Admission to Harvard consisted of an interview with the president, with no applications to fill out or essays to write. Normally he would flip to a passage in the Greek New Testament, expecting a translation of the chosen passage and an exegesis. He would also do the same for some work in Latin, and would also test the mathematic skills of the prospective student…
Each student was expected to be able to read the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament into Latin and “resolve them logically” and be “of godly life and conversation” in order to graduate.
My two cents
Now that’s old school. Back when exegesis and the tertiary admissions process were together as one. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when this happened. It would be interesting to see if many seminaries do things like this in the 21st century. I could be wrong, but I have a gut feeling that at least some seminary students wouldn’t be able to do it. (Perhaps that depends on the seminary in question.)
On a related note, I get tired of hearing how the Christian social order was supposedly bent on being anti-education, promoting anti-intellectualism, and stifling the dissemination of knowledge in general. And yet, it was a Puritan clergyman—John Harvard—who provide the financial backing for the establishment of Harvard University. Go Puritans!
Herring, D. (2003). The Puritans and Education, pp. 3-4. Available: http://www.davesexegesis.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/Puritans%20and%20Education.pdf