The Moravians believed in a communal religious
life, so the original settlement consisted of housing for various sections
of the congregation, divided by age and sex. The Sisters’ House was for
teenage and single women and the Brethren’s House was for teenage and single
men. Children lived in a boarding school, and a Widows’ House was
constructed. Married couples initially lived in large, apartment-like
structures until they were able to build single residences. (40)
Mary Proctor notes of their lifestyle that "the efforts of the Moravians in creating
and perpetuating a high level of cultural life in Bethlehem to this day
are unique among colonization efforts in America."(52) This is
still seen today in groups such as the Bach choir and the brass ensemble.
In the Moravian community, schools were considered
secondary in importance only to churches. Because of this emphasis,
a girls’ boarding school was opened in Bethlehem in 1742 by Count Zinzendorf’s
daughter. Several months later a boys’ school was also established.
In 1807 it became Moravian College, a men’s college and theological Seminary.
The girls school became the Moravian Seminary and College for Women in
1913. The two colleges joined in 1954 to form the current Moravian
College, which was the Lehigh Valley’s first co-educational institution
of higher education. (www)