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Collection 426 Papers of Paul E. Little

Identifier: CN 426

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reports, minutes, course notes, lecture notes, manuscripts, articles, photographs, and audio tapes relating to Little's college education at Wheaton College Graduate School, and his work as an evangelist, teacher, writer, and Evangelical leader.

Included are Little's seminary lecture notes, and files on his contribution as assistant director of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Switzerland. A substantial portion of the collection consists of Little's resource files on various world religions. This collection, containing relatively little material from his work with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, is a valuable complement to Little's IVCF records in BGC Archives Collection 300.

Documents relating to Little's college education at Wheaton College Graduate School, and his work as an evangelist, teacher, writer, and Evangelical leader. (The collection contains some but relatively little material from his work with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.) Included are correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, course notes from his graduate studies at Wheaton College Graduate School, lecture notes as an associate professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, files on his contribution as assistant director of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, and articles, book manuscript files, and lecture notes for speaking engagements at churches and conferences. A substantial portion of the collection consists of Little's resource files on various world religions. This collection is a valuable compliment to Little's Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship records in Collection 300. The collection also includes several audio tapes of evangelistic messages by others or radio spots to prompt spiritual reflection which Little had gathered, and photographs from the 1973 Urbana Student Missionary Convention, the 1974 Lausanne Congress, and clippings and photographs from Billy Graham's 1957 New York Crusade.


  • Created: 1946-1987
  • Created: Majority of material found in 1954-1975

Conditions Governing Access

The copyright to Paul Little's published works are retained by his wife and children.

The following folder is closed until December 31, 2024: Folder 1-4.

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Paul Eagleson Little

Birth: December 30, 1928, in Philadelphia

Death: July 9, 1975, in an automobile accident


Parents: Robert J. Little and Margaret Eagelson

Marital Status: Married to Marie Huttenlock in 1953

Children: Deborah Ann (1957) and Paul Robert, Jr. (1958)


1950 - BS, Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania

1958 - Wheaton College Graduate School, MA in Biblical Literature

1975 - New York University, PhD candidate


1950-1975 - Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship staff in Illinois (1950-1951) and New York (early 1950s), Director of International Student Ministry and assistant regional secretary for the Rocky Mountain region (1955-1962), Director of South-Central Region (1958-1962), Director of Evangelism (1965-1975), Assistant to the President (1967-1975), launched the Fort Lauderdale beach project, Urbana '67 assistant director, Urbana '70 director.

1964-1975 - Assistant Professor of Evangelism at the School of World Missions at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)

1973-1974 - Loaned to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to serve as Associate Director of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland

Other significant information:

Author of How to Give Away Your Faith (1966, still in print), Know Why You Believe (1967, still in print), and Know What You Believe (1970), booklets Lost Audience (1959) and Affirming the Will of God (1971, still in print), and numerous articles.

Recognized as a conference speaker and teacher

Served on the BGEA's 1957 New York Crusade staff to coordinate witness to college students

Wheaton College, Board of Trustees, 1973-1975


25 Boxes (DC)

3 Audio Tapes

1 Phonograph Record

3 Photograph Files

Language of Materials


Arrangement and Description of Material

[Note: In the Arrangement section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "box 2, Folder 5"]

This collection consists of the record of Paul Little's non-Inter-Varsity activities as a student, professor, Evangelical leader, speaker and author. (The collection contains some but relatively little material from his IVCF sphere of responsibility.) Included are correspondence, Wheaton student course notes, Trinity lecture notes and syllabi, resource files (on evangelism, world religions and students), Lausanne Congress files, book or article files, and notes for speaking engagements. Researchers should see the IVCF records (Collection 300), which contain the bulk of Little's papers telling the IVCF part of his story. In cases where the file dates exceed 1975, they reflect publication after his death. Duplicates were removed from the collection.

