary school students, and had the satisfaction of hearing this chorus perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Leopold Stokowski.1 Under Aldens leadership the faculty introduced a liberalized curriculum, including as new courses, mechanical drawing, auto mechanics, instrumental music, commercial geography, and solid geometry and trigonometry, and allowing substitutions for some of the traditional subjects such as Latin, which had been required for four years in the 1920s.2 A guidance program involving a rather complete testing by faculty members was also inaugurated by 1945.3

1 Jour. Ed., July 1933, XXVI, 41.

2 Ibid., July 1935, XXVI, 95f.

3 Ibid., Aug. 1945, XXVIII, 72.

Several of the developments during Aldens tenure seemed to reflect something of his vivid, outgoing personality, imparting valuable experiences outside the classroom. In 1939 he worked out a series of tours for the Senior boys, starting with visits to the local magistrates court and the borough council and progressing to larger units through the state legislature and courts to the Supreme Court and the Congress in Washington. The motto, was Men, not buildings, Alden making a point of having the students meet personally the key officials, throughout.4 Occasionally after a heavy snow, he would announce a snow holiday,5 and he was often host to groups of faculty or students at his summer home on Lake Wallenpaupack, which he and his six sons, under a carpenters guidance, had built with their own hands.

4 Ibid., Sept. 1939, XXVII, 137.

5 Ibid., Oct. 1937, XXVII, 56.



E. Frederick Adam Finkeldey, (1890-1944)

Frederick Adam Finkeldey learned of the New Church from his future wife, Ethne Price, when both were in the Temple College physical education curriculum in Philadelphia. In 1914 he joined the Academy staff, taking charge of physical education and serving as housemaster of Stuart Hall. For thirty years he supervised physical education in the College, Boys School, Girls Seminary, and elementary school, coaching interscholastic sports. He was Director of Physical Education from 1924 to 1944. The departments activities came to include not only sports, but calisthenics, games, folk and esthetic dancing, and military drill.l

1 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1945, XXVIII, 63f.

Coach Finkeldey taught biological science in the College, Boys Academy, and Girls Seminary, and art in the secondary schools, gradually turning over more of the physical education responsibilities to younger men. He produced outstanding religious pageants, combining mimed dramas, music, dancing, lighting and settings. He produced the Pageant of Joseph for the 1930 General Church Assembly at Bryn Athyn, employing more than 200 students as performers and others in production, and the Pageant of David for a similar occasion in 1935.2 Professor Finkeldey believed that the pageant is the most distinctive form of dramatic expression of New Church ideals.3

2 Ibid, July 1928, XXIV, 25f.; Aug. 1930, 237f.; July 1935, XXVI, 103f. The Pageant of Joseph was first given in 1928 and repeated in 1930.

3 Ibid., Aug. 1945, XXVIII, 631.

Fink, both as housemaster for ten years, and as coach, had the affection and respect of the young people in his charge. As coach he fielded teams in football, basketball, and baseball which competed with private and public schools of the-vicinity, and in 1921 his football team had the satisfaction of beating the Philadelphia Public High School champions in the final game of the season.



F. Dr. William Whitehead

Dr. William Whitehead, minister, editor, and Academy historian, was born September 18, 1883 in Derbyshire, England, and was a Methodist minister in England and Canada before becoming interested in the New Church. He entered the Academy Theological School in 1907, and was graduated in 1910.1 He received an honorary Ph. D. from the Academy in 1938. He served as head of the History Department for thirty-five years, from 1922 to 1957.2

1 The Academy Schools Today, Charter Day Banquet Program, 1953, ANCAR

2 Jour. Ed., July 1922, XX, 3; Ibid., Fall, 1937, XXXI, 10.

A speaker and lecturer of wide popularity in the field of the social studies, Dr. Whitehead rendered the Academy notable service as an editor. He edited the Journal of Education from 1912 to 1942; was founder and editor of the Bulletin of the Sons of the Academy, an alumni publication, from 1912 to 1928; edited Bishop N. D. Pendletons Selected Papers and Addresses (1938); Carl Th. Odhners Mythology of the Greeks and Romans (1927); The Academy of the New Church (fiftieth anniversary record, 1926), and a number of other publications, several in the field of politics.

G. Dr. Hugo Lj. Odhner

Hugo Lj. Odhner, philosopher, author, theologian, and dean of the Theological School from 1952-1963, contributed scholarly talents to the Academy beginning in 1928, and was still doing so in 1966. Born in Orebro, Sweden, March 27, 1891, he came to the Academy as a youth, obtaining the diploma in 1910 and the bachelors degree in theology in 1914, and an honorary doctorate in theology from the Academy in 1936.3

3 The Academy Schools Today, 1953; ANC Record, 111.

Under Dr. Odhners leadership, the Theological School faculty labored to elevate the standards for the bachelor of theology degree. To Dr. Odhner, theology in the New Church could be no generalized doctrine or pleasant homily; rather it was an exacting analytical study. He wrote in 1949, Theology is in a sense a science, and must be pursued by methods that will yield accurate results. He conceived that the function of the Academy and its Theological School was that of the lungs in the human body--to purify and nourish the life-b1ood of the New Church on earth.1

1 Odhner, H. Lj., Educating Young Men for the Ministry, Jour. Ed. March 1949, XXIX, 63, 66.



A profound thinker and master of his adopted language, English, Dr. Odhner published a number of books. Among these are The Supreme Doctrine,2 First Elements of the True Christian Religion, a catechism;3 The Moral Life,4 The Divine Allegory,5 Spirits and Men,6 and Creation.7 His fundamental college course of many years, The Philosophy of the Human Organic, exists in a bound volume of lecture notes in the Academy library.

2 ANC Bookroom, Bryn Athyn, hereinafter, ANCB, 1920.

3 ANCB, 1927, 1942.

4 ANCB, 1944, 1957.

5 Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1954.

6 ANC, 1958.

7 ANC, 1964.

Long interested in the development of philosophy in the Academy, Dr. Odhner in 1965 proposed a challenging series of courses for consideration by the College faculty. In his introduction to the thirteen courses outlined, Dr. Odhner stated, The continuation of the race on this earth is at the mercy of scientists and politicians who can terminate it by a nuclear holocaust or limit it by eugenic legislation. The responsibility of the next generation is terrifying in prospect. The great need is for the perspicacity and enlightenment which only a true philosophy can foster.8

8 Odhner, H. Lj., Philosophy and the Curriculum, dittoed paper for private circulation within the ANC College faculty, 1965, in possession of the present writer.



H. Eldric S. Klein

Dean Eldric S. Klein, son of David H. and Tulip Synnestvedt Klein, was born March 2, 1902, in Middleport, Ohio. He received his Boys Academy diploma in 1921, and played in the line on the famous football team of that year. He received his bachelor of arts degree cum laude from the Academy College in 1930, although he had completed most of the course work by 1925. In the 1920s and 1930s Klein studied at the summer school of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his master of arts degree from the last-named in 1941 (majoring in ancient history). He became professor of Latin at the Academy in 1938, head of the foreign language department in 1942, and dean of the College in 1947, and Dean of Faculties in 1956.1

1 Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1959-60, I, 3.

Dean Klein, an ardent member of the Democratic Party in private life, has taken part in government from early manhood. He became a member of the Bryn Athyn Borough Council in 1925 to fill a vacancy, and again in 1928 for a year. He was appointed Burgess (the office now is titled mayor) of Bryn Athyn in February, 1957, on the death of the former burgess, and held the office until 1963, the last two years by popular election. During his term as mayor, he organized the Montgomery Association of Borough Mayors, which took early and effective action in opposing legislation to establish mandatory county boards of health throughout the state. During his period as mayor, also, he served on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania State Association of Borough Mayors.2

2 Information from E. S. Klein, Aug. 24, 1966.

Besides his contributions as top Academy administrator under the president, Dean Klein has taught important College courses in Latin and History for many years. In 1946-47, he organized with the help of community talent, a course in the fine arts whose teachers possessed an unusual degree of professional qualification, yet always the course was aimed at distinctive goals as seen by Klein and the artists and connoisseurs he obtained to teach the course.1

1 Klein, E. S., The Introduction to the Fine Arts Course, Acad. Jour. Lit. No., 1962-63, II, 3-8.



Three sentences from a recent article on Dean Klein serve well to characterize the man and his service to the Academy:

In both his scholarly interests and his mode of work, Eldric Klein may be characterized as a classicist. A dictionary defines classicism as having qualities of regularity, simplicity, balance, proportion, and controlled emotion. These were the qualities of the ancient Greeks and early Romans, about whom so many Academy students have learned from Dean Klein; they are also the qualities that characterize the man.2

2 The Dean of Faculties, Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1959-60, I, 3.

I. Doctorates - Internal and External

The first doctorates awarded by the Academy were those given to Bishop Emeritus and President Emeritus W. F. Pendleton and Professor Alfred Acton at the 1926 Commencement. These were honorary degrees in that no plan of course work was involved, yet they were meant to mark signal achievements of scholarship of practical use to the Academy. In announcing the awards, President N. D. Pendleton sought to justify the step. In regard to the degree for W. F. Pendleton, no convention stood in the way, because of his long and able labors in the field of theology, and especially because of his work on Exposition.3 president Pendleton then acknowledged that the award to Acton represented some departure from accepted customs, since he is still actively teaching in the Academy Schools. This objection was put aside for the sufficient reason that there is no other school of learning in the world which will give deserved recognition to the distinctive work which Professor Acton has done...4

3 N. D. Pendleton here referred to W. F. Pendletons Science of Exposition, a book on sermon writing, published by the Academy in 1915.

4 Pendleton, N. D., Report of the President, Jour. Ed., Feb. 1927, XXVIII, 104.



The Academy had heretofore been very conservative in the matter of granting degrees (meaning honorary degrees), N. D. Pendleton wrote.l But in the years following his remarks, a decided change occurred. In 1928 the Academy awarded the doctorate in theology to Rev. Eldred E. Iungerich.2 In 1929 the doctorate of philosophy was awarded to Dean C. E. Doering for intellectual attainments and long and distinguished service.3 After a gap of six years, two doctorates were given at the 1935 Commencement--to William Beebe Caldwell, editor of the New Church Life, and Hugo Ljungberg Odhner, Academy teacher.4 In 1936, Reginald W. Brown was made Doctor of Science,5 and in 1938, William Whitehead6 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.7 Finally, at commencement of 1945, the degree of Doctor of Letters was granted in absentia to Rev. Gustav Baeckstrom, Stockholm New Church pastor, in recognition of his publication of certain missionary works in Swedish.8

1 Ibid.

2 Ibid., July 1928, XXIV, 41.

3 Ibid., Aug. 1929, XXIV, 131.

4 Ibid., July 1935, XXVI, 106.

5 Ibid., Oct. 1936, XXVII, 31.

6 Supra., 169

7 Jour. Ed., Sept. 1938, XXVII, 109.

8 Ibid., Aug. 1945, XXVIII, 85.

The Academys granting of honorary degrees became a matter of sub rosa controversy. Some felt that such granting of degrees tended to cheapen the doctorate; others contended that the Academys honorary doctorates had been awarded for professional service and accomplishment and were in fact overdue. In any event, the award of such degrees ceased after 1945 with the doctorate to Baeckstrom.

