Birthdays are occasions for presents and celebrations. On Friday, June 29, McCormick will turn 183 years old. As we turn a year older McCormick continues to prepare women and men from all denominations and backgrounds for Christian ministry and service, advancing a model of education that is urban, cross-cultural, ecumenical and Reformed. A birthday of 183 years is a major milestone for any institution.
Would you like to join the celebration? Eating cake is a good thing. But, we have another idea, how about making a gift to the Annual Fund? Donations should be mailed on or before June 29, our birthday!
A gift of $1,830.00, $183.00, $18.30 or any amount that you would like to contribute would certainly make a difference in the life of this Seminary and its students. Your check should be made out to the Seminary and mailed to: Stephanie Moore, McCormick Theological Seminary, 5460 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615. If you prefer, you may also give online by clicking here.
What’s the celebration about? Here’s a brief synopsis of McCormick’s rich history.
Much has changed since it opened its doors in 1829 in Hanover, Indiana, as the Indiana Theological Seminary. Its first students attended classes in a log cabin.
Responding to the shifting and growing United States population and a call to be the “Seminary of the West,” McCormick moved to New Albany, Indiana and changed its name to the New Albany Theological Seminary, where it stayed from 1840 to 1857.
McCormick’s first Chicago location was Lincoln Park. This location was selected because Chicago was destined to become a major city and because of Cyrus H. McCormick, the inventor of the McCormick reaper and a wealthy industrialist. Cyrus McCormick had a vision for the establishment of a Presbyterian seminary and generously provided for the school from 1859 through the twentieth century. Shortly after McCormick’s death in 1884, the school was renamed McCormick Theological Seminary.
In 1975, the next move was to Hyde Park, where the Seminary began offering Master level programs. The location was selected because there was a cluster of theological institutions and numerous University of Chicago resources for the Seminary and its students In 2003 McCormick built a new administration building that forms an architectural connection with the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. We continue to be in that building today which is known as 5460 S. University. Our community is so diverse that no one racial/ethnic culture constitutes a majority.
McCormick continues to be a leader in its commitment to women and people of differing racial backgrounds. In 1995 installed the first female president, Cynthia Campbell, of a Presbyterian seminary; in 2012 we installed the first Asian American president, Frank Yamada. McCormick continues to be a leader.
Please don’t delay! Join the celebration today and make a gift to the Annual Fund. Enjoy your birthday cake and thank you for celebrating this important day with us!
(The historical source for this article is Within the Wrought Iron Fence: The Hidden Heritage of McCormick Theological Seminary by Elizabeth K. Ware.)