When it started, how was Harvard Divinity School organized?

The earliest "rules" of the school were printed in: Norton, Andrews. Inaugural Discourse: Delivered Before the University in Cambridge, August 10, 1819. Cambridge: Printed by Hilliard and Metcalf, at the University press; Sold also by Cummings & Hilliard, 1819.

Here is the text:

Constitution and Rules of the Theological Seminary of the University in Cambridge

The Theological Department, or Faculty of Theology of the University, shall comprise the President and the following Professors.

1. The Alford Professor of Natural Religion and Moral Philosophy, who shall lecture and teach in these subjects according to the statutes of the Alford Professorship, and the regulations established, not repugnant thereto, by the College law.

2. The Hollis Professor of Divinity, whop shall give instruction to the theological students in positive and controversial divinity, including the evidences, and principles of natural religion, and the evidences, doctrines, and duties of revealed religion: said Professor performing all the duties of the Hollis Professorship which he holds.

3. The Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages, who is to give instruction in those languages, and in their application to the interpretation of the scriptures.

4. A Professor of Sacred Literature, or expository theology, who shall treat of the criticism and interpretation of the scriptures.

5. A Professor of Pastoral Theology, who shall give instruction in the duties of the pastoral office, and the composition and delivery of sermons.

[p. 4] 6. A Professor who shall treat of sacred and ecclesiastical history, including Jewish antiquities, and of church order.

7. The Professors in either of the above branches may, in their instruction, omit the particular consideration of such subjects in their respective departments, as may be pointed out by the Corporation, said subjects being sufficiently discussed by other Professors and Instructors in the University.

8. The Professor in the fourth department shall be denominated the Dexter Professor of Sacred Literature.

9. The Dexter Professor, and the Professors of Pastoral Theology, and of Ecclesiastical History shall perform such duties in the theological instruction of the University, as may from time to time be assigned by the Corporation, always including, with respect to the Dexter Professor, those specified by the Corporation of the College and the Trustees of the Society for promoting Theological Education at the University, who are in part the founders of this Professorship.

10. The Professors to be appointed shall have the privileges and powers pertaining to the Professors of the College generally, as well as make the usual promises and engagements.

11. Graduates of any public College or University are permitted to reside at the University as students of divinity, having the assent of the Faculty of Theology, and conforming to the laws and regulations made for the government of such students and of resident graduates generally.

12. Applications are to be made in person or by letter to one of the members of the Faculty, and when distance or [p. 5] other circumstances require, must be accompanied by testimonials of good abilities, literary progress, and an unblemished character.

13. All students in divinity are to be matriculated by signing with the President an engagement to conform to all the laws of the University made for their government.

14. All theological students residing at the University, who have not completed the usual course of theological studies, shall belong to the seminary, and attend the public and private instruction of the same; provided the Faculty may, in special cases, dispense with portions of this attendance. No one will receive the pecuniary aid of the Institution or have the usual testimonial, unless he has been regular in attending the course of exercises and studies prescribed, as well as exemplary in eveery part of his conduct.

15. The Faculty will, at the beginning of each college year, and in the course of the year, when there may be occasion, make a report to the Corporation on the distribution and application of the Hopkins foundations, the funds of the society for promoting theological education, and other sums appropriated to the benefit of students in divinity; and the orders for the sums allowed will be given half yearly by the President, he receiving previously to the issuing of any order, a certificate from the instructor or instructors, on who each student shall attend, that he has diligently pursued the course of studies and exercises appointed.

16. There shall be an annual examination of the Seminary by a Board of Visiters to be appointed for that purpose.


Aug. 1819

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