ERIC Number: EJ810695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Focus on the Survival of Ohio Wesleyan University: An Antebellum Institution of Higher Education
Latta, Brett C.
Christian Higher Education, v7 n4 p279-297 Sep 2008
This article documents the historical development of United Methodist Church-affiliated Ohio Wesleyan University during the nineteenth century. It relies significantly upon a synthesis of its 50- and 100-year histories and supporting Methodist educational literature. While the struggles and mortality rates of church colleges founded during the denominational era of American higher education are fairly well documented, less attention has been given to the key forces that helped these colleges survive. With an emphasis on institutional survival, this paper traces the evolution of Ohio Wesleyan relative to five common stressors experienced by antebellum colleges including location, denominational competition, financing, internal dissension, and the risk of natural catastrophe. Also examined are curricula, faculty, and instructional methods. Although the primary aim of this article is not to settle the existing debate between traditionalist and revisionist historians, the findings generally support a revisionist interpretation of antebellum college history. Based on the data obtained, this essay advances a generalized hypothetical model for the survival of antebellum colleges.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Church Related Colleges, Protestants, Institutional Survival, United States History, Historians, Teaching Methods, Geographic Location, Competition, Financial Support, Institutional Environment, Conflict, Natural Disasters
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio