Mission-Schools These are of two kinds.
(1.) The schools aiming to supply the particular want of the missionary before he enters the field, fitting him in his theological studies, and in the knowledge of languages, etc., for the work in view. This class of schools have been but recently organized among the English. speaking people. In Germany they have existed for some time. Usually, however, the course of study in inferior to the university course in theology. English and American schools for missionaries seek to afford the best advantages possible. Several American religious bodies have schools for the training of native missionaries in the country where they are to labor. Thus, for example, the Methodist Episcopal Church has such an institution at Frankfort-on-the- Main. The Church of England has a number of them, particularly in India and Africa. In the United States there are facilities for missionary training provided at Yale College, Boston University, and Syracuse University. The different theological seminaries have lectures on Missions and on Comparative Religion to aid those preparing for the ministry with a possibility of missionary service.
(2.) Institutions aiming to aid the missionary in propagating Christianity, or seeking to prepare the way by educating the minds of the people, in order that they may be more capable of understanding and appreciating the facts and evidences, the doctrines and duties of Scripture. Another reason for such an education is that it procures means and opens ways of access to the people, and opportunities of preaching to them. "Ignorant of God and his law, as well as of their own, and the moral character of the world; content with mental inactivity, and indifferent to moral elevation; untaught in the principles of science, and fast bound in. errors venerated for their antiquity; vicious in their habits, and absorbed in sensual indulgences; accustomed to the profane rites of religions glittering yet grovelling, and degrading yet commanding and terrible — the heathen nations are unprepared to listen to the annunciation of glory to God in the highest, and to appreciate the Gospel as proclaiming deliverance from the dominion of sin and death... The stupidity of the Hottentot, the sensuality of the Hindii, the prejudice of the Mohammedan, the ancestral pride of the 'son of heaven,' and the sottishness of the South Sea Islander, alike interpose a wall high as heaven between the Christian missionary, and the child of ignorance" (Dr. Storrs, Sermon before the A.B.C.F.H. in 1850). In such circumstances schools become very important as a means of communication with different classes of people, with children and parents, with men and women. Mission-schools, therefore, are a wise and most effective agency in prosecuting the missionary work. They communicate true science,. and thus undermine the errors of heathenism; they inspire and foster a love for knowledge, and thus help to overcome the deep debasement of the heathen mind and heart. They conciliate the favorable regards of the heathen, convincing them that the missionary seeks to benefit them, and thus furnish an opportunity for the systematic instruction of youth and children in the principles of Christianity. These mission- schools have been of different grades, according to the circumstances and requirements of the case. Boys' schools have usually been found most practicable, especially at the commencement of a mission, and most effective for accomplishing the objects in view. The heathen readily appreciate the value of education for their boys, and both the pupils and their parents are usually found as hearers at preaching services. Girls' schools were of necessity a later supply, for these find the strongest prejudices of the heathen to contend with. Woman is of an inferior condition; she is secluded, and no foreigner surely is to have access to her; hence girls' schools are usually established after other schools have succeeded in winning confidence and making the natives understand. the true objects of the mission. Indeed, in heathen communities, whenever an attempt was made to establish female schools at the outset of the mission, great prejudice and misapprehension have been the consequence, often seriously embarrassing the progress of all mission work. There is hardly a field occupied for missionary labor but within its territory schools are located and in successful operation. As a rule, female teachers are employed; generally the wives of the missionaries or their lady friends. Of course all missionary workers are Christians, holding a connection with some religious body. The most successful schools are now found in India (see Butler, Land of the Veda). In China and Japan there are several in successful operation. In Constantinople, the American Roberts College may be looked upon as a valuable auxiliary of Christian mission work. In Beirut also there is an American college greatly aiding the Protestant cause. In Africa, where the people to be converted are in a very abject state of mind, missionaries have largely availed themselves of educational aids. Many of the most successful mission-workers advocate the building up of schools as a very essential step to progress in converting the heathen world, and to this end missionary societies are founding schools in their respective fields. In the heathen world evidently the secular school supplies the same want that is afforded us in the religious school, better known as the Sunday-School. See American Bible Repository, 12:87; Christian Rev. 5:580.