The paper records are subdivided into six sub-series:

I. Correspondence

II. Article, book and lecture files

III. Wheaton College Grad School course notes

IV. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School course files

V. Lausanne Congress files

VI. Resource files


Sub-Series I: Correspondence

Arrangement: Alphabetically, including three groups: 1) B-Z in folders 1-2 through 1-23, 2) A-Z in folders 1-24 through 2-18, and 3) Meetings (chronological) in folders 2-22 through 3-32. The only difference between the two correspondence subseries appears to be that the first is predominantly for 1973-1974, while the later comes primarily from late-1974 to 1975.

Date Range: 1959-1975 (bulk 1973-1975)

Volume: 1.2 cubic feet; Boxes: 1-3 (88 folders)

Type of documents: Letters to or from Little, manuscripts and schedules

Correspondents: Figures from Inter-Varsity, Lausanne Congress, Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, pastors, lay leaders, or others more generally in Evangelical circles, but also the World Council of Churches, including: John Alexander, Hudson Armerding, Cliff Barrows, Joe Bayly, Peter Beyerhaus, James Boice, Michael Bourdeaux, Phillip Butler, Michael Cassidy, Emilio Castro, Robert Coleman, Orlando Costas, Jack Dain, Peter Deyneka, Jr., JD Douglas, Samuel Escobar, Leighton Ford, Nigel Goodwin, Billy Graham, John Gration, Michael Griffiths, George Hoffman, Don Hoke, Dave Howard, Kenneth Kantzer, Festo Kivengere, Augustus Marwieh, David McKenna, Victor Nelson, Bruce Nicholls, Warwick Olsen, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Rene Padilla, John Pollock, John Reid, Jerry Schochenmeier, Waldron Scott, Lance Shilton, Bakht Singh, John Stott, Ted Ward, Ben Wati, George Wilson, Stacey Woods.

Notes: Consists of files maintained by Little, most substantially documenting preparation for or follow-up to the 1974 Lausanne Congress (including planning for the Continuation Committee, expressions of thanks for Little's role, and publication of the Congress compendium and Covenant). Also included is routine correspondence with fellow authors, educators, ministers, publishers, and evangelists, with some exchanges on theological and evangelism-related issues; invitations to speaking engagements (and Little's acceptance, decline or follow-up for details); and Little's replies explaining the gospel to inquirers or discussing difficult theological issues. There are also files for some of Little's speaking engagements (1967-1975, some scheduled for 1976); the contents sometimes have no apparent relation to the folder title.

Exceptional items: The correspondence in folder 1-1 includes responses from other educators and mission representatives to Little's question about appropriate reading material for those of other religions to understand the gospel. Information on Inter-Varsity's Ft. Lauderdale beach evangelism project is in folders 2-22,23. Folder 1-1 includes Don Field's memo to IVCF president John Alexander about appealing to reason and experience in an evangelistic message. Related to Wheaton College, see folder 3-7 for the manuscript for Little's "Communicating Missions at a Personal Level on Campus" for the 1973 SFMF (Student Foreign Mission Fellowship) leadership training workshop and folder 3-32 on the College board of trustees' 1974 review of its "statement of responsibilities."


Sub-Series II: Article, book and lecture files

Arrangement: Alphabetical. Articles (folders 4-1 through 5-12), books and booklets (folders 5-13 through 6-12), and lectures (folders 6-13 through 8-29)

Date Range: 1952-1978, 1987 (numerous documents undated but fall within time span)

Volume: 2.0 cubic feet (85 folders); Boxes: 4-8

Type of Documents: Handwritten notes, typed versions with annotations, published versions of articles (primarily in English but in several cases in Spanish, French, German) or lectures Correspondents: Publishers, pastors, colleagues in Inter-Varsity Subjects: Articles centered on Little's passion for spreading the Christian gospel while touching on various related themes such as literature production, temptation, Bible studies, faith, missions and the missionary call, campus ministry, Christian life, resurrection, God's will. Little's lectures cover a similar variety of themes including agnosticism, evangelistic Bible studies, biblical passages, campus outreach, character, Christian home, Christian life, cults, the death of Christ, follow-up, freedom, the generation gap, hell, homosexuality, Jesus Christ, justification, non-Christians, the renewed mind, science, Scripture, the sexual revolution, spirits, tongues, the will of God, world view, etc.

