01 April 2008
Gleanings from 1894 Sword and Trowel; Pastors' College Statistics
Well, after that Fool’s Day diversion, it is time to return to better and more important things. In my reading I came across a report on the Pastor’s College that astounded me. I’ll provide the excerpt from the 1894 edition of the Sword and Trowel and then explain what captured me:
During the past thirty-eight years, nine hundred and nine men exclusive of those at present studying with us, have been received into the College, “of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some (ninety-six) are fallen asleep.” Making all deductions, there are about seven hundred and thirty brethren. Of these, six hundred and fifty-one are in our own denomination as Pastors, Missionaries, and Evangelists.
They may be thus summarized:--
Number of brethren who have been educated in the College...909
Number now in our ranks as Pastors, Missionaries and Evangelists...651
Number without Pastorates, but regularly engaged in the work of the Lord...30
Number not now engaged in the work, but useful in secular callings...28
Number educated for other Denominations...2
Number dead (Pastors, 87; Students, 9)...96
Number permanently invalided...15
Number removed from the College List for various reasons...87
To this “summary” the late beloved President in one of the Reports appended the following note: “The last were not removed from our list in all cases from causes which imply any dishonour, for many of them are doing good service to the common Lord under some other banner. We are sorry for their leaving us, and surprised that they should change their views; but this also is one of those mysteries of human life which are beyond our control.”
We ought to add, that for years past we have lost all traces of many of those referred to, and have reason to believe that several of them are dead.
I would love to hear your reaction to that little article. What amazes me is the high percentage of pastors, missionaries and evangelists that were produced in relation to the number of graduates from the Pastor’s College. I’m not versed in seminary stats, but I am astounded that well over 700 of 909 trained men went into full-time ministry.
What is your estimate of the reasons for that? Please comment.