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Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold (04 May 1841–01 July 1908), Episcopal priest, theologian, and educator, was born in Otis, Massachusetts, the son of Ethan Allen, a teacher and Episcopal priest, and Lydia Child Burr. His father served churches in Massachusetts and Vermont. Both parents were strongly evangelical in the Episcopal manner of the time, emphasizing biblical authority and teaching more than sacramental theology—a conviction that produced conflict in several of the churches that Allen’s father served. Their piety shaped Allen’s early views, leading him to enroll at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1859. Kenyon was an Episcopal institution then of an evangelical stamp. An excellent student, Allen delivered the valedictory address upon graduating in 1862 and immediately entered Bexley Hall, a theological seminary in Gambier....

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Bacon, Benjamin Wisner (15 January 1860–01 February 1932), clergyman and theological professor, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Susan (née Bacon) and Leonard Woolsey Bacon, a clergyman. Bacon grew up surrounded by the traditions, habits and the learning of a family of distinguished New England clerics. His paternal grandfather, ...

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Bowne, Borden Parker (14 January 1847–01 April 1910), philosopher, theologian, and educator, was born in Atlantic Highlands (formerly Leonardville), New Jersey, the son of Joseph Bowne and Margaret Parker. His father, a farmer and justice of the peace, served also as a local Methodist preacher. His father was a staunch abolitionist, and his mother, a descendent of Quaker stock, despised sham and vanity. Traits of both parents ran deep in their son....

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Breckinridge, Robert Jefferson (08 March 1800–27 November 1871), theologian and educator, was born at Cabell’s Dale (near Lexington) in Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of John Breckinridge, a lawyer and politician, and Mary Hopkins Cabell. Raised in one of the most prominent families in Kentucky, he attended Jefferson College between 1816 and 1818, spent a few months at Yale College in 1818, and finally graduated from Union College in 1819. After completing his schooling, he returned home to study law. Breckinridge married his cousin Ann Sophonisba Preston in 1823; they had four children. He opened his practice in 1824 and a year later was elected to represent Fayette County in the state legislature; he held that position until 1828....

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Carnell, Edward John (28 June 1919–25 April 1967), theologian and educator, was born in Antigo, Langlade County, Wisconsin, the son of Herbert C. Carnell and Fannie Carstens, a fundamentalist minister and his wife who struggled to support their family by serving several Baptist churches in the Upper Midwest. Carnell attended Wheaton College from 1937 to 1941 and received an A.B. in philosophy. Although he sometimes worked thirty-five to forty hours a week in the dining hall as an undergraduate, Carnell was able to excel in philosophy under the tutelage of Professor Gordon Haddon Clark, whose philosophical defense of Christianity made a lasting impact on a generation of evangelical leaders who attended the midwestern fundamentalist liberal arts college during these years. From Wheaton, Carnell went to Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, an institution that had been founded in opposition to Princeton Seminary in 1929 during the fundamentalist controversy. At Westminster he studied theology with the Dutch Calvinist Cornelius Van Til, whose system of theology stressed the intellectual differences between believers and nonbelievers, and he earned both a Th.B. and a Th.M (1944). Because the U.S. government deferred the draft of seminarians, Carnell did not serve in World War II. In 1944 he married Shirley Rowe, a schoolteacher; they had two children. Carnell went on to complete two doctorates. He first earned a Th.D. at Harvard University (1948), where he wrote a dissertation on the theology of ...

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DuBose, William Porcher (11 April 1836–18 August 1918), theologian, was born near Winnsboro, South Carolina, the son of Theodore Marion DuBose and Jane Porcher, planters. DuBose grew up in the aristocracy of the antebellum South. After attending Mount Sion Institute in Winnsboro, he went to the Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina), from which he was graduated as the ranking cadet officer in 1855. DuBose next attended the University of Virginia, where he received an M.A. in 1859. Then he entered the Episcopal diocesan seminary, established a year earlier, in Camden, South Carolina, to prepare for ordination. With the outbreak of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, DuBose left the seminary for service in the Confederate Army. In April 1863 he married Anne Barnwell Peronneau, and in December of that year was ordained to the diaconate of the Episcopal church. During the remainder of the war DuBose served as a military chaplain....

