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Archive for the ‘Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)’ Category

Where were the PCA’s founding fathers educated?

In Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) on January 31, 2011 at 10:30 pm

A question sometimes comes up regarding the theological education of the founding pastors of the Presbyterian Church in America. Working from a list of 180 pastors, as found in the Minutes of the First General Assembly, the following list indicates where these men were educated. Of those 180, 172 were educated at seminaries; for 8 no indication has been found of a seminary education and this raises the question of whether those 8 were ordained under the extraordinary clause.
Following each school name, the following dates indicate years of graduation. Concluding this list is a statistical summary.

5 – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1929, 39, 42, 51, 53,
2 – Biblical Seminary [New York], 1961, 1963
83 – Columbia Theological Seminary, 1934-1970
2 – Dallas Theological Seminary, 1937, 1941
3 – Erskine Theological Seminary, 1953, 1966
2 – Faith Theological Seminary, 1948, 1955
3 – Fuller Theological Seminary, 1953, 56, 59
2 – Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1953, 1970
1 – Grace Theological Seminary, 1970
2 – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1942, 1955
1 – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1965
1 – Northwestern Evangelical Seminary, 1938
1 – Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary, 1951
2 – Princeton Theological Seminary, 1928, 1954
1 – Reformed Episcopal Seminary, 1952
35 – Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS 1969-1973
1 – Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 1957
1 – Toronto Bible College 1948
13 – Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA, 1919-1968
15 – Westminster Theological Seminary, 1929-1972
1 – WTNC [Western Tennessee College?], 1934
8 – College only indicated [e.g., James R. Graham, Wheaton College, 1939]

By comparing some of the above dates, it becomes clear that as soon as RTS opened up [Fall of 1966], students soon began going there instead of to Columbia. Some appear to have finished at Columbia rather than transfer, while others did transfer mid-program. It may also be noteworthy that the entire group of RTS graduates would have been among the youngest pastors in the new denomination. Alumni from UTSVA and Westminster were about equal in number among the founding fathers. The remaining number were scattered among another eighteen schools.

Statistically then, the founding pastors of the PCA graduated from the following schools:
46.1% – Columbia
19.4% – RTS Jackson
8.3% – WTS
7.22% – UTSVA
14.4% – Other

4.4% – no seminary education indicated in the record [ordained under the extraordinary clause?]

Francis Schaeffer on our Presbyterian Heritage (1982)

In Joining & Receiving, Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) on July 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

The following quote is taken from an address given by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer before the Tenth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, on the occasion of the reception of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod into the PCA.  Dr. Schaeffer’s address was subsequently printed as a separate monograph and it is also available online at the PCA Historical Center’s web site.  The direct link is http://www.pcahistory.org/findingaids/schaeffer/JandR.html

“As Presbyterians our heritage is with a Calvin who dared to stand against the Dukes of Savoy regardless of what it
cost.  Our heritage is with a John Knox who taught us, as I’ve stressed in A Christian Manifesto, a great theology of standing against tyranny.  Our heritage is with a Samuel Rutherford who wrote those flaming words, Lex Rex—only the law is king and “king” under any name must never be allowed to arbitrary law.  Are you Presbyterians?  Have we a Presbyterian body?  These men are the men who give us our heritage—Calvin and his position, John Knox and his, Samuel Rutherford his, and no less than these in our own country, a John Witherspoon who understood that tyranny must be met and must be met squarely because tyranny is wrong.  These who understood that true love in this fallen world often meant the acceptance of the tears which go with confrontation.  None of us like confrontation, or I hope
none of us do.  But in a fallen world there is confrontation, there is confrontation concerning truth, there must be confrontation against evil and that which is wrong.  The love must be there but so must the hard thing of acting upon differentiation, the differentiation God gives between truth and falsehood, between what is just, based on God’s existence and His justice, and injustice.”