Princeton, NJ, September 7, 2012–Princeton Theological Seminary began its 201st academic year with the Academic Convocation on Wednesday, September 5 in Miller Chapel. Dr. James Moorhead, the Seminary’s Mary McIntosh Bridge Professor of American Church History, gave the convocation address, “Heritage and Hope.” Classes began on Thursday, September 6, and the Sacrament of Holy Communion was celebrated on Friday, September 7. President Iain Torrance officiated, and Dr. Yolanda Pierce, the Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature, preached a sermon titled “Are You the One?”

Here is a snapshot of the new class:

This year’s 134 entering Master of Divinity degree students were chosen from a pool of 312 applicants. The Master of Divinity degree is the basic professional degree for ministry.

Of the new 134 M.Div. students, 49 are Presbyterian, with many other denominations represented. • The new M.Div. class includes 17 African American students, 3 Hispanic students, 16 Asian students and Pacific Islanders, and 6 who identify themselves as two or more ethnicities.

The median age of the entering M.Div. class is 26; 75 of the students are male, and 59 are female.

Five new students have entered the Master of Arts program, twenty-five have entered the Master of Theology program, and eleven have entered the Doctor of Philosophy program. Seven new students will pursue a dual M.Div./M.A. degree in either education or youth ministry.

This year brings an increase of three percent from 2011 in the number of new students beginning their studies at Princeton Seminary.

The entering class includes seventeen international students, from Canada, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, India, South Korea, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Princeton Seminary’s total student body is 500.

Princeton Seminary was established in 1812 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a post-graduate professional school of theology. Currently celebrating its Bicentennial, Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.