An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The term comes from a Hebrew word which means “to dwell.” It refers to the visible dwelling of God among the people of God on earth. It does not appear in the Bible as such but comes from Jewish tradition during the period of the Second Temple, i.e., after 515 B.C. The same phenomenon appears […]

Shelby College

No longer in existence, Shelby College operated at Shelbyville, Kentucky, with interruptions, from 1840 to around 1868. Bishop Benjamin B. Smith of Kentucky wanted a “Literary institution of an elevated character under the auspices of the Church in this Diocese.” In 1840 the Diocese of Kentucky took charge of Shelby College, which was founded four […]

Shepherd, Massey Hamilton, Jr.

(Mar. 14, 1913-Feb. 18, 1990). Liturgist and educator. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. Shepherd received his B.A. in 1932, and his M.A. in 1933, both from the University of South Carolina. In 1937 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and in 1941 his B.D. from the Berkeley Divinity School. Shepherd […]

Sherrill, Henry Knox

(Nov. 6, 1890-May 11, 1980). Twentieth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. Sherrill received his B.A. from Yale University in 1911 and his M. Div. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1914. He was ordained deacon on June 7, 1914, and priest on May 9, 1915. He began his ministry as assistant […]

Shimer College

A school that was once an Episcopal college, located in Waukegan, Illinois. It was established in 1853 by Frances Ann Wood Shimer. Under the influence of William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago, it became a Baptist institution known as the Frances Shimer Academy of the University of Chicago. In 1957 the […]

Shoemaker, Helen Smith

(Mar. 16, 1903-Jan. 29, 1993). Co-founder of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. She was born in New York City. Shoemaker was educated privately and then studied art in New York City. She was attracted to the Moral Rearmament Movement (MRA) in the 1920s in New York. She worked and resided with an MRA group at […]

Shoemaker, Samuel Moor

(Dec. 27, 1893-Jan. 31, 1963). Episcopal priest and one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In the summers of 1911 and 1912, he attended conferences in Northfield, Massachusetts, where he was exposed to such evangelical leaders as John R. Mott, Robert E. Speer, and Sherwood Eddy. He called […]

Shoup, Francis Asbury

(Mar. 22, 1834-Sept. 4, 1896). Priest and seminary professor. He was born in Laurel, Indiana. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He later entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he graduated in 1855. In 1860 he resigned from the Army, studied law, and was admitted to the bar […]

Shrine of Our Lady of Clemency, Philadelphia

See St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia.

Silent Missionary, The

This newsletter was first published in Philadelphia in 1886 on behalf of the missions to the deaf in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. It was edited by Henry Winter Syle. When Syle died in 1890, the Rev. Jacob Michael Koehler (1860-1932) became the editor. It appears to have ceased […]

Simeon, Charles

(Sept. 24, 1759-Nov. 13, 1836). Leading eighteenth-century evangelical. He was born in Reading, England. Simeon was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1782. He was ordained a deacon in 1782. Even before Simeon was a priest he was named the rector of Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge, where he […]

Simon and Jude, Saints and Apostles

(Two of the apostles. Very little is known about them. Simon is known as Simon the Canaanaean and Simon the Zealot. He was probably a member of the political sect known as the Zealots, which was violently opposed to the domination of Palestine by Rome. Tradition claims that he carried the Christian faith to Egypt, […]

Simul justus et peccator

Latin phrase meaning “at once justified and a sinner.” It is associated with Martin Luther and Protestant thought concerning salvation. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us by God and received by faith. We are thus justified by a righteousness that is extrinsic and alien to us personally. Although we are pronounced righteous by […]


Following our own will instead of following the will of God, thereby being centered on ourselves instead of God and distorting our relationships with God, other people, and creation (see BCP, p. 848). Sin is intentional disobedience and rebellion against God. It alienates us from our true selves. Sin is a misuse of human free […]

Sisco, Curtis Winfield, Jr.

(May 1, 1958-Nov. 23, 1992). Priest and liturgical editor. He was born in Philadelphia. Sisco was a graduate of Temple University and General Theological Seminary. He was ordained priest in 1987. He served as a consultant to the National Council of Churches in New York, 1985-1986, diocesan intern, St. Simons', Philadelphia, 1986-1987, and rector, St. […]


The term has been applied to female Christians since the earliest NT times. The language of family kinship recalls the closeness of the bond that is shared by those who live in Christ. For example, the Gospel of Mk (3:35) records Jesus' statement that “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister […]

Situation Ethics

Moral decision-making understood as highly specific to the situation or context. Situation ethics is often contrasted with a focus on moral principles or duties which are seen as leading to formalism and legalism. A variety of reasons may be used to support a situational ethic. Most combine an existentialist emphasis on the uniqueness of each […]

Skiles, William West

(Oct. 12, 1807-Dec. 8, 1862). Missionary deacon and pioneer monastic in Southern Appalachia. He was born in Hertford, North Carolina. When Bishop Levi S. Ives of North Carolina decided to establish a mission in the Watauga region of North Carolina in 1844, he invited Skiles to be the manager of the farm and the teacher […]

Smart, Christopher

(Apr. 11, 1722-May 20, 1771). English religious poet. He was born in Shipbourne, Kent, England. Smart was educated at Durham Grammar School and Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. He was elected a scholar of Cambridge University in 1742, and a fellow of Pembroke Hall in 1745. Emotional instability soon became evident, and in 1749 he lost his […]

Smith, Benjamin Bosworth

(June 13, 1794-May 31, 1884). Bishop of Kentucky and ninth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island. Smith graduated from Brown University in 1816. He was ordained deacon on Apr. 23, 1817, and priest on June 24, 1818. He began his ordained ministry at St. Michael's Church, Marblehead, Massachusetts, and then moved to […]

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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.