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Andover Newton Theological School Records

Call Number: RG 277

Scope and Contents

The records have been maintained in the order in which they were received from Andover Newton Theological School. Included in the records are correspondence and memos; financial records; legal documents; minutes; reports; statistical data; subject files; course catalogs, directories, and handbooks; transcripts; vertical files; audiovisual material; photographic and digital images; publications; clippings; realia; artwork; maps, site plans, and property records; announcements, brochures, fliers, and pamphlets; biographical information; donor files; membership records; audits; necrologies; syllabi; questionnaires and surveys; committee and conference files; speeches; working papers; histories; manuals, policies, and procedures; constitutions and by-laws; program files; anniversary material; and related material reflecting the daily work and activities of the school’s trustees; presidents; deans; faculty; students; alumni; department and offices; and affiliated organizations.


  • 1931 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.


Organized into fourteen series: I. Boards of Trustees, II. Presidents, III. Deans, IV. Faculty, V. Students, VI. Alumni, VII. Departments and Offices, VIII. History, IX. Audiovisual, X. Publications, XI. Realia, XII. Vertical Files, XIII. Related Organizations, XIV. Addendum-2019 XV. Addendum-2021


224 Linear Feet (273 boxes; 3 oversize portfolios)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


These are the official archives of Andover Newton Theological School.

Biographical / Historical

As the oldest graduate school of theology in the United States, Andover Newton traces its roots to the early 1800s and the desire to prepare a well-educated clergy among both Congregationalist and Baptists. With the 1778 founding of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and the establishment of a separate department of divinity in 1807, the Andover Theological Seminary was created. Instruction at the southern Merrimack River Valley campus continued until 1907, when the trustees agreed to move the school to the urban setting of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to broaden the curriculum and establish closer ties with the academic world. In 1908, plans for a formal affiliation with Harvard Divinity School were started, but merger attempts resulted in a legal struggle over adherence to Andover’s founding principles.

The move to Cambridge left the school with a dwindling enrollment (four graduate students, four seniors, two middlers, four juniors, and four special students) and a depleted faculty of three professors. In 1931, at the invitation of the Newton Theological Institution, Andover relocated to Newton Centre. During the mid-twentieth century, the student body became more diverse as African-American students attended in significant numbers and the enrollment of women increased. In 1965, the two schools formally merged, forming the Andover Newton Theological School. Among its many accomplishments, the school pioneered the “teaching parish” approach to field education and was one of the first schools in the country to offer Doctor of Ministry degrees.

While maintaining a campus in Newton through 2018 and granting degrees through 2019, Andover Newton formally affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 2017 and established a presence in New Haven as Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School.

Chronology of Andover Newton Theological School

Andover Theological Seminary created in Andover, Massachusetts.
Andover relocates to Cambridge, Massachusetts and establishes ties with Harvard University.
Andover Trustees and the President and Fellows of Harvard University adopt a “Plan of Closer Affiliation,” forming a non-denominational theological school; immediately after adopting the Plan, the Andover Board of Visitors declares it void.
Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth renders a decision to suspend the “Plan,” citing the language of the Andover Constitution and Associate Statutes. The Seminary completes the academic year under the 1908 agreement. Andover Trustees and Harvard repeal the decision, the faculty resigns, and the Andover Trustees vote to suspend instruction.
Andover Trustees appoint a committee to explore the possibility of an affiliation with the Newton Theological Institution and by 1930 draft a document entitled, “Articles of Affiliation.”
Andover Trustees, joined by the Board of Visitors, file a bill before the Court, stating it is impossible to fulfill in all respects the restrictive designs of the founders. By conforming to the creedal requirements, it would not be possible to accomplish the primary object of the founders—providing educated ministers for Trinitarian Congregational churches. The bill asks the Court to judge that persons whose theological views conformed with Trinitarian Congregationalists generally should be deemed qualified to serve as professors in the Seminary; the court enters a decree to that effect.
Andover relocates to Newton Center, Massachusetts at the invitation of Newton Theological Institutution.
Andover Theological Seminary and Newton Theological Institution formally merge to form the Andover Newton Theological School.
While maintaining a campus in Newton through 2018 and granting degrees through 2019, Andover Newton formally affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 2017 and established a presence in New Haven as Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School.
Guide to the Andover Newton Theological School Records
Andover Newton Theological School library staff
2017, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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