Collection ID: MS 1042

Collection context


Weigle, Luther A. (Luther Allan), 1880-1976
The papers consist of correspondence, articles and printed materials, reports, notes, papers, sermons, subject files, writings, and other papers documenting the life and career of Luther Allan Weigle, dean of the Yale Divinity School and scholar of religion.
60 Linear Feet
The material is in English.


Acquisition information:
Gift of Luther A. Weigle, 1974-1975; gift of Ruth Weigle Guyton, Margaret Weigle Quillian, Luther Allan Weigle, and Richard D. Weigle, 1976; and transferred from the Yale University Divinity Library, 1975-1980, and 1991.
Rules or conventions:
translation missing: en.enumerations.resource_finding_aid_description_rules.Finding aid created in accordance with Manuscripts and Archives Processing Manual
Scope and Content:

The papers consist of correspondence, articles and printed materials, reports, notes, papers, sermons, subject files, writings, and other papers documenting the life and career of Luther Allan Weigle, university professor and religious scholar.

Biographical / Historical:

The Reverend Luther A. Weigle, Dean-Emeritus of the Yale Divinity School and Sterling Professor-Emeritus of Religious Education, was a noted minister, religious educator, and Bible translator.

Among his major activities had been his chairmanship of the Committee of twenty-two Biblical scholars who issued the "Revised Standard Version of the Bible" (the New Testament in 1946 and the Old Testament in 1952). He continued to lead the group of scholars who prepared the "Revised Standard Version of the Apocrypha", published in 1957. Dean Weigle became chairman of the Standard Bible Committee at its organization in 1929.

The "Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible", prepared by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain with the cooperation of the Standard Bible Committee, was published in 1966. In January 1966, Dean Weigle was named by Pope Paul VI as a Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, in ceremonies at St. Thomas More Chapel in New Haven.

From 1940 to 1942, Dean Weigle was President of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. From 1941 to 1950, he was chairman of the Planning Committee which conducted the negotiations leading to the organization of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and he was elected Honorary Chairman of the Constituting Convention in 1950.

From 1928 to 1958, Dean Weigle was Chairman of the World Council of Christian Education and Sunday School Association. He was a member of the historic Jerusalem meeting of the International Missionary Council in1928, and edited its volume on "Religious Education". He presided over the World's Sunday School Convention at Rio de Janeiro in 1932.

At the invitation of the National Christian Council of China, he devoted seven months in 1935 to visitation of theological seminaries and conferences on the education of ministers for the Christian Church in China. He was a delegate to the meeting which drew up a constitution for the World Council of Churches, Utrecht, Holland, 1938.

Born on September 11, 1880 at Littlestown, Pennsylvania, Luther Allan Weigle prepared for college in the public schools of Altoona, where his father, Dr. Elias Daniel Weigle, was pastor of the First Lutheran Church, and in the Preparatory School of Dickinson College. He was graduated from Gettysburg College in 1900 and attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg for two years. Then followed three years of study in the Graduate School of Yale University. During the second of these years, he devoted part time to the pastorate of the First Lutheran Church of Bridgeport, Conn., having been ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1903. In 1904, he resigned this pastorate to permit the church to obtain a full-time minister, and in 1905 he received his Ph.D. degree from Yale in the field of philosophy.

From 1905 to 1916, Dr. Weigle was professor of philosophy at Carleton College in Minnesota, and for the last five years of this period he was dean of the College. He started a Department of Education at Carleton and in 1913 was President of the Minnesota Educational Association.

He joined the Yale faculty in 1916 as Horace Bushnell Professor of Christian Nurture. At the same time, he transferred his ministerial standing to the Congregational Church. In 1924, he was appointed Sterling Professor of Religious Education. During Dean Weigle's administration -- starting in1928 -- the Yale Divinity School experienced its greatest development. It was housed in the newly built Sterling Divinity Quadrangle. A policy of selective admission and limited enrollment was adopted; the curriculum and schedule were revised to provide for the freedom and depth of graduate study; and notable additions were made to the faculty. He retired in 1949 after 21 years as Dean of the Yale Divinity School and 33 years on the faculty. In 1965, the School established the Luther A. Weigle Visiting Professorship in his honor.

Dean Weigle's work in improving theological education was not limited to Yale. From 1930 to 1948, he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Theological Schools. In 1936, this Association worked out standards for accrediting theological schools.

For many years, he was closely connected with the Yale-in-China Association (now the Yale-China Association), which has pioneered many educational programs in China and Hong Kong since its founding in 1901. Dean Weigle served as a Trustee of Yale-in-China from 1930 to 1957, and had been an Honorary Trustee since then. He was President in 1946-1947, 1949-50; and1951-57, and held the Vice Presidency in 1947-49 and 1950 - 51.

Dean Weigle had given endowed lectures in 14 universities and theological seminaries, including the Sprint Lectures at Union Seminary, Richmond; the Cole Lectures at Vanderbilt University; the Jackson Lectures at Southern Methodist University; the Norton Lectures at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville; the Goldberg Lectures at Hebrew Union College; and the Shaffer Lectures at Northwestern University and at Yale. He had received 14 honorary degrees: Carleton, Gettysburg, Queen's University, Princeton, Yale, Muhlenberg, Ohio University, Berkeley Divinity School, Otterbein, Ambush, Dickinson, Gettysburg, Wittenberg and Boston University.

He also was one of seven distinguished recipients in 1967 of the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal of the Yale Graduate School Association. He was selected by the New Haven (Conn.) Register as the winner of the newspaper's Connecticut Citizen of the Year Award in 1973 because of his leadership in the international Bible project.

Dean Weigle's first book, "The Pupil and the Teacher," 1911, was a textbook for the training of Sunday school teachers, written for the Lutheran Publication Society, and adopted by many other denominations. It was translated into Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, for missionary use. More than a million copies were sold before it went out of print in the early 1940's.

Others among the dozen books written by Dean Weigle are: "American Idealism", Volume X in "The Pageant of America", 1928; "Religious Education"(with J.H. Oldham), Volume II of "Jerusalem Reports", 1928; "The Religious Education of a Protestant" (autobiography) in "Contemporary American Theology", Volume II, 1933; "Jesus and the Educational Method", 1939; "The English New Testament from Tyndale to the Revised Standard Version", 1949;"The Living Word", 1956; "The Bible Word Book" (with Ronald Bridges), 1960;"The New Testament Oc tapla", 1962; "The Genesis Octapla", 1965. He wrote the chapter on "English Versions since 1611" for "The Cambridge History of the Bible", 1963.


Materials in this collection are grouped by accession. The order in which records came to Yale has been maintained.


Sterling Memorial Library
Yale Campus
New Haven, CT, USA
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