“Hodge’s astonishment at the preparation and practice of German pastors brings into focus perhaps the most significant impact of his European sojourn [Hodge’s two year hiatus, 1826-1827, to Europe for additional theological studies] . He witnessed firsthand the radical differences between Princeton as an exemplar of the traditional Athens model of theological education in America and the new German model that emerged in the early nineteenth century. . . .
“Berlin replaced Athens’ paideia with two distinct and potentially disparate functions: “Wissenschaft or orderly, disciplined critical research” on the one hand and “professional” education for the ministry on the other. Such a paradigm shift signaled the emergence of scholarly research as virtually an end in itself instead of a means to shape the spiritual life of the student. The only degree that Berlin offered, for example, was the doctorate. Instead of studying texts that exemplified a received and authoritative body of truth, the new curriculum treated all knowledge not as something fixed and established but as in the process of being developed. The operative term describing Wissenschaft was critical. Authority as something absolute and unchanging gave way to authority as the product of continuing research” (W. Andrew Hoffecker, Charles Hodge, 105-107).