University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Baptist Union Theological Seminary Records 1866-1922

© 2016 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Baptist Union Theological Seminary. Records




4.5 linear feet (7 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Baptist Union Theological Seminary was founded in 1865 by the Baptist Theolological Union. The Seminary eventually became the Divinity School of the present-day University of Chicago in 1892.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Baptist Theological Union. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

In August 1863 a group of Baptist leaders met in Chicago and created the Baptist Theological Union. On Feb. 16, 1865, the Illinois legislature granted the Baptist Theological Union a charter for "the founding, endowment, support, and direction of an institution for theological instruction." That same year, Dr. Nathaniel Colver began to give instruction to a few students in his study. The Baptist Union Theological Seminary fully launched in 1866.

The formal work of the Baptist Union Theological Seminary began with the appointment of George W. Northrup as President and Professor of Systematic Theology. In the fall of 1867, courses in that subject as well as Ecclesiastical History and Biblical Literature and Exegesis were given to nineteen students in the Old University of Chicago’s Douglas Hall. On July 1, 1869, the Seminary dedicated its own building directly across the street from the Old University of Chicago. The Seminary provided theological education in English, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish to Old University of Chicago and non-University students. Facing financial hardship in the mid-1870s, the Seminary sold its buildings near the Old University of Chicago and moved to donated land in the Chicago suburb of Morgan Park in 1877. The Old University of Chicago closed in 1886.

When John D. Rockefeller donated money toward the founding of the new University of Chicago, he made it a condition of the gift that the Baptist Union Theological Seminary become the Divinity School of the new institution. This took place formally on July 1, 1892. Since the establishment of the University of Chicago Divinity School, the Baptist Theological Union has continued its existence as a separate organization with its own Board, overseeing an endowment that provides support to the Divinity School.

Many Baptist Theological Union and Baptist Union Theological Seminary leaders were key to the founding and early history of the University of Chicago. E. Nelson Blake, President of the Board of the Baptist Theological Union from 1877 to 1893, was also a major donor to the new University of Chicago, and the first chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees. Edward Goodman and Thomas W. Goodspeed were also active in both institutions. The University of Chicago’s first President, William R. Harper, was a professor of Hebrew and Cognate Languages in the Seminary from 1879 to 1886. Dr. Eri B. Hulbert joined the faculty of the Seminary in 1881. In 1892, he became the first Dean of the Divinity School (until 1907).

Scope Note

The Baptist Union Theological Seminary Records include notes and correspondence from faculty and leaders of the Seminary, biographical and academic records of students, catalogs and brochures, and financial records.

Documents relating to the founding and operations of the Seminary may also be found in the records of the Baptist Theological Union.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

University of Chicago. Divinity School. Records

Baptist Theological Union. Records

Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Seventy-Five Years: History of The Baptist Union Theological Seminary, 1867-1892, notes by C. E. Hewitt

Box 1   Folder 2

Agreement to donate land and money for the establishment of The Baptist Theological Seminary at Morgan Park, August 15, 1876

Box 1   Folder 3

Baptist Union Theological Seminary; early descriptive pamphlets and memorabilia, circa 1870s-1880s

Box 1   Folder 3A

Baptist Union Theological Seminary,

Box 1   Folder 4

Baptist Union Theological Seminary Annual Reports. 1869-1888

Box 1   Folder 5

Reports of the Board of Visitors to the Seminary 1885-1889

Box 1   Folder 6-7

Matriculation forms, alumni records, and course records for matriculants, 1886-1892

Box 1   Folder 8

Colver, Nathaniel. “Restricted Communion,” Sermon deliver at Union park Church, July 9, 1865

Box 1   Folder 9

Colver, Nathaniel. “Lectures on Doctrinal Theology,” lectures 1-2

Box 1   Folder 10

Colver, Nathaniel. “Lectures on Doctrinal Theology,” lectures 3-5

Box 1   Folder 11

Colver, Nathaniel. “Lectures on Doctrinal Theology,” lectures 6-8

Box 1   Folder 12

Colver, Nathaniel. “Lectures on Doctrinal Theology,” lectures 9-10

Box 1   Folder 13

Colver, Nathaniel. “Lectures on Doctrinal Theology,” lectures 11-13

Box 1   Folder 14

“Notes on Lectures to the Theological Class of Chicago University, Rev. N. Colver, D.D., 1866”

Box 2   Folder 1

Reports of Professors Boise, Hulbert, and Price; recitation schedules, 1889-1892

Box 2   Folder 2

Conference of Representatives of Baptist Seminaries, minutes, New York, 1892

Box 2   Folder 3

General Catalogue of the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, 1st edition, 1867-1890; 2nd edition, 1867-1892

Box 2   Folder 4

Baptist Union Theological Seminary Library; charge book, circa 1880

Box 2   Folder 5

Alphabetical Catalogue of the library of the Rev. G.B. Ide given to Seminary, 1871

Box 2   Folder 6

Northrup, George W. “List of books in the library of Dr. George W. Northrup given to the U. of C. Library, May 1, 1900

Box 3   Folder 1

Northrup, George W. “Fragmentary Notes.”

Box 3   Folder 2

Northrup, George W. “Lectures on Church History,” 2 vol., winter, 1870-1871

Box 3   Folder 3

Notes on Theology by Dr. Northrup, Old University of Chicago (Chicago University), 1868

Box 3   Folder 4

Pattison, R.E. “Analysis of the Bible,” 1870-1871

Box 3   Folder 5

Alumni Association minutes; B.U.T.S., 1876-1892; The Divinity School of the University of Chicago, 1892-1922

Box 3   Folder 6

Class of 1888; Tenth Reunion, 1898

Box 4   Folder 1

Student Exams; Middle Theology, A-G, 1880-1881

Box 4   Folder 2

Student Exams; Middle Theology, H-W, 1880-1881

Box 4   Folder 3

Student Exams; Senior Theology, 1880-1881

Box 4   Folder 4

Student Exams; History of Doctrine, 1881

Box 4   Folder 5

Student Exams; History of Doctrine, 1882

Box 5   Folder 1

Student Exams; Hebrew, Middle, 1880

Box 5   Folder 2

Student Exams; Hebrew, Senior & Junior, 1881

Box 5   Folder 3

Student Exams; Hebrew, 1881

Box 5   Folder 4

Catalogs and brochures, 1866-1870

Box 5   Folder 5

Catalogs and brochures, 1870-1873

Box 5   Folder 6

Catalogs and brochures, 1873-1875

Box 5   Folder 7

Catalogs and brochures, 1875-1878

Box 6   Folder 1

Catalogs and brochures, 1878-1881

Box 6   Folder 2

Catalogs and brochures, 1881-1883

Box 6   Folder 3

Catalogs and brochures, 1883-1886

Box 6   Folder 4

Catalogs and brochures, 1886-1888

Box 6   Folder 5

Catalogs and brochures, 1888-1890

Box 6   Folder 6

Catalogs and brochures, 1890-1892

Box 7

Biographical Records; Students of the Baptist Union Theological Seminary; Class History, 1865-1881; The Divinity School of the U. of C., 1893-1906. Bound volume