Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Institutional Change in Theological Education: A History of Brite Divinity School

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Institutional Change in Theological Education: A History of Brite Divinity School

Article excerpt

Institutional Change in Theological Education: A History of Brite Divinity School. Edited by Mark G. Toulouse, Jeffrey Williams, and Dyan M. Dietz. (Fort Worth: TCU Press, 2011. Pp. 245. $35.00, ISBN 978-0 87565-406-5.)

This history of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, consists of six essays by graduate students in coeditor Mark G. Toulouse's classes at Brite in 2007 and 2008. The essays cover the school's progression from a program focused on educating ministers in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to an ecumenical theological seminary connected to Texas Christian University (TCU). While the emphasis is on the institutional history of Brite, there are several other narratives at work. One is the transformation of an American denomination. As Brite developed through the nineteenth century into the twentieth, the Disciples of Christ changed from a relatively conservative Christian denomination into a mainline one. There is also the story of confronting issues of race and gender, moving from an all-white, male school to one that accepted and encouraged a diverse population of students. A third narrative is the exploration of Brite's mission. Would it be a school focused solely on the education of professional clergy, or a school focused on the academics beyond a church mission? Finally, there is the relationship of Brite to TCU. When Brite College of the Bible developed in 1914, it was incorporated as a unit separate from but loosely connected to TCU. That relationship has vacillated with Brite becoming sometimes more and sometimes less connected to and dependent on TCU's finances and administration. In all of these narratives there is tension: tension between conservatives and progressives over whether modern approaches to biblical criticism would be taught at Brite; tensions between supporters and detractors of racial integration at the school; tensions between deans of Brite and administrators at TCU over who controlled the finances and physical plant and what affiliation between the two was most profitable. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.