Notes: This series consists of Little's files for various writing and speaking projects he worked on. In most cases Little's articles appear to have been one-time projects, but he also wrote a regular column for Power (folder 4-10) targeted for older teenagers and lessons for The Sunday School Times accompanied by correspondence with its editor, Jim Reapsome. Also in the series are several interviews with Little (see folders 4-11 and 5-2, also in folder 23-7 of the Resources Series), and files associated by Little with the book title for which he is perhaps best known is How to Give Away Your Faith (documented in some cases in what appear to be lecture notes which may have been resource material for the book). Almost all documents in the book and lecture files are handwritten notes. In the cases where the dates extend past mid-1975, articles were published after his death.

Exceptional items: Folder 4-4 includes two manuscripts, the undated "Interpretive Summary" which is annotated "for NYU" where Little was working on his dissertation in 1975, and "How Best to Prepare Men For the Pastoral Ministry." Folder 4-7 includes Little's address "God's Will for Me & World Evangelism" from Urbana '70. Also in this series are published summaries of Little's life and influence gathered in folder 5-9 titled "Obituaries." "Old PR" in folder 5-10 contains newspaper clippings advertizing Little's meetings between 1963 and 1972. Little's lectures at Wheaton College on various occasions can be found in several places in the collection, including folder 6-14. Questions posed to Little by Christians are compiled in folder 7-14; index cards with questions submitted by a more general audience to Little and Billy Graham (perhaps during Graham's 1957 New York Crusade) appear in folder 22-5. Folder 8-12 on homosexuality actually consists of a file Little maintained with his father's (Robert Little, teacher at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, conference ministry Bible teacher, radio pastor on Moody's WMBI radio station) rather than his own replies on the issue.


Sub-Series III: Education course notes (primarily Wheaton College)

Arrangement: Wheaton (Old Testament, New Testament, Theology), other schools

Date Range: 1949-1970

Volume: .7 cubic feet (29 folders); Boxes: 9-10

Type of documents: Syllabi, handwritten notes, graded assignments, papers, and exams

Subjects: Biblical and theological studies

Notes: This series consists primarily of Little's files while a student in Wheaton College Graduate School's Theological Studies department, including his notes, assignments, and resources collected related to the subject of study. Several files relate to courses Little took at Trinity and the Chicago Lutheran Seminary at the beginning of his term on the TEDS faculty. In cases where Little's Wheaton files include material which post-dates his period of study, it appears that he continued to use these files as a resource or filing aid. The courses (professors) Little took which are documented in the collection are:

Old Testament Survey, Bible 501 (Samuel Schultz) Old Testament Introduction, Bible 521 (Samuel Schultz) Old Testament Theology, Bible 743 (Frank Neuberg) Minor Prophets, Bible 535 & 536 (William Shunk) New Testament Introduction, Bible 522 (Steven Barabas) Gospel of John, Bible 637 (Merrill Tenney) Galatians, Bible 329 (Merrill Tenney) New Testament Greek Exegesis, Bible 523 & 524 (Berkley Mikelson) Neo-Orthodoxy, Philosophy 513 (John Luchies) Historical Theology, Theology 661 (John Luchies) Revelation & Inspiration, Theology 671 (Kenneth Kantzer) God & Creation, Theology 672 (Kantzer) Systematic Theology: Ethics, Ecclesiology & Eschatology, Theology 675 Biblical Theology, Theology 744 (Berkley Mikelson)

The two non-Wheaton courses Little later took were Roman Catholic Theology at Chicago Lutheran Seminary (folder 10-8) and Homiletics at TEDS (folder 10-9). One file contains miscellaneous items gathered while Little was a Wheaton student (folder 10-6). Exceptional items: Included is the handwritten draft (folder 10-4) of Little's thesis, "The Nature of the Converted Man in Paul's Epistles." Also included in folder 10-8 is a first-edition 1952 printing of Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Dissertations, the Annual Fraudcaster, a parody of Wheaton College's Broadcaster weekly news sheet in folder 10-6, and in the same file Charles Troutman's 1953 chapel messages.


