Note – I have slightly revised this blog, “toning it down” so it will not be as hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI.
I am researching the prevalence of Spiritual Formation and Emerging/ Emergent teachings in various Quaker/Friends colleges, universities and seminaries. I have been looking mostly for schools with EFCI connections. I stumbled across a list (at the bottom of this blog), which hopefully will help others sort out the various Quaker/Friends institutions.
The EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International) has traditionally been the ONLY “orthodox”, born again, evangelical Quaker denomination. The other Quaker denominations – FGC, FUM, NEYM and PYM all label themselves as non-evangelical.
[Click here for a slightly different grouping of the different Quaker denominations. This info is provided by a non-evangelical Quaker website.]
Yet in these times, even EFCI schools are getting involved with Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings. In some cases EFCI schools have actually been leaders in promulgating these teachings. For example, EFCI’s George Fox University and Seminary has pushed various teachings, including Richard Foster’s Spiritual Formation ala Celebration of Discipline.
Also, individuals and groups from many Friends denominations are increasingly fellowshipping under the banner of “Convergent Friends” – a term closely tied with Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings.
Note also that denominational distinctions are becoming less and less of an issue. Most Friends denominations are associating closely in ecumenical organizations such as the FWCC (Friends World Committee for Consultation).
To me personally, all of the above developments are very discouraging. I grew up in the EFC-ER/Ohio Yearly Meeting, which eventually became a part of the EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International). The EFC-ER/Ohio Yearly Meeting was the most “doctrinally pure,” born again Yearly Meeting in the United States. Members of this yearly meeting were commonly known as “Holiness Friends” or “Gurneyite Friends.” I feel VERY strongly that the EFC-ER/Ohio Yearly Meeting should have remained “doctrinally pure.” It should have remained a separate entity, rather than joining the EFA (Evangelical Friends Alliance) in 1965. (The EFA was later renamed the EFCI.)
Now on to the list of Friends institutions, with their affiliations [I have bolded the affiliations]:
“Quaker Colleges and Schools in the United States”
Mar 03, 2010
(Excerpt from http://www.quakerinfo.org)
Colleges and Universities
• EFCI — Evangelical Friends Church International
• FGC — Friends General Conference
• FUM — Friends United Meeting
• NEYM — New England Yearly Meeting
• PYM — Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
a. Azusa Pacific University (APU) – Azusa, California. Officially non- denominational. The Friends Center is “the seminary experience of Evangelical Friends Church Southwest (which belongs to the EFCI) at C.P. Haggard Graduate School of Theology.”
b. Barclay College – Havilland, Kansas. “Associated with Friends Church [which denomination?] although does not officially specify an affiliation.” Barclay is very much into Spiritual Formation; it even has a Center for Spiritual Renewal [Spiritual Formation].
c. Bryn Mawr College – Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Founded as a Quaker institution, now non-denominational.
d. Earlham College – Richmond, Indiana. Affiliated with Western Yearly Meeting of Friends United Meeting (FUM).
e. Friends University – Wichita, Kansas. Founded as a Quaker institution, now non-denominational with “an amicable but independent relationship with the Society of Friends” (EFCI). Spiritual Formation’s Richard Foster was a “professor of theology and writer-in-residence” here, from 1979 to ____ (1)
f. George Fox University (GFU) – Newburg, Oregon. Affiliated with Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends (EFCI).
George Fox Evangelical Seminary – Newburg, Oregon. Affiliated with Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends (EFCI).
GFU and GFES are very much into Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings. I am appalled to see such teachings in the EFCI, which in 1965 (as the EFA) was in my opinion a “fundamentalist evangelical” denomination. Today the EFCI is becoming more and more a “progressive evangelical” denomination.
By the way, all of the following heretics have all either attended or taught at GFU and/or GFES: Tony Campolo, Richard Foster (1), Dan Kimball, and Leonard Sweet.
h. Guilford College – Greensboro, North Carolina. Founded as a Quaker college and continues to be governed by members of the Society of Friends [which denomination?].
i. Haverford College – Pennsylvania. Founded by members of the PYM [Philadephia Yearly Meeting]. Remains rooted in Friends tradition and grounded in Quaker practice [non-evangelical], but without formal affiliation.
j. Houston Graduate School of Theology (HGST) – Houston, Texas. “Identifies with the Quaker movement,” grounded in Evangelical Friends theology and practice. [I think this school associates with the SWYM of the EFCI. But I doubt it is still fundamentalist evangelical. One of its teachers publically states she is a “Spiritual Director”, teaching Spiritual Formation. I’ll be researching this school.]
k. John Woolman College of Active Peace – Brattleboro, Vermont. Founded as a Quaker college and continues to be governed by members of the Society of Friends [which denomination?]. I would hardly call this a college – it seems to be more of an online forum. Perhaps this was an actual institution in years past.
l. Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland was founded by a Quaker and most early trustees were Quaker although officially non-denominational.
Note – some professors from Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) also teach at Malone University Graduate School. ATS is very much into Spiritual Formation. And, many graduates of Malone University go on to pursue their graduate degrees at the ATS campus.
n. Pacific Oaks College – Pasadena, California. Graduate school of education based around a children’s school founded by Quakers. Strong Friends influence although no formal affiliation.
o. Swarthmore College – Pennsylvania. Founded by Hicksite PYM, now independent.
p. Whittier College – California. Founded by Quakers, now independent with “an appreciation for Quaker values.”
q. William Penn University – Oskaloosa, Iowa. Founded by Quakers, no formal affiliation. “The university is firmly rooted in its Christian heritage with certain characteristics distinctive to Quakers, but welcomes faculty, staff and students from all faiths.” [I’m curious what they mean by “from all faiths” – do they mean “other world religions, and do they consider themselves an “interfaith” school?]
r. Wilmington College – Wilmington, Ohio. Founded by Quakers, associated with Wilmington Yearly Meeting (FUM).
[I have added a number of notes to the original list.]
See also this lengthy list of schools:
(1) Click here for blog entitled “Spiritual Formation founder Richard Foster’s ties with EFCI (Evangelical Friends).”
Note – much of this info overlaps with a Wikipedia list. I am in the process of combining all this info regarding colleges and seminaries.