However, the Academy staff attained three doctorates during the sixties with the awarding of three earned degrees by other institutions. In 1960 Sigfried T. Synnestvedt, history teacher at the Academy, received the doctorate in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 175 In 1962, Grant R. Doering, biology teacher, received the doctorate of philosophy for his work at the University of Pittsburgh in biology. In 1965, Lawson R. Pendleton, then a history teacher at the Academy, received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of North Carolina for work in history.1

1 Information from the parties concerned.

It is not likely that further honorary degrees will be awarded by the Academy in the near future, as the present administration has indicated its opposition to the practice.2

2 Information from President Willard D. Pendleton, Bryn Athyn, July 1965.

12. Activities and Achievement of the Alumni

A. Raymond Pitcairn (1885-1966)

The Academys chief single financial supporter, widely-known Republican Party figure, Cathedral architect, musician, and patron of the arts, Raymond Pitcairn, born in Philadelphia April 18, 1885, was a graduate of the Boys College in 1905.3 He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1908, and practiced law for several years as member of the Philadelphia Bar.4

3 ANC Record, 112.

4 A Great: Leader Passes, The Breeze, July 14, 1966.

In 1916 he took charge of the architecture of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, a Gothic and Romanesque church built in the medieval tradition of painstaking care, with distinctive Swedenborgian symbolism by craftsmen gathered from America and Europe.5 After virtual completion of the Cathedral, Pitcairn employed many of the Cathedral workmen upon the building of his unique palatial home Glencairn on his estate in Bryn Athyn, completed in 1937.1

5 The Cathedral-Church of Bryn Athyn, Bryn Athyn Church, 1930, 4; Pitcairn, Raymond, to Rev. C. E. Doering, July 16, 1915.

1 Bryn Athyn Post, in The Breeze, Dec. 23, 1937. The Bryn Athyn Post is a weekly news sheet for the borough begun id 1920 by Otho W. Heilman as an elementary school project, and continued since 1936 as a double column in The Breeze, a community weekly newspaper published in Rockledge, Pa., by the Blaetz Brothers, Printers. Infra, 198f.



Pitcairn was a director of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company for fifty years, and chairman of the board of the Pitcairn Company, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and officer and director of other associated companies.2

2 The Versatile Pitcairns of P. P. C., Fortune, May, 1956, LIII, 108, 222; A Great Leader Passes, The Breeze, July 14, 1966.

Vitally interested in government at all levels, Pitcairn was a member of the Bryn Athyn Borough Council for fifty years and a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1952 and 1956. He became a personal friend of Dwight D. Eisenhower, leading a Bryn Athyn grass-roots movement to initiate the Eisenhower campaign for the American Presidency in 1951-52.3 He also was a friend and supporter of former Vice President Richard Nixon. He wrote a number of pamphlets on patriotic themes for distribution to new citizens and visitors to Independence Hall,

3 B. A. Post, in The Breeze, Nov. 13, 1952, XXXIII, 2.

4 Breeze, July 14, 1966.

He was capable enough as a violinist to play with the renowned Flonzaly quartet, and was a patron of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as a violinist in the Bryn Athyn Orchestra. The great hall of Glencairn was the scene of many concerts by ranking musicians and musical groups. In it Pitcairn directed the construction of a record playing system capable of almost perfect reproduction. Here many classes of the Academy College course, Introduction to the Fine Arts, were held.5

5 Klein, E.S., Acad. Jour., Lit. No., 1962-63, II, 3f.



Pitcairns benefactions toward the General Church and Academy were great and numerous, in the generous tradition established by John Pitcairn, his father. He was a member of the Academy board of directors for fifty-seven years, and its secretary for forty-two. He played a prominent part in the re-design of the new Benade Hall after its destruction by fire in 1948, and directed the architecture of the new uniquely-shaped Pitcairn Hall completed in 1966.1 Through establishment of the Glencairn Foundation, his support of the Academy was assured for the future.2

1 Inauguration of Pitcairn Hall, NCL, June 1966, LXXXVI, 266f.

2 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Academy Treasurer, Bryn Athyn, May 26, 1966; ANC Board Minutes, Jan. 22, 1960.

B. The Asplundh Family

Carl Hjalmar Asplundh, Sr., was an immigrant from Sweden who became the treasurer of the Academy in 7897, as well as the treasurer and publication manager of the Swedenborg Scientific Association. He died in 1903, leaving a family of eight children, five boys and three girls, the oldest of whom was fourteen years old, and his wife. His loss was keenly felt by the Academy, associates praising him as kindly, helpful, ever-busy.3

3 NCL, Feb. 1903, XXIII, 169, 172.

The eldest son, Edwin Theodore Asplundh, leaving the Boys College in 1905, attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1912.4 He was director of construction for the Bryn Athyn Cathedral when the First World War broke out, in which he served overseas as captain in the 103d Engineers, 28th Division. After returning from the service, Edwin Asplundh became vice president and director of the (Harold) Pitcairn Aircraft company and also of the Autogiro Company of America. Then starting in 1934 with the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, he became a vice president and director by 1951, and president-director of the Columbia-Southern Chemical Company, a subsidiary. From 1957 to 1962 he served as chairman of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, retiring February 7, 1962.5

4 Asplundh, E. T, Autobiographical Sketch, Feb, 23, 1959. ANC Corporation file, in possession of E. S. Klein, Bryn Athyn.

5 Ibid.



The second son, Oswald E. Asplundh, born April 13, 1890, after schooling in the Bryn Athyn Elementary School and the Academy Boys College, left school in 1906. He launched a tree trimming business and established a plant nursery in Bethayres, Pennsylvania, about a mile from the Academy campus, and was able to help his younger brothers obtain a college education by providing them with vacation jobs. Many Academy students found work at the O. E. Asplundh nursery while they were going to school, earning money during holidays to help themselves through school, including the present writer. In 1938 O. E. (as he was called) joined his brothers in the Asplundh Tree Expert Company, and settling in the Middle West, developed thriving divisions of the company in the West and South West as well as in the Mid-west of the United states. He died Dec. 16, 1955, mourned by the Glenview Society of the General Church of which he was an especially helpful member.1

1 NCL. Feb. 1956, 61f., 95.

The third son, Griffith, born in Huntingdon Valley in 1896, attended the Bryn Athyn Church School and Academy until 1914 when he went to Pennsylvania State University. After service overseas In the First World War, he returned to finish his education and receive a degree as a landscape architect. He became president of the Asplundh Tree Expert Company, and also of the Bryn Athyn Civic and Social Club, as well as a director of the General Church. He died December 24, 1948, in his 53rd year.2

2 NCL, Feb. 1949, LXIX, 79f., 96.

The fourth son, Lester, born in Bryn Athyn May 3, 1901, was graduated from the Boys Academy in 1919, and from Swarthmore College in 1923 with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in electrical engineering. An all-round athlete, he played on football, basketball and track teams at Swarthmore, and later as a member of the Frankford yellow jackets professional football team. He was nominated to the National Football Hall of Fame in 1961. In 1928 he joined with his brothers in the Asplundh Tree Expert Company, and there developed and patented a lifting device enabling tree trimmers to clear branches from the area of electric power lines without danger of electrocution.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 179 He also developed a brush chipper which reduced branches to easily-disposable chips.1 Formerly executive vice president of the Asplundh company, he became chairman of the board of directors in 1964.2 Lester Asplundh has taken a vigorous interest in Academy affairs, equipping its teams in earlier days, and serving on its Board of Directors. As chairman of the building committee for the Asplundh Field House, he presented the keys of that new structure to President George De Charms October 25, 1957.3

1 Asplundh, Lester, Autobiographical Account, ANC Corporation File, ESK; The Breeze, Jan. 16, 1964.

2 Ibid.

3 NCL Jan. 1958, XXVIII, 20ff.

Carl Hj. Asplundh, Jr., born in 1903 in Bryn Athyn after his fathers death, was graduated from the Academy Boys Academy in 1922 and in 1927 from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science in economics degree. In 1928 he joined with his brothers in the Asplundh company, becoming president after the death of his brother Griffith in 1948. He was in 1966 a member of the board of directors of both the Academy and the General Church,4 widening support of the Academy among ex-students. Carl Asplundh also was named president of the board of Abington Hospital in 1960, and has served as president of the Huntingdon Valley Country Club.5

4 Asplundh, Carl Hj., Autobiographical sketch, ANC Corporation File, Jour. Ed., 1966-67, Cat. No., V, 2; ANC Board Min. Oct. 14, 1944; 16, 1948.

5 The Breeze, Nov. 3, 1960.

The Asplundh Tree Expert Company grew from humble beginnings back in 1928 of a couple of trucks and a handful of men ... into the giant of its field, larger than. the next three utility line clearance companies combined, according to an article issued under the name of Carl Asplundh, president, and printed in a weekly newspaper.6


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 180 The Asplundh company operates in 38 states and has about 5,000 employees, with national headquarters in Jenkintown, and six wholly-owned subsidiaries. The companys expansion was speeded when it turned from general tree-trimming to electric power line specialization, including spraying with growth-retarding chemicals. This is a highly mechanized operation, and the company uses several helicopters for spraying and line work.1

6 Asplundh Co. Sees Continuing Success Story, The Globe, Huntingdon Valley, Jan. 16, 1964.

1 Ibid.

Of the three girls of the Asplundh family, one, Fidelia, became the wife of Bishop George De Charms, Academy president from 1937 to 1958. The others are Mrs. Richard Bovard, and Miss Alethe Asplundh, Bryn Athyn.

Members of the Asplundh family have paid tribute to their mother as the driving force behind the whole family after the death of her husband. She established a dressmaking business, oversaw the performance of daily chores, and insisted that the boys obtain a college education.2

2 Information from Lester Asplundh, Aug. 14, 1967.

C. Harold F. Pitcairn (1897-1960)

Harold F. Pitcairn, born in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1897, a pioneer in the development of the Autogiro and winner of the Collier Trophy for the greatest achievement in aviation in 1931, graduated from the Boys Academy in 1916, was a student in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1917, and was awarded an honorary Master of Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1933. After serving during the first World War as an aviation cadet, Pitcairn became interested in flying, and launched an airplane construction company near Bryn Athyn in 1925. In 1928-29 he operated an air mail line from New York to Atlanta and Miami, Florida, using airplanes made by his own company--the Pitcairn Mailwing. He became president of the Autogiro Company of America in 1929, and a director and executive vice-president of the Pitcairn Company of Philadelphia, as well as a director of the Columbia-Southern Chemical Company and the Loyal Hanna Coal and Coke Company.3

3 Whos Who in America, A. N. Marquis Co., Chicago, 1958-59, XXX, p. 2197.



Harold Pitcairn studied in the Academy Theological School in 1920-21, but though he loved philosophy and theology, he decided that the ministry was not for him. He was elected to the Academy corporation in 1925 and became a director of the Academy in 1927, a position he held at his death in 1960.1

1 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1925, XXII, 159; Ibid., July 1927, XXIII, first page- n. p.; ibid., 1956-60, XXXII, 2.

