Bonebrake Theological Seminary
John Wesley, founder of United Methodism
In 1869, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ authorized the creation of a seminary. Reverend Milton Wright called for the seminary's creation and served as the institution's first chairman of the executive committee. Wright also was the father of Ohioans Orville and Wilbur Wright. Wright selected the seminary's original name -- Union Biblical Seminary, which was the predecessor of Bonebrake Theological Seminary.
In 1871, the Union Biblical Seminary opened in Dayton, Ohio. Initially, the institution held classes at the Home Street United Brethren in Christ Church, but in 1879, the seminary moved to a new campus in Dayton. Eleven students enrolled at the Union Biblical Seminary in 1871. The institution originally only accepted college graduates, unless potential students could illustrate that they had an equivalent amount of knowledge. Students initially took courses in the Exegetical, Doctrinal, Historical, Practical, and Homiletical Departments, and the seminary awarded its first Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1892.
In 1906, John and Mary Bonebrake gave the Union Biblical Seminary 86,400 dollars in land. As thanks for this sizable donation, the institution was renamed the Bonebrake Theological Seminary. Due to increased enrollment, the seminary relocated to a new campus in Dayton in 1923. On November 16, 1946, the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren Church united together to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Eight years later, Bonebrake Theological Seminary and the Evangelical School of Theology in Reading, Pennsylvania, united together to create the United Theological Seminary.
Over the next sixty years, United Theological Seminary continued to grow in size and in the number of degrees that the institution offered. By the early 1970s, the seminary began to offer doctorate degrees. In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined with the Methodist Church to create the United Methodist Church. Today, United Theological Seminary continues to educate future ministers of the United Methodist Church. In 2005, the seminary relocated to a new campus in Trotwood, Ohio. The Omega Baptist Church now owns the United Theological Seminary's former campus in Dayton.