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Timothy Dwight. Engraving by D. C. Hinman from a painting by John Trumbull. Courtesy of the National Archives (NWDNS-111-SC-92819).

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Dwight, Timothy (14 May 1752–11 January 1817), theologian and president of Yale College, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of Timothy Dwight, a merchant and large landowner, and Mary Edwards, daughter of the theologian Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). Dwight gave early signs of extraordinary intellectual promise, learning the alphabet at age two, reading the King James Bible at four, mastering basic Latin grammar at six, and all the while absorbing the standard works in geography and ancient history that later served him, as they did so many Americans of the revolutionary generation, as important sources of classical republican political thought. He entered Yale at thirteen, easily passing an entrance examination requiring sight translation of Virgil, Cicero, and New Testament Greek, and setting himself a private curriculum of studies considerably more ambitious than that of the college. Rising at half past three on winter mornings to construe Homer’s ...

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Foster, Frank Hugh (18 June 1851–20 October 1935), theologian and educator, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of William F. Foster and Mary Flagg Miller. He received a B.A. from Harvard in 1873 and graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1877, when he was ordained a Congregationalist minister. In 1881–1882 he was a Parker Fellow at Harvard; the fellowship allowed him to study in Germany, and he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1882. He was married twice, first to Eliza Grout in 1877, who died in 1912; they had three children. In 1913 he married Margaret Tracy Algoe, who died in 1920; they had no children....

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Foster, George Burman (02 April 1857–22 December 1918), theologian and educator, was born in Alderson, West Virginia, the son of Oliver Harrison Foster and Helen Louise Skaggs. Foster entered Shelton College in 1876 and graduated from West Virginia University in 1883. He served as pastor of the Baptist church in Morgantown, West Virginia, from 1883 to 1884. While there he married Mary Lyon in 1884; they had three children, none of whom survived Foster. Also in 1884 Foster enrolled in the ministerial course at Rochester Theological Seminary, graduating in 1887. He then served at the Baptist church in Saratoga Springs, New York, until 1891....

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Frei, Hans Wilhelm (29 April 1922–12 September 1988), theologian and intellectual historian, was born in Breslau, Germany, the son of Wilhelm Sigmund Frei, a venereologist, and Magda Frankfurther, a pediatrician. The family had become nominally Lutheran, and Frei was baptized in infancy, but they were Jewish by ancestry and thus fled to the United States in 1938....

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Gavin, Frank Stanton Burns (31 October 1890–20 March 1938), Episcopal theologian and church historian, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of William James Gavin, a physician, and Laura Adelaide Burns. In 1907 he entered the University of Cincinnati, from which he received the A.B. in 1912. While there he also took courses at Xavier University and at Hebrew Union College. In 1912 Gavin entered the General Theological Seminary in New York City; while there he also studied at Columbia University, where he was a University Fellow in Semitics (1913–1914). He received his M.A. in Semitic languages from Columbia in 1915, his S.T.B. from General Theological in 1915, and his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1922. His dissertation, “Aphraates and the Jews: A Study of the Controversial Homilies of the Persian Sage in Their Relation to Jewish Thought,” published in the ...

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Gerhart, Emanuel Vogel (13 June 1817–06 May 1904), theologian and educator, was born at Freeburg, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Isaac Gerhart and Sarah Vogel. In 1833 he was enrolled in the Classical School of the German Reformed Church at York, Pennsylvania. In 1835, while Gerhart was a student, the school was moved to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and became Marshall College. Gerhart graduated from Marshall in 1838 and enrolled in the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church, also located in Mercersburg. He completed his theological studies in 1841. During his student years in these institutions he was especially influenced by three of his professors: ...

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Harris, Samuel (14 June 1814–25 June 1899), theologian and educator, was born in East Machias, Maine, the son of Josiah Harris, a merchant and clerk of the court, and Lucy Talbot. At age fifteen Harris entered Bowdoin College, where he acquired a lifelong love of language and literature under the tutelage of ...

