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Episcopal Church in the United States of America
The Episcopal Church or the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America is the American national church of the Anglican Communion. It includes dioceses in the United States, the US Virgin Islands, Haiti, Taiwan, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Honduras, and has an extra-provincial relationship with the dioceses of Puerto Rico and Venezuela. It is sometimes known as the Episcopal Church in the USA, abbreviated ECUSA.
The Episcopal Church was founded in the late 18th Century after the American colonies proclaimed independence from Great Britain. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church was part of the Church of England, whose clergy are required to accept the supremacy of the British monarch. When the clergy of Connecticut elected Samuel Seabury as their bishop, he sought consecration in England. The Oath of Supremacy proved too difficult a problem, however, and he came to Scotland, where the Scottish bishops (at the time being persecuted by the state) consecrated him in Aberdeen on November 14, 1784, the first Anglican bishop outside the British Isles.
The American bishops thus descend in the Apostolic succession from the bishops of Scotland, and to this day the nine crosses which symbolise ECUSA's nine original dioceses in its arms form a St Andrew's cross, commemorating the Scottish link. In Scotland, the Episcopal Church is so known because unlike the national state Church of Scotland (which is Presbyterian, i.e. governed by Elders), it is governed by bishops (in Latin episcopi). The word "Anglican" comes from the Latin word Anglicana which literally means English.
Other than the name difference the national churches are roughly the same, however the different groups (i.e., High Church, Broad Church, & Low Church) within the national branches of the Church may be proportionally different in numbers. Like many other Anglican churches, it has entered into a full communion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the United States the Church has a membership of approximately 3 million, and has had such notable members as more than a quarter of all presidents of the United States and Supreme Court chief justices as well as roughly half of the members of Congress and Supreme Court associate justices.
The full legal name of the national church corporate body is "The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America", but this name is rarely used.
The Episcopal Church in the United States has nine provinces, numbered as followed
- New England
- New York, New Jersey, Haiti, United States Virgin Islands, and American Churches in Europe
- Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
- Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, eastern Lousiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, eastern Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin
- Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming
- Arkansas, Kansas, western Louisiana, western Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas,
- Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Taiwan, Washington
- Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela
The Book of Common Prayer
The Episcopal Church has published its own Book of Common Prayer (BCP), which was last updated in 1979. Other BCPs were issued in 1789, 1892, and 1928. A proposed BCP was issued in 1786. The BCP is public domain; however, any new revisions of the BCP are copyrighted until they are approved by the General Convention. After this happens, the BCP is placed into the public domain. The text is controlled by the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer .
Colleges Affiliated with the Episcopal Church
- Bard College, Annandale, New York
- Clarkson College , Omaha, Nebraska
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York
- Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
- St. Augustine College , Chicago
- St. Augustine's College, Raleigh, North Carolina
- St. Paul's College, Lawrenceville, Virginia
- University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee
- Voorhees College , Denmark, South Carolina
Seminaries of the Episcopal Church
- Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut
- Bexley Hall - Colgate-Rochester , Rochester, New York
- Church Divinity School of the Pacific , Berkeley, California
- Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest , Austin, Texas
- General Theological Seminary, New York City
- Nashotah House, Nashotah, Wisconsin
- Seabury-Western Theological Seminary , Evanston, Illinois
- School of Theology at University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee
- Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry , Ambridge, Pennsylvania
- Virginia Theological Seminary , Alexandria, Virginia
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