Princeton & Paideia

“Another influential element in establishing Hodge’s lifelong practices came through his three years at Princeton Seminary. This influence resulted from the charter of the school, “Plan of the Seminary,” which mandated in detail not only the theological identity of the school, but also how it would in turn mold the lives of its students. The Plan, a remarkably detailed charter, consisted of eight articles outlining structure and governance, role of faculty, curriculum, and character and piety of students….

“Even a casual perusal of the Plan reveals the seriousness with which Princetonians undertook their mission. The Plan proved consistent with the college and seminary’s New Side heritage. Princeton therefore exemplified what David H. Kelsey has called the “Athens” model of theological education. The Athens approach, the oldest ideal of education in Christianity, held paideia, instruction, to include not only teaching theological content but also “culturing the soul.” “Schooling as character formation” stood foremost in pastoral training” (W. Andrew Hoffecker, Charles Hodge, 50 & 53).