Room to Learn

Explore John Wesley's thoughts on education

Education was one of John Wesley’s core commitments during his life and ministry. He was
passionate about enabling both children and adults to learn and this is seen in the founding of
schools, the encouragement of class meetings and the distribution of many books and pamphlets for
study and further discussion.

Historian Gary Best writes: “John Wesley was as much an educator as a preacher. Methodist
involvement in education stems from his passion for education, which was rooted in his
understanding of the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition - that the Church should be engaged in
constantly seeking and understanding what is the truth by which we should live.”
“For him, education at its best was a life-long process guided by the Holy Spirit towards personal and
social holiness, and it was the best possible tool for evangelism, for training in godliness, and for the
betterment of society.”

Wesley’s aim was to create ‘model schools’, places where relationships were good and where
learning could flourish. One of his most famous quotes, offered to teachers at Kingswood, is:
“Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”
From the first school at Kingswood to the many Methodist schools now serving communities around
the UK, from the training of local preachers and ministers to courses for lay people and the Learning
Network; Methodism remains a place where education is central.

Find out more about where it all began.

"Not just informative but engaging and thought-provoking" - Museum visitor

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