An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bishop Payne Divinity School

A former seminary of the Episcopal Church to train African American men for the ministry. On Oct. 2, 1878, the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) opened a branch seminary for Negroes in connection with St. Stephen's Normal and Industrial School, Petersburg, Virginia, under the Rev. Thomas Spencer (1852-1904). In 1884 the name was changed to the Bishop Payne Divinity and Industrial School in honor of James Payne, the first Bishop of Liberia. In 1910 the name was changed to the Bishop Payne Divinity School, and it was empowered to confer the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. It closed on May 25, 1949. On June 3, 1953, it was merged with VTS. The library at VTS is the Bishop Payne Library.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.