Science of Mind traces its foundations to Ernest Holmes and his text, The Science of Mind. In that book - first published in 1926 and later revised in 1938 - Holmes correlated laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion. Holmes’ efforts were not to invent some new, secret methods of tapping into the powers of the universe but, rather, to simply and clearly explain these laws and express their essence. Holmes took his inspirations and information from a variety of sources including (among many) Darwin, Emerson, Freud, and Mary Baker Eddy. No such approach to the subject had been taken before.
The origins of the Centers for Spiritual Living can be traced to various points in Holmes’ life, but he had begun speaking in Los Angeles in 1916 and started to draw crowds of thousands. After the first publication of The Science of Mind in 1926, interest really began to grow. In 1926, Holmes began speaking each Sunday morning in a theatre in the Ambassador Hotel, and within a year, the theatre was filled to capacity. Holmes initially resisted the urgings of friends to form a corporation and an organization, but in 1927, a Board of Governors was chosen, and they incorporated the non-profit religious and educational organization, The Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc.
A few months later, the Church launched a monthly magazine, "Religious Science." The magazine was created to sustain and build interest for the many aspiring students who wanted to enroll in and attend the Church. In 1929, the magazine changed its appearance and its title to "Science of Mind."
On April 16, 1935, the original organization was reincorporated as The Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy. By 1939, there were 13 chapters in California, and the Institute obtained the right to ordain its own ministers. The organization continued to grow throughout the 1940s, and in 1953, it became, officially, the Church of Religious Science, with all chapters becoming affiliated churches.
Since then, other areas of growth include the establishment of the Science of Mind Foundation in 1986 and the launching of the Holmes Institute in 1997.
NOTE: The majority of this information was derived from the pamphlet, "Ernest Holmes: The First Religious Scientist," written by James Reid and published by Science of Mind Communications.