Famous Universities with Christian Root

While many atheists will have you believe that Christianity oppresses scientific progress, many academic institutions are in fact founded by Christians as part of a Christian mission to further knowledge and learning. Over the years I have come to discover some of them.

Harvard University

As the first college in American colonies, established by the “Great and General Court of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England” with a £400 grant in 1636, the college was renamed in 1638 after John Harvard (an English clergy) willed half of his estate of £780 and 400 books in his library (see historical facts). Harvard's Charter of 1650 stated that the purpose is for the “education of the English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge of godlynes.”

When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was founded as a state of the United States of America in 1780, its founding document, the Constitution of Massachusetts, included the directive in chapter V section I which stipulates that the mission of Harvard College is for the “encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of GOD, the advantage of the christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America” which is still present in today's text.

Note: it is hard to give the founding figures of £400 (from the Commonwealth) and £780 (from John Harvard) in today's currency. The founding predated gold standard which was established in 1663, and the measurement of pound as well as metal purity wasn't well-defined back then, but we do know that silver was the legal basis for British Pound until 1816. Assuming the quantity refers to modern weight of silver, John Harvard's £780 legacy would worth approximately $200K in today's silver price ($17.74 per troy ounce), but due to income disparity, that amount is about as prestigious as $5 million today.

Brown University