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History of Princeton Theological Seminary: Faith and Learning (1812-1868), Vol. 1 (Calhoun)

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From modest beginnings in 1812, Princeton Seminary soon became an intellectual and theological school of great importance. Long before the death of its first professors its name was almost synonymous with erudite biblical exposition, carefully worked-out reformed theology and deep spirituality. Hundreds of ministers (Baptist as well as Presbyterian) and many outstanding missionaries passed through its lecture rooms, chapel services and communal fellowship to leave a permanent spiritual mark on the people whom they later served in the advance of the gospel. These were men who believed that ‘preaching Christ is the best, hardest, sweetest work, on this side of beholding him.’ 

In this, the first of two volumes, we have the story with a wealth of detail and colour down to the year 1868. While the history of an institution, it is also a record of thought and action, trends and personalities. Backed by years of careful research, by his own long experience in the training of men for the ministry, David Calhoun has produced a work which must find a permanent place in the Christian literature of the English-speaking world.

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Table of Contents:

  1. Nassau Hall
  2. The Seminary
  3. Archibald Alexander
  4. Samuel Miller
  5. Faith and Energy
  6. Charles Hodge
  7. The Sabbath Afternoon Conference
  8. The Concert for Prayer and the Society of Inquiry on Missions
  9. School of the Prophets
  10. The Seminary in the 1830s
  11. The Old Doctrines of Calvinism
  12. Our Beloved Zion
  13. Old School Princeton
  14. The Duty of Controversy
  15. The Church and the Country
  16. Two Great Lights
  17. Our Elisha
  18. Transitions
  19. War and Peace


"This splendid, thoroughly researched, two-volume history of Princeton Seminary reads like a novel. It tells the story of one of the key institutions that shaped the transformation of post-colonial, adolescent America into a world power, and that for the first time made the Christian faith global, carrying it literally to the uttermost ends of the earth. Calhoun has ‘the gift’ — he makes historical characters spring to life. His story is more than the story of a theological seminary; it captures the essence of a whole century and a quarter (1812-1929) of the coming of age of America." — SAMUEL HUGH MOFFET

“Professor Calhoun’s two volumes about Princeton Theological Seminary are based on years of painstaking research into all kinds of records, some made public now for the first time. Written in a clear and engaging style, the narrative traces a succession of Christian scholars dedicated to the preparation of young students for the Christian ministry. Events, people, and thought are given their place, and readers will be both instructed and gratified with the author’s thorough and balanced account.” – Bruce M. Metzger 


David B. Calhoun is Emeritus Professor of Church History at Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. He has taught at Covenant College and Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University) and served as principal of Jamaica Bible College. Prior to his appointment to Covenant Seminary in 1978, he was the overseas director of Ministries in Action.A Presbyterian minister, he has preached widely in many churches and has conducted Bible and missions conferences.