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Volume 6 Relation of U.B/EUB Virginia Conferences to Shenandoah University Dec. 26, 2013

The purpose of the School was to give better advantage to young people desiring a course of
training higher than the public schools then offered, and there was a special desire to help young men
who were planning to enter the ministry. The Annual Catalog of 1881-82 asserted that “the School does
not aspire to the position of a college, but aims to provide such a mental and moral training as every
child must have to accomplish well its work in life.”7

At this time the public schools offered work equivalent to our present junior high school.
Shenandoah Seminary offered a preparatory course which “not only fits the students for the Seminary
proper, but aims to meet the real wants of the public.”8 The Academic Department offered three courses
of study: the Classical, the Scientific, and the English.

The Classical Course is mainly intended for those who cannot attend college, but desire
more than a common academic training. It is complete in itself, and offers superior
advantages to those whose circumstances will not permit a more extended course at college.
This course is recommended to those who desire a thorough preparation for college, and if
completed only in part, a certificate will be given citing the facts in each case. The full course
requires 4 years, and upon completion a diploma of this course will be granted. All students
are urged to take the Classical Course.9

In 1882 there were six students enrolled in the Classical Course.

The Scientific Course is the same as the Classical Course, except that it does not require
Greek, but substitutes for it studies in Science, Mathematics, and History. Greek may be
substituted for Latin. The Scientific Diploma will be given at the completion of this course,
which also requires 4 years.10

The same year there were 13 persons enrolled in the Scientific Course.

The English Course is intended for those who desire only English studies. To such it offers
excellent facilities for pursuing the higher branches of an English education. To complete this
course, 3 years are required, when the diploma is granted.11

Because this course required only 3 years of training and entitled the graduated pupils to teach in the
public schools, it was the most popular of all the courses of study.

The Department of Music offered instruction in piano and organ and “a thorough training” in
vocal music. Many of the students in the Academic Department availed themselves of this opportunity
to take instruction in the Music Department. During the first few years, there were courses offered in
Ornamental Penmanship and “wax and leather work.”

Historians of Rockingham County, Va., and others have attempted to make various lists of the
men in charge of the School from the time of its founding. In most instances, the dates are erroneous
and reflect a decided prejudice in favor of Rev. A. P. Funkhouser to the disadvantage of Prof. Fries and
others. This prejudice has been perpetuated in The History of the Virginia Conference [Funkhouser
1921, p. 222], specifically, that he served as head of the School from 1875 to 1885.12 During the school

7 Annual Catalog, 1881-82, p. 12.
8 Annual Catalog, 1883.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid.
12 The assertion that Funkhouser was head of the School from 1875 to 1885 was probably due to Oren F. Morton, who

completed the manuscript for the History, as Rev. Funkhouser died before the work was completed.—the Editor.

Miller, et al., on History of S.C., 1875-1950 4
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