Susquehanna University's history from 1858-2000 has occurred in three states, each expressing a different mission. The school was funded in 1858 as the Missionary Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church to fulfill the vision of the Rev. Benjamin Kurtz, a Lutheran cleric and editor of the Lutheran Observer. He was a partisan of the American Lutheran viewpoint caught up in a fratricidal battle with Lutheran orthodoxy. The Missionary Institute sustainedhis viewpoint in the preparation, gratis, of men called to preach the gospel in foreign and home missions. A complementary purpose was to educate young people in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania at both the Institute and its sister school, the Susquehanna Female College. When the Female College folded in 1873, the Institute became coeducational.
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