Sub-Series IV: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School course files

Arrangement: General followed by department & course

Date Range: 1954-1975

Volume: 2.8 cubic feet (130 folders); Boxes: 10-17

Type of documents: Little's lecture notes, syllabi, bibliographies, articles, assignments and exams, resource files (clippings, booklets, articles, etc.), and papers written by his students

Subjects: Evangelism, non-Christian religions, cults and sects

Notes: Although including several files related to Trinity procedures, committees, and faculty duties (folders 10-11 to 11-4), this series, the largest of the collection, primarily documents the courses Little taught at Trinity (TEDS). In many cases, Little maintained multiple files for each class, sometimes under different titles; no attempt was made to systematically remove all overlap between the folders or different classes. Little's resource files for a course often include material produced by the group under consideration as well as a theological or apologetic response to the group' teaching. The courses documented in the order they are arranged include:

Ecumenical Movement & Missions, M826 (folders 11-8 to 14)

Comparative Religions or History of World Religions or Contemporary Living Faiths or Christianity & Non-Christian Religions, M615e or M732 or M811 or M827, including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Animism, Shito, Judaism, Communism, Existentialism, Humanism (folders 11-15 to 12-8)

Cults & Sects, M839 or CH858, including Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity, Theosophy, Sweden-Borgianism, British Israelism & Herbert W. Armstrong, Spiritism, Church of Satan, Rosicrucianism, Scientology, Astrology, Unitarianism, Moral Rearmament, Zen, Bahai, Children of God, Father Divine, I Am, Transcendental Meditation (folders 13-1 to 15-1 including resource files for the groups noted above)

Latin America, M847 (folders 15-2 to 5)

New Testament Survey, NT502 (folders 15-6 to 16-22, with files for each of the New Testament books)

Gospel of Mark, NT617 (folders 16-23 to 42, with file for each chapter)

Group Bible Study & Home Evangelism, NT618 (folder 16-43)

Pastoral Counseling & Personal Evangelism, PT 641 (folder 16-44)

Evangelism Today, PT 711 (folder 17-1)

Evangelism of Youth or Personal & University Evangelism, PT 712 (folders 17-2 to 14)

Evangelism in a Changing Society or Urban Evangelism, PT750 (folder 17-15)

There is occasional fluctuation in the numbers assigned to a given course title by TEDS. Exceptional items: Although files for individual courses often include one or more versions of the syllabus for that class, syllabi for many of Little's courses are compiled in folder 11-6. Folder 11-6 relates to an internship program being coordinated with the Urban Institute for Christian Leadership, with Manuel Ortiz being the primary contact. A samples of the intriguing resource manuscripts Little gathered include "Japanese Faith and the God of the Bible." Also see folder 23-10 for a few additional items among the Resources Series.


Sub-Series V: Lausanne Congress files

Arrangement: Alphabetical Date Range: 1972-1975

Volume: 1.1 cubic feet (38 folders); Boxes: 17-20

Type of Documents: Primarily correspondence with some reports, press releases, news clippings, budgets and financial reports

Correspondents: Jack Dain, Leighton Ford, Billy Graham, Don Hoke, Victor Nelson, Tom Houston, Rene Padilla, Juan Isais, John Stott, Michael Cassidy, and various Evangelical figures offering appreciation or recommendations for the Continuation Committee (including Robert Coleman, Harold Lindsell, Norman Pell, Ben Armstrong, Eugene Bertermann, Bruce Nicholls, Ben Wati, C. Peter Wagner, David Hubbard, Nene Ramientos, etc.).

