William Tennent's "Log College"
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Founder
William Tennent
Time Period
1727
Description
William Tennent, an Irish-born Presbyterian minister, created his "Log College" in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A Log College was a religious school in a log cabin used to train Presbyterian ministers in North America. Prior to the Log College, a majority of Presbyterian ministers were trained in Europe. "Old Side" Presbyterian ministers, who were educated in Europe and opposed the First Great Awakening, pejoratively referred to it as a "Log College" because they viewed the training as narrow-minded and aimed at lower-class individuals.

The Synod of 1737 undermined the Log College by all but mandating that prospective ministers obtain a college degree elsewhere. When William Tennent died in 1746, the Log College dissolved.

Still, two important legacies came from the Log College. First, a large number of Log College alumni became "New Side" revivalist preachers in the First Great Awakening. Second, the Log College served as the forerunner of the College of New Jersey (founded 1746, later renamed Princeton University) and of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Biographies
Tennent, William
Tennent, Gilbert
Movements
The First Great Awakening
Photographs

Log College- Internet Archive- from The Presbytery of the Log College by Thomas Murphy

William Tennent portrait- English Wikipedia

Gilbert Tennent portrait- Internet Archive- from Sermons and Essays by the Tennents and their Contemporaries

Log College in Pennsylvania- Internet Archive- from A History of Education in Pennsylvania by James Pyle Wickersham
Book/Journal Source(s)
Collins, Varnum Lansing, 1914. Princeton. New York: Oxford University Press.
Leitch, Alexander, 1978. A Princeton Companion. Pinceton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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