The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg held its inaugural session in 1826 with one professor, eight students, a small collection of books, and less than $1700. Seminarians adhered to a rigid schedule. The day started with a 5:00 a.m. worship service, followed by classes and study hours.
Seminarians were expected to be in their rooms by mid-evening through most of the 19th century. Time was also set aside for physical fitness, chores (there was no tuition, room or board charge) and private devotion. The conduct and daily activities of the students were closely monitored. Attendance at Sunday worship services was mandatory.
A Lutheran newspaper endorsed this highly structured regime: "Here the world may be completely shut out from the mind, and the soul be left to the uninterrupted pursuit of spiritual good." Seeking relief from these heavy demands, the student body often petitioned for longer vacation periods. The faculty invariably denied these appeals.Seminarians took careful notes, often filling notebooks of lectures verbatim in the 19th century. Above, an early 20th century room furnished and fitted with an increasingly personalized style.