History of Religion in the United States

By Clifton E. Olmstead | Go to book overview

14
Christian Contributions
to Education

ONE OF THE IMPORTANT BY-PRODUCTS OF THE AGE OF DISINTERESTED BENEVO- lence was a passion for learning. Up and down the country church leaders, especially those of the Congregationalist, Presbyterian, or Episcopal persuasions, were recognizing that sound education was one of the prerequisites to a Christian America, that only through training could the citizenry adequately prepare themselves for their divine mission to the world. The dearth of educated ministers alone dictated the immediate necessity of acquiring additional institutions for their preparation. And yet even if the need were met, a larger problem loomed ahead. A mighty nation was rising in the West, virtually untouched by Christian learning and therefore potentially an obstacle to the fulfillment of America's destiny. There was only one answer--by means of colleges, seminaries, Bibles, tracts, religious journals, and Sunday Schools, the boundless energies of the West must be kept from reprobate purposes and turned to Christian endeavors. The task was urgent, the response swift.

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