School of Religion

Rooted in the Christian Quaker tradition of contemplation that inspires action, ESR prepares theologically diverse students for a pluralistic world.


Earlham School of Religion is a seminary founded on Quaker values. We provide a Christian theological education to all who wish to participate in a spiritual and academic journey for good. In the face of persistent inequality, poverty, violence and other forms of oppression in today’s world, our students and faculty are spurred to committed, loving action. Through service, we are able to share our unique voices and talents in ways that heal and unite.

Each of us has unique gifts, talents and leadings that allow us to address the world’s problems—as Quakers say, we have that of God within each of us. Through creativity and compassion, Earlham School of Religion seeks to help our students discern their unique talents and develop their own forms of ministry for today’s world.

We are inspired by new and creative ways of ministering to the world.

At Earlham School of Religion, we believe that ministry happens in a multitude of ways, as ESR students and graduates demonstrate. Rooted in our Quaker tradition, our students and faculty come together as a community of learners. Each of us brings unique wisdom and experience to the classroom, and our students are continually challenged to re-evaluate their assumptions as they articulate their theological stance and live into their own creative ministry. The result: a deeper connection with spirit and with one another.

We help our students discern their own unique gifts and talents so they can develop their own creative ministries in their lives and careers. From social work to creative writing, entrepreneurship to healthcare, our graduates work to heal the world both from behind the pulpit and beyond it.

We foster contemplation that inspires action.

Our curriculum unites spiritual formation, academic study, social engagement and vital ministry. We seek truth in the belief that it will shine a light on the path forward, spurring us to take action and engage with our world.

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We look around the world and see that ministry isn’t bound to the pulpit. Persistent inequality, poverty, violence, and other forms of oppression call for response in the form of committed, loving action. How we choose to act varies with every individual. Each of us has unique gifts, specific talents, and leadings to address that which is broken in society. We have, as Friends say, that of God within each of us.

The action we take is the product of our empathy, passions, experiences, talents, leadings and education. We may be teachers, chaplains, or peace workers. We may be storytellers, businesspeople, or health care providers. We may be journalists, spiritual directors, or pastors. In every vocation, on every one of life’s paths, we can find vital ways to serve this world.

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