Drew Theological Seminary opened its doors in 1867 in response to dramatic changes not only within American Methodism but also in the life of the United States. To mark the centennial of Methodism’s arrival in North America, Methodist leaders sought to renew the church in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War and to heal the devastating divisions that had torn apart American Methodism. Methodist leaders saw learning as an essential component in the improvement of society, and so key to their plans was the founding of a seminary for the purpose of training ministers. The seminary, funded initially by Methodist Wall Street financier Daniel Drew, linked its mission to the legacy of 18th-century English Methodists John and Charles Wesley and to the itinerant preachers who had spread Methodism throughout North America. The seismic shifts in American society in the middle of the 19th century convinced increasing numbers of leaders in the Methodist Episcopal Church that ministers, no matter their zeal or natural talent, needed intellectual sophistication, advanced academic training, and sharp leadership skills if they were to effectively address the challenges of the day such as the industrial revolution, post-war trauma, income inequality, the plight of slaves, and mass migration. In response to such realities, Drew’s faculty designed a curriculum that required future ministers to understand and respond to the needs of people around the world.
After nearly 150 years, the Wesleyan and Methodist ethos so key to the founding of Drew continues to animate the intellectual and spiritual life of the school, and is especially visible in our efforts to inspire habits of disciplined reflection and deep learning in those called to serve the common good.
Morris L. Davis
Associate Professor of Christianity and Wesleyan Methodist Studies
The University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Theological School is further accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
Explanations of Terms
Seminars: Registration often requires approval of the instructor.
Credits: Credit hours granted for successful completion of a course are listed in parentheses following the course titles.
Prerequisites: Course descriptions note required prerequisites courses and grades in those courses.
Enrollment limitations: Each course has an enrollment limit. Some courses are offered in multiple sections. Individual preferences are accommodated whenever possible, but students are not guaranteed assignment to a particular course section. The University reserves the right to cancel scheduled courses for which it judges enrollment to be insufficient.
Frequency of Course Offerings: Some courses are offered each semester or annually; others are offered over a two-or three-year period. Whenever possible, frequency is noted in the course description.
Other Academic Programs
The Spiritual Leadership Today program offers interactive workshops that help lay or clergy leaders of faith communities develop tools and practices to meet contemporary challenges in ministry. These offerings fulfill CUE credit. See: http://www.drew.edu/theological/programs-of-study/spiritual-leadership-today/
The Theological School also offers various opportunities for individuals to enroll in courses without matriculating in a degree program:
- Community Fellow: Students may audit courses for no credit. See http://www.drew.edu/theological/programs-of-study/community-programs/
- Unclassified: Students may enroll in up to (9) credits on campus without matriculating.
- Visitor: Students matriculating at another seminary may enroll in up to (9) credits for transfer.
- Online: Students may enroll in up to (9) credits online.