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Views of Five United Ministry Heads


"It is high time for a serious consideration of the religious situation at Harvard. This is the conviction of the leaders of five student Christian organizations representing over 3,000 students at Harvard. We feel that the religious viewpoint has been neglected at Harvard and because we are Christians we are most aware that Christianity has been neglected. We suspect that other religious groups feel the same way.

"In view of this fact, we recommend that (1) courses in religion be taught at Harvard from the religious point of view, and (2) we recommend that religious counseling be carried on under the auspices of an official Chaplain, who would have as his assistants representatives of Roman Catholicism and Judaism, as well as of Protestantism, all of whom would be supported by their own denominations. Their position would be to minister to the spiritual needs of these students.

"We have made the above recommendations for the following reasons. First of all, there is a nominal group of 5,000 students who considers Christianity to be a form of truth, and a smaller percentage of that number who considers Christianity to be the truth. It seems unfair, therefore, that Harvard, whose motto is Veritas, has not adequately presented this aspect of reality.

Free Market Place of Ideas

"Another reason derives from Harvard's role as a free-market for the exchange of ideas. In line with this, the student makes an evaluation and a rational choice. Therefore the complaint that this form of truth would be forced upon the student or that Harvard itself would espouse any particular religion is logically invalid.

"Although the religious leaders of the local churches do carry on counseling, these men do not have the time or the direct contract with Harvard which would allow them to do the job which both they, and we, feel ought to be done. More important, a man is not only a matter of body and mind; he also has spiritual possibilities and significances.

"Is Harvard reluctant to confront this problem only because it is the last Ivy League college to have dealt successfully with such a matter?

GEOFFREY R. PAUL '52, president of the Canterbury Club (Episcopalian),

CHARLES E. NORTON '52, president of the Wesley Foundation (Methodist),

DOUGLAS R. PURDY '52, chairman of the Congregational-Presbyterian Student Fellowship.

WAYNE A. CLARK '52, chairman of Worship, Sunday Evening Club, Old Cambridge Baptist Church.

GILBERT E. DOAN, JR. '52, president of the Student Council; University Lutheran Association of Greater Boston."

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