Dickinson College, the name of a college of the Methodist Episcopal church, situated at Carlisle, Pa. It was founded in 1783 as a Presbyterian institution, and named after John Dickinson, president of Pennsylvania, in consideration of his valuable gifts for its establishment, and his great personal interest in it. It remained Presbyterian till 1833, when, in consequence of the embarrassments caused by the division of that church, it was transferred to the Methodist Episcopal church. The Presbyterian presidents of the institution were Charles Nisbet (elected in 1784), Robert Davidson (1804), Jeremiah Atwater (1809), John M. Mason (1821), William Neill (1824), and Samuel M. How (1830); the Methodist presidents, John P. Durbin (1833), Robert Emory (1845), Jesse T. Peck (1848), Charles Collins (1852), Herman M. Johnson (1860), Robert L. Dashiell (1868), and James A. McCauley (1872). The list of graduates contains the names of President Buchanan, Chief Justice Taney, and Postmaster General Creswcll. During the year of the centenary of American Methodism (1866) its endowment fund was increased to $100,000. A scientific and a law department have recently been established; also a Biblical course for students preparing for the ministry. In 1873 there were 7 professors, 2 tutors, and 87 students.
The college consists of three buildings; it has a valuable scientific apparatus and libraries containing about 30,000 volumes. In the junior and senior years divergences from the classical course are allowed, either in favor of the Hebrew language for those studying for the ministry, or in favor of the natural sciences. A complete catalogue, containing names of the presidents, professors, trustees, and graduates from the foundation, was issued in 1864.