The history of Schauffler College is intertwined with the life
of its founder, Congregational clergyman Henry A. Schauffler (1837-1905)
and those who shared his dream. Dr. Schauffler, who spent his boyhood
in Turkey, graduated from Williams College in 1859 and from Andover
Seminary in 1862. He also studied at Harvard Law School. An accomplished
linguist who spoke nine languages, Schauffler was a Protestant missionary
in Austria (where he established a mission of' the American Board)
and in Turkey. In 1882 Schauffler settled in Cleveland, where he
worked among Slavic immigrants to the United States. In October
1883 the Congregational Home Missionary Society appointed him superintendent
of Slavic missions in the United States, responsible for organizing
Christian work among the immigrants under the auspices of the Bohemian
Mission Board of Cleveland.
Schauffler's ministry to the Slavic people directly involved women.
Because Slavic women did not approve of males visiting them in their
homes, Schauffler trained women to become friends with the Slavic
women and invite them to church Clara Hobalt (d. 1942), who later
became Henry Schauffler's wife, started training "young women for
religious work among their own people" in 1886. By 1890 she established
the Slavic Bible Readers' Home School. The name and location in
Cleveland of this school changed over the years.
Upon the death of the founder in 1905, the board of trustees renamed
the school the Schauffler Missionary Training School. It also changed
the name of the school's quarterly paper to The Schauffler Memorial.
The school ran smoothly under the direction of Mary Wooster Mills
(1856-1933; A.B. 1885, A.M. 1891). During her tenure as principal,
from 1899 to 1923, Mills successfully raised funds and recruited
When Dr. Raymond G. Clapp became principal in 1925, the Schauffler
Missionary Training School entered a new era. In 1930 the school's
name was again changed to reflect its new status as a college. The
Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work awarded to women
the bachelor of Science degree in religious education and the bachelor
of science degree in social work. Under Clapp's administration,
the faculty almost doubled to meet the needs of increasing enrollment.
The student body grew from 25 to 92 women, with enrollment peaking
and decreasing In the years after Clapp's retirement in 1941.
When the school merged with the Oberlin College Graduate School
of Theology (GST) in 1954, Schauffler College cited its location
as the main problem in maintaining a consistent student body. The
merger seemed a natural development, since Oberlin and Schauffler
colleges had many ties (e.g., in 1885 Dr. Schauffler was instrumental
in creating a Slavic department at Oberlin College). The GST also
was facing lower numbers of students and financial difficulties.
Dr. George P. Michaelides (1892-1963), president of Schauffler
College after 1946, steered the college through the transition.
Not only was he a director and professor of church history in the
Schauffler Division of Oberlin College, but he also served as acting
dean of the GST between 1958 and 1960. After 1957 the Schauffler
Division of Christian Education granted only the master's degree.
The Schauffler Division gave the GST its first permanent female
faculty member, Ruth Lister (b. 1917). The merger also increased
the number of women attending the GST.
With the closing of GST in 1966, the Schauffler Division was transferred
to Defiance College, in Defiance, Ohio, where the teaching of Christian
education under the Schauffler Program for Christian Education and
Social Work continues.
Scope and Content
This collection includes library accession books, 1917-1954; biographical
sketches, late 1800s; the correspondence or Henry Schauffler, 1887-1890,
and Gertrude F. Jacob, 1966-1968; reports to the American Home Missionary
Board, 1886-1903; printed matter, 1894-1986; and photographs (undated).
Among the biographical sketches are testimonies of Slavic women
concerning their lives and religious convictions Schauffler's correspondence
makes reference to the school and his work at the American Home
Missionary Board. Jacob's correspondence with Defiance College relates
to the transfer Lithe Schauffler Division. Schauffler's annual reports
to the American Home Missionary Board contain information about
annual events and changes in the college, women's activities, women's
organizations specific women and their work, and reports of conversions
Among the printed material are three biographies of Henry Schauffler;
school histories written by Henry M. Tenney (1841-1930) in 1915,
Grace L. Schauffler (1894-1982) in 1957, and Margaret R. Schauffler
(b. 1896) in 1986; three pamphlets by Dr. Schauffler (The
Country of John Huss in America, n.d.; "Our Slavic Home Missionary
Work," n.d.; and "Then and Now, or Ten Years Progress in the Work
of the Congregational Home Missionary Society for the Slavic Population
in the United States," 1894); and three other pamphlets (Heroines
of the Slavic Work, 1911; "A Tribute to Schauffler," n.d.;
and Sketches of the Life and Work of Henry Schauffler D.D.)
The photographs are of unidentified women who attended the training