An Educated People and Ministry

“The Nineteenth Century was a great century for collegiate education in America. Colleges by the score were founded across the country, most of them by some church group. Among the churches which took the lead in this enterprise, the most outstanding were the various Presbyterian bodies. Their emphasis on an educated ministry, which was one of the universal characteristics of the Presbyterian system, made it imperative that colleges be available to train the church leadership. The high cost of travel and the relatively low cost of starting a college led to the formation of a large number of rather small colleges wherever the church became established. The United Presbyterian Church offers an excellent example of this trend. Though its constituency numbered only a few thousand, by 1890 it had a close association with no fewer than twelve colleges, not including Knoxville College for Negroes or the mission colleges overseas. Of this dozen, to be sure, there were many which were never under complete denominational control, but they all had been organized by ministers of the Church and felt a close relationship to it.” — Wallace N. Jamison, “An Educated People and Ministry,” in The United Presbyterian Story, p. 144

“The Presbyterian and Reformed Churches take pride in the fact of a trained ministry. This has marked their record. It was seen that the sum of Christian truth could be unfolded and applied only by cultured thinkers and mouth-pieces. There was also the realization that, with their democratic government, an effective leadership must be had, a leadership fitted for intelligent direction. For these reasons a thorough ministerial education was planned and sought after in all ecclesiastical bodies of the Presbyterian and Reformed type.” — John McNaugher, Theological Education in the United Presbyterian Church and Its Ancestories (1931), p. 4