The Story of the Original Log College

Founded c. 1726, by William Tennent, Sr., (1673-1746), who saw the great for theological training in America, the story of the original Log College, which was the antecedent to the College of New Jersey / Princeton University, and the Log College Men, is a story that we think our readers will enjoy as much as we do here at Log College Press. It was the first seminary to serve Presbyterians in North America, and its alumni played important roles in the Great Awakening, the Old Side-New Side Controversy, and in the theological training of ministers for generations. The story in all its branches is bigger than can be told here, but we have the resources to help our readers dig further into it themselves.

For the first telling of this story, we look to Archibald Alexander, whose Biographical Sketches of the Founder, and Principal Alumni of the Log College, explains how the Log College was founded, and outlines the lives of the Log College Men, men such as William Tennent, Jr., Gilbert Tennent, and Samuel Davies, among others . Of these ministers, Alexander said it well: "These men may be said to have lived fast. They did much for their Lord in a short time. Being burning as well as shining lights, they were themselves consumed, while they gave light to others. Oh, that a race of ministers, like-minded, burning with a consuming zeal, might be raised up among us!" For more specimens of the writings of these Log College Men, see also, his Sermons and Essays of the Tennents and Their Contemporaries, which was published posthumously by S.D. Alexander, and has since come to be known as Sermons of the Log College

For another valuable resource, turn to Thomas Murphy's The Presbytery of the Log College; or, The Cradle of the Presbyterian Church in America. Among the many details of the story to be gleaned here is a tribute to Catharine Tennent, née Kennedy, who Murphy describes as "the real founder of the Log College." Murphy, like Catharine, came from Ireland (as indeed did Francis Makemie, the first Presbyterian minister in America), and like her as well embraced the Presbyterian cause in America. The support she gave to the cause is worthy of remembrance. The scope of the Log College story first told by Alexander is greatly expanded in Murphy's work. 

These three volumes combine to tell a story not merely of a theological school derisively termed "the Log College," but also of men who sacrificed much and gave of themselves to the ministry of the Lord in colonial America, on whose shoulders we stand today.