The Center for Swedenborgian Studies has been a graduate school for religious training and scholarship since 1866 and today functions as a think-tank for Swedenborgian studies globally and also as the official seminary of the Swedenborgian Church of North America. Providing courses and programs supporting academic, vocational, and personal growth journeys for students who want to or are required to take Swedenborgian Studies, the Center’s offerings are multidisciplinary with strengths in theology, Bible and its interpretation, history of ideas, spiritual formation, literature, art and architecture, eighteenth-century studies, nineteenth-century studies, New Religious Movements, Western esotericism, and mysticism studies.
After continuously operating as a graduate school program for religious training and scholarship across 150 years in four successive locations in Boston and recently Berkeley and known variously as the New Church Theological School, the Swedenborg School of Religion, and the Swedenborgian House of Studies, the school became the Center for Swedenborgian Studies as an affiliate center of the GTU on July 1, 2015.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies is
- to prepare qualified women and men for ministry in the Swedenborgian Church and world
- to serve as a center on the leading edge of Swedenborgian scholarship
- to share its resources of scholarship, leadership, and people with the wider church and community
Studying from a Distance
Study in local residence in the Bay Area is not the only alternative available for studies with the Center. The Center has cross-registration arrangements with a state-of-the-art distance learning program at Earlham School of Religion and also develops working relationships for cross-registration with other seminaries and schools as needed. If you want to study from a distance with the Center please contact us to talk about your options.
A number of adjunct practical theology teachers also support students preparing for vocational ministry paths. Faculty support for the twin objectives of cultural studies and practical vocational studies is both discrete and interactive. Many of our vocational students are in schools and programs elsewhere in the world and are supported via our distance learning program with occasional local intensive courses. At the same time, the scholarship support for M.A. and Ph.D. happens locally with GTU students.
If you choose to study for a Masters Degree and the Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies, you have several choices. The Graduate Theological Union has 8 member seminaries which offer a variety of degrees. The GTU itself offers both MA and PhD programs. The Pacific School of Religion, a multi-denominational Protestant seminary founded in 1866, is a previous affiliation partner with an accredited MA and other programs that has graduated many Swedenborgian students. Please contact us to discuss our current distance options.
Local Learning Options
Central to Christian theological understanding is the belief that spiritual growth occurs fundamentally in and through relationships. With the integration of our Center within an a consortium of seminaries and institutions, opportunities for community are endless. if you chose to study in the Bay Area, your community will include Swedenborgians, seminarians from other campuses and faith traditions, students and scholars from around the world.
Located in a residential neighborhood, the Center is currently housed on the ground of the Pacific School of Religion and across the street from the Graduate Theological Union. It’s just a few blocks away from five of the other nine seminaries in the GTU, as well as the University of California. Ethnic restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and other unique nooks and crannies abound. Just across the Bay lies San Francisco, with its assortment of cultural edifices and events, diverse communities, and stunning landscapes. The greater Bay Area includes the attractions of Marin County, the wine country, Monterey Bay, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, San Jose and the Silicon Valley.
You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone our office at: 510 849 8228
A Scholarly Journal in Print and Digital Formats
The Journal, Studia Swedenborgiana, was published in previous years by the Swedenborgian House of Studies. Although the Journal ceased print publication, it’s scholarly mission continues in the digital world. Below are links to articles on all manner of subjects interesting to Swedenborgian scholars and lay readers alike.
- Swedenborg’s Puzzling Codicil on Islam and Muslims: Colin Amato
- The Spiritual Origin of Prophecy; Doug Webber
- Swedenborg, a Modern Buddha; Wakoh Shannon Hickey, PhD
- William Blake – Glances on His Engagement with the Theosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg, Francesca M. McCrossan, PhD and Rev. Dr James F. Lawrence, PhD
- William Blake: From Antinomian Rebel to Prophet of Healing and Wholeness, Jonathan Lynn Harvey, MA
- The First George Bush: Philosopher, Minister, and Swedenborgian Ancestor of American Presidents, Francesca M. McCrossan, PhD and Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence, PhD
- An Icon of Simplicity: The American Arts & Crafts Movement started at the Swedenborgian Church, Leslie M. Freudenheim, MA
- An Extraordinary Season in Prayer: Warren Felt Evans’s Journey into “Scientific” Spiritual Practice, Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence, PhD
- Joseph Worcester, Oscar Wilde and the English Arts and Crafts Movement, Leslie M. Freundenheim, MA
- Herman Vetterling, The Philosopher Of San Jose; Philangi Dasa, The Buddhist of Santa Cruz, Paul Tutwiler, PhD