Christians were the first to found universities that would educate not only the upper classes, but all men in those nations.
Education has undeniably been a major catalyst in birthing the success of Western Civilization during the last 500 years. How did the West succeed in making its institution of education endure when so many other great civilizations failed? It is Christianity and the church that influenced the Western world to recognize the value and necessity of education. The Christian church is deeply rooted in the education of the West because of the power that the truth of the gospel exercised over the beliefs and practices of its adherents.
The Bible directly inspired the first 123 colleges and universities in America, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Harvard was named after a Christian minister. Yale was started by clergymen. And Princeton’s first-year of class was taught by Reverend Jonathan Dickinson. Princeton’s crest still says “Dei sub numine viget,” which is Latin for “Under God she flourishes.” The church and missions organizations have been responsible for the increase in education and universities worldwide.
- Charles H. Haskins, The Rise of Universities (NY: Henry Holt, 1923), 3.
- Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), 1.
- Luther’s Works, Vol. 44, The Christian in Society, ed. James Atkinson (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 201