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Asbury College

Asbury College

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Asbury College was founded in 1890. Located in [Wilmore, Kentucky], it is the fulfillment of a pledge the Reverend John Wesley Hughes, a Methodist evangelist, had made as a student at Vanderbilt University 10 years earlier.Originally named Kentucky Holiness College, the school was renamed to honor one of the founders of American Methodism, Bishop Francis Asbury. Bethel Academy was a pioneering Methodist school, located on the banks of the Kentucky River, approximately four miles south of the present Asbury College campus.Asbury College opened its doors for instruction in September 1890. Also among the alumni are a host of pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and other full-time Christian workers.Asbury College is an independent institution, held in trust by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. The College is not supported by any denomination, and it does not receive government funds.Asbury is primarily a four-year, multi-denominational institution. Asbury provides many opportunities for student involvement both on and off campus, including Internships, exchange programs, missions and community service opportunities.

History at a glance
Indiana Asbury University Incorporated 1837
Opened 1838
Type All Male
Type changed 1867

Indiana Asbury University was founded in 1837 in Greencastle, Indiana, and was named after Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The people of Greencastle raised $25,000 to entice the Methodists to found the college in Greencastle, which was little more than a village at the time. It was originally established as an all men's school, but began admitting women in 1867. [ citation needed ]

In 1884 Indiana Asbury University changed its name to DePauw University in honor of Washington C. DePauw, who made a sequence of substantial donations throughout the 1870s, which culminated in his largest single donation that established the School of Music during 1884. [8] Before his death in 1887, DePauw donated over $600,000 to Indiana Asbury, equal to around $13 million in 2007. In 2002, the school received the largest-ever gift to a liberal arts college, $128 million by the Holton family.

Sigma Delta Chi, known today as the Society of Professional Journalists, was founded at the university in 1909 by a group of student journalists, including Eugene C. Pulliam. The world's first Greek-letter sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, was also founded at DePauw in 1870. DePauw is home to the two longest continually running fraternity chapters in the world: the Delta chapter of Beta Theta Pi and the Lambda chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. [9]

As of July 2020, Dr. Lori S. White, previously vice chancellor for student affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, is the 21st president of DePauw University. [10] Dr. White is the first woman and African American to serve as President of DePauw University. [11]

DePauw University has an enrollment of 1,970 students. Students hail from 42 states and 32 countries with a 20.4% multicultural enrollment. [ citation needed ] DePauw's liberal arts education gives students a chance to gain general knowledge outside their direct area of study by taking classes outside their degrees and engaging in Winter Term classes and trips.

Rankings Edit

In 2020, DePauw was ranked 46th among liberal arts colleges in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. [16] DePauw is ranked #78 on Forbes magazine's 2016 rankings, which include all colleges and universities in the United States, and #14 in the Midwest. Money magazine ranked DePauw #415 in the nation in its Best Colleges 2019 list based on data including tuition fees, family borrowing, and career earnings. [17]

Academic calendar and winter term Edit

DePauw University's schedule is divided into a 4–1–4-1 calendar: besides the 15-week Autumn and Spring Semesters, there is also a 4-week Winter Term as well as a May Term. Students take one course during these terms, which is either used as a period for students to explore a subject of interest on campus or participate in off-campus domestic or international internship programs, service trips, or international trips and field studies. One survey of DePauw students found that over 80% of DePauw graduates studied abroad. [18] Past internships for Winter Term include ABC News, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Riley Hospital for Children, and Eli Lilly and Company. Past off campus study and service projects include "The Galapagos: Natural Laboratories for Evolution", "Ghost Ranch: Abiquiu, New Mexico", and A Winter-Term In Service Trip that builds an Internet Facility in El Salvador while learning about public health and health care. [ citation needed ]

Faculty Edit

DePauw University has a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 and has no classes with more than 35 students. [19]

Notable faculty members include:

    , Leonard E. and Mary B. Howell Professor of Political Science and author of Technology Transfer, Dependence, and Self-Reliant Development in the Third World: The Pharmaceutical and Machine Tool Industries in India , professor of philosophy and author of Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe and God and the Reach of Reason: C. S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell , professor emerita of mathematics, Johnson Family University Professor (2003–2007), author of Laboratory Experiences in Group Theory and Associate Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society (2005–2015)

School of Music Edit

DePauw University has one of the oldest private institutions for post-secondary music instructions in the country. Founded in 1884, the school has about 170 students. The student to teacher ratio is 5:1 with an average class size of 13 students. [20] The School of Music is housed inside the Green Center for Performing Arts (GCPA), constructed in 2007, which integrated and replaced parts of the former structure. The School of Music grants degrees in music performance, music education, and musical arts. The latter allows students to add an emphasis in music business. DePauw music students can also double major in another field outside of music in the typical four year period, or can study a Bachelor's of Music and a Bachelor's of Arts in a five year course. The DePauw Symphony Orchestra is an audition ensemble for both music and non-music majors. In 2019, the orchestra toured Japan. The DePauw University Chorus is an ensemble open to both music and nonmusic majors, while the DePauw Chamber Singers is much smaller and more selective. The symphony and both choirs make an international tour every other year during Winter Term.

