St. Lawrence University is a private liberal arts college in the village of Canton in St. Lawrence County, New York. It has roughly 2,400 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, about equally split between male and female.
Though St. Lawrence today is non-denominational, it was founded in 1856 by leaders of the Universalist Church, who were seeking to establish a seminary west of New England and were enthusiastically courted by the citizens of Canton. The church almost did not place the school in Canton, however, as they felt students might be exposed to too much "excitement" within the village limits in 1856. The denomination, which has since merged with the Unitarian faith, was part of the liberal wing of Protestantism, championing such ideas as critical thinking and gender equality—attributes that surfaced in the new Theological School of St. Lawrence University, which was progressive in its teaching philosophy and coeducational from the beginning.