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Records of the Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work (Group 34)
[145] Records of the Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work, 1886 (1886-1968) -1986, 2 ft.

Historical Note

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 students.

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 school.

 
 
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