Harvard, a place to learn about God

Posted on October 13, 2014 · Posted in Worldview

The idea of Harvard being a place to study about God seems almost silly, given the beliefs of Harvard today. Today the goal of modern education is to distance itself as far as possible from God of the Bible. But this was not how Harvard began. The founders of Harvard saw God for who he was, the sustainer and Lord of all Creation. 

Here is an account from 1640 that describes how the college began.  Something to think about! 

New England’s First Fruits 

1640 

(From Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1792, Vol 1., 242-248). 

The History of the Founding of Harvard College

AFTER GOD HAD carried us safe to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and led the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust. And as we were thinking and consulting how to effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, there living among us) to give the one-half of his estate (it being in all about £700) toward the ing of a college, and all his library. After him, another gave £300; others after them cast in more; and the public hand of the state added the rest. The college was, by common consent, appointed to be at Cambridge (a place very pleasant and accommodate) and is called (according to the name of the first founder) Harvard College.

For more on this topic see Kirk Cameron’s Film, Monumental.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.