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Bennett, John Coleman (22 July 1902–27 April 1995), theologian and seminary president, was born in Kingston, Ontario, the son of William Russell Bennett, a Presbyterian minister, and Charlotte Coleman. He attended Williams College (A.B., 1924), Oxford University (A.B. in theology, 1926; M.A., 1930), and Union Theological Seminary (B.D., 1927; S.T.M., 1929). He married Anna Louesa McGrew in 1931; they had three children. He was ordained as a minister in the Congregational Christian Churches in Berkeley, California, in 1939....

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Bowen, John Wesley Edward (03 December 1855–20 July 1933), Methodist educator and theologian, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Edward Bowen and Rose Simon. His father was a carpenter from Maryland who was enslaved when he moved to New Orleans. After purchasing his own freedom, Edward Bowen bought that of his wife and son in 1858 and served in the Union army during the Civil War. After the war young J. W. E. Bowen studied at the Union Normal School in New Orleans and New Orleans University, which was founded by the Methodist Episcopal church for the education of freedmen. Bowen received a bachelor’s degree with the university’s first graduating class in 1878. Eight years later, New Orleans University awarded him a master’s degree. From 1878 to 1882 Bowen taught mathematics and ancient languages at Central Tennessee College in Nashville....

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Boyce, James Petigru (11 January 1827–28 December 1888), Baptist seminary founder and theologian, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Ker Boyce, a wealthy banker and merchant, and Amanda Jane Caroline Johnston. His father was among the richest men in the South. Boyce was educated at Charleston College from 1843 to 1845, Brown University from 1845 to 1847, and Princeton Theological Seminary from 1849 to 1851. He married Elizabeth Llewellyn Ficklen in 1858; they had three daughters....

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Brown, William Adams (29 December 1865–15 December 1943), Presbyterian theologian, educator, and activist, was born in New York City, the son of John Crosby Brown, the head of Brown Brothers and Company, a large New York banking firm, and Mary Elizabeth Adams, the daughter of William Adams, pastor of the Central (later Madison Square) Presbyterian Church. Both the Brown and Adams families were active in New York philanthropy and, in particular, supported Union Theological Seminary. Brown was educated at Yale University (B.A. 1886, M.A. 1888), Union Theological Seminary (B.D. 1890), and the University of Berlin (1890–1892). Union Seminary appointed Brown to teach church history in 1892; however, one year later the school transferred him to the Department of Theology. He earned a Ph.D. from Yale in 1901. Brown served as professor of theology until 1930, when Union appointed him research professor in applied Christianity. In 1892 he had married Helen Gilman Noyes; they had four children....

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Curtis, Olin Alfred (10 December 1850–08 January 1918), pastor and educator, was born in Frankfort, Maine, the son of Reuben Curtis, a minister, and Mary Gilbert. During his youth Curtis’s family moved from Maine to Wisconsin, and as a young man he worked in business in Chicago, Illinois. Deeply influenced by the preaching of evangelist ...

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Fritschel, Conrad Sigmund (02 December 1833–26 April 1900), Lutheran pastor, educator, and church leader, was born in Nürnberg, Germany, the son of Martin Heinrich Fritschel, a merchant, and Katharine Esther Kässler. In 1850 he enrolled in the Missionary Institute at Nürnberg, and when the school moved to Neuendettelsau in 1853, he followed, completing his work in 1854. At the Missionary Institute he was strongly influenced by teachers Friedrich Bauer and Wilhelm Löhe, and under their direction he prepared for ministry among the German immigrants in America. On 23 April 1854 Fritschel was ordained in Hamburg as pastor for an immigrant group. He arrived in Dubuque, Iowa, on 28 July 1854, where he began his ministry....

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Fritschel, Gottfried Leonhard Wilhelm (19 December 1836–13 July 1889), pastor, educator, and church leader, was born in Nürnberg, now in Germany, the son of Martin Heinrich Fritschel, a merchant, and Katharina Esther Kässler. At his father’s request, Fritschel first prepared for a career in business, but he eventually followed his older brother ...

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Heschel, Abraham Joshua (11 January 1907–23 December 1972), theologian and social activist, was born in Warsaw, Poland, the son of Moses Mordecai Heschel, a Hasidic rebbe, and Rivka Reizel Perlow. Both parents were descended from distinguished Hasidic dynasties. A child prodigy, Heschel mastered the classic Jewish texts. At age fifteen he published his first Talmud commentaries in a Warsaw Orthodox monthly. Around that time he was ordained as a rabbi....

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Hodge, Charles (27 December 1797–19 June 1878), conservative Presbyterian theologian, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Hugh Hodge, a physician and merchant, and Mary Blanchard, a native of Boston and descendent of prominent patriots. Hodge and his brother Hugh Lenox Hodge...

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Hoge, Moses (15 February 1752–05 July 1820), Presbyterian clergyman, theologian, and educator, was born in Cedar Grove, Frederick County, Virginia, the son of James Hoge and Nancy Griffiths, farmers. Hoge studied in a classical school in Culpeper, Virginia, under the Reverend Adam Goodlet, then under the Reverend William Graham at Liberty Hall Academy (later Washington and Lee University), from 1778 to 1780. He interrupted his studies for a year to serve during the revolutionary war. Later Hoge prepared for ordination in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America under James Waddel, a colleague of ...

