Schools Preserve the Church

“When schools flourish, things go well and the church is secure. Let us make more doctors and masters.  The youth is the church’s nursery and fountainhead. When we are dead, where are others [to take our place] if there are no schools? God has preserved the church through schools.  They are preservers of the church.  Schools don’t have a beautiful appearance, and yet they are very useful.  Little boys have learned at least the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed in the schools, and the church has been remarkably preserved through such small schools.”  Martin Luther, “Table Talk no. 5557,” Luther’s Works, volume 54, p. 425.

This quote comes from Luther’s statements recorded by his students at table discussions in the 1540s.  Late in life Dr. Luther continued to promote the significance of the liberal arts and their relationship to the proper study of theology.  When he refers to “doctors and masters” he means those trained to be university professors and teachers.  Notice also the importance of religious catechesis in Luther’s pedagogical thought.

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