—Seminary community and guests from around the nation and the world gather in gratitude for 200 years of mission—

Princeton, NJ, October 12, 2012–Princeton Theological Seminary, founded in 1812 as the first theological institution of the Presbyterian Church, will celebrate the culmination of its Bicentennial Year with a celebratory service of worship on Thursday, October 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the Princeton University Chapel. The service is open to the public.

Seminary president Iain Torrance will preside at the service, and Dr. Marilyn McCord Adams, the Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a 1984 graduate of the Seminary, will preach the sermon, titled “Rigor and Fire: Formation for the Future.”

A special feature of the service will be Voices of Community, in which current students and faculty members will read quotations from past graduates and faculty members about the Seminary’s mission and history. Included will be quotations from Archibald Alexander, the Seminary’s first professor; Theodore Sedgwick Wright, its first African American graduate and the first African American to graduate from any theological seminary in the United States; James Reeb, a 1953 graduate who was killed in 1965 while marching in Selma, Alabama, during the Civil Rights movement; Jane Dempsey Douglass, a former faculty member who was the first woman to serve as president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; Abune Paulos, the recently deceased patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Addis Ababa and one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches; John A. Mackay, the Seminary’s third president and the author of “A Letter to Presbyterians” condemning the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s; and Kyung-Chik Han, founder of the Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Seoul, Korea, Korea’s largest church.

Special greetings will be brought by Rochelle Hendricks, the secretary of higher education for the State of New Jersey and herself a graduate of the Seminary; Alison L. Boden, dean of religious life and of the chapel of Princeton University; Manuel J. Fernós, president of La Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, a school founded by Princeton Seminary graduate J. Will Harris in 1912; and Neal Presa, the moderator of the General Assembly, the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a Princeton Seminary graduate.

International guests include Fernós and a delegation from La Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, which is celebrating its centennial this year; scholars and churchmen from Scotland and India; and delegates from the World Council of Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, both headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Music for the celebration will be provided by the Seminary Choir, Martin Tel, director; William Heard, a Seminary graduate, musician, and pastor at Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church in Camden, New Jersey; Eric Plutz, Princeton University organist; Katherine McClure, flutist from Westminster Conservatory; and the Somerset Brass Ensemble.

Following the service, the Seminary will host a Bicentennial reception under a tent on its campus quadrangle at 4:30 p.m. Music will be provided by the Presbybop Quartet. The Seminary is grateful to Aramark and PNC Bank for underwriting this reception.

For more information, call 609.497.7760 or visit www.ptsem.edu.                  

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