Veritas Christo et Ecclesia–
Truth for Christ and the Church
After Puritan settlers in New England built their homes, provided for daily essentials, built church meeting houses, and formed a civil government, they sought to establish a college to provide formal training for their ministers. They dreaded leaving “an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.”
They thus founded a college in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two years later one of their ministers, John Harvard, died. In his will Harvard left the college his entire library. The grateful college trustees thus named the institution after him.
Harvard College’s first motto was veritas—truth—which they believed was found only in the Scriptures. Shortly afterward the motto became veritas Christo et ecclesia—truth for Christ and the church, specifying the college’s aim.
The experience of Christ’s church today underscores the necessity of veritas Christo et ecclesiae—“Truth for Christ and the Church.” The corrupting effects of sin are prevalent in every level of human life. Society at large is committed to evil, sexual deviancy, violence, the murder of infants, and rejection of divine authority. Sound churches experience compromise, divisions, and decline. Christian educational institutions depart from their founding character and purposes. Pastors leave the ministry because of increasing pressures. Scores of churches are without pastors.
The Puritan founders of Harvard College sought to provide godly ministers to faithfully shepherd their churches. They had a steadfast belief and conviction in God’s revealed truth for the Cause of Christ and His church. Today, Christ’s church must have the same steadfast belief and conviction for the same aims.
The 2022 annual convention of the American Council of Christian Churches will encourage, instruct, and help Christ’s church by looking to God’s truth in the Scriptures.