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spiritual life in Jesus that we have not begun to exhaust. Theology is surely coming to its own again as the queen of the sciences, because she is discovering her true center and inspiration—the sovereign fact which reconciles the old conviction and the new outlook. The moral and spiritual awakening for which we all long, which will fill our seminaries with eager and heroic spirits, will surely come as the intellectual convictions of the best modern thought set on fire the emotions and will of multitudes of men. And the breath of the Spirit may accomp

lish that at any moment.


The seminaries may be known and the value of their work tested in four ways: (1) Through their published catalogues; (2) by descriptive statements made by president, dean, or professor; (3) through the personnel of the teaching staff; and (4) by the students who graduate.

Ministers may be classified under four types: the scholar, the preacher, the pastor, and the administrator. The scholarly type has been the product aimed at in the seminary course, until within a quarter of a century; the aim has been gradually shifting to the fourth, or the the administrative, type. The combination of the four into one is a rare creation, and consequently truly great men in the ministry are few, as are such men everywhere.

Recognizing that seminaries have the distinctive function of preparing men for the ministry, acknowledging that they have made great advances in variety of subjects taught, in the methods of instruction, and in their spirit and readiness of adaptation to changed conditions, yet there appear certain respects in which the curriculum of the seminaries falls short, in which their work proves defective.

Cultivation of the emotional nature should be provided. Even so cold and intellectual a philosopher as Herbert Spencer insisted that education, to be complete, must include the emotions. No psychology to-day leaves out the feelings, no school of pedagogy forgets the appeal to the imagination. Beyond the curriculum laid down in the catalogue, there should be a depth of devotion, fervency of feeling, and warmth of love surcharging all the exercises of a seminary, else its instruction becomes cold and formal. It is the crying need of the theological seminary, of the waiting Church, and of the heavily laden world, that, in addition to all their scholarship, and there is none too much, in addition to their oratory and eloquence, and the Gospel needs it all, in addition to their fidelity and patience with wandering sinners, in addition

to their large grasp of affairs, their attention to detail and energy in action, that men who preach be filled with this glow of enthusiasm and fervency of devotion that will carry them through hardship and let them halt at no service and sacrifice. The seminaries need passion, a thing that cannot be taught, and can be imparted, if at all, only by contagion.

Preaching is, after all, the distinctive function of the minister. But the pulpit is not the only herald calling to be heard. The urgency and the din of competition are great. Preaching, then, must have a message worth the hearing. To-day it is not the manner so much as the matter that counts. Mere oratory and rhetoric have vanished from before the bar, from the public platform and political stump; it has a lessened acceptance in the pulpit.

Matter need not embrace, nor need it totally avoid, politics, economics education, art, philanthropy, nor any of the interests vital to human life and progress, but the matter of the pulpit discourse, more than of any other utterance, must be what can ever and always and everywhere be called "the gospel." The gospel, as I understand it, is a recital of the way in which man can come into fellowship with his God; it is the appeal of the divine to the human and of the human to the divine; it must always be a disclosure of the unseen to the hitherto unseeing; it must have in it something of revelation, no matter what the special theme nor the frequency of utterance.

We scarcely can teach men to pray; but all that is signified in the ministry of public prayer should in some way be cultivated in young men who hope to lead their fellow-men into communion with the unseen. If we, who are teachers, belong to a church which does not employ liturgical forms, then is our task the more difficult, and the more delicate in its difficulty. Yet, weary men, who have been pressed six days in the week with sordid, worldly cares, are better ministered to by the man who, human like themselves, can step sanely, yet surely, out of these merely earthly scenes into the presence of the Holy One, than by the man who merely preaches learned discourses or popular homilies. Busy men - I venture to say, business men appreciate

the uplift of prayer which, in phrase, in comprehensiveness, in point of departure, in atmosphere, and in controlled, yet sustained, feeling, goes itself and carries others into the presence of the Invisible. Prayer is a blessed ministry. Too few pray as ministering spirits. Those who do have a holy function.





The things we really want to know are: I. Just what is the truth regarding the decline in numbers? II. What has led young men to shun this profession in recent years? III. What is the remedy for this state of things? How can we regain the devotion of young men ?

The first question is purely a statistical one, to be answered through the intelligent use of statistics. The answer to the second has been made for us by the young men of to day who are looking forward to the ministry. The answer to the third will represent only the opinion of one interested student of this subject.

I have sought to gather my information widely and collate it carefully. Limiting my inquiry to the period since 1890, I have issued circulars to 382 colleges and universities, to the Y. M. C. A. presidents in 327 of them, to 120 theological seminaries, to the leaders and officers in 21 denominations, as well as to numerous friends and representatives.