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Jacobs, Henry Eyster (10 November 1844–07 July 1932), historian, theologian, and churchman, was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Michael Jacobs, a college professor, and Julianna Matilda Eyster. Michael Jacobs taught natural science at the Lutheran Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College. As a consequence, from the outset Henry Jacobs lived in the contexts of education and church. In his youth Jacobs’s world view was also profoundly influenced by witnessing at close range the battle of Gettysburg, fought when he was nineteen, and by hearing ...

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King, Henry Churchill (18 September 1858–27 February 1934), theologian and educator, was born in Hillsdale, Michigan, the son of Henry Jarvis King, a college administrator, and Sarah Lee. He grew up in Hillsdale and attended Hillsdale College for over a year.

In 1877 King transferred to Oberlin College, from which he graduated in June 1879. He then began his theological studies at Oberlin Theological Seminary. While he was a seminary student King became a Latin and mathematics tutor in Oberlin’s preparatory department and served as summer school administrator. He received his bachelor of divinity degree in June 1882 and the following month married Julia Marana Coates in a ceremony performed by ...

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Krauth, Charles Porterfield (17 March 1823–02 January 1883), theologian and educator, was born in Martinsburg, Virginia (now W.Va.), the son of Charles Philip Krauth, a Lutheran minister, and Catherine Susan Heiskell. Between his mother’s death before his first birthday and his father’s peripatetic career, Krauth was raised at several sites in his first ten years before being settled in 1833 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where his father was president of Pennsylvania College, a Lutheran institution. Krauth matriculated at that college in 1834, graduated in 1839, then attended the affiliated Gettysburg Seminary from 1839 to 1841 to earn his credentials for the Lutheran ministry. He pastored churches in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1841 to 1847; in the upper Shenandoah Valley, principally Winchester, Virginia, from 1847 to 1855; and in Pittsburgh (1855–1859) and Philadelphia (1859–1861), Pennsylvania. Krauth was married twice: in 1844 to Susan Reynolds of Baltimore (she died in 1853) and in 1855 to Virginia Baker of Winchester, Virginia. He had five children, of whom two survived him....

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Ladd, George Trumbull (19 January 1842–08 August 1921), theologian, philosopher, and psychologist, was born in Painesville, Ohio, the son of Silas Trumbull Ladd, a businessman and treasurer of Western Reserve College, and Elizabeth Williams. Ladd graduated from Western Reserve College in 1864 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1869. Also in 1869 he married Cornelia Ann Tallman of Bellaire, Ohio; they had four children. He was a minister for nearly a decade, spending two years in a small church in Ohio and eight years in the large Spring Street Congregational Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ladd wrote and read feverishly throughout his life. Having a passion for scholarship, he grew tired of the pastorate and sought freedom in the academic world. He justified this transition by planning a defense of his faith in opposition to the increasingly scientific and secular world. According to his biographer E. S. Mills, “he would serve as the mediator between the old and the new so that the best of both worlds of learning and experience might be preserved.” In 1879 Ladd accepted a post in the department of philosophy at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Two years later he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, and began his long association with Yale University. At Yale, Ladd was appointed professor of moral and mental philosophy....

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Lyman, Eugene William (04 April 1872–15 March 1948), philosopher of religion and theologian, was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, the son of Darwin Eugene Lyman and Julia Sarah Stevens. His “public-minded” father owned the village store and served for a time in the state legislature; his mother operated a millinery shop in connection with her husband’s store. Regularly, Julia Lyman read biblical stories, John Bunyan’s ...

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Machen, J. Gresham (28 July 1881–01 January 1937), educator and theologian, was born John Gresham Machen in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Arthur Webster Machen, a lawyer, and Mary Gresham. Machen grew up in a prominent and affluent family that was part of a circle of southern gentry who had moved to Baltimore after the Civil War. In this setting Machen developed a deep affection for classical literature, rare books, and the heritage of the Old South. The Machen home also fostered a strong allegiance to the faith and practice of southern Presbyterianism even though the piety of Baltimore’s wealthy Presbyterians was a good deal more genteel than the spirituality of previous generations....