Old Chester, PA: Schools: Crozer Theological Seminary

After graduating from Morehouse College in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, King attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. Here he later graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. At Crozer he absorbed the teachings of many inspirational leaders from the past. It is here where he first became exposed to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

In King’s words, “During this period I had about despaired of the power of love in solving social problems. I thought the only way we could solve our problem of segregation was an armed revolt.” But when he studied Gandhi’s philosophy his skepticism concerning the power of love diminished. He saw how “love was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation for Gandhi.” “Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate.”[1]

Let’s think about this a bit. How this new philosophy of overcoming injustice with love must have appeared for King! Think what it would mean to you in your personal life. It sounds a lot like Jesus’ commandment to love your enemy—something that’s not easy to do. Have you been able to show love to a person who has really hurt you? Have you been able to overcome injustice with love?

Imagine the courage King must have had to bring love to the fight for America’s civil rights problems. He’s not dealing with a simple one on one battle. He would be leading thousands of angry African Americans into a fight for justice, using love instead of hatred.

Gandhi’s philosophy continued to grow in his mind.

[1] The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages 23-26

This has been Part 49 of the Series A Life Worth Living. Read Part 50 – Rosa Parks