Gordon in the News: last updated 10/29/2008

Boston’s Clarendon Street Baptist Church, Birthplace of Gordon, Honored In New Name and Reach


October 22, 2008

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communication

WENHAM, MA-In the 1870s the City of Boston was changing. As new immigrants and African Americans arrived, Clarendon Street Baptist Church in the city's center seemed strategically located to serve the diverse population. Adoniram Judson Gordon, the church's first pastor, helped provide jobs. He also started a missionary school as a way of reaching the world, holding classes in the basement of the church. Eventually that school moved near the Fenway until it grew into its current home in Wenham, Massachusetts.

To honor that heritage, Gordon College has expanded its commitment to the city by renaming its urban scholars program. The Clarendon Scholars program--formerly known as New City Scholars--now offers scholarship opportunities for students from other cities as well as Boston. The program will continue its commitment to diversity and leadership but will extend its reach to better reflect the global vision of College founder A. J. Gordon.

The scholarship program began six years ago as a partnership with the Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston. Its goal was to provide academic scholarships each year for urban students who exemplified leadership skills and scholastic aptitude. Scholarships will still be awarded annually to qualified students from the Boston-metro area, and the Clarendon Scholars program--directed by Gordon College's Office of Intercultural Affairs--has also begun networking in New York City's five boroughs, Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, and cities throughout western Massachusetts.

"We realized we had a solid connection to Boston because of our partnership with Emmanuel Gospel, and that enabled us to move into these other areas," said Sheena Graham, director of intercultural affairs. "It was a natural progression for Gordon to 'own' the program administratively and to reaffirm our heritage from Clarendon Street."

Since the program began, two multicultural classes have graduated within a variety of academic disciplines, and 35 Clarendon Scholars from a variety of ethnic backgrounds are currently enrolled at Gordon. With the expanded recruitment, Graham says she's already received many more applicants at this time than last year, especially from out-of-state students. The program provides mentoring relationships, training and peer support, and Clarendon Scholars also receive support during the transition to college while being given leadership opportunities to reinforce their success.

"Our graduates are already doing so many great things," Graham said. "Some are working in international affairs, some are teaching overseas or in community development work using their degrees. Not only has Gordon benefited from their presence on campus, but now they're making a difference in the world because of their time here."

For more information, visit www.gordon.edu or contact Jo Kadlecek at 978.867.4752.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.