Out of the 382 colleges I have received replies, either through a college officer or the Y. M. C. A. president, from 263. These reports supplemented by those of the United States Commissioner of Education, have furnished my answer to the first two questions.

Coming directly to our questions:

I. What is the truth in regard to the decline in number of students? Here are the figures of the United States Commissioner of Education:


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These figures are confessedly incomplete. Probably the Roman Catholic figures of the early years are the most defective, so that the actual increase in that denomination is less than appears. The net figures, however, give probably a correct impression.

It will be seen that in 1895 the maximum was reached, since which time there has been a rapid decline to the figures of the earlier years. Fluctuation in numbers need not surprise us. This we find in other professions. Medical students declined from 12,739 in 1882 to 11,059 in 1885; law students, from 3237 in 1881 to 2744 in 1885. Such refluent waves of the oncoming tide are to be expected, and they are frequently seen in the earlier years in the theological students. Still this gives us little little comfort, when we contemplate the complete ebb in the roll of Protestant students of theology. Subtract the 166

women in the Protestant seminaries in 1903, and the 108 in 1902, and the situation is still worse:

1890, net 6029. 1902, net 5302.

1903, net 5462.

The population of the country has been growing, the number of churches and church members has increased greatly, and yet the number of male students in the Protestant seminaries of the country in 1903 was less by 567 than in 1890, and less than any year since 1887, except 1902, when there were were 727 fewer students than in 1890, and less than any year since 1885.

A study of the statistics of different denominations gives the following result:

Baptists. A fairly steady increase, notwithstanding a slight drop in 1900 and 1902; from 658 in 1890 to 1095 in 1904.

Free-will Baptists. Great fluctuation; 54 in 1890, 43 in 1893, 106 in 1895, 47 in 1900, and 54 in 1903.

Congregationalists A great decline; from 588 in 1890, and a maximum of 596 in 1892 to 378 in 1901, with slight recovery to 393 in 1904 Disciples. A steady and large increase; from 468 in 1890 to 807 in 1900 and 997 in 1904.

Lutherans (General Council). Fluctuation from 730 in 1890 to a maximum of 1202 in 1890, and a drop to 905 in 1903, with a recovery O 1021 in 1904.

Methodists (North). Rise from 498 in 1890 to 676 in 1900, falling to 612 in 1903.

Methodists (South). Have but one seminary, which trains only a small per cent. of the ministers. This seminary shows an increase in students, but ordinations have fallen off slightly since 1898.

Methodist Protestant. Show decline to 1897, then a rise.

Presbyterians (North). Including Union Seminary in the statistics, a steady increase from 786 in 1890 to a maximum of 1101 in 1895, then an equally steady decline to a minimum of 726 in 1902, with a slight recovery since.

Presbyterians (South). A somewhat narrow fluctuation; from 103 in 1890 to 194 in 1894, to 156 in 1900 and 158 in 1903.

Cumberland Presbyterian. With only one Seminary, a wave-like increase from 36 in 1890 to 65 in 1898, and 56 in 1903.

United Presbyterian. From 85 in 1890 to a maximum of 160 in 1897, caused in part by increase in women students, to a minimum of 84

in 1903.

Protestant Episcopal. A wave-like increase from 346 in 1890 to a maximum of 467 in 1898, then a falling off to 406 in 1900, and a recovery to 437 in 1903.

Reformed Church in America (Dutch). From 45 in 1890 to a maximum of 65 in 1898, then to a minimum of 42 in 1903.

United Brethren. 48 in 1890. Two high points, -60 in 1893 and 59 in 1901; two low points, 36 in 1898 and 37 in 1903. Universalists. A rise from 68 in 1890 to 100 in 1893, then a large decline to 41 in 1900 and 44 in 1903.

It thus appears that there is no uniformity of decline. The maintenance of some denominations, like the Disciples or the Northern Methodists, may be in part accounted for by the raising of the standard of the ministry, which has sent a larger proportion of ministerial candidates to the seminaries.

As confirmatory of this, it may be noted that the state universities report very few ministerial students, Virginia, with 18 out of 280; having the largest proportion. The explanation given is that those planning to enter the ministry go, as a rule, to denominational colleges.

The large universities make a very unfavorable showing; Princeton, with over 40 out of 1286, being the best. President Harper states that out of nearly 1200 men graduating from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton in 1904, less than 30 were planning to enter the ministry. The New England colleges afford a striking example of decline. Bates reports seven ministerial students out of 250; Colby, seven out of 135; Dartmouth, nine out of 830; Williams, five out of 434. Institutions with fewer students, and those in the West, are the only ones whose reports are at all encouraging.

We may conclude, then, that there has been an absolute decline in the number of students for the ministry in our Protestant churches, a

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