The Moravian Church was established in 1457 by some followers of Jan Hus, a reformer who was martyred in 1415. The church flourished and grew rapidly in its early years in Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic), but almost died out under persecution following the Thirty Years War. In 1722 a Saxon nobleman, Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf, allowed some members of the church to take refuge on his estate, along with others suffering religious persecution. This community became united through a spiritual renewal in 1727 and soon they embarked on a mission to spread the message of Christian simplicity through a personal relationship with Christ throughout the world.
Today there are about 800,000 Moravians worldwide, the large majority of them in Tanzania and South Africa. More information is available on the website of the Moravian Church in America at www.moravian.org.
Salem is one of many Moravian schools on five continents. To a significant degree the existence and nature of these schools are due to the influence of two early Moravian leaders. Jan Hus was a priest and a university professor who believed that all people should be able to read the Christian Scriptures and hear them taught in their native languages. Jan Amos Comenius, a bishop of the church in the sixteenth century, is known as a great educational reformer and sometimes called “the father of modern education.” He is most well known for introducing the concept of pictures as a learning tool for children’s books.
The Moravian Church sees its mission as one that is relevant to everyday life. It seeks to minister to the whole person and addresses spiritual, social, physical and economic needs. An essential part of this total ministry has always been education. Thus for centuries the Moravian Church has established places of learning as part of its overall ministry.
In attending Salem, you become a part of a tradition of education that stretches around the world—from Winston-Salem to the Caribbean, Central America, South Africa, Tanzania, Germany, Nepal, and many other places throughout the world.