Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and other colleges were founded in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when America was a bunch of British Colonies and before Church and State were separated, with explicitly orthodox Christian "missions." Most realize that something changed along the way, but few understand when and how it happened. The institutional changes occurred primarily during the 19th Century. After all, during the founding era, Timothy Dwight -- a fire and brimstone fundamentalist preacher -- was President of Yale. Yet, it was during this time -- early to mid 18th Century -- that such colleges became hotbeds of infidelity, in other words, when the seeds of change were planted. And Harvard, institutionally, officially became "infidel" around the turn of the 19th Century.
"Infidelity" -- that is, non-orthodoxy, or deism, unitarianism, Arminianism, and universalism -- was a dissident movement in 18th Century America [some of these were harder forms of infidelity, some softer; my contention is America's key founders -- the first four Presidents, Ben Franklin and a few other leading lights, were soft infidels]. However, so was Whiggery a dissident movement in England. American Whigs, as such, were disproportionately imbibed in these "infidel" principles, which never captured the minds of the masses, but did capture the minds of the elite, educated men who gave America the principles upon which it declared independence and constructed the Constitution.
[For the rest, see the original post here.]