I was — and am — looking for a practical expostion on Universalist worship like the one from 1901 I found for the Unitarians a couple of weeks ago. In the process, I found the Tufts 1902-03 catalog, and its pages dedicated to its now-lost Divinity School.

A couple of items to note: one could enter as an undergraduate and study through, and option that died very recently in the United States with the closure of Bangor Theological Seminary. And that the curriculum included logic (for nongrads), economics, psychology and the “Biblical languages” of German, Hebrew and Greek. And PE for the men.

Class of 1897
Class of 1897

If you were approved, you would have gotten a generous scholarship — to imagine an early pastorate without student debt! — from the Universalist General Convention, though non-Universalists were admitted. Lodging “heated by steam and lighted by gas ” included, but you did have to provide your own “sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and towels.”

A fun read.


R&E Newsweekly on shortage of mainline pastorates

Required watching for anyone with romantic ideas about going into the ministry. The “gone into nonprofits” is my story of the last ten years. Not sad, but the existential piece hits close to home See the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly site for a transcript. “Diminishing Job Prospects for Protestant Pastors” (May 2, 2014)

The lure of the bright lights…

So I was trolling for Universalism in digitized newspapers (as one does) and I found a short article from 1913, entitled with lurid lettering: “Clergyman Turns Actor.“ Frederick A. Wilmot, a Tufts grad and assisting (presumably licensed) minister at the Church of the Divine Paternity, New York (now called Fourth Universalist) gave notice and left… Continue reading The lure of the bright lights…

Bookmark this online book resource

Does anyone still bookmark sites? (I rarely do since I got Pinboard.in, worth every penny of the one-time fee. You can also set it up to automatically save the links you ‘favorite’ from Twitter.) Either way, keep a hold of this link: Princeton Theological Seminary’s Theological Commons As some of you have noticed, when I… Continue reading Bookmark this online book resource

The ministry, or no?

A few days ago, I got an email asking advise about entering the ministry. Here’s an edited version of my reply. As a rule I don’t encourage people to enter the ministry. To make my concern as plain as possible, the cost of preparing for the ministry is more likely to leave you exposed to… Continue reading The ministry, or no?

An old idea about the status of the ministry

I’m thinking about the internal self-conception of mainline “learned ministry” or at least how I’ve seen it articulated in Unitarian Universalist circles. Without saying the pastorate is like a professorship, there are so pretty broad hints that there are — or have been — parallels between the two professions. The advanced degrees, the “life of… Continue reading An old idea about the status of the ministry


Well, mostly correct. Not a single reference to exegesis, but then I graduated 15 years ago and who knows what the kids are up to these days. I had the pleasure of fellowshipping with this young colleague at GA. (Jargon-y enough?) Truest words at 1:24. The video promotes a new online journal, The Radical Spirit,… Continue reading Correct