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Dorsett, Lyle W.



  • Existence: 1938-

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 1 Collection or Record:

Collection 514 Ephemera of the Wheaton College Revivals

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