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Old Main
Old Main Building of Crozer Theological Seminary, November 2009
Crozer Theological Seminary is located in Pennsylvania
Crozer Theological Seminary
Location in Pennsylvania
Crozer Theological Seminary is located in the United States
Crozer Theological Seminary
Location in the United States
Location 21st St. and Upland Ave., Upland, Pennsylvania
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1857
Architectural style Italianate
NRHP reference No. 73001626
Added to NRHP June 18, 1973

The Crozer Theological Seminary was a multi-denominational seminary located in Upland, Pennsylvania. The school succeeded a Normal School established at the site in 1858 by the wealthy textile manufacturer John Price Crozer. The Old Main building was used as a hospital during the American Civil War. The seminary served as an American Baptist Church school, training seminarians for entry into the Baptist ministry from 1869 to 1970.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a student at Crozer Theological Seminary from 1948 to 1951, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.

In 1970, the seminary merged with the Rochester Theological Seminary, forming the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York and the Old Main building was subsequently used as office space by Crozer Hospital (now part of the Crozer-Chester Medical Center.) The Old Main building is a three-story, "F"-shaped, stucco coated stone building with three pavilions connected by a corridor with flanking rooms. Each of the pavilions is topped by a gable roof and cupola, the largest cupola being on the central pavilion. The seminary's grounds are now the Crozer Arboretum.

The Old Main building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


Crozer Chester Medical Center Campus Map
Crozer Chester Medical Center Campus Map
Crozer Hall
Crozer Hall
Lewis House at Crozer Theological Seminary
Lewis House
Vedder House
Vedder House

The Seminary began as the Normal School of Upland, established and built by wealthy textile manufacturer John Price Crozer. After the outbreak of the American Civil War, the school was closed.

Crozer allowed the Union army to use the building as a hospital during the Civil War. The hospital contained a thousand beds and accommodated 300 nurses, attendants and guards. The patients were almost exclusively Union soldiers except for after the battle of Gettysburg, in July 1863, when the number of wounded and sick Confederate army soldiers left on the battlefield required their acceptance at the hospital. During the war, more than 6,000 patients were treated. Many of the dead from the hospital were some of the first burials at nearby Chester Rural Cemetery.

After the war, the building was repossessed by Crozer and subsequently sold to Colonel Theodore Hyatt for usage as the Pennsylvania Military Academy until 1868.

After Crozer's death in 1866, his family converted the school to the Crozer Theological Seminary in his honor. His son recruited faculty for the new mission.

In 1970 the school moved to Rochester, New York, in a merger that formed the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. The old seminary building was used as the former Crozer Hospital (now the Crozer-Chester Medical Center). The building is currently used as administrative offices for the Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

Name Tenure
Henry G. Weston 1869–1909
Milton G. Evans 1909–1934
James H. Franklin 1934–1944
Edwin E. Aubrey 1944–1949
Sankey Lee Blanton 1950–1962
Ronald V. Wells 1962–1970


The multi-acre campus contains the Crozer Arboretum and the following buildings:

  • Humpstone
  • President's House
  • Pollard House
  • CHEC
  • Evans House
  • Crozer Hall
  • Neisser House
  • Lewis House
  • Vedder House
  • Davis House
  • Sunnyside House
  • Westin House
  • Franklin House

Pearl Hall

Pearl Hall Library of Crozer Theological Seminary
Pearl Hall Library

Pearl Hall is a serpentine stone library on the campus which opened on June 4, 1871. The building was sponsored by William Bucknell, the benefactor of Bucknell University, in memory of his late wife Margaret Crozer, the daughter of John Price Crozer. In addition to the $30,000 cost of the building, Bucknell also gave $25,000 for the cost of books and $10,000 for an endowment fund.

Notable alumni

  • George Barbier, actor
  • J. Pius Barbour, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania, executive director of the National Baptist Association, editor of the National Baptist Voice, mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., first African-American graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary
  • John Warren Davis, New Jersey politician and federal judge, taught Greek and Hebrew at Crozer Theological Seminary for three years
  • William Augustus Jones Jr., minister and civil rights leader
  • Martin Luther King Jr., Baptist minister and civil rights leader
  • Samuel D. Proctor, minister, educator and humanitarian

Notable faculty

  • John Warren Davis, taught Hebrew and Greek for three years
  • Lemuel Moss, professor of New Testament
  • James B. Pritchard, taught in the chair of Old Testament History and Exegesis
  • Henry Clay Vedder, professor of Church history
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