Skip to main content

Dorsett, Lyle W.


Biographical Statement

Lyle Dorsett was born in 1938 and received his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and followed this with a master’s degree from the same. He went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, focusing upon urban history. His dissertation on the political machine of Kansas City, Missouri Alderman Jim Pendergast was published in 1968 under the title, The Pendergast machine. Dorsett has also taken post-doctoral studies at the Iliff School of Theology.

Dorsett has taught at the University of Missouri, The University of Southern California, the University of Colorado at Denver and the University of Denver. Dorsett served as Professor of History at the University of Denver, Denver, Colo. from 1972-1983, specializing in urban history. He wrote The Queen City: a history of Denver (1977) and The Pioneer Western Bank: First of Denver, 1860-1980. In 1983 he accepted a position at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College where he also served on the faculty. He was also the founding pastor of Church of the Great Shepherd in Wheaton, Illinois. In 2005 Dorsett began serving as the Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.

He is the author of eighteen books, among them several Christian biographies, notably Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody, and three works on C. S. Lewis, like Seeking the Secret Place: the Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis. From 1983 to 1990 Dorsett was the director of the Marion E. Wade Center, a special research collection devoted to Lewis and six other notable British authors. Dorsett continues to be involved in the work of the Wade.

Lyle is married to Mary Hayes Dorsett, a deacon in the Anglican Mission in America and founder and general director of Christ for Children International (CFCI) in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico. The Dorsetts have two children and four grandchildren.

Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

And God Came In / A Love Observed Archive

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-A-26 through A-28
Abstract This archive contains the materials related to the book "And God Came In" by Lyle W. Dorsett (New York:MacMillan and Co. 1983.), republished as "A Love Observed" (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers. 1998).  Dr. Dorsett donated his materials from the research and writing of the book to the Wade Center in 1990. The book is a biography of Joy Davidman Lewis. Joy was married twice, first to Bill Gresham, an American writer and magazine editor with whom she had two sons (Douglas and David...
Dates: Created: 1915-1994; Other: Majority of material found in 1915-1960

Collection 524 Oral History Interviews with Leonard H. F. Sumule

Identifier: CN 524
Scope and Contents Oral history interviews with Leonard Hendrik F. Sumule in which he describes his family, childhood in Indonesia, conversion and spiritual development, being a Christian in a predominantly Muslim nation, his experience at Wheaton College's Honey Rock Camp, comparison of Honey Rock with Christian camps in Indonesia, the 1995 revival at Wheaton College, his goals for ministry in Indonesia, involvement in youth ministry, camping and Christian education in the country, and education and church...
Dates: Created: 1996

Collection 563 Papers of Robert Coleman

Identifier: CN 563
Brief Description Correspondence, manuscripts, oral history interviews, class lecture notes, meeting files and other materials relating to Coleman's ministry as an evangelist, scholar and church leader. Besides Coleman's own life and ministry, the collection contains voluminous material on the theology of evangelism and Christian discipleship, American 20th century Evangelicalism; the growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in regard to the...
Dates: 1936-2019

Letters to Children Archive

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-A-20  through A-22

The book Letters to Children, edited by Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead, was published in 1985. It is a collection of some of Lewis' many letters to children over the years, particularly relating to the Narnia Chronicles but also full of personal advice and goodwill. These papers represent Dorsett and Mead's working papers.

Dates: Created: 1983-1986

Lyle Dorsett Papers

 Collection — Container: Books
Identifier: SC-083
Scope and Contents

The Lyle Dorsett papers relate to Dorsett's research for an uncompleted project on Ulysses S. Grant from the early 1980s.

Dates: Created: 1851-1979; Other: Majority of material found in 1862-1911

Media: Video | Race at Wheaton

 Unprocessed Material — Container: null
Identifier: 2009-0055

Seeking the Secret Place Archive

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Wade-A-52

This archive contains the materials related to the book Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C.S. Lewis by Lyle W. Dorsett (Brazos Press, 2004).