Honors and Fellows Programs Edit

DePauw students can apply for entry to five Programs of Distinction. There are the Honor Scholars and Information Technology Associates programs as well as three fellowships in Management, Media, and Science Research.

The Honor Scholar Program is an interdisciplinary journey for talented students who want the highest level of intellectual rigor. The program includes 5 interdisciplinary seminars and an 80–120-page honor thesis in the student's senior year.

Management Fellows are the top students interested in business and economics. The program includes special seminars, speakers and a paid, semester-long internship during the junior year. Students have interned in private, public, and non-profit sectors. Past internship sites include: Goldman, Sachs & Co., Chicago Partners in Housing Development Corp., Indianapolis Ernst & Young Global, New York Cummins Inc. in India Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Miami, Florida, and Brunswick Group, an international PR firm based in London.

Media Fellows benefit from DePauw's media tradition. In addition to interacting with leading contemporary media figures such as documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Carl Bernstein, and Jane Pauley, who presented Ubben Lectures on campus, students have hands-on access to sophisticated media equipment. [21]

Science Research Fellows use state-of-the-art equipment, work one-on-one with faculty members, participate in internships, make presentations at scientific meetings, publish in scientific journals and, in essence, have graduate-level science opportunities as undergraduates. [21]

Students participating in the Information Technology Associates Program (ITAP) enjoy an opportunity to link their liberal arts education with technology know-how through on-campus apprenticeships and on- and off-campus internships. [21]

The Environmental Fellows Program is designed to foster an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental issues.

Technology Edit

DePauw University was rated the top liberal arts college among the "Top 50 Most Unwired College Campuses", [22] according to a survey which evaluated all institutions of higher learning and their use of wireless technology. The survey was sponsored by Intel Corporation and was printed in the edition of October 17, 2005 of U.S. News & World Report. DePauw was also ranked the third most connected school in the United States in a 2004 Princeton Review analysis. [ citation needed ]

Media outlets on campus Edit

The Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media houses the school's media facilities. This includes a television station, radio station, newspaper, and 2 magazines - all student-run. [23] First published in 1852 as Asbury Notes, The DePauw is Indiana's oldest college newspaper. [24] WGRE was ranked the #1 college radio station by Princeton Review's "America's Best Colleges" in 2010. [ citation needed ]

When school is in session, the Pulliam Center is open to students and faculty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. [23]

DePauw University consists of 36 major buildings spread out over a 695-acre (2.7 km²) campus that includes a 520-acre (2.06 km²) nature park, and is located approximately 45 miles (72 km) to the west of Indianapolis, Indiana. There are 11 residence halls, 4 theme houses, and 31 University-owned houses and apartments spread throughout the campus. The oldest building on campus, East College, was built in 1877 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. DePauw also owns McKim Observatory.

DePauw University boasts a number of firsts:

  • Indiana&rsquos first Phi Beta Kappa chapter is located at DePauw. Admittance is limited to students with the highest academic achievement.
  • DePauw is home to the first sorority in the nation, Kappa Alpha Theta, established in 1870. The Alpha chapter of Alpha Chi Omega sorority was founded at DePauw.
  • DePauw students founded Sigma Delta Chi, a national journalistic honorary fraternity in 1909. It spread to other campuses and today is known as the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • DePauw was home to the first 10-watt college FM radio station in the country, WGRE-FM, which went on the air in 1949.
  • DePauw&rsquos student-managed, award-winning newspaper, The DePauw, is the oldest college newspaper in Indiana.
  • DePauw is the first university in the nation to guarantee its student success. It is doing so through the Gold Commitment, which promises that students who meet curricular and cocurricular requirements will be employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. If not, DePauw will find them a first job or welcome them back for a tuition-free term to shore up their skills.


Asbury Theological Seminary was founded in Wilmore, Kentucky, in 1923 by its first president, Henry Clay Morrison, who was at the time the president of Asbury College. In 1940, Asbury Seminary separated from the college in order to satisfy accreditation requirements. Because of the proximity of the two schools (across the street), similar name, and common theological heritage, many people confuse the relationship between the college and the seminary. While they are separate institutions, the schools maintain a collegial relationship that benefits both communities. The current president of Asbury Theological Seminary is Dr. Timothy Tennent, Ph.D., who has served as the eighth president since July 1, 2009. [6]

Presidents Edit

  1. J.C. McPheeters (1942–1962)
  2. Frank Stanger (1962–1982)
  3. David McKenna (1982–1994) (1994–2004)
  4. Jeff Greenway (2004–2006) (2006–2009) (2009–present)

In addition to the main campus at Wilmore, the seminary offers courses at the Florida Dunnam Campus in Orlando, Florida, through online courses (Extended Learning), and extension sites in Memphis, Tennessee, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Asbury Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award master's and doctoral degrees. It is an accredited member of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Asbury Theological Seminary does not, within the context of its religious principles, its heritage, its mission, and its goals, discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, physical impairment, or gender in administration of its admission policies, educational policies, scholarship, and loan programs, athletic or other school-administered programs. The seminary is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. [7]


