Cokesbury College Address
Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. An Address to the Friends and Annual Subscribers for the Support of Cokesbury College, And to the Members of the Methodist Society: To Which Are Added, the Rules and Regulations of the College. New York: W. Ross in Broad-Street, 1787. (AES4589/2C)
Cokesbury College, named in honor of Bishops Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury, was Methodism’s first school of higher education. Authorized by the Conference of 1784 and supported by an annual, denomination-wide collection, the college opened in Abingdon, Maryland in 1787.
In this published address prepared jointly by Asbury and Coke, they appeal for Methodists to fund Cokesbury College by promising:
The Students will be instructed in English, Latin, Greek, Logic, Rhetoric, History . . . Geography, natural Philosophy and Astronomy. To these Languages and Sciences shall be added, when the Finances of our College will admit it, the Hebrew, French, and German Languages. But our first Object shall be, To answer the Design of Christian Education, by forming the Minds of the Youth, through divine Aid, to Wisdom and Holiness; by instilling into their tender Minds the Principles of true Religion, speculative, experimental and practical, and training them in the ancient way that they may be rational, scriptural Christians.
Cokesbury College was destroyed in a fire in 1795. A year later, after reopening in Baltimore, the college burned again and closed.