Info

dividends. Second, during his tenure as Professor of Divinity at Oxfordbetween 1763 and 1776, Edward Bentham gave annual lectures to Anglican ordinands, providing them with an overview of the Bible and the rudiments of Greek. The most significant attempt to make ministerial education more relevant emerged with the growth of Pietism and evangelicalism. Pietists were wary about old-fashioned scholastic Lutheranism and demanded a return to the simplicity of the New Testament church. They argued that ministerial training should not concentrate upon dry theology or homiletics, but upon the Bible, prayer, preaching, visitation and the organization of prayer meetings. These concerns were reflected in the curriculum of the university at Halle, founded in 1694. Until 1727 between 800 and 1,200 students passed each year through Halle, where they were exposed to the ethos and practices of Pietism. Evangelicalism in Britain also pioneered new approaches to ministerial education. One of the most remarkable institutions was Trevecca College, founded in 1768 in Wales to educate itinerant preachers for the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. Trevecca had no direct precedent though it did maintain the conviction of Protestants more generally that an educated ministry would be more socially respectable and better able to commend the gospel. The novelty of Trevecca was that it aimed to prepare men for the ministry rather than training the intellect. Classical learning and doctrine were not ignored, but lecturers concentrated upon personal religion and apologetics. Between 1768 and its demise in 1791, 212 students received an education at the college, the great majority of whom went into the ministry. Although there was no set duration of time for study and many attended for only a short period, Trevecca indicated the changing mood brought about by evangelicalism and provided the model for the better organized and regulated evangelical academies formed between 1780 and 1830 in England. An educated ministry remained indispensable, but the challenges accompanying the emergence of a modern society called for new methods of preparing individuals to minister to it.

0 0

Post a comment