In 1888, a young Oxford graduate (George Wollcombe, B.A.) started his career at Bishop's College School and Bishop's University when he was invited there by the BCS Rector/BU Principal, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Adams (Oxford). In 1891, Wollcombe was recommended by the head of Bishop's, and by some Ottawa-based parents of his BCS students, to start a school there. The Ottawa school eventually became Ashbury College, where Wollcombe served as the headmaster for 42 years from 1891 to 1933. [2] He still found time regularly to make the four-hour train journey to Lennoxville to teach his classes. He obtained an ad eundem Master of Arts from Bishop's in 1906 without actually being enrolled as a student by the arrangements of Bishop's with Oxford.

Rhodes Scholar Dr. C.L. Odgen Glass graduated from BCS and BU in 1935 and served at Ashbury as the fourth headmaster, but he later returned to BCS. [7] The BCS-Ashbury Cup, the Oxford University and Bishop's University arms presented on the stained glass in Ashbury Memorial Chapel are signs of the traditional friendship between these institutions. [8] Wollcombe also eventually became the headmaster of BCS later.

The three-room school for boys was originally located on Wellington Street in Ottawa, but soon moved to bigger quarters on Wellington Street. In 1900, Ashbury College moved to Argyle Avenue near the present Museum of Nature. In 1905, Ashbury College had twenty borders, fifty day boys, led by the headmaster and a staff of five graduates. There was a preparatory department for little boys. The students were prepared for the Royal Military College of Canada and universities. Eleven boys had entered the Royal Military College of Canada between 1900 and 1905. [9]

In 1910, the school (called Ashbury College after Woollcombe's English home) moved to its current location on 13 acres (5.2-hectare) in the village of Rockcliffe Park. Arthur Le B. Weeks (architect) designed the Ashbury College building (1909) on Mariposa Avenue. [10] With the support of Ottawa benefactors, a new building was constructed for the 115 students, 48 of whom were boarders.

Ashbury was originally an all-boys institution but began admitting females for grades 9–12 in 1982 and then admitted girls for the first time into fourth grade (the youngest grade offered) in 2010. The institution is divided between the Senior School and the Junior School, which have separate faculties and students but share resources such as the cafeteria (MacLaren Hall), gymnasiums, art departments, music facilities, theatre, and the chapel.

In 2016, Ashbury celebrated its 125th birthday. Alumni receptions around the world were held as well as numerous events in Ottawa. [11]

Ashbury College's innovative and modern adaptations include Canada's first teaching green roof, and a LEED Gold-certified boys' residence. Ashbury College was included amongst other architecturally interesting and historically significant buildings in Doors Open Ottawa, held June 2 and 3, 2012. [12]

In 1952, a stained glass window depicting Sir Galahad was erected by Robert McCausland Limited as a memorial dedicated to students who served during the Great War and World War II. [13]

The Memorial Window in memory of Canon Woollcombe, Ashbury's founder and Headmaster, was unveiled and dedicated on October 29, 1961, by the Venerable Archdeacon C. G. Hepburn. The window features 7 symbolic designs: the Crown and Palm, for Wisdom Ivy for Fidelity a Vine symbolizing the Blood of Christ a Sheaf of Wheat for the Body of Christ Oak leaves for Strength and a Cross and Wreath signifying Peace. The crests refer to Canon Woollcombe's academic affiliations to Bishop's University, Oxford University, McGill University and Ashbury College. The three large windows show pictorial representations of Canon Woollcombe as Teacher, Preacher and Counsellor. The large left hand window includes the Torch of Light the Centre window shows a Spiritual Flame, with the School Motto in the Circle surrounding Canon Woollcombe, and the Ashbury buildings in the background. The Lamp of learning is at the top of the right hand window. [2]


Childhood and adolescence Edit

Francis Asbury was born at Hamstead Bridge, Staffordshire, England on August 20 or 21, 1745, to Elizabeth and Joseph Asbury. The family moved to a cottage at Great Barr, Sandwell, the next year. [2] His boyhood home still stands and is open as Bishop Asbury Cottage museum. [3]

Soon after the family moved to Great Barr, in May 1748, Asbury's older sister, Sarah, died he was less than three years old. Asbury wrote later that his mother Eliza was "very much a woman of the world" with his sister's death, she "sank into deep distress. from which she was not relieved for many years," and was living "in a very, dark, dark, dark, day and place". [4] A few years later she found a renewed Christian faith as itinerant preachers, either Baptist or Methodists, visited Barr on a revival circuit. From then on she began to read the Bible every day and encouraged her son to do so as well. [4]

Eliza's deep faith may not have been shared by her husband, who seemed to have problems, possibly drink or gambling. Francis Asbury described his father as "industrious." The husband supported his wife in her faith and witness: he allowed Methodist meetings to be held each Sunday in the cottage. [5]