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Keith, Reuel (26 June 1792–03 September 1842), Episcopal educator and theologian, was born in Pittsford, Vermont, the son of Reuel Keith, the keeper of a public house, and Abigail Allen. During his boyhood he worked for a while as a clerk in a store in Troy, New York, where he first became acquainted with the Episcopal church. He entered Middlebury College in Vermont in 1811 and graduated with high honors in 1814. For health reasons he decided to move to the warmer South and went to Prince George County, Virginia, where he became a private tutor. While working as a tutor he served as lay reader in the parish and began his studies preparatory to entering the ministry of the Episcopal church. The report to the Virginia Convention states, “The spirit of religion is reviving under Mr. Keith, who has large congregations” (Packard, p. 94). He returned to Vermont and was a tutor for his alma mater from 1816 to 1817. He then entered systematically into a course of study under John Prentis Kewley Henshaw, rector of a church in Brooklyn and later the first bishop of Rhode Island, in preparation for the ministry “and later pursued his studies as a resident graduate of Andover” (Goodwin, ...

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Knudson, Albert Cornelius (23 January 1873–28 August 1953), Methodist theologian and educator, was born in Grandmeadow, Minnesota, the son of Asle Knudson, a Methodist minister, and Susan Fosse. The fourth of nine children of Norwegian immigrants, Albert Knudson grew to maturity in Iowa and Minnesota, where his father was one of the founders and leaders of the Norwegian-Danish Methodist Conference. During his senior year in high school, young Knudson experienced a “conversion to Christ” in an evangelical Wesleyan sense and joined the Grace Methodist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota. The valedictorian of the senior class of St. Paul High School in 1889, he earned a B.A. in classics with highest honors from the University of Minnesota in 1893....

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Mullins, Edgar Young (05 January 1860–23 November 1928), theologian and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was born in Franklin County, Mississippi, the son of Seth Granberry Mullins, a minister, and Cornelia Blair Tillman. At eight years of age, Mullins moved with his family to Corsicana, Texas, where his father purchased land, organized a school, and founded a church. His father, a master of arts graduate of Mississippi College, was insistent that all nine of his children should receive college educations. However, Edgar, who was fourth in line, was forced to seek employment to help out with his older sisters’ school expenses. Therefore, at one time or another, he was a newspaper boy, printer’s devil, typesetter, printer, messenger boy, and telegrapher. At fifteen years of age, he was employed full-time as a telegrapher....

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Murray, John Courtney (12 September 1904–16 August 1967), Jesuit theologian, was born in New York City, the son of Michael John Murray, a lawyer, and Margaret Courtney. Murray entered the New York province of the Society of Jesus in 1920. After completing courses in classical and philosophical studies at Weston College, with degrees conferred by Boston College (B.A. 1926, M.A. 1927), he taught Latin and English literature at the Ateneo de Manila, Philippines. He returned to the United States for theological studies at Woodstock College, Maryland (1930–1934, S.T.L.), was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1933, then pursued further studies at the Gregorian University (Rome). In 1937 he completed a doctorate in sacred theology (S.T.D.) with a specialization in the doctrines of grace and the Trinity. Returning to Woodstock, he taught Catholic trinitarian theology and, in 1941, assumed editorship of the Jesuit journal, ...

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Nevin, John Williamson (20 February 1803–06 June 1886), religious thinker and educator, was born near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, the son of John Nevin and Martha McCracken, farmers. His father was what was called a “Latin farmer,” educated at Dickinson College and able to teach his children Latin, Greek, and other subjects. John Williamson was the eldest of nine children, all of whom had, or were associated by marriage with, distinguished careers in education, the clergy, banking, or journalism. The Nevins were Presbyterians of the classical Reformed tradition, which provided careful religious instruction and catechetical training, allied to a system in which the church was the essential medium of salvation....

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Norton, Andrews (31 December 1786–18 September 1853), theological controversialist, biblical scholar, and man of letters, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Norton, a shopkeeper, and Jane Andrews. He graduated from Harvard in 1804. Shy, fastidious, and bookish, Norton had gravitated to literary circles in college; afterward he remained at Harvard to study for the ministry with ...

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Noyes, George Rapall (06 March 1798–03 June 1868), biblical scholar, professor, and Unitarian minister, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Noyes and Mary Rapall. His parents had intended him for the ministry but were unable to finance his education. With additional encouragement from his pastor, the Reverend Daniel Dana of First (Old South) Presbyterian Church, he entered Harvard College at age sixteen, supporting himself by teaching school. At Harvard, amid the liberalism of the nascent Unitarian movement, he began to question the religious orthodoxy of his childhood....

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Pieper, Franz August Otto (27 June 1852–03 June 1931), Lutheran clergyman, was born in Carwitz, Pomerania, the son of August (or Augustus) Pieper, the town mayor, and Berta Lohff. Pieper attended Gymnasia at Köslin and Kolberg in Pomerania. In 1870, after the death of his father, Pieper immigrated to America, with his mother and three younger brothers, following two older brothers who had migrated earlier, and settling in Watertown, Wisconsin. He completed his undergraduate education at Watertown’s Northwestern University, graduating with a B.A. in 1872....

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Pond, Enoch (29 July 1791–21 January 1882), Congregational theologian and educator, was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts, the son of Elijah Pond and Mary Smith, farmers. His youth was surrounded by the legacy of the Great Awakening. He was baptized by the aged John Cleaveland, who, like ...

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Rall, Harris Franklin (23 February 1870–13 October 1964), professor of theology, was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the son of Otto Rall, a minister, and Anna Steiner. He studied at the University of Iowa, Yale Divinity School, and the universities of Halle and Wittenberg, receiving the Ph.D. in 1899. In 1897 he married Rose St. John; they had two children. Rose died in 1921, and in 1922 he married her sister Maud. He was president of Iliff School of Theology in Denver from 1910 to 1915 and professor of systematic theology at Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston, Illinois, from 1915 to 1945. After retirement, Rall stayed in Evanston, where he became official advisor to ...