Methodism and Education

Authored by: John T. Smith

The Ashgate Research Companion to World Methodism

Print publication date:  February  2013
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409401384
eBook ISBN: 9781315613789
Adobe ISBN: 9781317040996


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John Wesley once claimed that if the Methodists were not a reading people the work of grace would die out in a generation. Thirty years ago Frank Pritchard described Wesley’s pragmatism, seeing the need for the teaching of reading to enable Bible study for both preachers and congregations. 1 1

F. C. Pritchard, ‘Education’, in R. Davies (ed.), The History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain (London: Epworth Press, 1983), iii, 279.

He established both the Orphan House in Newcastle, and Kingswood school, supported the Grey Coat Charity School in Oxford in the 1720s and a school in Georgia. His sermons ‘On Obedience to Parents’ and ‘On the Education of Children’, and his ‘Thoughts on the Manner of Educating Children’ of 1783 stressed the centrality of religion in education.

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