Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman
Bryn Athyn College of the New Church serves as an intellectual center for all who desire to engage in higher education enriched, guided, and structured by the study of the Old Testament, New Testament, and theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. This education challenges students to develop spiritual purpose, to think broadly and critically from a variety of perspectives, and to build intellectual and practical skills. The ultimate purpose is to enhance students’ civil, moral, and spiritual life, and to contribute to human spiritual welfare.
Our religious perspective adheres to New Church theology, a form of Christianity based on teachings of the Bible and the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, who wrote, “All religion is of life, and the life of religion is to do good.” A Bryn Athyn education emphasizes practical skills of writing, quantitative reasoning, public presentation, and experiential education, as well as the liberal arts values of critical thinking, interdisciplinary connections, and spiritual inquiry. Here, what matters most is how you expand your thought, live your beliefs, and make a difference.
At Bryn Athyn College, our courses pair the intellectual inquiry of a strong liberal arts education with spiritual inquiry rooted in the teachings for the New Church. You will explore this perspective in your religion courses, and you will also see it reflected in every other course that you take.
The New Church is a form a Christianity that respects all faiths that acknowledge God and a life of charity toward the neighbor. At Bryn Athyn College we uphold those values, and we encourage our students in developing their individual faiths. We will ask you to think critically and deeply about spiritual concepts and their application to your life; then we will encourage you to live according to your beliefs—to be a person of integrity, honor, and compassion.
Emanuel Swedenborg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 29, 1688. He was the son of Jesper Swedberg, a Lutheran bishop.
Swedenborg's education included studies at the University of Uppsala and work with leading scientists in many countries throughout western Europe. Swedenborg was a member of the Swedish House of Nobles and the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, and he was a participant in the Swedish government. His publications covered many subjects, from philosophy and theology to anatomy and physiology. In his later life (beginning around 1743), Swedenborg's writing focused on theology. His works from this period include Biblical exegesis, discussions of the spiritual world, commentary on what it means to be Christian, and how to lead a good and useful life.