The most ancient of records reveal that educational institutions, from dimmest antiquity, were organized and maintained by religions. As early as the 10th century B.C. we find the record of schools for the training of pagan priesthoods. On the other hand, the prophet Elijah, at the turn of the ninth century, established three colleges for the prophets of God.HWA is comparing himself to Elijah here. He often liked to say that Elijah ran a college as he himself did.
He could have just said, I don't want you going to my competitors at other Universities that actually have accreditation, I want you to come to my Ambassador College.Pagan Schools for Christians
At the beginning of the Christian era, pagan schools, on the Plato model, dotted the Roman Empire. No Christian schools existed.
Printing had not yet been invented. Textbooks had to be prepared, laboriously, entirely by hand, one at a time. All textbooks were pagan.
All leaders in the first five centuries of the Christian world were, of necessity, the pupils of this pagan education.
Then the barbaric invasion swept away these schools. Through these years the only education in the Western world was pagan. Pagan philosophers and religious beliefs and customs were instilled automatically into growing children. Observance of pagan holidays was a regular part of school life - as, surprising though it may seem, it continues to be today!
Education was instilled as a system of memory training. It was "spoon-fed," literally funneled into immature and growing minds. Children were taught to accept without question, assume without proof, believe and memorize whatever was taught. This method, too, persists today. Children are seldom taught to THINK - but to be followers, not leaders. Few know why they believe the things they do. Through all those years, all literature in the Western world was pagan.
Beginning the sixth century, the only schools were the monastic schools, for the training of monks, and the cathedral schools, for the training of priests. These evolved into the universities of Salerno, Bologna, Reggio, Padua, Modena, Vercelli and others.
The first university of our modern pattern was the University of Paris, beginning in the 12th century.
English students, sent to the University of Paris, later (1167-68) founded Oxford University. Oxford alumni founded Cambridge. Graduates of these universities founded Harvard in 1636, William and Mary in 1693, Yale in 1701 and Princeton came later in 1746.
It was Thomas Jefferson who founded the first state university - the University of Virginia - in 1819. His motive was to divorce education from religion. This started the present materialistic trend in American education. There was great public protest at the time. His new state university was termed "shocking" and "irreligious."