Providence Today: Yale
Education today has gotten so sophisticated and skeptical when it comes to religion, that one would think that colleges were the creation of an enlightened elite. That for the most part did not believe in God, but actually when you look at the early schools in America, you see that it was often the Puritans or dedicated Christians of other denominations that started the early schools, such as Harvard, William and Mary, Dartmouth, Princeton. Let’s take a moment to look at the creation of Yale, one of America’s most prestigious universities.
In 1700 in the colony of Connecticut, 10 clergymen stood around a table and donated their books so that a new college could be started in order to train future ministers. As they placed their donation down on the table. Each minister said, I give these books for the founding of a college in this colony. This was the beginning of another school to train Puritan ministers, Yale University. It was named after a successful and generous Puritan named Elihu Yale.
The universities were founded. All of them were founded to teach theology as well as science. The Yale insignia, the insignia of Yale University is in Hebrew. It’s the mantle or the breastplate that the high priest of Israel war Urim Veha-Thummim and it’s in Hebrew.
The Urim Veha-Thummim, which technically translates to lights and perfections were traditionally believed to be means of divine guidance.
The breastplate of the high priest, you know how immersed you had to be in the Bible to know that. And if you were not a Jew to know those words Urim Veha-Thummim and that’s to this day, the insignia of Yale University.
All scholars shall live religious, godly and blameless lives, according to the rules of God’s word, diligently reading the holy scriptures, the fountain of light and truth, and constantly attend upon all the duties of religion, both in public and secret, Yale charter of 1745. Yale was outwardly Christian for the first two and a half centuries of its existence. So much so that one of its young alumni caused an uproar in the early 1950s when he proclaimed to the world that Yale wasn’t living up to its Christian reputation.
It was thought to be quite scandalous when William F. Buckley published his amazing book, God and Man at Yale in which he basically accused Yale of having turned its back on its founding heritage. And yet I think his accusations were true. That really is a pattern, very sad to say that was followed by many, many colleges.
Although, Yale today is far from the Christian faith that gave it birth, it still maintains something called the Avalon Project, which provides online key documents in the Western tradition, going back hundreds of years. This includes key documents that were part of the settling and founding eras of America. These documents clearly show the rich Judeo-Christian heritage that gave birth to so much of what is good in our country. This has been a presentation of the Providence forum, which is dedicated to helping Americans rediscover our nation’s rich heritage of faith for Providence forum. I’m Jerry Newcombe.