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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores Presbyterian influences and involvement in higher education. It begins by using Princeton as an historic lens to examine the “Presbyterian ideals” of reason and education, liberty, and differentiation. The Presbyterian regard for freedom of thought and intellectual edification produced denominational schools throughout the history of higher education, especially in the United States, that differed substantially in their overarching philosophies, approaches to learning, curricula, and emphases on Christian piety. The second part of the chapter identifies the proliferating diversity at the intersection of Presbyterianism and the higher education landscape in the twentieth century. It describes differentiation by theology, denominations, geography, and culture. The chapter ends with brief ruminations on the future roles and stability of Presbyterian higher education.

Keywords: Presbyterian colleges and universities, faith and reason, denominational higher education, theological pluralism

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