During Asbury's childhood the West Midlands was undergoing massive changes as the industrial revolution swept through the area. Waves of workers migrated into the area, attracted by jobs in the growing factories and workshops in Birmingham and the Black Country of the mines. The Asburys lived in a cottage tied to a public house, on a main route between the mines and the factories. They would have been aware of the drinking, gambling, poverty and poor behaviour prevalent in the area. [6]

Francis Asbury attended a local endowed school in Snail's Green, a nearby hamlet. He did not get on well with his fellow pupils who ridiculed him because of his mother's religious beliefs. During the 1740s there had been widespread anti-Methodist rioting in Wednesbury and the surrounding area, and into the 1750s a great deal of persecution. Nor did he like his teacher and left school at the first opportunity. [7]

Asbury took a keen interest in religion, having "felt something of God as early as the age of seven". [8] He lived not far from All Saint's Church, Bromwich, which under the patronage of the Methodist Earl of Dartmouth, provided a living for Evangelical minister Edward Stillinghurst. Well connected, Stillinghurst invited as visiting preachers some of the foremost preachers and theologians of the day. These included John Fletcher, John Ryland, Henry Venn, John Cennick and Benjamin Ingham. His mother encouraged Francis to meet with the Methodists in Wednesbury, eventually joining a "band" with four other young men who would meet and pray together. For them a typical Sunday would be a preaching meeting at 5.00 am, communion at the parish church mid morning, and attending a preaching meeting again at 5.00 pm. [9]

Asbury had his first formal job at age thirteen he went "into service" for local gentry, whom he later described as "one of the most unGodly families in the parish". But he soon left them and is believed to have eventually worked for Thomas Foxall, at the Old Forge Farm, [10] where he made metal goods. He became great friends with Foxall's son, Henry. [11] They developed a friendship, which continued after Henry Foxall's emigration to Colonial America. There he continued working with metal and established the Foundry Church in Georgetown, now part of Washington, D.C.

Asbury began to preach locally, and eventually became an itinerant preacher on behalf of the Methodist cause. [12]

Asbury's preaching ministry in England is detailed in the section below: "Asbury's circuits in England".

Asbury's work in America Edit

At the age of 22, Asbury's ordination by John Wesley as a traveling preacher became official. Typically such positions were held by young, unmarried men, known as exhorters. In 1771 Asbury volunteered to travel to British North America. His first sermon in the Colonies took place with the Methodist congregation in Woodrow, Staten Island. [13] Within the first 17 days of being in the colonies, Asbury preached in both Philadelphia and New York. During the first year, he served as Wesley's assistant and preached in 25 different settlements. When the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, he and James Dempster were the only British Methodist ministers to remain in America. [14]

"During his early years in North America, Asbury devoted his attention mainly to followers living on the eastern shore between the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay. Bishop Asbury was a good friend of the Melsons and was their guest many times on his rounds. When the American revolution severed the traditional ties between the American Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain, Bishop Asbury, in the interest of his religious tenets and principles and in an attempt to remain aloof from the political and military fervor that swept the country, announced he would, to keep the embryonic Methodist congregations neutral, refrain from endorsing either Great Britain or the newly formed United States of America government and urged all his followers to do the same. This request placed almost all of his followers, especially those living in Maryland, in an untenable position. The State of Maryland had enacted a law requiring all citizens to take an Oath of Allegiance to the newly formed American Congress. In addition to this, it stipulated all non-residents within its boundaries also had to take and sign an Oath of Allegiance. Those refusing were summarily incarcerated for treason. Asbury, after proclaiming his neutrality, fled to Delaware, where taking an oath of allegiance was not a requirement. His adherents in Maryland suffered the rancor of the proponents of the Oath." [15]

Asbury remained hidden during the war and ventured occasionally back into Maryland. Sometimes this had the effect of compromising his parishioners.

In 1780, Asbury met the freedman Henry "Black Harry" Hosier, a meeting the minister believed "providentially arranged". [16] Hosier served as his driver and guide and, though illiterate, memorized long passages of the Bible as Asbury read them aloud during their travels. Hosier eventually became a famous preacher in his own right, the first African American to preach directly to a white congregation in the United States. [16]

Consecrated a bishop Edit

In 1784, John Wesley named Asbury and Thomas Coke as co-superintendents of the work in the United States. The Christmas Conference that year marked the beginning of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States. It was during this Conference that Asbury was ordained by Coke. [17]

For the next 32 years, Asbury led all the Methodists in America. However, his leadership did not go unchallenged. His idea for a ruling council was opposed by such notables as William McKendree, Jesse Lee, and James O'Kelly. Eventually, based on advice by Coke, he established in 1792 a General Conference, to which delegates could be sent, as a way of building broader support.

