In 1910 Henry Clay Morrison became president of Asbury College, and that year the school began a special course of study for those planning to enter full-time ministry. At that time, the college constructed a two-story frame dormitory solely for those ministerial students. These divinity students soon formed a Theologues Club, which grew impressively until the Seminary was officially launched in 1923. The year of 1910 was a year of beginning, so in a sense this institutional history is a centennial volume.
The 498-page Story of Asbury Theological Seminary is a comprehensive chronicle of the Seminary, carefully documented with endnotes following each of its twenty chapters. Kinghorn has written a faithful, factual, and fair account, devoid of his personal opinions. He said, “Although the chronicles of the Seminary are filled with numerous instances of God’s miraculous intervention, guidance, and blessing, this book is not intended to be hagiographic. The Story of Asbury Theological Seminary is not without misunderstandings, missteps, and mistakes―and this book does not avoid them.”
Kinghorn’s writing style makes real history easy to read like a fascinating story, except there is nothing fictitious or unreal within these pages. Kinghorn carries the reader along with the inclusion of sagas of heroic drama, inspiring episodes, accounts of courage, examples of faith, and incidents of divine providence. An added feature of this book is its inclusion of more than 300 photographs. The appendices consist of a chronology, a list of faculty members from 1923 to 2010 (with their dates of service), an index of subjects, and an index of photographs. The author closes the book with the following words: “Charles Wesley’s hymn―And Can It Be That I Should Gain?―is the Seminary’s official hymn. . . . Considering the challenges that the founders faced and the obstacles the generations have overcome, Asbury Seminary’s very existence and the global work of theological education in which it is engaged are at once unlikely and astonishing. Indeed, one might ask, ʻAnd can it be?ʼ