With his wife, Clara Davis Pitcairn, he made his home in Bryn Athyn, Cairncrest, a frequent social gathering place for Academy and General Church people. The warm sphere in which religious and philosophical discussions had their regular place, along with a lavish hospitality, will not be forgotten by Academy personnel who were fortunate enough to partake.2

2 De Charms, Bishop George Harold Frederick Pitcairn, Memorial Address, NCL, June 1960, LXXX, 296.

D. Donald F. Rose (1890-1964)

Columnist, author, journalist and lecturer, Donald Frank Rose was born in Somerset, England, in 1890, and came to the United States in 1908 to attend the Academy schools. He was graduated from the Boys College in 1911 and received the bachelor of arts degree in 1918. He also took some normal and theological courses, having thought of entering the ministry.3 He taught Latin and English in the Boys Academy starting in 1914-154 until 1925, when he left school work for office employment. He began publishing a magazine called Stuff and Nonsense, which attracted attention in the literary and journalistic world. After a period as a free-lance writer, he found a place on the Philadelphia Public Ledger and also did editorial work and writing for several magazines. He published a daily column in the Ledger from 1932 to 1940. In 1941 he joined the staff of the Philadelphia The Evening Bulletin, where he continued his daily column, Stuff and Nonsense, and wrote editorials.1

3 ANC Record, 114.

4 Jour. Ed., April 1914, XIII, 4, 28, 30.

1 Whos Who in America, 1958-59, XXX, p. 2365; Don Rose, Noted Columnist from Bryn is Dead, The Globe, Feb. 13, 1964.



Don Roses eight books include Diary of a Postwar Correspondent, a paper-back reprint of his newspaper columns written during a tour of the Second World War area;2 Wings of Tomorrow, an account of the Autogiro written jointly with the inventor, Juan de la Cierva in 1931;3 Mr. Wickers War,4 and Full House, a humorous account of life in his large family.5

2 Published by the author, Bryn Athyn, 1945.

3 Brewer, Warren, & Putnam, New York, 1931.

4 Macrae-Smith, Philadelphia, 1943.

5 J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1951.

E. Philip C. Pendleton

A member of the board of directors of the Academy and an attorney active in politics and government, Philip C. Pendleton was born July 3, 1900, at Glenview, Illinois, son of Rev. (later Bishop) and Mrs. N. D. Pendleton. He was educated in the Pittsburgh New Church school and in the Pittsburgh public schools, and the Academy, graduating from the Boys Academy in 1918.6 From the University of Pennsylvania he received in 1922 the degree of bachelor of science in economics, and master of arts in 1924. He received a law degree from Temple University in 1929. He was an instructor in finance and political science at the University of Pennsylvania for several years beginning in 1922. He was treasurer of the University of Pennsylvania from 1944-1952.7

6 ANC Record, 112.

7 Information from Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Pendleton, Aug. 30, 1966.

He became a member of the Academys board of directors in 1941-42, and maintained his membership in 1966, also holding positions on the board of directors of the General Church.8 Philip Pendleton served twenty years as a member of Bryn Athyn Borough Council, beginning in 1928, and part of that time as borough police commissioner.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 183 He has been mayor of Bryn Athyn since January 1964, and in 1966 had been elected for a term extending to December 31, 1969. He became comptroller of Montgomery County in January 1964 and Republican committee man for the borough from 1946 to 196.1

8 Jour. Ed., June 1941, XXVII, 2; Acad. Jour., April 1965, IV, 2.

1 Statistical book of elected officers of the Borough of Bryn Athyn in possession of Harry C. Walter, Borough secretary; Information from P. C. Pendleton, Aug. 30, 1966.

F. Dr. Marlin W. Heilman (1883-1964)

Distinguished surgeon and member of the corporation of the Academy, Marlin Webster Heilman was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, November 13, 1883. Following graduation from Leechburg High School in 1902, he came to the Academy for one year in 1903. After a period of business education followed by employment in business in Philadelphia, he entered the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his M. D. in 1909. He interned for a year in Pittsburgh and then settled in Tarentum as a physician in 1910. In 1925 by competitive examination he received the degree of fellowship in the American College of Surgeons. In 1938 he received a fellowship in the American College of Industrial Medicine and Surgery on the basis of his research and publications. In 1942 he was awarded, along with Dr. Frank Lorenzo, the degree of fellow in the International College of Surgeons for work shown in motion pictures before the International College of Surgeons in New York. The films showed details and results of over 500 surgical operations on fractured hips performed by himself and Dr. Lorenzo. In 1962 he received a citation as Distinguished Senior Alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania.2 Dr. Heilman was elected to the Academy Corporation in 1946, a position which he held until his death in 1964 at the age of 81.3

2 Heilman, Dr. Marlin W., Corporation File, ESK, ANC.

3 Jour. Ed., Fall, 1958, XXII, 12; Acad. Jour., 1966-67, V, 2.

G. Walter C. Childs, II

A vice president of the Chrysler Corporation and member of the Academy board of directors, Walter C. Childs II, grandson of an Academy founder, was born June 4, 1919 in New York City. He was graduated from the Boys Academy in 1937, and from the Central Michigan University at Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with the degree of bachelor of science.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 184 He served during the Second World War in the armed services in the Aleutian Islands. He is married and has four children, three of whom (so far) have attended the Academy schools.1

1 Childs, Walter C, II, Corporation File, ANC, ESK.

Childs was elected to the Academy Corporation in 1957, a position which he maintained until his election to the board of directors in 1966.2

2 Jour. Ed., Fall, 1958, XXXII, 12; Acad. Jour., 1966-67, V, 2.

H. G. Austin Arrington

An experimental engineer for the Western Union Telegraph Company in the development of the revolutionary micro-wave system of transmission, and head of maintenance for the same company in a large section of the United States, George Austin Arrington was born October 25, 1901, in Carroll County, Maryland. Following two years at the Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, he attended the Academy for one year in 1918. After taking a course in electricity at the Spring Garden Institute, Philadelphia, he became associated with Western Electric in 1922, and with Western Union in 1924. In 1945 he became an engineer on the micro-wave system, having through prolonged and diligent home study and on the job experience, acquired the necessary knowledge and experience. Prior to his retirement in 1964, he was maintenance supervisor for an area embracing five eastern states and parts of three more.3

3 Information from G. Austin Arrington, Aug. 30, 1966, at Bryn Athyn, Pa.

A resourceful man of wide interests, Austin Arrington hiked alone from Bryn Athyn to Los Angeles, camping, doing his own cooking and taking side trips to points of interest from March to September, 1920.4

4 Guest of Honor The Breeze, Aug. 27, 1964.



I. Synnestvedt and Lechner

Synnestvedt and Lechner is the name of a highly-esteemed firm specializing in patent law, organized in Philadelphia in 1913. The original founder of the firm was Paul Synnestvedt, younger brother of Homer Synnestvedt.1 His partner, Harvey Lechner, began as an assistant under Synnestvedt in the formers patent law firm, then in Pittsburgh.2 Paul Synnestvedt, who was born in Chicago, April 14, 1870, did not attend the Academy schools, but served as a member of the Academy corporation from 1903 until 1917, when he became a member of the Academy board of directors, a position he held until 1945, and afterward, as an honorary member until his death in 1950.3 He also served as Burgess of Bryn Athyn from 1930 to 1946.4 Harvey Lechner attended the Academy schools from 1902 to 1905, and was graduated from the Boys College in the latter year with the degree of bachelor of arts.5

1 Supra, 85.

2 Lechner, Harvey, to C. E. Doering, July 29, 1913.

3 Jour. Ed., 1903, 50; ibid., July 1917, XVI, 5; ibid., Catalogue, 1944-45, XXVIII, 2; ibid., 1949-50, XXIX, 2.

4 Bryn Athyn Borough Statistics, compiled by and in possession of Harry C. Walter, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

5 ANC Record, 109.

As a family firm, the Synnestvedt and Lechner office employed Arthur, Kenneth, and Raymond Synnestvedt, sons of Paul Synnestvedt, and Edward Davis, whose wife was a sister of Harvey Lechner. Other Academy alumni employed subsequently by the firm are Andrew Klein, John Synnestvedt, Charles Lindrooth, William Cole, and Carl Synnestvedt,

Today, a steadily growing patent law firm among the foremost in the United States, with an increasing volume of international business, Synnestvedt and Lechner employs on the professional level five Academy alumni as compared with seven on that level who are not Academy ex-stuclents.6

6 Synnestvedt, Kenneth, Interview, Aug. 31, 1966, Philadelphia-Bryn Athyn, telephone.



J. Colonel William R. Kintner

West Point graduate and field officer in two wars, expert on communist strategy, professor and deputy director of the Foreign Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, William R. Kintner, graduate of the Academy of the New Church Junior College in 1935,1 is a rare combination of doer and scholar. A practical idealist, he has sought to serve two fundamental loyalties--New Church religious principles, and his country.2

1 Jour. Ed., July 1935, XXVI, 106.

2 Carnegie Corporation of New York Quarterly, Oct. 1958, VI, 1f, 7.

Colonel Kintner was born April 21, 1915, in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, was graduated from Westmont-Upper Yoder High School in 1933; then after two years at the Academy, he attended the United States Military Academy, receiving the bachelor of science degree in 1940. He received the doctorate of philosophy from Georgetown University in 1949, majoring in international relations. His doctoral dissertation was published under the title: The Front is Everywhere.

Through his military experience, his teaching, his voluminous writing, his speaking as panelist on television, Kintner has tried to rouse America and the West from a complacency based on wishful thinking to the creeping or nibbling expansion of world communism. In protracted Conflict, with co-authors of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, he exposed in objective and well-documented terms the Marxist-Leninist operational strategy.5

[Footnotes 3 and 4 were not marked in the text]

3 U. Of Okla. Press, Norman, Okla. 1950; Dr. William Kintner, fact sheet in possession of present writer, dittoed.

4 Harper, New York, 1959.

5 Strausz-Hupe, Robert, Kintner, William R., Dougherty, James E., Cottrell, Alvin J., Protracted Conflict, Preface, xif.; 1ff.



That Kintner can combine these two loyalties was shown in his article in New Church Life, Who Are the Gentiles?1 Here the author inquired what peoples were meant by references in Swedenborgs theological writings to the gentiles who were more likely than Europeans to accept the ideas of the New Church. He concluded that the Russians and Chinese were indicated, and urged translations into appropriate languages of Swedenborgs writings.2 In 1960 Col. Kintner consulted with the history department of the Academy on a project to produce a New Church history of man as a collective endeavor of men and women of the General Church.3

1 NCL , July 1966, LXXXVI, 303-312.

2 Ibid., 307f; 312

3 A New Church History of Man, Draft outline, April 1960, dittoed, in possession of present writer.

K. Leadership in the Academy and the General Church

Leadership in the Academy and the General Church has, at least as lately as 1966, been wielded largely but not exclusively by alumni of the Academy. Of the four men whose careers will be considered here as typical of that leadership, three received all their formal education beyond secondary school with the Academy, and three also served (one is still serving) as heads of the Academy and the General Church. These latter three have all been dealt with in previous pages4 and so the present treatment will be brief. In general it can be said that their leadership was exerted through executive work and contacts, sermons, addresses, and the press of the institutions concerned. In regard to Alfred Acton, his leadership was exerted through teaching and the pulpit, but perhaps most of all through the press, as translator, interpreter, expositor, and editor. Essentially his was leadership through scholarship rather than through executive administration.

