It was founded in 1544 by the Reformer Caspar Hédio on the site of the Wilhelmites convent, close to Saint William’s Church. The collegium enabled impoverished students in need to follow theology courses, to be housed and given a scholarship. It depended on the Saint William Foundation, in turn attached to Saint Thomas’s Chapter, the only Protestant Chapter in France.
From 1903 to 1906 it was headed by Albert Schweitzer. The library holds a precious collection of 16th century books managed by the Protestant multimedia library in Strasbourg. Since 1860 the Stift has been set up in a beautiful neoclassical building built in 1722 by the architect Samuel Werner. It also houses the board of the Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine (UPCPAL).