His journeys Edit

Like Wesley, Asbury preached in a myriad of places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life, he rode an average of 6,000 miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences. Under his direction, the church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members and 700 ordained preachers. Among the men he ordained was Richard Allen in Philadelphia, the first black Methodist minister in the United States who later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent black denomination in the country. Another African American was Daniel Coker, who emigrated to Sierra Leone in 1820 and became the first Methodist minister there from the West. Bishop Asbury also ordained Peter Cartwright in the fall of 1806. [18]

A camp meeting Edit

In the fall of 1800, Asbury attended one of the events of the Revival of 1800 as he travelled from Kentucky into Tennessee. The combined Presbyterian and Methodist communion observance made a deep impression on Asbury it was as an early experience for him of multi-day meetings, which included attendees camping on the grounds or sleeping in their wagons around the meeting house. He recorded the events in his journal: it showed the relation between religious revivalism and camp meetings, later a staple of nineteenth-century frontier Methodism. [19]

Failing health and death Edit

In 1813, Asbury wrote his will. This was a time when "the greatest membership gain in the history of the church" was achieved. [20] In 1814 his health started to fail and he became ill. In 1816 he started to regain strength and continued his preaching journey. He "preached his last Sermon in Richmond, Virginia" on March 24, "and died at the home of George Arnold near Fredericksburg" on March 31. [20]

Ability as a preacher Edit

In an exciting time in American history, Asbury was reported to be an extraordinary preacher. Biographer Ezra Squier Tipple wrote: "If to speak with authority as the accredited messenger of God to have credentials which bear the seal of heaven . if when he lifted the trumpet to his lips the Almighty blew the blast if to be conscious of an ever-present sense of God, God the Summoner, God the Anointing One, God the Judge, and to project it into speech which would make his hearers tremble, melt them with terror, and cause them to fall as dead men if to be and do all this would entitle a man to be called a great preacher, then Asbury was a great preacher." Bishop Asbury died in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, in Baltimore, near the graves of Bishops John Emory and Beverly Waugh.

"Francis Asbury had a great distrust of personal popularity, and equally marked distaste of personal publicity". [21] Not being a vain person, he did not care to have his image preserved. He had been in America for 23 years, and a bishop for 10 years before he had let a portrait be made of him. His friend James McCannon persuaded him to have it done. Asbury had had a portrait painted of him for his mother in 1797. His last portrait was made in 1813 by an unknown artist in Strasburgh, Pennsylvania.

Asbury had times when he tended to have gloomy thoughts and opinions. He believed himself to be "a true prophet of evil tidings, as it suits my cast of mind". [22] Although he was pessimistic, those who knew him considered him an extremely sensitive person. In his journal he recorded more failures and misgivings than success in his ministry. He loved simplicity and had "frequent spells of morbid depression". [22] He tended to use cynical sarcasm in his preachings. One of the typical prayers he would say, even on his way to America, was "Lord, we are in thy hands and in thy work. Thou knowest what is best of us and for thy work whether plenty or poverty. The hearts of all men are in thy hands. If it is best for us and for thy church that we should be cramped and straitened, let the people's hands and hearts be closed: If it is better for us for the church,—and more to thy glory that we should abound in the comforts of life do thou dispose the hearts of those we serve to give accordingly: and may we learn to be content whether we abound, or suffer need". [23]

He rose at 5 every morning to read the Bible. He was impatient with those who did not do the tasks assigned to them as soon as the task was assigned. He was "one of the wisest and most farseeing men of his day". [24]

On September 4, 1771, at the age of 26, Francis Asbury began his journey to Philadelphia from Pill near Bristol. "It cost him much to leave home and kindred, as is witnessed by his affectionate letters and sacrificial remittances home: but the call of God was not to be denied". [25] Before he left, he wrote a letter to his family. "I wonder sometimes how anyone will sit to hear me, but the Lord covers my weakness with his power…. I trust you will be easy and more quiet. As for me, I know what I am called to. It is to give up all, and to have my hands and heart in the work, yea, the nearest and dearest friends…. Let others condemn me as being without natural affection, disobedient to parents, or say what they please…. I love my parents and friends, but I love my God better and his service…. And tho' I have given up all, I do not repent, for I have found all". [26] On this voyage he began a journal. "In his journal he pours out the feelings and impulses of the moment, but often without giving a clue to either the offender or the offense". [27] He became seasick for the first week but had recovered. He was "poor in material things, but rich in the spiritual atmosphere created and maintained by his mother". [28] He also spent a lot of time studying and reading the Bible and books written by Wesley. On September 22, September 29, and October 6, he preached to the ship's company. Finally, on October 27, he landed at his destination in Philadelphia. His journal also contains some references to opinions of ministers who disagreed with the Methodist leadership, such as Rev. Charles Hopkins of Powhatan County, Virginia who had rejected the Methodist ideals several years before.