4 Supra, N. D. Pendleton, 120; George De Charms, 120; W. D. Pendleton, 96, 120.



i. Alfred Acton (1867-1956)

Alfred Acton was a theologian, teacher, translator, author, scholar, dean, and bishop, who, on occasion, was capable of preaching in both Swedish and Italian, as well as in his native English. Although he had never done so, he could also have preached in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.1 He was assistant headmaster of the Boys School in 1893, and Dean of the Theological School from 1917 to 1952.

1 Alfred Acton, NCL, Aug. 1956, LXXVI, 358.

He translated Swedenborgs The Word Explained, in eight volumes, between 1928 and 1948;2 and revised, involving partial translation, Swedenborgs Conjugial Love in 1953.3 He was author of The Nature of the Spiritual World, a contribution to the Beekman controversy, in1914;4 Introduction to the Study of the Hebrew Word,5 1925; Introduction to the Word Explained, 1927;6 and Crown of Revelations, 1934.7

2 ANC, Bryn Athyn.

3 ANC.

4 ANCB, 1914.


6 ANC.


As editor, he took charge of the New Philosophy, organ of the Swedenborg Scientific Association, from 1909 to 1953. He translated Swedenborgs Generation in 1912;8 The Fibre by the same author, in 1918;9 Psychological Transactions, also by Swedenborg, in 1920;10 Swedenborgs The Cerebrum, two volumes, in 1938 and 1940;11 Letters and Memorials of Emanuel Swedenborg, two volumes, 1948, 1955;1 and jointly with the Rev. Norbert Rogers, Swedenborgs Rational Psychology in 1950.2

8 Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia.

9 Swedenborg Scientific Assn, hereinafter, SSA, Philadelphia.

10 SSA, Philadelphia.

11 SSA, Philadelphia.

1 SSA, Bryn Athyn.

2 SSA, Philadelphia. All volumes by the Academy Book Room or the Academy are published in Bryn Athyn.



ii. N. D. Pendleton (1865-1937)

N. D. Pendleton was a clear-sighted, decisive man and a forceful literary stylist. In his leadership he passed on much of the tradition of Benade and the old Academy, but with a cool Norman intellect, divested that tradition of much of the emotion with which Benade, the pioneer, had formed it. Tradition had meaning for N. D. Pendleton, but was never overpowering.

iii. George De Charms

Energetic, of Huguenot French extraction, warm and friendly, though capable of intense concentration, George De Charms turned to new subjects, ransacking the world of physiology and psychology to flesh out a New Church philosophy of education with the accouterments of modern science. This was borrowing from the Egyptians to a degree that the early Academy had never done. Bishop De Charms also reminded the Academy that the Old Testament was revelation too, and that vital truth of life could be expressed in its powerful images and language.

iv. Willard D. Pendleton

To the theological writings of Swedenborg W. D. Pendleton applied a severely logical formula partially shaped during his undergraduate years in the University of Pennsylvania and intended to convince minds able to accept its basic supernatural premise. In a style classic and bare of imagery and emotion, he shunned with even more rigor than his father, N. D. Pendleton, any unreasonable claim upon or sentimental gambit into the minds of men.



v. Faculty Members As Alumni

Virtually all the members of the faculty in 1966-67 were also alumni of greater or less duration. In a few cases, faculty members received the whole of their degree work in outside colleges, but they still were expected to take in-service classes in New Church religion and philosophy, including some attention to the history of New Church education in its setting.1 The tendency to inbreeding which the Middle States Association feared in 19372 has been checked by modern educational patterns which show a mixture of Academy and outside college degrees on the staff, and in the preparation of virtually every faculty member. The development of tradition with impact on the student body is likely to be insured by this alumni saturation of the faculty.

1 Acad. Jour., Catalog N., 1966-7, V, 4f.

2 Supra, 144f.

13. Interscholastic Athletics

A. Beginnings

Academy sports and games prior to the move to the country were played virtually without official faculty notice, although concern was expressed when competition grew intense.3 With the formation of the Academy Athletic Club in 1890,4 the male students gradually began to organize such sports as quoit and tennis tournaments, while fencing, boxing, and bicycling were also provided for.5

3 Supra, 149.

4 Stroh, Alfred H., Address to the Academy Athletic Association, Oct. 7, 1901, in AAA Minute Book, 1896-1901, ANCAR 75. The terms club and association were both used at different times in the title.

5 Ibid., passim.

The first team contests were not interscholastic, but played against town or village teams, and occurred about 1900. The first clear reference to a contest with an outside team designates the date as April 8, 1900, and the game as baseball, against a Bethayres village team.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 191 The Academy boys lost 18-11.1 However, there may have been a game with Bethayres as early as 1899, but the record is not clear. The first football game was played against a Hatboro town team November 17, 1900, and the Academy lost, 10-0. A return game the next week resulted in a 17-0 loss for Bryn Athyn as they were generally known in athletic circles.

1 Academy Athletic Club Minutes, hereinafter, AAA or AAC Min., May, 1900.

This constituted the first Academy football season. Fourteen players made up the Academy team with Dr, Benjamin Boggess as head coach and Professor C. E. Doering his assistant. Boggess was a New Church physician who lived in Bryn Athyn, but had no official connection with the school. The youngest Academy player was fifteen years old, and the oldest twenty-six; weights ranged from 120 to 180 pounds. The youthful scribe noted that the first Foot Ball (sic) season had taught the boys discipline and roused a college spirit that brought us into closer fellowship and enabled us to do our real work better.2 Even games had to perform a use in the Academy view.

2 Gyllenhaal, Frederick E., Our Foot Ball Season of 1900, ANCAR 75.

The first true interscholastic contest was an ice hockey game played against Cheltenham Military Academy February 19, 1901.3 Basketball was not played interscholastically until 1908. In basketballs second season, 1909, three games are recorded, with Wenonah Military Academy, Cheltenham Military Academy, and Drexel Institute of Engineering, the last-named of which the Academy beat 26-4.4

3 AAC Min., Feb. 1901. In these minutes, the athletic events are generally chronicled by the month.

4 Ibid., June 4, 1909.

The most successful of the early campaigns was the football season of 1903. For the first few weeks only eleven men reported, and so one half the line had to practice against the other. Lacking a coach, Captain C. R. Pendleton and the veterans of other seasons did the coaching, except for one three-day session with a former captain of the Northwestern University football team which improved the playing 200 per cent.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 192 In one game Alexander Lindsay broke his collarbone making a touchdown, but as the scribe reported, he played pluckily through the remainder of the game. The first two games were lost, but the Academy team won the last three, beating Brown Prep in the last game.

At a banquet following the Brown Prep game, among many toasts and speeches, End Randolph Childs brought out that there were three kinds of courage: natural, moral, and spiritual. Football, he said, necessitates natural courage and develops moral courage. Professor Price, dean of the Boys College, stressed the moral courage needed to refrain from taking advantage of the many opportunities for illegitimate playing, and Professor Doering took the opportunity to urge that football be looked upon as preparation for working together for the Church in later life. Among the toasts was a special one to the faculty, which has worked with us and done everything in its power to aid us in successfully upholding the glory and honor of our Alma Mater....1

1 Gyllenhaal, F. E., The Football Season of 1903-04, ANCAR 75.

B. Progress to Present

The organization and regularizing of athletics progressed slowly until in 1914 Frederick A. Finkeldey, trained in physical education at Temple University, was hired to take charge of sports and physical education at the Academy. He also served as housemaster of Stuart Hall, and in numerous other capacities as time went on.2 Prior to 1914, C. R. Pendleton, now a faculty member, coached football and hockey in spare time.3

2 Jour. Ed., April 1914, XIII, 3, 4.

3 NCL, Dec. 1910, XXX, 858f.

According to the Athletic Associations constitution and by-laws of 1910, the elected student officers of the association handled the sports schedule with very little faculty supervision. The student general manager of athletics purchased all the athletic goods and supervised all the team managers, who in turn had to fill in their schedule of contests for the season.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 193 A student custodian had charge of all the athletic goods. The student general manager also had charge of the playing fields. The board of officers of the Athletic Club submitted sports schedules at the start of each season for faculty approval. To become a member of the association, one had to apply and be voted in.l Funds were a nagging problem. The boys paid dues, applied to the board of directors for money, being given on at least one occasion, one third of their request, set up alumni fund-raisers in various church centers, and even put on at least one circus with the aid of Fred Finkeldey to raise money.2 At occasional big games, ticket sales or collections might bring in more than enough to pay expenses, which were more modest in the past. A football game with Frankford High School in 1920 cost only $6.80. Old grads were often glad to officiate for nothing.3

1 Constitution and By-laws of the Academy Athletic Association Dec. 1910, ANCAR 75.

2 ANC Board Min., Sept. 20, 1916; AAA Min., Oct. 15, 1919, ANCAR 75.

3 AAA Min., Sept. 1, 1920.

Money for sports came easier when the team won. In 1920 and 1921, the teams under Coach Finkeldey won great praise, and Finkeldey himself was hailed in the alumni Sons of the Academy Bulletin as a great man.4 While football was enthusiastically supported in Bryn Athyn, if not also financially, for several years the Academy ice hockey team, bolstered by some remarkable Canadian youths, gained wide notice. Not only did the Academy team beat its secondary school rivals, but also took on the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University and beat them both handily in March of 1927.5

4 Newspaper clippings identified only by a penciled 1920 in ANCAR 75; The Bulletin of the Sons of the Academy, Dec. 1921, X, 62.

5 McCurley, Wallace, Schoolboy Versus Collegian, Philadelphia Public Ledger, reprinted in Sons Bulletin, April 1921, IX, 145.



As late as 1927 the sports managers were still scheduling games and arranging for transportation, and sometimes operating without faculty supervision, as in the case of the tennis team of 1927. The fact that college students played on the same teams with secondary school students was a help here. However, signs of more reliance on the athletic director were in evidence.1

1 AAA Min., Nov. 18, 1927.

With Finkeldeys death in 1944, S. F. Ebert took over the duties of the physical education and coaching leadership. The department made great efforts during the first year of American participation in the Second World War,2 but with subsequently reduced staff, was forced to modify its program in 1944-45. Combative sports of football, boxing, and wrestling were stressed as well as basketball and military drill, but by the next year, soccer, cross-country, volleyball, track, and tennis were added. However, gymnastics languished for lack of a trained teacher. 3

2 Supra.

3 Ebert, Stanley F., Physical Education in the Academy, Jour. Ed., Aug. 1946, XXVIII, 93-105.

With addition of Ronald K. Nelson to the staff in 19584 a trained gymnastics teacher was available. In 1966-67 a second trained physical education instructor was added. Interscholastic sports included in 1965-66, football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf, and tennis. The tradition of Academy sports continued to stress fair play, and to regard athletic contests as a laboratory for practicing and learning the religious ideals of the Academy; emphasizing the spiritual element, in Eberts words, fostering no athletic aristocracy, but urging all to participate as far as they might to gain self-discipline and the practice of team-work.5

4 Jour. Ed. Catalog, 1958-59, XXXII, 5.

5 Ebert, S. F., Philosophy of Physical Education, Sons Bulletin, Oct. 1957, XXXVII, 18-20.



C. Wrestling

Beginning in the Second World War with a timely emphasis upon combative sports for all, wrestling took hold rapidly at the Academy, where it soon ranked as a major sport.

