An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Worcester, Elwood

(May 16, 1862-July 19, 1940). Founder of the Emmanuel Movement. He was born in Massillon, Ohio, and grew up in Rochester, New York. Worcester graduated from Columbia College in 1887 and then studied at General Theological Seminary. From 1888 until 1890 he was superintendent of the Sunday School at St. Ann's, Brooklyn. He was ordained deacon on Feb. 6, 1890, and priest on May 23, 1891. Worcester also studied at the University of Leipzig, where he focused on experimental psychology and psychosomatic relationships. He received his Ph.D. from Leipzig in 1889. From 1890 until 1896 he was chaplain and professor of philosophy, psychology, and Christian evidences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 1896 he became the rector of St. Stephen's Church, Philadelphia. From 1904 until his retirement in 1929 he was the rector of Emmanuel Church, Boston. While at Emmanuel he sought to combine Christianity and medicine in ministry. This healing ministry became known as the “Emmanuel Movement.” It was noted for the Christian application of psychotherapy to nervous disorders and was one of the major healing ministries in the history of the Episcopal Church. Among his numerous publications were Religion and Medicine (1908), and The Christian Religion as a Healing Power (1909). Worcester died in Kennebunkport, Maine. See Emmanuel Movement.

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.