Liberal Protestantism was an active force propelling the rise of the university, but the university culture that liberal Protestantism helped create eventually proved inhospitable to religion and moral concerns. The rise of science, the development of electives, and the introduction of voluntary (versus mandatory) chapel exercises functioned as evidentiary mainstays in the tale of the secularization of the academy. While liberty has a long-standing historiographic relationship with Protestantism, few have identified liberal Protestantism and its emphasis on liberty and human potential as the religious impulse that lay behind the development of the elective system. Though leaders of the university movement could help create an institution where the tenets of liberal Protestantism were considered normative, the university was fundamentally an intellectual enterprise and a daunting intellectual challenge remained: reconciling religion and science (or faith and knowledge) and actually forming the new synthesis in which modern science served the moral and religious needs of the country.