His journal also frequently mentioned Thomas S. Hinde who was the son of Dr. Thomas Hinde and founder of the city of Mount Carmel, Illinois. [29]

Asbury's travels in America are amply noted in his three-volume journal, The Journal and Letters of Francis Asbury. However, his travels in England are much harder to piece together as very little information exists. [30] John Wigger provide some details in American Saint, his biography on Asbury. [31]

Around 1763, Before this, Asbury began leading the class of about two dozen faithful at the West Bromwich Wesleyan society. In March 1765, his mentor, Wesleyan Alexander Mather asked Asbury to assist him. For the next 11 months, the twenty-year-old Asbury taught and preached around the Staffordshire circuit. The circuit consisted of small Wesleyan societies in West Bromwich, Wednesbury, Walsall, Wolverhampton, and Billbrook. These areas were the foundation of Methodism in the Black Country. During this initial phase of his circuits around England, two Wesleyan preachers offered the majority of the young preachers mentoring. The first was the already mentioned Scottish itinerant, Mather. The second was an English preacher from Bedfordshire, James Glasbrook. These two taught Asbury, John Wesley's basic requirements for a Wesleyan itinerant preacher.

In January 1766, Mather offered him the opportunity to quit the forge and join the Wesleyan movement as a full-time itinerant on a trial basis. The twenty-one-year-old Asbury accepted. [ citation needed ] Part of his training as a full-time traveling preacher required that he read extensively from books suggested by Wesley, who made them available in London, Bristol and Newcastle. The list included several Divinity Books: the Bible, Wesley's tracts, the works of Boehm and Francke. There were also books on Natural Philosophy, Astronomy, History, Poetry and Latin Prose. There were also books on Latin Verse, Greek Prose, including the Greek New Testament, Greek Verse - including Homer's Iliad, and the Hebrew Bible.

For the next five months, during his circuits in England Asbury teamed with William Orpe, a young preacher who was the Hebrew teacher at Wesley's Kingswood School in Bristol. They covered the large Staffordshire circuit that encompassed not only Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Willenhall, Walsall, Wednesbury, Darlaston and Billbrook, but also an extended portion to the south in Worcestershire, Tewkesbury and Gloucestershire. Despite his happiness with his new career, Asbury struggled with a sense that his efforts were somewhat limited. He was still living with his parents, he was preaching in places that had heard him preach for the last five years. He looked for more travel and more responsibility.

Asbury pressed Mather to assign Asbury to the low round of the Staffordshire circuit, and found it more grueling than he had anticipated. After twelve months Mather sent him home for a short break. Asbury then received instructions to head for London. The London conference of 1767 assigned Asbury to the Bedfordshire circuit.

In London, it is likely that Asbury met George Whitefield when he attended worship at Whitefield's Tabernacle. At the time of Asbury's arrival in London, Benjamin Franklin was staying in London and a guest of his friend Whitefield, whom he had met years earlier during one of Whitefield's trips to America. Along with Franklin at Whitefield's home were Connecticut colonial leaders including a Mohegan Indian named Samson Occum and his traveling companion, Princeton College Presbyterian minister, Nathaniel Whitaker, Lord Dartmouth, and the merchant Dennis De Bert. Occum and Whitaker were in England to raise money for their Indian Charity School in Lebanon, Connecticut. Spending a couple months in London before the August conference, it is likely that Asbury not only heard Samson Occum speak at The Tabernacle, but also had opportunity to meet this unique group.

August 18, 1767 the conference in London began at John and Charles Wesley's Foundry Church. At this conference, Wesley assigned Asbury to the sprawling Bedfordshire circuit. In addition to Bedfordshire, Asbury was officially admitted on trial and teamed with Bedfordshire native, James Glasbrook. The main locations were Hertford, Luton, Sundon, Millbrook, Bedford, Clifton and Northampton. It was a rural circuit made up of small societies whose total membership was just 208 people. [32]

In lieu of attending the 1768 conference in Bristol, Asbury is given instructions to wait in London to await his next assignment. Asbury's short stopover in London occurs at the same time that Benjamin Rush is staying with George Whitefield, having completed his medical studies in Edinburgh. After the Bristol conference in August 1768, Wesley assigns Asbury to the only circuit more difficult than the Staffordshire low Round, Colchester. Asbury will preach along the southern coastline of the River Stour, from Manningtree to Harwich. As beautiful as the scenery is, the area sours with rampant smuggling. Asbury is to preach against smuggling.

Perhaps out of worry for the young itinerant and the dangerous territory he travels, after two months on the Colchester circuit, Asbury receives word to relocate to the Wiltshire circuit. The three main cities of the Wiltshire circuit are Salisbury, Winchester and Portsmouth. In Portsmouth, it is likely that Asbury began his study of Hebrew through the large Jewish settlement that coexisted with the Portsmouth Methodists. In Portsmouth, the majority of the Jewish settlers reside in Portsea, also known as Portsmouth Common, the same area as the Methodists. For the next ten months, he remains on the Wiltshire circuit.

August 10, 1769, word from the Leeds Conference arrives for Asbury in Salisbury. Word from Wesley is that the next circuit is Oxfordshire. There he teams up with his friend from Staffordshire, Richard Whatcoat. In Oxford, Asbury and Whatcoat occasionally preach from St Giles Church. Asbury and Whatcoat remain in Oxford until Christmas. They are both assigned to preach the Bedfordshire circuit in the new year. In addition to returning to Northampton, Asbury will travel to the smaller Wesleyan societies in Towcester and Whittlebury. He also spends time in Weedon. For the next eight months, Asbury will preach on the western portion of the Bedfordshire circuit.

