Many of its clergymen have been trained in other denominations; but the Harvard Divinity School was distinctly Unitarian from its formation, in 1816, to 1870, when it became an unsectarian department of the university.
Dr White's ideals in part were: a closer union between the advanced and the general educational system of the state; liberal instruction of the industrial classes; increased stress on technical instruction; unsectarian control; " a course in history and political and social science adapted to the practical needs of men worthily ambitious in public affairs "; a more thorough study of modern languages and literatures, especially English; the " steady effort to abolish monastic government and pedantic instruction "; the elective system of studies; and the stimulus of non-resident lecturers.
Among the important institutions of learning which have no official connexion with the state are Bowdoin College (opened in 1802), at Brunswick; Colby College (Baptist, opened in 1818), at Waterville; and Bates College (originally Free Baptist but now unsectarian; opened in 1863), at Lewiston.
A measure which virtually made primary education free, compulsory and unsectarian came into operation.
A law was passed, despite violent protests from the Liberals, which enacted that the communes might maintain the private Catholic schools established since 1879 and suppress unsectarian schools at their pleasure.