“In the first half of the 19th Century Indiana University was essentially a Christian Institution. The school offered morning prayer and sabbath services and it required that students take religious courses,” wrote Gayle Williams in the Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 99.
David lamented over the fall of his bosom friend, Jonathon, in battle: “How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of war have perished!”—2 Samuel 1:27.
Indiana University is my alma mater, when I consider what she is today compared to what she once was long before I matriculated there in 1960. I can only weep over her terrible fall from truth and light into the depths of depravity and darkness.
Andrew Wylie (1789-1851) served as Indiana University’s first President from 1829-1851. He was a Presbyterian minister and theologian.
President Wylie joined two other Presbyterian faculty members, Baynard Rush Hall who taught Ancient Greek and Latin, and John Hopkins Harney who taught mathematics, natural philosophy, mechanical philosophy and chemistry. Wylie also taught classes in moral philosophy, mental philosophy, rhetoric, evidences of Christianity, belles lettres, and the Constitution of the United States.
President Wylie believed in giving religion and morality their proper place in public instruction. He told the state legislature, “Let our youth be taught to fear God and keep his commandments.”
With three Presbyterian ministers, IU was accused of sectarianism by other denominational leaders. I fear in the concern not to be sectarian, the institution was slowly secularized. Until today the Christian religion has virtually no significant place at IU. Much of what is taught is anti-Christian.
Beck Chapel constructed in 1957 is in the heart of campus, initially promoted Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths; however, now it contains religious symbols of Islam, Buddhism, etc. Nevertheless, it is a place where Christians can find a quiet place of meditation and prayer.