In March 1770, Wesley preached at West Bromwich. The news of Wesley draws Asbury to return home after nearly three years away. After his visit home, Asbury returns to the western portion of the Bedfordshire circuit. After the 1770 conference Wesley once again assigns Asbury to Wiltshire. It is during this assignment Asbury is abandoned by his assigned helper, John Catermole, who leaves the Wiltshire circuit after his dealing with a disorderly lay leader who threatens violence to Catermole and Asbury. A visit by Wesley to the struggling Wiltshire circuit results in Wesley asking Asbury to visit the Isle of Wight. It is at the August 1771 conference in Bristol where Asbury volunteers for the circuit simply called, America.

Asbury College - History

Vice President John Clark Ridpath, who had been one of those most responsible for obtaining the assistance of W.C. DePauw and for planning the reorganization of the university, resigned suddenly in 1885 at the age of 45. Already the author of several textbooks, he gave up his university post in order to devote himself fully to literary endeavors. Working in his home on East Washington Street - now the site of Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home - he set out upon a prolific publishing career that made his name a household word in many parts of the country and Greencastle a minor Hoosier literary center. Writing not for a scholarly audience but for "the practical man of the shop, counter, and the plow," he produced scores of volumes bearing such titles as Popular History of the United States, Cyclopaedia of University History, and Great Races of Mankind. They were sold by subscription in small towns and villages by travelling book agents such as young Huey Long, who peddled them in rural Louisiana to earn money for his education.

John Clark Ridpath, professor at Indiana Asbury from 1869-85, taught English literature, normal instruction, belles lettres, history and political philosophy. He was vice president from 1879-85 and was instrumental in acquiring the DePauw gift and making the plans for the expanded university.


In 1896 Ridpath interrupted his literary labors briefly to run for Congress from his home district on the Populist-Democratic fusion ticket. Losing the election, he moved to Boston to edit a muckraking journal, The Arena, and two years later went to New York to edit the literary department of his publisher. He died there in 1900. A contemporary journalist described the former DePauw professor and administrator as not only a "popular historian . but also a profound thinker, a man of deep convictions, and a political and social reformer of absolute courage."

One of Ridpath's former students, Jesse W. Weik, was a Greencastle native who added to the literary luster of his hometown at this time by gathering materials from Abraham Lincoln's onetime law partner, William Herndon, and collaborating with him in publishing Herndon's Lincoln in 1888. Written largely in Greencastle while Herndon was visiting Weik in August 1887, the volume was the first to describe in detail Lincoln's early life in Indiana and Illinois. After Herndon's death Weik kept the manuscripts in his Greencastle home, where he utilized them in several articles and another book on Lincoln and made them available to Lincoln biographers such as his fellow Asbury alumnus Albert J. Beveridge and Ida Tarbell.

Alexander Martin, whose presidential term spanned the last decade of Indiana Asbury and the opening years of DePauw University, resigned his administrative duties in 1889 but remained professor of mental and moral philosophy for another five years. He had been a strong executive who had worked closely with Washington C. DePauw in successfully effecting the transition to the new, expanded university. But the times called for a different, more modern type of leader.

The trustees chose as his successor Professor of Mathematics John P.D. John, who had also been vice president since 1885. The first member of the faculty to be elevated to the presidency, John was immensely popular with students, as evidenced by a petition signed by a majority of them and sent to the trustees urging his appointment. Despite his lack of academic credentials - he had no earned degree - he was a man of wide-ranging intellectual prowess. He was familiar with the ideas of such educational reformers as Charles W. Eliot of Harvard and Daniel C. Gilman of Johns Hopkins and had thought deeply about the aims and methods of higher education. His relatively short tenure as DePauw's president was to witness significant change in the university's academic program as part of the general movement that was transforming American colleges and universities of that time from rather narrow, pedantic seminaries into more open, intellectually freer institutions of learning.

President John set forth his ideas in an inaugural address entitled "The New Education," perhaps the most important ever delivered at the university. Turning away from the rigidities of the prescribed curriculum, he advocated a wider choice of elective studies to provide "freedom for the pupil, freedom for the teacher, and freedom in the subject." No iconoclast, John was not ready to abandon completely the older emphasis on classical languages and mathematics instead he opted for broadening the variety of disciplines through which students might experience the "process" of intellectual growth.

The university had already begun to move cautiously in the direction of electives, especially for students in their junior and senior years. Now the movement was accelerated, culminating in a program based on a core of basic requirements with the rest of the curriculum more or less open to free choice. To provide greater intellectual depth in particular fields, students were required to elect "majors" and "minors" for the first time. Depending upon the choice of major and of a classical or modern foreign language, graduates were awarded the degree of bachelor of arts, bachelor of philosophy, or bachelor of science. The bachelor of literature degree, which accepted credits in music and art, was eliminated.

Asbury College - History

In the meantime West College, the oldest building on campus, had been condemned as unsuitable for classroom use. Many alumni hoped that "Old Asbury," as the former Edifice was sometimes known, might be restored. But the trustees decided to replace the once-rebuilt structure with a new classroom facility perpetuating the memory of the pioneer Methodist bishop after whom the university had originally been named.

