Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Volume I, February 1948

Volume I Table of Contents

Transcriptions are intended to reproduce the source document accurately, adhering to the exact wording and punctuation of the original. In general, errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar have been neither corrected nor indicated by [sic].

Application for Admission to Crozer Theological Seminary

[February 1948]
[Atlanta, Ga.]

Shortly after his nineteenth birthday, King applies for admission to Crozer Theological Seminary. His application indicates the date of his joining the church (1 May 1936), the date of his early decision to enter the ministry (summer of 1944), and his various student activities at Morehouse College. As character references King lists George D. Kelsey, Morehouse professor of religion; Lucius M. Tobin, chaplain at Morehouse; Benjamin E. Mays, Morehouse president; John Burney and Phoebe Burney, members of Ebenezer Baptist Church; and his father.

To the Faculty of
Crozer Theological Seminary,
Chester, Pa.


Having filled out to the best of my ability the questionnaire that you forwarded me at my own request, I hereby make application for admission to Crozer Theological Seminary for the academic year beginning Sept. 1948.

Signature M. L. King Jr.

Date of Application

Accompanying this application there should be:

1. A small unmounted photograph.
2. Transcript of complete college and graduate work.
3. A medical certificate of health.
4. A license to preach from the local home church, or a recommendation to study for the ministry from the home church or a copy of the certificate of ordination.

Some of the questions below are of a peculiarly personal nature, but frank answers are solicited so that the student may be the more intelligently guided. Naturally, answers to such questions are regarded as strictly confidential.

i. Personal and family history of the applicant:

Name in full Martin Luther King Jr
Permanent address 193 Boulevard N. E.
Present address Same
Place of birth Atlanta, Ga. Date 1-15-29 Race Negro Nationality American
Father's name M. L. King Sr. Race Negro Nationality American

Education Graduate of Morehouse
Occupation Minister
Religious interests and activities Pastor

Mother's maiden name Alberta Williams
Race Negro
Nationality American

Education Graduate of Spelman College
Religious interests Minister of Music in Church

Are you married? No If so, give wife's maiden name

Wife's education
Wife's Business experience    Teaching
General state of health
Children, if any, Names Ages

ii. General physical condition of the applicant:

height 5'7" weight 150

Have you ever had a prolonged sickness? No give details

Has nervous condition ever interfered with your business or with studies? No

If so give details

Have you any physical disabilities that might interfere with an effective ministry? No

If so give details

Give latest dates of inoculation for various preventable diseases

iii. Religious activities and interests of the applicant:

Date when you joined the church May 1 1936
Place Atlanta, Ga. Denomination Baptist
Membership in other churches
Present church membership Ebenezer Baptist
Specify activities in various religious organizations
Offices held in such organizations
Are you licensed or ordained? Yes, I am licensed

Give your personal reasons for the decision to study for the Gospel Ministry My call to the ministry was quite different from most explinations Ive heard. This dicision came about in the summer of 1944 when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society. In short, I felt a sense of responsibility which I could not escape.

iv. Educational attainments of the applicant:

High School attended Booker Washington High
Year of entrance 1942 Date of graduation 1944
College or University: year of entrance 1944 degrees year
Theological Seminaries: year of entrance
Explanation of failures in any courses in any of the above
Indicate college honors
Studies majored in during college or university work Sociology
Special intellectual interests
Extra-curricular activities in college in which you were interested Member of Glee Club--Student council--minister's union--basketball and track teams--debating team--President of sociology club.

The transcript will be [strikeout illegible] sent by the school.

v. Practical experience of the applicant:

What business experience have you had? None
what teaching experience? None
what experience in preaching or in other types of religious leadership I have served as assistant to my father for six months
Indicate the type of religious work to which at the present time you are most attracted

vi. Financial considerations:

Did you personally finance your way through college? No
Have you any financial obligation other than those of the current, personal type? If so indicate No
Can you finance yourself in whole or in part during your Seminary studies? In part {whole}
If not, can you arrange for aid from private sources?
Estimate the possibilities and if necessary indicate your financial needs as nearly as possible

vii. As personal character references, please fill out the name and address of:

name address

1. A professor of your college Dr. George Kelsey--Morehouse College
2. Your pastor, or pastors Rev. L. M. Tobin-- " " "
3. Secretary of your State Mission Board Pres. B. E. Mays " " " {Dr. Benjamin Mays Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga.}
4. Dr. John Burney 434 Houston St. N.E. Atlanta, Ga.
5. Dean Phoeby Burney Clark College Atlanta, Ga.
6. Rev. M. L. King Sr. 193 Boulevard N.E. Atlanta, Ga.

The Faculty of Crozer Theological Seminary will meet to consider applicants for admission and for student-aid for the following academic year. Applications will be taken up in the order in which they are received. We desire seven references with whom we may correspond. You will give the names of a professor of your college, your pastor, and five others. We suggest the president of your college, lay leaders in your church, or others who know of you and your work well enough to give a satisfactory appraisal of your character and ability.


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