College of Divinity (ETW building)
|College of Divinity|
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A college of divinity specialises in religious education, inculcating all the minutiae of the Protestant faith in its students.
The graduates of this school are armed with theological arguments against other branches of Christianity, and a sense of mission to spread the truth of Protestantism as widely as possible. Intellectual effort is expected over and above simple-minded faith.
Originally, many western European universities were based on religious teaching establishments, where divinity was the main (and sometimes only) field of study. Their graduates were granted doctorates, indicating that they were qualified to teach theology to others. However, the universities were also often tied to the established Catholic Church, and Protestantism was a revolt precisely against the failings of established religion. Where Protestantism replaced Catholicism as the official state religion, teaching changed to remove “papist” doctrine and error. This did not, however, prevent further, lesser schisms such as the rise of non-conformist sects like Methodism. These nonconformists also wished to teach their views, and they were often denied teaching places at universities.