What are "Quakers"? Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends, a faith that emerged as a new Christian denomination in England during a period of religious turmoil in the mid-1600's and is practiced today in a variety of forms around the world. To members of this religion, the words "Quaker"and "Friend" mean the same thing.
Quakers are: an active, involved faith-based community living in the modern world. We are a diverse people consisting of several distinct branches. We continue our traditional testimonies of pacifism, social equality, integrity, and simplicity, which we interpret and express in a variety of ways. Today, many Friends include stewardship of our planet as one of our testimonies.
Quakers are not: Amish, Anabaptists, Shakers or Puritans--we come from a separate tradition than these other groups. We mostly don't dress like the man on the box of oats anymore, and today we hardly ever call people "thee."
The Quaker Information Center works on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends to answer questions from Friends and non-Friends alike, directing inquirers to information and resources from and about the Society of Friends. The Center was located in Philadelphia and under the capable leadership of Chel Avery until July 2010. The Quaker Information Center is now a virtual center provided as a service of the Earlham School of Religion.
ESR is a Christian graduate theological school in the Quaker tradition. ESR prepares women and men for leadership that empowers and for ministry that serves. This mission grows out of our Christian belief that God calls everyone to ministry. Using a transformative model of education, ESR encourages students to explore the intellectual, spiritual, and practical dimensions of their calls to ministry.
The Quaker Information Center will continue to seek to provide information about Quakers worldwide.