School for Christian Workers Circular Letter, July 31, 1890
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The circular letter, written by Oliver Cromwell Morse, is addressed to contributors to the School for Christian Workers. The letter explains the separation of the School for Christian Worker’s and the Young Men’s Christian Association Training School Department, now Springfield College, in June 1887. While both the School for Christian Workers and the Young Men’s Christian Association Training School became distinct legal entities, they remained in a shared location with shared instructors. The separation rose not out of conflict but a desire to keep the Y.M.C.A's mission independent of other Christian groups. Following this explanation, Morse presents both schools' budgets and pleas for contributors to pay their subscriptions at the start of the year rather then the end, so that the schools would not be forced to take on significant debt. Springfield College was originally founded in 1885 as the School for Christian Workers. When the School for Christian Workers began, it essentially had two schools or departments: the Training School for Sunday School Workers and Pastor's Helpers and the YMCA Training School. By 1890 the YMCA Training School had become nearly double the size of the Training School for Sunday School Workers, so it was decided that the two schools should split and become their own institutions. Oliver Cromwell Morse, son of Louisa (Davis) Morse and Richard Gary Morse, was born in New York City on September 18, 1847 and died in 1922. Born into a successful family--his grandfather (Rev. Dr. Jedediah Morse) was the first American geographer, his uncle, (Professor S. F. B. Morse) invented the electric telegraph, and his other uncle (Sidney E. Morse) and father jointly founded the New York Observer—he was prepared at a young age for Yale at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In college he won prizes in Declamation and Debate, was a member of the Junior Promenade Committee, and rowed on the Varuna gig crew. After graduation he spent the summer in Germany before attending Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In the following years he studied in Europe and Palestine, chiefly at Universities of Berlin and Leipsic, and at the Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1876 he became the General Secretary of the Y.M.C.A. of Schenectady, N.Y., and in 1878 he accepted a similar position in Washington, D.C. In 1881, he took a secretary position for the YMCA in Cleveland, Ohio, where he stayed until April, 1884. During 1885, he assisted Rev. Dr. F. F. Elimvood in editing the Foreign Missionary, published by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions and became the acting pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Watertown, New York. In 1886, Morse became the Assistant State Secretary of the New York Associations. He resigned from this position in the summer of 1887 to become the Corresponding Secretary of the School for Christian Workers in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1890, when the schools split, he became the Secretary and instructor for both schools, at the end of which he devoted himself entirely to the International Y.M.C.A. Training School. After eleven years, he left the institution to become the Vice President of Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida). Tear in top of all three pages; very fragile.
|Morse, Oliver Cromwell|
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|School for Christian Workers (Springfield, Mass.)|
International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (Springfield, Mass.)
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