With the addition of Ronald K. Nelson, a Northwestern University wrestler, to the coaching staff, and a talented group of wrestlers, the fortunes of the Academy squad rose to the point where an undefeated team won first place in the Lehigh Invitational Preparatory School Tournament, defeating the teams of Hill School, Milton Hershey, and many other schools noted for wrestling. Five Academy wrestlers won first places in what is sometimes called a national preparatory wrestling tourney, and one a second. One of the Academy wrestlers who won was a college student, allowable under the existing rules of the tournament, but the Academy.s margin of 18 points above its nearest competitor, Hill School, would still have enabled it to win without any of the college boys points. One Academy wrestler, a senior, won the outstanding wrestler award. In 1964, the Academy won the Episcopal Academy Invitational Tournament in the Philadelphia region.2 One Academy wrestler, Kirk Pendleton, son of the president, went on to become a national collegiate champion at Lehigh University, and another became an Eastern wrestling champion.

1 Official Pairings, 25th Annual Tournament, College Preparatory Schools and Academies Wrestling Championships, Grace Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem Pa., March 4 & 5, 1960. This is a complete record of the tournament made at the time of the tournament on the official form by the present writer, whose son John won the outstanding wrestler award.

2 Wrestling, 64 Aggregate, 1964 Senior Annual, 84.

D. End of an Athletic Era

Because of the small size of its student body, and because it was known not to enroll students for their athletic prowess, students of the Academy College have traditionally participated together with secondary students in fielding teams. However, after the undefeated wrestling season of 1960, and with the Academys victory at the Lehigh tournament, new regulations were immediately adopted for the Lehigh tournament, and the following season the Academy eliminated college wrestlers from dual matches as well. A special set of regulations was also established in conference between George School and the Academy, traditional sports rivals, according to which first year college students and post graduate students on either side who had played no more than three seasons would be eligible.1

1 Ebert, S. F., Report of Director of Physical Education, 1959-60, ANCAR, 55.



Dean Ebert, then athletic director at the Academy, pointed out in his 1960 report that the present trend marks the end of an athletic era for the Academy. Within the next few years, he predicted, it would be necessary to remove all college students from interscholastic teams and to launch separate activities for the growing male student body of the Academy College.2 In 1965 the Academy basketball team won the championship of the Penn-Jersey League, which increased the discontent among the other league teams. Nelson, in 1966 director of Academy athletics, planned the beginnings of a separate athletic program for the College, with the addition of another full time physical education instructor to the staff in the fall of 1966.3

2 Ibid.

3 Nelson, Ronald K., Report of Director of Physical Education, 1965-66, ANCAR 55.

14. Human Interest Sidelights

A. Camille Vinet

One spring day about 1950, a teacher of a class of freshman boys in the Academy paused, stopped the lesson, and told the class to stand up and look out the window. They saw a little old bearded man running up the front walk toward the school to avoid a rain that was starting to fall in big, soft drops. Look at that man, said the teacher, for you may never see such a one again. It was Professor Camille Vinet, as Msieu Vinet, known and loved by at least two generations of schoolboys and girls at the Academy.



Mostly Msieu taught French, until his retirement in 1947.1 But in the earlier years after he came to the Academy in 1897, he had taught the sciences and mathematics.2 His sight began to fail in his latter years, but he was a determined though gentle man, and he felt that he must continue to drive his car, since he lived on a farm some distance from Bryn Athyn. Once a state trooper took him into a consultation room to explain why Msieu could no longer have a driving license. A half hour later the trooper emerged, his shirt dark and plastered in places to his back, and a hunted look on his face. But Msieu had his license for a while longer, at least.3

1 Jour. Ed., Aug. 1947, XXVIII, 195.

2 Whitehead, William, Professor Camille Vinet, NCL March 1956. LXXVI, 112f.

3 Information from E. S. Klein, Bryn Athyn, c. 1955.

In June, 1949, M. Raoul Blondeau, the French Consul of Philadelphia, came to Bryn Athyn on a mission kept a surprise from Msieu. Family and friends decided that the presentation of the French honor and medal Le Chevalier de la Legion dHonneur should be made at a reception and dance at the Academy, and M. Blondeau consented. In the midst of a delightful conversation with Msieu, the consul excused himself and ascended to the stage. There in beautiful and dramatic French he made a speech, citing Msieu for all that he had done to promote French-American good will and understanding over fifty years in America. Blondeau repeated the message in English, and the orchestra burst into the Marseillaise. Everyone sprang to his feet and sang with enthusiasm. After the applause had died down, the consul exclaimed that he had never heard the French National anthem sung more effectively, and asked where the people had learned to sing it so well. Shouts from the audience: Monsieur Vinet, Monsieur Vinet! Msieu was led to the stage for the presentation, and when it was done he thanked the consul and faced the audience to say simply, If I have done some good, it belongs to the Lord alone.4

4 Sellner, Rachelle Vinet, Monsieur Vinet, Theta Alpha Journal, a womens alumnae journal published twice a year in Philadelphia, Spring, 1966, VI, 19f.



Almost to the day of his death at 89, Msieu tended his forty hives of bees without help, though he was nearly totally blind. But who is retired? he asked a visitor. Can a man who has known the joys of working be retired? Can he refuse to use the energy left in his body ... to raise a tomato plant, a head of lettuce, or a rose?1

1 But Who Is Retired? Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, July 24, 1955.

To a friend about to retire he said, I think that you and I will work up to our last day on this earth ... let me pray that we retain at least to the very end enough mental, moral, and Christian energy to bend our backs humbly and pick along the road that rare and priceless flower that is called wisdom.2

2 NCL, March 1956, LXXVI, 113f.

B. Otho W. Heilman

Professor Otho Ward Heilman, former principal of the Bryn Athyn Elementary School, head of audio-visual education for the Academy, Justice of the Peace for over fifty years, founder and editor since 1920 of the Bryn Athyn Post, teacher of German, former housemaster of Stuart Hall, missionary extraordinary for the New Church and redoubtable lay theologian, vocal member of the Princeton Symposium, former strong man and heavyweight wrestler at the University of Pennsylvania, friend of the late Professor Mike Dorizas of Penn, whose lectures in Bryn Athyn he sponsored for many years, raconteur and ping pong champion--this partial list of his achievements and experiences and abilities alone discloses a versatile man.

When Heilman first went to the University of Pennsylvania as a young man from his home in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, it became known that he was interested in religion, and he found that students sometimes came up to him to ask if he thought the teachers were trying to take religion away from him. But if they were, they did not succeed. Heilman put a copy of one of Swedenborgs writings into the library of every one of his teachers, and also into the bookshelves of other teachers. He did it quietly, when no one was present. Later he had the satisfaction of hearing more than one of his professors refer to topics in Swedenborg.



After taking strength tests along with the other students, Heilman was surprised to find under his door a newspaper that listed the fifty strongest men in the University, and lo, his name led all the rest. Not long after this, he went to watch wrestling practice, and the captain asked if any in the gallery wanted to try the sport. Heilman consented, and in working out with one of the team, broke his opponents arm. After a while, he was working out with another wrestler and had the misfortune to break the other fellows leg, The captain then announced that Heilman would have to go to Columbia University the next day as the heavyweight wrestler. After a half-hour lesson, Heilman did so, and having learned two holds--the half-nelson and the bar and chancery, and the breaks for them, he went into the meet as the last wrestler and pinned his opponent in 32 seconds to win the meet. But when the powerful Greek, Michael Dorizas, came to Penn, Heilman met his match--and a life-long friend. He arranged for twenty-seven lectures in Bryn Athyn by Mike Dorizas before the latters death.

Professor Heilman, possessed of an unselfconscious manner, and incapable of giving offense, does not like to talk about how many people he brought into the New Church, but indicated that the figure would be well beyond one hundred. He will talk about the church to anyone, anywhere, and finds people very reasonable if you dont attack them and try to tell them what they believe. He simply tells some of the fine things Swedenborg teaches, as that heaven is full of handsome young people--that heaven consists of happily married young people. Who would not like to go to a place like that, and also learn more about it? Heilman has prepared himself for missionary work by much reading and conversation. He has memorized the long table of contents in the Swedenborg work, Heaven and Hell, which insures that he is never at a loss for topics, and is possessed of a complete pattern of the subject.



When the late Harold F. Pitcairn1 as a young man wanted to try to fly a home-made seaplane on the Delaware, Heilman, driver of the wagon on which it was being taken to the river, was told by Harolds father, John Pitcairn, on two occasions, If anything were to happen to that machine on the way over to the river, we wouldnt hold you responsible. Heilman, likewise mistrusting the seaplanes safety, saw a bump in the road, and giving the horses a cut with the whip, managed to jar the plane so that it broke in the middle, and was never flown. Years later Heilman told Harold Pitcairn what he had done, and though Harold did not say much, Heilman received the impression that Pitcairn realized he owed his life to the event.2

1 Supra, 179f.

2 Interview with Otho W. Heilman, Aug. 19, 1966.





1. Continuity of Purpose and Evolution of Understandings

A. Aims and Objectives

The Academys purpose at its founding, in sum, was nothing less than the eventual creation, based on the writings of Swedenborg, of a new civilization and culture. The old civilization and its culture was viewed as deficient in so far as it took its inspiration and forms from doctrinal errors fostered by the previous establishments of Christianity. In the process of attainment of the Academys purpose, education was to be the chief means. Education was to embrace, or continue within all levels of age and all branches of knowledge. It was to be conducted directly by the Church in the specifics of doctrine by means of doctrinal classes, and interwoven with services of worship. In addition, the Academy of the New Church was to be the organized specific agent for formal education at every level, not excluding that of the adult.l

1 Supra, 29, 36.

An organizational change occurred in 1897 when the leadership of the General Church of the New Jerusalem decided that education below the level of the secondary school should be the direct concern of the Church through the various societies of the Church. Parochial school arrangements then relieved the Academy of concern for the immediate operation of elementary education. However, by 1965-66, it was recognized that the Academy had a concern in the supervision of elementary education through the teacher-training function of the Senior College. In that year the head of the Academy education department visited all the parochial schools of the General Church on the North American continent to better acquaint the department with the local educational situation, and improve the effectiveness of the Academy-parochial school relationship. Another connection with the parochial schools was maintained through the Educational Council of the General Church, for which the Academy acted as host and co-planner, employing its facilities and personnel in a combined effort.



Aside from this organizational change, the original aim of a new civilization and culture, to be achieved largely through a distinctive education, remained the long-term purpose of the Academy in 1966 as in 1876.

