Teaching religion in the schools wa a problem long before the United States Supreme Court outlawed prayer in the public schools. Citizens have argued for years the merits of restricting religious instruction to the home or church or whether it should be allowed in the schools too. This question apparently was one of the main reasons a college was established by the Disciples of Christ in Missouri.A former school president, B.H. Smith, wrote in the 1870’s that an aversion to teaching the gospel in public schools appeared early in the nation’s history. Part of the problem, he said, was that those in charge of the schools yielded to the pressure of “an anti-religious element which, though weak at the time, promised rapid growth.” It was with this situation facing them that a group of clergymen met in 1851 to set up a college. They sincerely believed that all knowledge and morals were based on the teachings from God.

AOWM January 28, 2005