Nashotah House is an Anglican seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin. The seminary opened in 1842[2] and received its official charter in 1847. The institution is independent and generally regarded as one of the more theologically conservative seminaries in the Episcopal Church (United States). It is also officially recognized by the Anglican Church in North America.[3] Its campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.[4]

Nashotah House Theological Seminary
TypePrivate graduate institution
Established1842; 182 years ago (1842)
Religious affiliation
The Episcopal Church Anglo-Catholic Anglicanism
DeanGarwood Anderson[1]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

43°4′56.5″N 88°25′33.5″W / 43.082361°N 88.425972°W / 43.082361; -88.425972
NicknameThe House, The Mission, Black Monks
AffiliationsAssociation of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)
The oldest buildings on campus: Red Chapel and Blue House



Nashotah House was founded in 1842 by three young deacons of the Episcopal Church: James Lloyd Breck, William Adams, and John Henry Hobart, Jr., who were all recent graduates of the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Bishop Jackson Kemper had asked them to undertake this task. Gustaf Unonius was the first graduate.[5]

Nashotah House was, from the beginning, a center for High Church thought and discipline. Breck served as the first dean, and was highly committed to the principles of the Oxford Movement, which in part revived liturgical practices. Later, noted professors such as James DeKoven would bring Anglo-Catholic worship and practice to the seminary. It included daily celebration of the Eucharist and the liturgical use of vestments, candles, and incense.

Nashotah identifies as being within the orthodox Anglo-Catholic tradition. Overall, the faculty support traditional theology and conceptions of Christian doctrine, in opposition to liberal theologies. Graduates come from a variety of jurisdictions both inside and outside of the Episcopal Church. Nashotah House sees its mission to form priests and church leaders from all over the Anglican Communion.

In February 2014, Bishop Edward L. Salmon, Jr. invited Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to preach at the school. The decision was condemned by the seminary's largely conservative supporters, who cited Schori's tactics of suing parishes that left the ECUSA over doctrinal matters, as well as what they considered her heretical views. In response, two bishops who were members of the Nashotah House Board of Trustees resigned or distanced themselves from the school.[6]



Nashotah House offers degree and certificate programs aimed at training clergy and lay leaders for ministries in the Anglican Communion:

It also offers a one-year certificate program in Anglican studies, geared toward students who have received an M.Div. from a non-Anglican institution and wish to be ordained within the Anglican tradition. The Master of Pastoral Ministry and the Master of Ministry degree may be earned through a combination of residential and online study.[7]

The DMin, STM, MDiv, MPM, MTS, MM and MSM degrees are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.[8][9]


The Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin

The property of the Nashotah House Theological Seminary covers 365 acres (148 ha) of land.

The main buildings of the seminary include, from oldest:

There are also apartments for both single and married students, and several houses for the dean and other faculty, as well as maintenance facilities.

Construction has been completed on a substantial addition to the refectory. The newly dubbed Adams Hall includes a large meeting hall and additional classrooms.

Student life

Interior of the Red Chapel

Nashotah began as a community inspired by traditional monastic life of prayer, work, and study. James Lloyd Breck's vision was to create a center for Christian formation in the (then) wilderness that would also be movement to propagate other communities for the purpose of evangelizing the frontier. Today, much of this vision remains intact and students still live a Benedictine cycle of prayer, work, and study. The life of the Seminary seeks to form the character of priests and leaders into the image of Christ. Various students have been involved in mission work around the Anglican Communion as well.

"Seminarians are invited to participate in an ascetic, disciplined, prayerful season of spiritual growth in Christ" in which they "practice the Benedictine Rule of daily prayer, labor, and study."[17] All students have work crew assignments - cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, sweeping floors and taking other chores. Daily routine includes Morning Prayer, Mass, breakfast, classes, lunch, and Solemn Evensong. Always anticipated on the campus is the annual St. Laurence Cup, a flag football game played against students from Sacred Heart School of Theology and St. Francis Seminary (Wisconsin).[18] The formerly annual Lavabo Bowl game was played against Seabury-Western Theological Seminary which stopped granting residential Master of Divinity degrees in 2010 after ceasing to accept new M.Div. seminarians in 2008[19]

Nashotah House is the only seminary affiliated with the Episcopal Church that does not admit students who have entered into same-sex marriages.[20][21]

Notable alumni

Gustaf Unonius, first graduate of Nashotah
Michael the bell which calls the community to prayer

Notable faculty

Grave of James Lloyd Breck in the Nashotah House Cemetery


  1. ^ "Nashotah Dean Resigns". The Living Church. August 7, 2017. Garwood P. Anderson, academic dean and professor of New Testament studies, will assume the position of acting dean...
  2. ^ a b "Nashotah House Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  3. ^ "SEMINARIES - The Anglican Church in North America".
  4. ^ "Nashotah House Theological Seminary". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  5. ^ "Gustaf Elias Unonius, 1810-1902, First graduate of Nashotah House". Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  6. ^ Mary Ann Mueller, "Katherine Jefferts Schori's Invitation to Nashotah House Stirs Hornet's Nest", VirtueOnline, February 22, 2014. Accessed February 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Nashotah House (August 1, 2021). "Degree Plan MPM" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "The Association of Theological Schools" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Nashotah House - Degree Programs". Archived from the original on 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  10. ^ "Nashotah House Webb Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  11. ^ "Nashotah House Shelton Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  12. ^ "Nashotah House Alice Sabine Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  13. ^ "Nashotah House Lewis Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  14. ^ "Nashotah House Frances Donaldson Library". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  15. ^ "Nashotah House Kemper Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  16. ^ "Nashotah House Breck Hall/Adams Hall". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  17. ^ A Holy Renaissance
  18. ^ The Missioner, Advent 2009 Archived 2010-02-01 at the Wayback Machine "Sacred Heartbreaker: Anglicans Fall to Romans 14-6", p. 7.
  19. ^ Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
  20. ^ "Theological Identity - Nashotah House | Anglo-Catholic Seminary". Nashotah. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  21. ^ Paulsen, David (2023-06-30). "Document reveals Nashotah House rescinded seminarian's acceptance because he was gay, married". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2023-07-28.