In 1930 Asbury Hall was erected on West Campus, across from Middle College. Its construction was made possible in a time of economic depression by borrowing from the university's endowment fund as well as by special gifts. Housing the social science and humanities departments, Asbury soon became one of the most frequented places on campus. A few years later West College was razed, but President Oxnam's plan for an equestrian statue of Francis Asbury on its site was never realized.

Asbury Hall was dedicated in 1930. Largely housing
classrooms and offices for the humanities and social
science departments it has probably been the busiest
building in the second half of the 20th century on the
DePauw Campus.

Asbury Hall also represented a new type of architecture on campus. It was designed by the indifatigable Robert F. Daggett in the Georgian or Colonial Revival mode which the board of trustees had adopted in 1929 as the official architectural style for future DePauw buildings. Its wide chimneys at either end of the central section, dormer windows and reverse-gable roof on the outer sections, and red-brick walls were typical features of the Colonial Williamsburg style that was becoming popular on many university campuses at the time and was to dominate DePauw architecture over the next few decades. In 1935 the Publications Building, financed largely by means of revenues from the student newspaper and yearbook, was constructed next to Asbury Hall in the same style. Some living units built in this period were also designed in Colonial Revival style, such as the Sigma Nu house on the corner of Seminary Street and College Avenue. Other additions to the campus in the Oxnam administration were a new maintenance building erected behind Middle College in 1930 and a small fieldhouse at Blackstock Field, paid for from student athletic fees, in 1933. In the summer of 1931 four concrete tennis courts were built behind Bowman Gymnasium.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, October 12, 1933, fire broke out in Mansfield Hall, causing damage estimated at $100,000 to the oldest women's dormitory on campus. An intrepid coed carried Mildred Dimmick, the housemother, who had sprained her ankle, out of the burning building, but the only casualty was the president's son, Robert Oxnam, who was struck but not seriously injured by a piece of plaster while taking part in the rescue of residents' belongings. Most of the displaced women were assigned to Johnson House, a frame building on Walnut Street donated to the university some years before by Greencastle resident D. B. Johnson and used up to this time for housing male students. A few freshman sorority pledges were allowed to take up residence in their chapter houses.

After an appraisal of the partly-destroyed building that indicated the unfeasibility of restoring it, Mansfield Hall was razed and the site landscaped. The threat of fire to another building of the same vintage and type of construction brought about the evacuation of Middle College not long afterwards. The botanical and zoological laboratories were moved from the building's upper stories to a frame structure first erected as an annex to Florence Hall. Other departments were relocated in Asbury Hall, and in 1934 the old college building that had been originally designed as a men's residence hall was finally demolished, the third such campus landmark to disappear in this period. Financial constraints postponed the planned construction of a new women's dormitory, a science classroom building, and more capacious facilities to replace the outdated Carnegie Library.

President Oxnam, concerned about reports of falling church attendance, inaugurated a special interdenominational vespers service on Sunday evenings that proved popular with students. Daily morning chapel was continued on a voluntary basis, but with religious services only on Wednesday. By 1933 this worship chapel and the Sunday evening vespers were conducted in the sanctuary of Gobin Memorial Church, its ecclesiastical setting and the robed university choir adding much to the dignity and solemnity of the occasion. On other weekdays chapel was held in Meharry Hall, featuring talks by the president, professors, or visiting speakers, with usually a musical program on Friday. President Oxnam himself was a frequent chapel speaker, sometimes choosing controversial topics dealing with contemporary social issues or discussing his summer travels in Europe or the Orient. Through his wide contacts with pacifist and social reform circles he was able to bring to campus leading figures in those movements, including Norman Thomas, Kirby Page, and Sherwood Eddy. One program in 1935 was devoted to a student demonstration for world peace.

Shortly after his arrival on campus President Oxnam gave evidence of his own antimilitarist views by issuing an administrative order making participation in R.O.T.C. voluntary rather than compulsory. Both the faculty and the student body had discussed this idea before but without any decision being made. Despite outcries from the American Legion and similar organizations, Oxnam went even farther in 1934, calling upon the trustees to abolish the entire R.O.T.C. program at DePauw. The board quickly complied with his wishes, ending the university's second experience with student military training in peace time. On the whole, both the university and church constituency came to the support of the president in this matter against his many detractors in other quarters.

Oxnam was also eager to continue the work of his predecessor, President Murlin, in reorganizing and strengthening the university's administration. When Post retired from the deanship in 1930, Murlin elevated William M. Blanchard to dean of the university. Blanchard had been assisting Dean Post since 1927. Blanchard also acted as director of admissions, though much of the work of reviewing transcripts and the like fell to an enlarged registrar's office, headed first by Vera Worth and, after her marriage to the widowed dean in 1933, by her assistant, Veneta J. Kunter. Also active in admissions decisions was the secretary of the Rector Scholarship Foundation, Henry B. Longden.

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