James Petigru Boyce (1827–1888) devoted his life and resources to the dream of training Southern men from many economic and educational backgrounds for pastoral ministry. "Boyce lived and breathed theological education," Thomas Nettles writes. "His theological conviction and his zeal for the strength and purity of Baptist churches drove him to an unrelenting advocacy of theological education for Baptist preachers."
Here is a story of faith triumphing amid struggles and controversies within the Southern Baptist Church. At a time when piety and scholarship were often viewed as antithetical, and no formal confessional statements were required of pastors, Boyce envisioned a confessional seminary that reflected the best of pious scholarship and stood as a bulwark against the slide toward theological diversity. These pages show why Boyce's accomplishment was truly one of the wonders of American theological education.