A Day in the Life of Concordia Seminary–in 1853

ConcordiaSeminaryStLouis1858ACenturyofGrace120

Dr Gerhard Bode, Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Seminary Archivist, has been researching Concordia Seminary’s history in preparation of celebrating our 175th anniversary this year. He found several gems describing life at the seminary over the many years.

In October 1853, Professor Adolph Biewend described life at Concordia College for an article in Der Lutheraner. At this time the seminary was located off of South Jefferson in St. Louis city, pictured above in 1858.

The day’s work is regulated by a new clock in the new wing and a bell in the court, which resounds a great distance. It rings at five o’clock in the morning to signify to those not yet at work that it is time to get up. Fifteen minutes later joint morning devotion is held in the large lecture room under the direction of an instructor. Breakfast is served at 5:30 and then work begins. At 8:45 the bell rings as a warning to get ready for the morning lessons, which last from 9:00 to 12:00. After 12:00 dinner is eaten and the students are free until 2:00. Five minutes before that the bell rings, and afternoon lessons, which last until 5:00, begin. Then there is free time until 7:30 with supper at 6:30. At 7:30 the bell summons to work again, and at 8:45 the bell summons to vespers, which again is conducted under the supervision of an instructor; then the younger students retire. During study period the students of the Gymnasium are under constant supervision of a seminary student.

During free time the students may be seen as they engage in all kinds of games on the playground or use the athletic equipment there, take care of a garden of which each one has a small one, beautify the grounds, or in summer go to the Mississippi River, about one mile away, for a bath (under supervision of an instructor). On Sunday morning they all go to the city to attend church and return after the conclusion of the afternoon service.

I hope they took a bath in the winter, too. Although if the winters then were like this year’s winter, it might have been tough to dunk in the Mississippi.

Related posts

Meet the Professor: Dr. Ronald Mudge

Meet the Professor: Dr. Ronald Mudge


Meet the Professor: Dr. Ronald Mudge

Concordia Seminary Dean of Theological Research and Publication Dr. Erik Herrmann sits down with Dr. Ronald Mudge, who became provost and chief academic officer in May 2022. Mudge previously served as the Rouse Professor of Pre-Seminary Studies at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, and...

“And they will all be taught of God”: Martin Luther’s Biblical Translation at 500

“And they will all be taught of God”: Martin Luther's Biblical Translation at 500


“And they will all be taught of God”: Martin Luther's Biblical Translation at 500

It is now 500 years since Luther’s translation of the New Testament first appeared. It is no exaggeration or hyperbole to praise Luther’s German Bible as not only one of the most important works in the German language but also as one of the great literary achievements of Western history. It is...

Who Has Ever Even Heard of the Missouri Synod?

Who Has Ever Even Heard of the Missouri Synod?


Who Has Ever Even Heard of the Missouri Synod?

Paul Raabe reflects on the label “Lutheran” and how, in some contexts, it does not communicate to most Americans. We need to be able to explain ourselves to outsiders in ways intelligible to them. Maybe a church sign should say: “A Gospel-Baptism-Lord’s Supper-Bible-Creedal-Liturgical Church - Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.” These descriptions are the markers of our church body.

2 Comments

  1. Peter Arno Lange on Facebook January 9, 2014
    Reply

Leave a comment