Facets of the central concept have been illuminated by statements of Academy leaders from time to time, notably in the Academys fiftieth anniversary publication, The Academy of the New Church, 1876-1926. Herein Bishop N. D. Pendleton, Academy president from 1914-1936, pictured the New Church, which the Academy existed to serve, as unique among the bodies of Christendom, on a plane of spiritual thought and affection apart in order to render exalted spiritual service through invisible support to all that is good and true in both worlds.1 To N. D. Pendleton, growth of New Church institutions would be slow, was not to be forced, depending an providential guiding and the preparation among men of a fit containant, without which spiritual influx cannot be held, and natural growth will be in vain.2

1 ANC Record, 10.

2 Ibid., 11.

Writing for the same publication, Bishop W. F. Pendleton, president of the Academy from 1897 to 1941, noted that the early Academy had called attention to an idea based on Swedenborgs writings but little realized before, namely, that the Lord Himself appears in the writings of Swedenborg in His Second Coming, and that few of a mature age will ever see the new truths--for the most part only those exposed to them when young.3 From these premises, education of childhood and youth in the sphere of the New Church was indicated, if not imperative. Principal K. R. Alden of the Boys Academy stated that his school was built about a central training in religion, and strives from that center to develop the all-round 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.4

3 Ibid., 13.

4 Ibid., 70.



In 1953 President George De Charms saw the real ideal of the Academy to be devotion to the Writings, the minds of young people imbued with knowledges and skills and love of spiritual truth in every subject, (a great lack in the worlds education) ... and love of truth which looks...to the benefit of mankind. Bishop De Charms reaffirmed as an Academy goal Benades vision of many schools, with a university as a center.1

1 De Charms, Bishop George, What and Where is the Academy? Speech at Charter Day Banquet, Oct. 24, 1953, from notes taken by present writer at the occasion.

The Boys School Handbook2 calls attention to the Ten Commandments as the basic law of all men, to be observed with reverence in their literal sense and also in their inner meanings as revealed in Swedenborgs Writings.3 The Girls School Introductory Booklet4 states: The goal of the Academy is to show how all knowledge is unified and has purpose when seen in the light of the Writings given through Emanuel Swedenborg and to bring the truths of the New Church into our daily lives....5

2 ANC, Bryn Athyn, 1957; rev. 1964.

3 Boys School Handbook, 1f.

4 ANC 1962-63, Mimeographed.

5 ANC Girls School Introductory Booklet, 1.

The incumbent president of the Academy in 1966, W. D. Pendleton, made the point that the Academy did not exist primarily for itself, but in order to serve other bodies of the New Church, as well as individuals thereof. Bishop Alfred Acton asserted that the truest goal of Academy education was to perceive truths without reasoning, although it was allowable to confirm them by reasoning. In this the Academy holds a goal of education so distinctive as to be virtually unique, Patriotism was also a prominent Academy tradition, sanctioned as it is in Swedenborgs Writings.6

6 Ibid., 176.



B. Order and Organization

For the faculty member, acceptance of appointment implies an acceptance of the Academys aims and purposes and an acknowledgment of the supreme authority of the Writings.1 It has been a tradition of the Academy from the beginning that neither the Academy nor the General Church should have any other constitution than the theological writings of Swedenborg.

1 ANC Faculty Handbook, ANC, Bryn Athyn, 1964, 1.

From the family-type arrangements of the early Academy wherein a handful of teachers taught a small group of students, most of whom were well-known to them, the Academy has moved toward a university-type administration in which each of the several schools comprising the Academy has a measure of autonomy. In addition there is delegation of responsibility to committees consisting of members of the administration and faculty. The Academy, though legally a separate corporation, is, in essence and purpose, one with the General Church of the New Jerusalem....2

2 The Present Order and Organization of the Academy, in Ibid. n. p.

The Corporation of the Academy is a self-perpetuating body incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania to carry out the purposes of the Academy Charter. The Board of Directors is a body elected by the Corporation from among its own members to conduct the affairs of the Academy on behalf of the Corporation. The President of the Academy is also the Bishop of the General Church for the sake of correlation of uses between two bodies acknowledging a common aim. The president has the primary responsibility of leadership in the formulation and implementation of educational policies which will support the ends and meet the needs of an institution dedicated to the establishment of the New Church. All questions of policy--both educational and corporate--are to be referred to the president, and those requiring Board action are referred by him to that body.3


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 205 The office of executive vice president, which lapsed with the resignation from it of Bishop W. D. Pendleton in 1958, was restored September 1, 1966, with selection of the Rev. Martin Pryke to the office.1 The executive vice president was given responsibility for administration of the Academy, including supervision of the teaching staff, recruitment and assignment of teachers, their professional development, and the social life of the Academy. His duties included presentation of appropriate administrative matters to the Board of Directors.2 The office of Dean of Faculties was phased out under the new arrangements of 1966, its incumbent, Dean E. S. Klein, having taken the post of Dean of the College upon the retirement of the former Dean, C. S. Cole.3

3 Ibid., 17.

1 Acad. Jour., Catalog No., 1966-67, V, insert.

2 ANC Faculty Handbook 18.

       3 Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1965-66, 7.

C. Education and Instruction

As to content excepting religion and philosophy courses, there is little difference between the curricula of the Academy and those of comparable schools. It is in the stated purpose of knowledge that a difference is seen. Knowledge in the Academy is not considered an end in itself, but a means by which man may acquire wisdom.4 The Academy operates from the affirmative principle that there is a God and Divine purpose in creation, and seeks through rational and scientific studies to gain enlightenment. True intelligence is seeing what is good and true, and thereby what is false and evil, and distinguishing between them, and this from an interior intuition and perception, based on revelation. There is seen no discrepancy between science and faith, but when rightly interpreted, the sciences support and perfect mans understandings of an all-wise creator.5

4 Pendleton, W. D, An Introduction to the Study of the Curriculum, in Curricular Studies, Gen. Ch. of N. J. Ed. Council, ANC, Bryn Athyn, 1955, 2f.

5 Pendleton, W. D., Values and Objectives of New Church Education, author, 1965, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 38f.



While the unifying principle of the Academy curriculum is theology, it is new theology given through Swedenborg, based on older revelations. The beginning of wisdom is the acknowledgment of the Lord, and the end of wisdom is a life according to His Word. In curriculum it is the doctrine of use that governs the selection and emphases given to particular subjects. The more knowledges are learned from the end of use, the more are they opened toward the Lord.1

1 Ibid., 46.

The Academy is in the obviously disputable position of contending that it alone among modern educational institutions knows the best source of wisdom for guiding human affairs. This is a strong claim, but if Swedenborgs theological writings do not constitute a new revelation, the Academys fundamental reason for existence would be lacking. If they do constitute a new revelation, then the Academy is merely attempting to perform a function required by the presence of a new dispensation of Divine truth among men. In the Academy concept, the stage of development may be still elementary, but the effort or conatus, to use a Swedenborgian term, is strong in the direction of an indispensable objective.

The Academy can take courage in its lonely struggle from the acknowledgment of leading educators that the primary aim of education is indeed the fostering of wisdom and wise choices among men,2 coupled with a fairly general agreement that modern education in the Western World is extremely confused as to aims and goals.3

2 General Education in a Free Society, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1945, 75; Woodring, Paul, A Fourth of a Nation, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1957, 111.

3 Kandel, I. L., American Education in the Twentieth Century, Harvard U. Press, Cambridge, 1, 228; DeVane, Wm. C., The College of Liberal Arts, Daedalous, Fall, 1964, XCIII, p. 1035.



The Academy contends that it has a clear sight of a long term goal, but frankly admits that its grasp of the educational means of reaching it leaves much to be desired. Efforts to cultivate the broad fields of educational principles and methods and to swim in the Vast sea of modern knowledge will fully occupy Academy educators for generations to come.

In Academy practice, not only is instruction in religion and life given in Chapel, worship, and religion classes, but it is inculcated in all classes. One Academy spokesman argued that even without formal religion classes, Academy education would be religious and New Church since every teacher asks himself, How can I show in my field the operation of universal truths?1 With the Academys community basically in sympathy with its goals, it has proved possible to establish something of a way of life through combination of precept and example.

1 How We Teach Religion, Jour. Ed., March 1951, XXX, 26.

With the burden of interpretation resting upon his shoulders, the teacher, in the Academy view, and as Kandel asserts,2 is of the greatest importance. And since it is wisdom of life in the light of a specific revelation that is the goal, the devoted generalist would be chosen to the Academy teaching staff above the merely efficient specialist, in case of any doubt as to the latters religious commitment.

2 Op. cit., 222.

Coeducation in the Academy has been tried in a limited way but has not been applied in mast secondary school classes because of the Academys aim of approaching the education of male and female minds in different ways. Social life under the schools aegis has been recognized as an important phase of education, and exists in numerous and varied forms, with a considerable measure--never enough, according to the students--of student self-determination.



In keeping with the purpose of the Academy, the social life of the students, especially at the secondary school level, has been supervised with a view to confining it as far as possible to those of the New Church. Within the Academy, except for the three annual Presidents Receptions, college and secondary level students have not been invited to the same parties. This was intended to provide freedom to enjoy different kinds of social life appropriate to the states of the different levels.1

1 Faculty Handbook, 16.

D. Relations with Other Bodies

It was firmly established in 1906, during the smallpox vaccination crisis, that the Academy would not attempt to defy the regulations of civil government at any level.2 Opposition to pending legislation might indeed be voiced through legal channels, but there would not be any official defiance of the law by the Academy or its community. Moreover, civic responsibilities such as payment of taxes and participation in national defense were honored by the Academy through its faculty and students and alumni.

2 Supra.

In 1966 the General Church Assembly at Oberlin College, Ohio, sent messages of fraternal greeting and good will to the American Convention and the English Conference. Moreover, Bishop Willard D. Pendleton addressed the Convention clergy assembled in Urbana on June 21, 1966, and invited the Rev. Richard H. Tafel, Convention president, to address the Council of the Clergy of the General Church in January 1967.3 The Academy, while sharing the spirit of these activities, continued in 1966 to educate a number of Convention students in its schools, as it had done fairly frequently during the Twentieth Century

3 Tafel, Richard H. Historic Occasion. Bishop Pendleton of General Church Addresses Conventions Council of Ministers, Messenger, July-Aug. 1966, CLXXXVI, 100f.



E. Growth and Membership

When Sir Thomas Chadwick, leading layman of the English Conference, declared in a discussion of African missions, I an not interested in the (mission) schools, but I am interested in the future ... of the New Church in West Africa,1 he expressed a viewpoint at variance with the Academys belief. For the Academy and General Church view continues to be that of Benade, that the New Church will not progress without full scale education under the church. If Chadwicks statement were applied to all education under the church, and not just the mission schools, the Academy reply to his words would be, You can not have the one without the other.

1 N. C. Herald, Aug., 29, 1964, XIV, 136.

Statistics compiled by the incumbent (1966) secretary of the General Church confirm this position. It is true that the membership of the General Church has increased over 500% between 1900 and 1965, and that local church schools and the Academy were in operation during that time, but other factors, such as the Hawthorne effect or temporary appeal of a new rebellious movement also played a part.2

2 Information from Rev. Robert S. Junge, secretary of the General Church, unincorporated, Aug. 17, 1966, at Bryn Athyn, Pa.

