The Reorganization of Princeton Seminary

The reorganization of Princeton Theological Seminary was a key event in the American Presbyterian modernist-fundamentalist controversy of the early 20th century. The seminary was governed by a board of directors, who oversaw the academic aspects of the seminary, and a separate board of trustees who oversaw the remaining aspects of the organization. Seeking to resolve the growing tension between factions within the seminary, the General Assembly moved to reorganize the seminary in a fashion that was understood as shifting the majority of governing power in favor of the modernist agenda.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Darryl G. Hart back to the program to speak about this event and its significance for American Presbyterianism. Dr. Hart’s article on the subject, “The Reorganization of Princeton Theological Seminary and the Exhaustion of American Presbyterianism” is published in The Confessional Presbyterian Journal Vol. 8, 2012. Hart has also authored, co-authored, or edited several books on this era of church history including Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American PresbyterianismDefending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America, and The Selected Shorter Writings of J. Gresham MachenDr. Hart is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Benjamin Smith

7 years ago

Dear Friends,

This was a very instructive episode. The reorganization of Princeton is a powerful example of one way in which Christian institutions decline, namely, by shifting the focus from God and His truth to man and his desires and expectations. This typically happens when we begin to believe that our efforts and talents are the primary causes of conversion, which probably reflects an implicit departure from the doctrines of grace.

B. L. Smith



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