Constitutional monarchy, the third in size of the German states; bounded on the east and northeast by Bavaria, on the west, northwest, and southwest by Baden, on the south by Baden and Switzerland; the area is 7,528 square miles; and the population (1905) is 2,302,179. Of the population 1,580,361 are reckoned to the Evangelical State Church; 695,808 to the Roman Catholic Church, 12,053 are Jews, 10,726 belong to various sects or to no church, 380 are members of churches of other lands. In the State Church there are 1,187 congregations with 1,158 charges, or one charge to every 1,368 Evangelical adherents; and there are 716,564 communicants. In the old duchy of Württemberg the Evangelical church was connected by the closest bonds with the State. Duke Ulrich (1498-1550) introduced the Reformation with the aid of Erhard Schnepff and Ambrosius Blaurer; organization was effected by his son Christoph (1550-68) with the aid of Johann Brenz, at which time the fundamental ecclesiastical law was settled, including the matter of the schools, while the Augsburg Confession and the Württemberg Confession of 1551 were made the doctrinal standards. Church government was arranged under a collegium consisting of a consistory and a church council, the former taking charge of the matters of inner control, the latter of the church economics, while four (later, six) superintendents acted with the collegium. The pastors led the local churches with the aid of local officers, ecclesiastical and civil. Under Johann Valentin Andreä further developments in government were carried through. When in 1733 Duke Karl Alexander went over to the Roman Catholic Church, provision was made that whenever the head of the State was a Roman Catholic, control of the Church should pass to the highest governmental authority. The next Protestant ruler was Duke (later King) Friedrich (1797-1816), and in his reign (1806) the three confessions were put on an equality, for which further regulations were made under Wilhelm I., 1819, but the exigencies of the case made progressive modification necessary. By the act of March 28, 1898, when the ruler belongs to any but an Evangelical confession, control of the Evangelical church pasaes to a collegium, composed of two Evangelical members of the Geheimrat, the president of the Evangelical consistory, the president of the national synod, and the senior general superintendent. On July 16, 1906, the six Evangelical superintendents lost their seats in the second chamber, but the care of Evangelical interests rests in the first chamber on the president of the consistory, the president of the Evangelical synod, and two superintendents chosen by their colleagues.
The highest authority is vested in the Evangelical consistory, over which the minister for churches and schools has supervisory powers. The consistory is composed of a president and the requisite number of clerical and lay representatives; the chief court preacher and the first preacher at the Stiftskirche are ex officio members; extraordinary members are usually two general superintendents; this body has supervision of the interests of the churches. Once a year the general superintendents meet with the consistory as a synod. Forty-nine deans are subordinate to the consistory. The consistory has care of education so far as it is on a confessional basis. The coordination of the synodal and consistorial systems has been long in progress in Württemberg. For a long time contentment was felt with the control by the consistory. In 1851 the laity was introduced into church government through pastors' councils, partly elective; in 1854 came the next step in the establishment of diocesan synods, newly constituted in 1901, consisting of the pastors and chosen elders from the pastors' councils, meeting yearly at the call of the dean. The national synod was created in 1867, first met in 1869, established under new rules in 1888, meeting every sixth year and consisting of twenty-five clergymen and an equal number of laymen elected by the diocesan synods. The Evangelical clergy receive their preparatory education for the most part in the four lower Evangelical theological seminaries of Maulbronn, Schöntal, Blaubeuren, and Urach; for the higher theological studies attendance at the "Stift" in Tübingen is required. Ordination comes with entrance into the first parish as "vicars." Compensation begins with 400 marks per year with increases for length of service and rise in position, and the salaries range from that to 5,000 marks. The form of worship is simple--greeting from the chancel, silent prayer at entrance, pericope, sermon, closing prayer with the Lord's Prayer, blessing; to the old system of pericopes there was added in 1830 a second and in 1894 a third year's reading from Gospels and epistles. At certain celebrations there are sermons, and also every fourth Friday, while the Reformation is celebrated now on the Sunday next following Oct. 30.
Societies make their contribution to the religious life of the kingdom. Among these are (1) societies which recall early Pietistic tendencies such as are represented at Herrnhut, which stress simple edification based upon the Bible; (2) the Michelians (see HAHN, JOHANN MICHAEL), among whom there is a mixture of speculative-theosophical teachings with an ascetic tendency, and withal a somewhat firm organization; (3) the Pregizerians (q.v.), whose influence is not altogether favorable, indeed rather the reverse, to the churches. Among the sects which have entered the kingdom the Methodists take precedence, two bodies being represented, the American Methodist Episcopal and the Evangelical Association; they have their preachers, chapels, regular services, Sunday-schools, and literature. In 1905 they numbered 5,442. Other denominations are Baptists with 1,832 communicants, New Irvingites with 1,375, Mennonites with 277, and Friends of Jerusalem with 244. There are also Adventists, Mormons, and the Salvation Army. In 1905 the total number belonging to various denominations was 10,426.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bibliographie der württembergischen Geschichte, Stuttgart, 1908; T. Eisenlohr and A. L. Reyscher, Sammlung der württembergischen Kirchengesetze, vol. ix., 2 parts, Tübingen, 1834-35; F. A. Hauber, Recht und Brauch der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche Württembergs, Stuttgart, 1854; L. Golther, Der Staat und die katholische Kirche in Württemberg, ib. 1874; C. Palmer, Die Gemeinschaften und Sekten Württembergs, Tübingen, 1877; O. Schmid-Sonneck, Die evangelische Diaspora Württembergs nach Entstehung und gegenwärtigen Bestand, Stuttgart, 1879; K. Helfferich, Chronik der evangelischen Kirche Württembergs, ib. 1880; C. H. Klaiber, Urkundliche Geschichte der reformirten Gemeinden Cannstatt-Stuttgart-Ludwigsburg, ib. 1884; L. Haug, Die evangelischen Kirchenstellen in Würitemberg, ib. 1886; W. Claus, Württembergische Väter, 2 vols., ib. 1887-88; C. Rothenhäusler, Der Untergang der katholischen Religion in Altwürttemberg, Leutkirch, 1887; E. Schneider, Württembergischer Reformationsgeschichte, Stuttgart, 1887; P. W. Keppler, Württembergs kirchliche Kunstalterthümer, Rottenburg, 1888; S. von Steinheil, Gesetze und Verjügungen über die Kirchengemeinden . . . in der . . . Landeskirche Württembergs, Stuttgart, 1890; Würrttembergische Geschichte, Calw, 1893; D. Sch&aauml;fer, Württembergische Geschichtsquellen, Stuttgart, 1894 sqq.; G. Bossert, Das Interim in Württemberg, Halle, 1895; T. Brecht, Die Klosterfrage in Württemberg, Stuttgart, 1895; H. Günther, Das Restitutionsedikt von 1629 und die katholische Restauration Altwirtembergs, ib. 1901; M. Erzberger, Die S&aauml;kularization in Württemberg von 1802-10, ib. 1902; E. Kalb, Kirchen und Sekten der Gegenwart, 2d ed., ib. 1907; C. Kolb, Die Aufkl&aauml;rung in der württembergischen Kirche, ib. 1908.
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