Theosophical World University

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Theosophical World University was established in 1925 by Annie Besant and others with the objectives: "To train the coming generations in the World Wisdom which we call Theosophy; to explore fresh avenues of truth; to establish a world unity of thought and consciousness." A constitution was drawn up, and officers were appointed. Annie Besant was Rector, George S. Arundale was Vice-Rector and Principal, and the Directors of Studies were Charles Webster Leadbeater and James I. Wedgwood. The Registrar was Harold Baillie-Weaver, assisted by Iwan Alex Hawliczek.

The first constitution was based on conventional university systems and provided for control by a Senate and Convocation; division into faculties; the conferring of degrees; the posts of Professor, Assistant Professor, Reader and Lecturer. As a first practical step, correspondence courses of study were offered and students’ courses of lessons arranged.

The scheme was over-ambitious and at a meeting of the Council held March 6, 1934, it was decided to hand over the day to day activities of the T.W.U. to the various research centers then existing while maintaining the council as a coordinating body. The advent of World War II caused an interruption of all activities, but in 1947, under the direction of the then President of the Theosophical Society (TS), Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa, an International Council of the T.W.U. was established, the first members being: E. L. Gardner, Chairman; V. Walter Slater, Deputy Chairman; Elizabeth W. Preston, Secretary; and A. B. Crow, Treasurer; along with five Council members.

Whilst the T.W.U. never functioned as a University it did act as a coordinating body for much serious theosophical research.[1]

Julia K. Sommer served for a time as Chairman of the Theosophical World-University Association in America. In that capacity, she edited Child Training: In the Light of Theosophy, which was compiled by Professor R. K. Kulkarni of the League of Parents and Teachers.


  1. "Theosophical World University, The" in Theosopedia.