Moravian Lifestyle

     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 Moravian's Sister's Housefor 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)