Trinity Institute


Trinity Institute, 1967-1983

17.5 boxes or 8.75 linear feet plus odd sizes

Historical Note:

Trinity Institute was formed in 1967 amidst the social turbulence of the late sixties. The Rector John Butler sensed a need to arm the clergy with the tools to address faith issues in contemporary terms. He “expressed the hope that the program . . . . [would] make a new and important contribution to the problems of the great urban centers throughout this country and possibly abroad.”

The Reverend Dr. Robert E. Terwilliger was appointed as the first director of the Institute. He built the program around continuing week-long workshops and seminars for the clergy. The first annual conference, entitled “The Actuality of Christ” was held in 1970.

In 1976, Dr. Terwilliger left Trinity to become the suffragan Bishop of Dallas. The Rev. Dr. Durstan McDonald was appointed Director July 1977. Dr. McDonald expanded the reach of the Institute from urban clergy to include clergy isolated in remote areas. He initiated the publication of a newsletter Phos in 1982 and organized several special conferences as well as continuing the Annual Conference. Dr. McDonald resigned at the end of 1983 to become dean of the Seminary of the Southwest.

Scope and Content Note:

This series contains Director files with correspondence and conference planning spanning the tenures of the first two Directors. Dr. Terwilliger’s records include information on the ordination of women. Dr. McDonald’s records contain files on the Advisory Board that did a study of the Institute at the time of Dr. McDonald’s resignation. Included as well are general office files on the conferences which contain photographs, videotapes, audiotapes and publications from the conferences.