From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Role of Presbyterian Educational Institutions

Date 16 Oct 1998 20:06:42

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    Role of Presbyterian Educational Institutions 
    Will Be Featured on Odyssey Channel Dec. 9 
    by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-In this "Year with Education" in the Presbyterian Church 
(U.S.A.), the Odyssey Channel will focus on the denomination's educational 
institutions and the role they played in the historical development of the 
United States in a special series premiering Dec. 9. 
    The program is one of a series of programs on Odyssey titled "Landmarks 
of Faith."  According to Odyssey Channel official Elmer Hardy Jr., the 
series "showcases the places where this country's many faith groups took 
    "Since the founding of this country, Presbyterians have been involved 
in the furthering of education nationwide," said Ann Gillies, coordinator 
for Media Services for the PC(USA) and vice president of Odyssey's 
management board.  "`Landmarks of Faith: Presbyterians' shows several of 
the ways Presbyterians have demonstrated this commitment to education, and 
we hope viewers will enjoy this peek into our denomination's educational 
commitment," she added. 
    The one-hour program begins at Princeton University and recounts the 
school's establishment by New Side Presbyterians during America's first 
Great Awakening.  It profiles John Witherspoon's contributions to 
Princeton, including his role as teacher of early American leaders James 
Madison and Aaron Burr. Also described in this episode is the founding of 
Princeton Theological Seminary under Archibald Alexander in 1812. 
    The show next traces the Old School/New School split in the 1820s and 
highlights the careers of prominent Presbyterian educational leaders such 
as Lyman Beecher at Lane, Caleb Mills at Wabash and Charles Grandison 
Finney at Oberlin.  Their influence on such issues as abortion and public 
education is also discussed. 
    The post-Civil War era and the Presbyterian Church's commitment to 
educating freed slaves and training black ministers through its 
racial/ethnic schools and colleges and Johnson C. Smith Theological 
Seminary is also documented in the program.  The segment is illustrated 
through a visit to Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
    The denomination's contribution to women is covered in a visit to Mary 
Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. - the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 
U.S. president whose ideals of world peace had a profound impact on 20th 
century social and political thought. 
    "Landmarks of Faith: Presbyterians" was produced and is hosted by Emmy 
Award-winning journalist Schuyler Sackett.  It will be shown at 10:00 p.m. 
Eastern Standard Time.  Check your local listings or call your local cable 
company for more information. 

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