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"The Young Cleric" – The Life Of A Theology Student

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Chapter Summary

The reopening of the theological faculties, in 1815, was a major event not only for the Reformed Church and its ministry but also for the Dutch system of higher education. The number of theology students fluctuated strongly, but they usually constituted at least a quarter of the student body, and often more than a third, or even half. Given their large numbers, it should have been easy for them to leave a mark on student life. In the days of the Dutch Republic, they had seldom done so; prospective ministers had customarily led a rather isolated existence, because of both their future in the Church and their social origins. In the late eighteenth century, the pattern of recruitment was disrupted; aspirants from the lower middle class were discouraged, while those from the upper middle class received special encouragement.

Keywords: Dutch literature; nineteenth-century ministers; pattern of recruitment; Reformed Church; theology student

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