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The Westminster Theological Seminary was founded in 1882 as the first and only seminary to prepare ministers for the Methodist Protestant Church. Originally planned to be a school within Western Maryland College, its first president, Thomas Hamilton Lewis, had larger ideas and immediately began work to build a separate facility on property adjacent to the College. It soon was incorporated as a separate institution with its own board of trustees and functioned independently of the older college next door. It often did function symbiotically with Western Maryland College, however, since it shared faculty and sometimes facilities and services. About 1920 a larger facility was needed for the growing seminary, and so the building now known as Elderdice Hall (later named for a longtime seminary president, college alumnus, and trustee) was built. It housed the seminary chapel, library, classrooms, offices, and dormitory rooms for the students on the upper two floors. In the 1950s, the Church and the Seminary board decided to move the seminary to Washington, D.C. and build an entirely new facility adjacent to the American University campus. In 1958 the seminary moved from the Westminster campus (and took the name Wesley Theological Seminary), and the College purchased the property, turning the main seminary building into an administration building (the adjacent home for the seminary president became offices and studios for the art department). Elderdice Hall still houses the Provost's office, the Registrar's and Bursar's offices, the offices for the Division of Institutional Advancement, and some single dormitory rooms for students.
Elderdice Hall is an important building in the history of seminary education (especially for the Methodist Church). In its days as a seminary it trained most of the ministers of the Baltimore Conference and counted on its faculty many distinguished clergy/teachers.
Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 2 (May 1952).
Chandler, Douglas R. Pilgrimage of Faith; A Centennial History of Wesley Theological Seminary--1882-1982. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks Press, 1984.
Makisky, John D. "Western Maryland College in the Nineteenth Century." Western Maryland College Bulletin [n.d.].
Schofield, Samuel Biggs, and Marjorie Cowles Crain. Western Maryland College The Formative Years, 1866-1947. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1982.
Weeks, Christopher. "The Building of Westminster in Maryland." Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 1 (May 1949).
Zepp, Ira G. "Western Maryland College: The Hill." In A Grateful Memory: History of Baker Chapel. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1995.