Dates: Created: 1898-2004; Other: Majority of material found in 1980-2004

Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Records

Identifier: CN 003
Brief Description Correspondence, proposals, reports, minutes, programs, publications brochures, budgets, audio tapes, clippings, photographs, and video tapes related to the founding, ground breaking and dedication and continuing work of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College as a research and training center in evangelism, and its ongoing activities. Includes audio and video recordings of Center-sponsored conferences (on themes including evangelism and evangelistic preaching, outreach to various...
Dates: Created: 1919-2011

Wheaton College Revivals Collection

Identifier: CN 514
Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews, questionnaires, reports, videos, and other materials relating to spontaneous revivals on Wheaton College campus in the twentieth century. There are restrictions on some material in this collection. The collection primarily documents the March 1995 revival at the College, largely through oral history interviews conducted during or shortly after the event; also included are thirteen follow-up interviews conducted two years after the revival.

Dates: Created: 1936-1997; Other: Majority of material found in 1994-1995

Additional filters:

Collection 8
Unprocessed Material 1
Evangelistic work. 4
Conversion. 3
Dorsett, Lyle W. -- Archives. 3
Evangelicalism -- United States. 3
Evangelicalism. 3
∨ more
Evangelistic work -- United States. 3
Revivals. 3
Children. 2
Christian education -- United States. 2
Christian education. 2
Christian leadership. 2
Church work with prisoners. 2
Confession. 2
Conversion -- Personal narratives. 2
Evangelistic invitations. 2
Evangelistic sermons. 2
Evangelistic work -- Congresses 2
Evangelistic work -- Philosophy. 2
Evangelistic work -- Study and teaching. 2
Holiness churches 2
Holiness churches -- United States. 2
Prayer. 2
Preaching. 2
Religious institutions. 2
Revivals -- United States. 2
Wheaton College (Ill.) -- Faculty. 2
Women 2
Women -- Religious life. 2
AIDS (Disease) 1
Articles. 1
Athletes 1
Athletes -- United States 1
Athletes -- United States -- Religious life. 1
Bible colleges 1
Bible colleges -- United States. 1
Bible. 1
Biographies. 1
Businessmen -- Religious life -- United States. 1
Businessmen -- Religious life. 1
Businessmen. 1
Children -- Correspondence. 1
Children -- United States 1
Children -- United States -- Conversion to Christianity. 1
Children -- United States -- Religious life. 1
Christian drama. 1
Christian education -- Indonesia. 1
Christian education, Outdoor -- United States. 1
Christian education, Outdoor. 1
Christian education, Outdoors -- Indonesia. 1
Christian life. 1
Christianity and culture -- United States. 1
Christianity and culture. 1
Church and social problems. 1
Church renewal -- United States. 1
Church renewal. 1
Church work with children. 1
Church work with prisoners -- Florida. 1
Church work with prisoners -- United States. 1
College students -- United States 1
College students -- United States -- Religious life. 1
College students in missionary work -- United States. 1
College students in missionary work. 1
College students. 1
Communication -- Religious aspects 1
Communication. 1
Conversion -- Christianity. 1
Conversion -- Sermons. 1
Correspondence. 1
Counseling. 1
Davidman, Joy -- Archives. 1
Devotional literature. 1
Diaries. 1
Donahue (Television program) 1
Drug abuse. 1
Evangelicalism -- Africa. 1
Evangelicalism -- Asia. 1
Evangelicalism -- Caribbean Area. 1
Evangelicalism -- Congresses. 1
Evangelicalism -- Europe. 1
Evangelicalism -- India. 1
Evangelicalism -- Korea. 1
Evangelicalism -- New Zealand. 1
Evangelicalism -- Oceania. 1
Evangelicalism -- Relations -- Catholic Church. 1
Evangelicalism -- Russia. 1
Evangelicalism -- South Africa. 1
Evangelicalism -- South America. 1
Evangelistic work -- Biblical teaching. 1
Evangelistic work -- China. 1
Evangelistic work -- Congresses -- Berlin, Germany 1
Evangelistic work -- Congresses -- United States. 1
Evangelistic work -- Hong Kong. 1
Evangelistic work -- Hymns. 1
Evangelistic work -- Indonesia. 1
Evangelistic work -- Manila. 1
Evangelistic work -- Music. 1
Evangelistic work -- Nepal. 1
Evangelistic work -- Solomon Islands. 1
Evangelistic work -- Soviet Union. 1
Evangelistic work -- Wheaton. 1
∧ less