Without church schools since 1907, the Conference has steadily lost membership.3 The membership of Convention has similarly declined during the Twentieth Century, lacking day schools distinctively New Church in teaching or enrollment.4

3 Conference Minutes, 1907, 63; Report of Secretary, Yearbook of the General Conference of the New Church, 1954-55, 41.

4 Messenger, May 28, 1955, CLXXV, 165; Statistical graph, General Convention Membership, 1932-1962, produced by and in possession of Rev. Robert S. Junge, Bryn Athyn, Pa.



While General Church membership has increased fairly steadily,1 the rate of growth has leveled off from about 8% a year in 1920 to a rising rate of 2% in 1964.2 Without the addition to General Church rolls of Academy ex-students, the General Church would show, in the early 1960s, not a gain, but a loss.3 Approximately half the available children from the General Church currently attend the Academy schools. Some of these are overseas.4 Recent figures also show that 75 to 80% of Academy ex-students eventually join the General Church.5

1 General Church Membership, 1915-1462, graph by R. S. Junge.

2 General Church Rate of Growth, 1915-1962, chart by R. S. Junge.

3 The Effect of New Church Education on General Church Growth, R. S. Junge chart, 1964.

4 Junge, R. S., Report of Secretary to Joint Council, 1966.

5 Ibid.

The building block nature of General Church growth is shown by the fact that at least 90% of students who receive a New Church elementary education also attend the Academy.6 Of New Church children without Academy education, only 17% joined the General Church.7 Secretary Junge estimates that without either elementary education or Academy education, something less than 5% would join the General Church.8 There is also a general positive correlation between the number of years of attendance at the Academy and the likelihood of joining the General Church.9

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid., 6.

8 Information from R. S. Junge, Oct. 7, 1966.

9 Ibid.

From these studies it is evident, as President W. D. Pendleton pointed out,10 that the New Church local, or society school is necessary to the Academy secondary schools, and the secondary schools to the growth and success of the Academy College.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 211 It is likewise evident that the Theological School and College and educational department are necessary to the success of the societies, where Academy-trained ministers and teachers are employed, and where members who have had Academy training provide a vital nucleus for the congregation.1

10 Acad. Jour., Annual No., 1958-59, 6f.

1 ANC College and Theological School Report to the Middle States Association, Jan. 1963, 29, 32.

That the early Academy plan of church growth has been substantiated down to the present day was attested by a Conference member, who after visiting Bryn Athyn and Kitchener societies of the General Church, declared in the Conventions official publication, the New Church Messenger, I am impressed that distinctive education in truly New Church way is a profitable way of New Church growth.2

2 Australian in America, Messenger, Oct. 1, 1962, CLXXXII, 272.

In 1966 the Academy administration was planning for the predicted enlargement of enrollment. It had divided the administrative headship of the Academy and the General Church between two men--the president and the executive vice president--for greater accomplishment and efficiency. Staffing would be a continuing problem which would have to be met as time unfolded. The structure was clear; later increments would infill the pattern achieved.3

3 Order and Organization of the Academy of the New Church, chart in ANC Faculty Handbook, new page, Sept. 1966.

As to physical facilities, a new athletic field and track were authorized; a college-theological classroom building was under construction not far from the recently-completed Pitcairn Hall; a trio of dormitories was in the design stage--for college women, and secondary school boys and girls. Further construction, including a college commons and dining hall, and a college library, were also contemplated in 1966.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 212 Included in these plans was the bringing into existence of a new and separate college campus of some six or seven buildings.

1 Information from L. E. Gyllenhaal, Academy treasurer, May 26, 1966.

2. Comparison with Other Institutions

A. Theological Schools

The Academy Theological School aims to prepare men for the ministry of the New Church under the aegis of The General Church of the New Jerusalem. Owing to its acknowledgment of the theological writings of Swedenborg as revelation, much of the course content is unique. Emphasis is laid on imparting a thorough knowledge of these writings, which supply an analysis of the human mind and its various levels, anticipating and going beyond the psychology of today.

Unlike modern Protestant theological seminaries in which the social gospel is stressed, the Academys Theological School holds that the pulpits function is the teaching of religious principles which the laity may apply according to their freedom, reason, and professional enlightenment. There are two other New Church theological schools in the world - one in Newton, Massachusetts, (General Convention) and one on the outskirts of London, England (General Conference). The Academy school is distinguished from these by a significant stress on the Divine authority of Swedenborgs theological writings and on the distinctiveness of the New Church as a new dispensation.3

[Not indicated in the text]

2 ANC College and Theological School Self-evaluation Report to MSA, Jan. 1963, 14.

3 Ibid., n.

In common with most theological seminaries, the Academy Theological School is a graduate institution for which prerequisites are a liberal undergraduate education, with knowledge of Latin, Hebrew, and Greek languages. The Academy agrees with the aim expressed thus by James I. McCord, president of Princeton Theological Seminary, the baccalaureate years are the time when the student should enter into and posses as far as possible the cultural tradition of which he is a part.1


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 213 The Academy theological candidate is not likely to possess, however, the thorough Biblical knowledge which his Protestant seminarian counterpart would own; instead, he would bring to the theological school several years of study in Swedenborgs works.

1 The Lilly Study and the Theological School, Jour. of Bible and Religion , April 1966, XXXIV, 139.

The Academys course is presently three years duration, but a fourth year is under consideration.2 The basic curriculum of about seventy-four semester periods is confined to theological and pastoral subjects, and electives are few. It lacks in quantity and variety when compared to programs in such an institution as the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.3 The difference between its offerings and those of Protestant seminaries is seen in a listing of the topics studied. Some of the Academy doctrinal topics are: the spiritual world, the soul, creation, the Lord, the Incarnation, intercourse of the soul and body, discrete degrees.4 The distinctive nature of the Academy curriculum is seen in the fact that most of these topics are not available in other seminaries. On the other hand, the larger theological seminaries of Christendom offer many more studies in Biblical interpretation and background, Jewish literature, Pauline theology, and church history. One large difference is seen in the Academys total omission of Pauline theology. This is based on the teachings of Swedenborg that Pauls writings were not Divinely inspired in the same way as Bible books containing an internal sense written in the language of correspondences.5

2 Information from Dean W. C. Henderson, Oct. 5, 1966, at Bryn Athyn.

3 Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Catalogue, 1954-55, 64-100; Union Seminary Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, 1955-56, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Richmond, Va., 24-39.

4 ANC Self-Evaluation Report, 16.

5 SD 6062.



In latter years much development has brought the Academy program equal or almost equal in academic rigor and discipline to representative courses in Protestant seminaries. Catholic programs are unique in length and thoroughness.1 Objectives have been broadened from producing doctrinal scholars to the graduation of pastors at home in the culture of their age, who have training in various facets of leading and teaching a congregation, and who are also well-schooled in the teachings of Swedenborgs writings. A graduate-level thesis is required in the senior year. The average Academy seminarian would probably be much less familiar with Bible information and scholarship than his counterpart in most seminaries.

1 Information from W. C. Henderson, Oct. 5, 1966; from O. DeC. Odhner, Oct. 10, 1966.

In field work Academy students would compare favorably with other seminarians, as they teach and preach during their theological training, and spend the summer preceding their final year as supply minister to one of the societies of the General Church. It is under consideration to extend the field service by another five months and add a fourth year to the program at the Academy.

The faculty of the Academy Theological School currently (1966) includes two bishops and other teachers of considerable scholarship and pastoral experience. One teacher is a graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute, the graduate professional school of Methodist theology in Evanston, Illinois.2

2 ANC Self-Evaluation, 19.

Physical facilities are modest now, but with the completion of the new College-theological classroom building, they will be improved. The Academy library, recently ranked twenty-seventh among college libraries in the nation3 and including the foremost collection of Swedenborgiana in the world, is an important adjunct of the Academy Theological School, which is currently housed in the basement of the library building.

3 News From the Academy, Oct. 5, 1966; from O. DeC. Odhner, 1966, n. p.



B. Colleges

The Academy of the New Church College is divided into two parts which have somewhat different purposes. However, in daily operation, the division, which is not a separation, does not appear. The Junior College seeks to provide a post-secondary school education of one or two years in the light and sphere of the New Church which in some cases is terminal; to provide a liberal arts background; to prepare for transfer to other colleges and universities, and to carry on education for a small minority of New Church young people who are not academically equipped by capacity or educational preparation for higher education of full rigor. The Senior College presently exists for two purposes; for theological preparation, and to educate and train teachers for the schools of the General Church.

i. The Junior College

Currently, the Academys Junior College is one of the smallest in the United States, with an enrollment in 1966 of 112. However, it seems to be growing, as is indicated by the enrollment in 1925-26 of only twenty-nine.1 Prospective enrollment for 1975 is 150.2

1 ANC Record, 60.

2 Junge, R. S., 1962 Enrollment Projection. Chart in possession of Rev. R. S. Junge, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

The faculty of the Junior College consists of some twenty men and women, including eight professors and twelve instructors. Two of these have earned doctorates, and fourteen have masters degrees or equivalent, including the baccalaureate in theology as a graduate degree. None lacks the baccalaureate degree.3 Two faculty members have taught or are teaching at other colleges.

3 Acad. Jour. Catalog, 1966-67, 4, 5, 22.

Present facilities for the college consist of two floors of Benade Hall housing classrooms and laboratories, a good library, and shared use of athletic fields and field house, and two dormitories.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 216 As noted1 planned facilities include dormitories, a classroom building, and a commons-dining hall area.

1 Supra, 210f.

ii. The Senior College

The Academys Senior College had an enrollment in 1966 of twenty-five, including special and extension students. Its faculty is similar to that of the Junior College, but is somewhat more senior. Facilities in the new college-theological classroom building include a section designed for the department of education, primarily a Senior College operation.

iii. College Summary

The Academy College can be compared to other small collegiate institutions which exist for a specific purpose in several respects, although it is unique in some ways. The visiting committee of the Middle States Association in 1963 commented on the uniqueness of the Academy because of its consistent and pervasive philosophical and theological tradition, its systemic completeness, its solvency, and its small size. The Visiting committee reported itself deeply and favorably impressed with the quality of the teaching and academic personnel, and its devotion. Despite relatively few earned doctorates, the visiting committee rated the staff as well trained and prepared and determined to remain abreast of the world of secular scholarship. The students it found intensely devoted to the school and quite curious intellectually. All of this, the Middle States committee concluded, provided the basis for a sound educational system.2

2 Commission on Higher Institutions, Middle States Association, A Report for the ANC College & Theological School, Bryn Athyn, Pa., Feb. 1963, I.

Indications in 1963 were that the administration and organization of the Academy, particularly as it affected the College, stood at a crossroads. The intolerable load of detailed responsibility3 carried by the president was binding the institution with invisible but constricting bands.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 217 However, by appointment of an assistant to the president, and in 1966, of an executive vice president who would take effective charge of the schools, a part, at least, of the encumbrances which plagued the institution promised to be eased or removed.1

3 Ibid., 2.

1 Supra, 203f.

Continuing curriculum studies and attention to more varied and vital teaching methods in the College were suggested by the visiting committee. Subsequently a permanent curriculum committee was established and has been working steadily, while making periodic reports to the College faculty. Teaching methods have been discussed and illustrated before the faculty, but little evidence exists that any large change has occurred.

