Cobb Divinity School

Cobb Divinity School

Cobb Divinity School

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Cobb Divinity School, (also known as Bates Theological Seminary or the Free Will Baptist Bible School) founded in 1840, was a Free Will Baptist graduate school affiliated with several Free Baptist institutions throughout its history. Cobb was part of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine from 1870 until 1908 when it merged with the college's Religion Department.


The divinity school was founded in Parsonsfield, Maine in 1840 as a graduate school of the Parsonsfield Seminary. From 1842 to 1844, the divinity school was located in Dracut, Massachusetts. In 1844, the divinity school moved to Whitestown, New York and became part of the Whitestown Seminary where it was known as the Free Baptist Biblical School. From 1854 to 1870, the divinity school was located in New Hampton, New Hampshire and affiliated with the New Hampton Institute.The school and its library were removed to Lewiston in 1870 and became a graduate school (known as Bates Theological Seminary until 1888) of Bates College. In 1888, it was renamed Cobb Divinity School in honor of J.L.H Cobb, a prominent businessman at the Bates Mill in Lewiston who had donated $25,000 to the Divinity School at Bates. In 1891, President of Bates College Oren B. Cheney amended the school's charter requiring that Bates' president and a majority of the trustees be Free Will Baptists. Following Cheney's retirement, the amendment was revoked in 1907 at the request of his successor, President George C. Chase, and the board of trustees....
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