Freedom of thought and expression for students might be a problem in a college possessing such unity of purpose and doctrinal agreement. The visiting committee, after extensive investigation, concluded there is no serious problem. Opposing theories and concepts were plentifully presented and the students were expected and allowed to form their own judgments with due observance of a principle expressed by the president of the Academy that to persuade...is a cardinal sin.2 The committee found the students busy...working out a basic philosophy of life for themselves.3

2 MSA Report of 1963, op. cit., 5.

3 Ibid.

The basic educational problem of the Academy College, the visiting committee stated, is the extremely limited student enrollment, caused by limitation to members of the church and their children.4 This factor was eased by the ruling of 1964 5 that baptism was no longer required for admission. However, as of 1966, the circular problem of a paucity of courses and too few students to justify a fuller curriculum remained to be dealt with.

4 Ibid.

5 Jour. Ed., Annual No., 963-64, 3.



Preliminary results of a 1966 questionnaire answered by 140 former students of the Academy College subsequently enrolled in other colleges or universities indicated that the College is basically a successful operation, but has certain problems calling for attention. Practically all of the respondents held that their Academy college education had been a valuable experience. An overwhelming number said that if they had it to do over again, they would repeat the experience, and most of the respondents said that they would recommend the experience to others. However, most said that they would not have wished to spend more time than they did at the Academy. The responses also criticized the religious instruction as being ill-adapted to the students in method, but not in content. There was also a general criticism of the instructional methods used as being too stereotyped and dependent upon the lecture method.1

1 Information from Dr. S. T. Synnestvedt, Bryn Athyn, Pa., October 22, 1966.

It was the opinion of the Academys president in 1966 that the College was the next point of emphasis for the Academy, and that much time and thought would be needed to solve its problems. The Junior College would have to be established ever more firmly, and the Senior College in turn upon it. The policy would have to be that of building upon foundations already established, and this process was bound up with the confidence of the New Church public in the work of the Academy. However, a good start had been made. For ninety years the Academy has been faithful to the primary objectives of the institution, and progress and growth have been slow but definite. Academy standards have been up-graded. The Academy has succeeded in gaining recognition as the center of learning for the General Church and as an agent for preserving Swedenborgiana. The status of the library and the records of Academy College students in other institutions and in later life indicates that progress has been made and that this institution within its obvious limits is successful.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 219 From any social or pragmatic standpoint the institution has not handicapped its students. As to the deeper, spiritual success of the institution, no man can judge.1

1 Information from Willard D. Pendleton, Oct. 11, 1966 Bryn Athyn.

C. Secondary Schools

i. General Aims and Objectives

The secondary schools (The Boys and The Girls School) of the Academy aim in general to provide a four-year schooling built upon Swedenborgian teachings. The basic program is academic and seeks to lay the foundations of a broad and general understanding and ability for a life of usefulness in the church and in the world of work.2

2 Acad. Jour., Catalog, 1966-67, 39.

In addition to this general objective, the Girls School aims to prepare girls for a place in home and society through subject content and approach adapted to the feminine mind and nature.3

3 Ibid., 48.

In comparison with many a religious school, the Academy lays less street on indoctrination of specific tenets, and aims instead for the students seeing or perception of broad principles. The student is never pressed for his testimony of belief, but only for his understanding of the ideas involved.

In comparison with the average public school, the Academy tries to show the operation of religious or spiritual concepts in all curricular studies. Science, social studies, language, arts and crafts,--every activity and study is to be judged by reference to its USE.

ii. Order and Organization

By reason of the complex of schools comprising the Academy, the secondary schools do not have the degree of independence of operation which would be expected in an independent school or a public high school.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 220 The Academys organization is similar to that of a university in that its separate schools work together for a common purpose with a centralizing policy and financial system.

In the Academy secondary schools, the function of governing is indeed important, but it is vested both in the Board and administration, and in the faculty itself. Administrators are also teachers, and therefore administrative measures are likely to focus on improvement of instruction. Consultation rather than command is the administrative practice. This is a democracy in which the recognized use governs, rather than individuals.1

1 Boys School Statement of Philosophy and Objectives, Handbook for Visiting Committee of the Middle States Association, Feb. 1963, 4. In possession of present writer.

The most recent visiting committee of the Middle States Association (1963) noted the need for clearer definition of areas of administrative responsibility. An approach to a solution of this problem was subsequently made with the appointment of a presidential assistant and later (September 1966) an executive vice president. The visiting committee commended the staffs dedication to the philosophy of church and school, the consideration by the Board of Directors of welfare and in-service training of the staff; of the student work program, and of the long-range planning by Board and administration. The school plant was commended for its adequacy, order, and cleanliness.2

2 Report of the Visiting Committee of MSA, Feb. 1963, in possession of the present writer, 16, 17.

iii. Education and Instruction

The Academys limited curriculum is largely academic and was recognized by the 1963 Middle States visiting committee for its success in achieving its objective of preparation for service in the New Church. However, a large independent institution such as The Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, would offer many more courses, although its basic diploma requirements are nearly the same as the Academys:


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 221 four years English; three years mathematics; three years foreign language or two in each of two foreign languages; one in United States history, one in biology, chemistry, or physics, as well as religion.1 In the province of honors and advanced placement courses, the Hill School eclipses the Academy, which has none, although it offers some electives. Academy teachers provide occasional enrichment by individual effort when the need is apparent. In foreign languages--Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, German, and Russian, four years or more of each--Hill School outstrips the Academy, which presently offers at the secondary level only Latin and French. Hill School also offers five shop courses compared with the Academys one. However, the Academy offers a much richer and more varied series of courses in religion and church history at the secondary school level than Hill School.2

1 Hill School Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, 1965-66, 19.

2 Ibid., 20-30, passim; Acad. Jour. Catalog No., 1966-67, 40-47, passim.

The large public comprehensive high school also has a much wider band of offerings in nearly all subject fields, except, of course, in religion. However, Prof. Robert H. Mathewson of New York Citys Board of Higher Education testifies that in America, the content and scope of secondary school programs have been almost entirely limited to the dissemination of facts and the inculcation of utilitarian skills.3 The Academy can bring about a far better climate for the inculcation of spiritual values than the American public school is in a position to do.

3 Mathewson, Robert Hendry, A Strategy for American Education, Harper & Bros., New York, 1957, 47.

This brings us to the consideration of outcomes. The visiting committee of the Middle States Association in 1963, which included two public school persons, stated the Academy to be a remarkable institution, and added: In philosophic concept, in community setting, in administrative structure, in program, in student and faculty personnel, in its sense of urgent dedication, in tradition and in prospect, it is in many ways unique.4


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 222 The committee noted problems of administrative organization and curricular limitations, but also foresaw their eventual solution.1 And in the generous words of Dr. Robert L. Lamborn, headmaster of the McDonough School, Maryland, chairman of the secondary level visiting committee, it was added, All those connected with the institution have reason to be proud of its purpose and its progress, pleased but not complacent about its present, and optimistic about its future....The Academy of the New Church is a remarkable institution. The visiting committee wishes it well.2

4 ANC Report of Visiting Committee, Feb. 1963, 1.

1 Ibid., 18.

2 Ibid.

3. Accomplishments in Light of Objectives

William Henry Benade and his followers in 1876 set out to found the nucleus of a new civilization and society based on the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, withdrawn for protection from inimical influences of the Christian world. While the long-range goal was a new society based on a new religion, the immediate goal was practical--to keep the children of the church in the church, and to spread the doctrines of the church wherever its people went.

An auxiliary goal of Benade and his successors in the Academy was to establish an educational system based upon the religious tenets, the philosophy, and the psychology of Swedenborg, a system of schools and colleges at all levels, crowned by a great house of learning--a university, which would, like the heart and lungs of the body, pump new nourishment and intelligence to all corners of the Church.

In some ways it is too early to write a history of the Academy. It is akin to writing a biography of some one aged three or four who may be destined for greatness.



Yet in the Academys 90th year, certain modest but vital accomplishments are clear. The Academy has resisted secularization. It holds to the essential tenets of Swedenborgs revelation. It takes its authority, as the first Academy did, solely from the theological works of Swedenborg, and it looks for guidance and governance to the priesthood of the New Church in its trinal order. It continues to see in world society a rudderless ship frequently and perilously near the rocks of judgment. It chooses to borrow from the Egyptians--to adapt the worlds science and method for its own purposes. It sees its modern mission to lie in maintaining the faith in purity until this world can come into a state receptive to this revelation, intended, according to Swedenborg, for all mankind.

In its ninetieth year, the Academy is functioning better than the other two major groups of the New Church in that it keeps some seventy-five percent of its children in the church. However. it is presently (1966) reaching only a little more than half of those baptized into the General Church because the others do not come to the Academy.

Benades dream of a new civilization and society in the earth, based on and inspired by the writings of Swedenborg and taking the learning of the world as its birthright, has come true only on a minuscule scale, and to an imperfect degree. There are those who doubt if such a society will ever be wide spread, including the present president of the Academy. Such say that the essential church can be known to no man, and the like would be true of the essential Academy.

However, it is evident that the Academy has remained true to its first vision. It practices a distinctive New Church education that, depending on the art of the teacher, aims to fill all facts with spiritual meaning and life. It teaches of three degrees of the mind and their-interaction, and makes clear the need for man to open the upper levels through an education which takes cognizance of spiritual law and process.1 It upholds the sacraments and teaches and cherishes the doctrines of Conjugial Love as they are given in Swedenborgs work of the same name.


HISTORY OF NEW CHURCH EDUCATION VOLUME 3 p. 224 It practices and adheres to the belief that the most fruitful field of evangelization in the New Church is with the children of its members, and that these can best be brought into the church by New Church-oriented education in the home, in the elementary school, secondary school, college, and adult life.

1 DLW 237ff.

Although New Church education is still in its infancy, it has achieved the confidence of the church in its elementary and secondary levels. It now strives to promote the level of college education for acceptance by the church as a whole. The next struggle, consequently, is to establish the College--first the Junior College, then the restored four-year bachelor of arts degree. The Senior College work in teacher preparation is functioning, but needs strengthening. The Theological School is established and functioning well. The other professional schools and the New Church university lie far in the future. However, if, as certain statistics indicate, the Academy and General Church now stand on the border of a period of terrific acceleration, the time span may not be so great after all.

The Academy has succeeded also in establishing itself in the eyes of the General Church public as the center of learning for the church. It has accomplished to a degree the charter aims: propagating the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem and establishing the New Church; promoting education in all its various forms; educating young men for the ministry; publishing books and other printed matter, and establishing a library.

The general success of Academy students in higher education and in life careers strongly indicates that their New Church education has not, to say the least, hampered them in their achievements.

The external development of the Academy has been slow, steady, and into, impressive. In latter years the faculty has been built up into a dedicated and able body of men and women, and this from a remarkably small church body. Whatever of success has so far come to the Academy, however, may well have been brought about by its adherence to the belief that the writings of Swedenborg are the Word of God and the means whereby the Lord has made His Second Coming.