Notes: The documents in this series primarily concern the post-Congress follow-up and preparation for the first Continuation Committee (for which he served as Executive Secretary) meeting in Mexico City in January 1975, although there is also information on preparation and his contribution leading up to the Congress in mid-1974, for which he served as Assistant Director (reporting to Don Hoke). The most substantive correspondence is with Jack Dain, Leighton Ford, and Don Hoke. Not all the correspondence is with Little, but in many cases is to Leighton Ford or other Congress administrators and copied to Little. Exceptional items: Various individuals who are key Lausanne figures and church leaders around the world were sent a six-item post-Congress questionnaire asking for their recommendations about the purpose of the Continuation Committee, greatest regional needs for evangelization, how the Committee could help address those needs, a proposed name for the Committee, how the Committee should be financed, and agenda items for its Mexico City meeting. Little subdivided the responses he received into six files (folders 18-3 to 7), plus an additional one devoted to "structure" not corresponding to a question (folder 18-9). Letters answering the six questions also appear elsewhere in the series. Also among the highlights in the series are George Hoffmann's "A Response to Lausanne," representing a World Council of Churches perspective (folder 17-17), Stanley Mooneyham's presentation to the Mexico City meeting (folder 18-1), Little's program report (folder 17-17) and "Impressions of Lausanne" (folder 18-2), Continuation Committee member lists (folder 18-13), a file related to John Stott's written commentary to accompany the published Lausanne Covenant, a critique of the Congress in an October 1974 letter (folder 17-17), and Byang Kato's handwritten letter on the priorities for theological education in Africa (folder 17-17).


Series VI: Resource files

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date Range: 1946-1977

Volume: 2.0 cubic feet (71 folders); Boxes: 20-25

Type of documents: Promotional material, minutes, form letters, students' papers, bibliographies, evangelistic materials, handwritten notes and message outlines, articles and manuscripts by assorted authors other than Little. Little's papers also included four audio recordings, perhaps illustrating evangelistic strategies (see Location Record: Audio Tapes)

Subjects: Primarily evangelism and apologetics, touching secondarily the themes of students and student ministry, world religions, Christian organizations, theological issues

Notes: This most diverse series in the collection was largely unfoldered and therefore the least arranged; the processed arrangement has therefore been provided by the archivist. Although these documents don't necessarily directly record Little's thinking on or contribution to evangelism or other themes, they do reflect his concerns and provide those focused on evangelism with both a glimpse into his thinking and interests but a also head start on locating resources from the 1960s and '70s. It remains unclear in which specific context these items were gathered. The folder titles assigned by the archivist were in many cases suggested by Little's titles to other files in his papers. Exceptional items: Highlights among the main themes are:

Evangelism: folder 20-19 on coffeehouse evangelism, folder 21-4 on outreach to the deaf, folder 21-8 on the 1971 European Congress on Evangelism, an "outline of the gospel message" and Michael Green's "Towards a Theology of Evangelism" in folder 21-10, an evangelism resource book for congregations in folder 21-12, In-Depth Evangelism materials in folder 21-13, Key '73 manual in folder 21-14, folder 22-6 on outreach to students, evangelism training materials in folder 22-7, missions in folder 24-1 including the manuscript "Evangelism in the Context of Medical Missions," and John Stott's "Contagious Congregational Evangelism" pamphlet in folder 24-11

Students and campus ministry: folder 20-15 on the Christian World Liberation Front including several issues of CWLF's newspaper Right On, folder 20-18 on Church Society for College Work, folder 21-2 on community colleges, Christian and secular student newspapers (early 1970s) in folder 24-12, folder 24-13 on students, InterVarsity-related items in folders 23-3,4,5 including the "California Idea Book," Little's staff manual, and materials from the 1967, 1970 and 1973 Urbanas, and International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in folder 23-1

World religions: a 1946 article on communism in folder 21-1, folder 23-6 on Islam with several copies of The Bulletin of the Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, Judaism (folder 23-8), Bahai (folder 24-7), Roman Catholicism (folder 24-8) including a reprint of Eternity's "The Virgin Mary Issue," sects and cults in folder 24-9 (especially Hare Krishna), and several copies of Emmaus Furlongs (folder 25-1)

Organizations: Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education to American Mission to Greeks, Campus Crusade for Christ, Evangelical Free Church, Fellowship of Christians in the Arts, MARC, Wheaton College, and Jack Wyrtzen's Word of Life

Theological issues: Watchman Nee in folder 20-18, the ecumenical movement in folder 21-6 and related bibliographic cards in folder 21-7, IFES working papers in folder 23-1 on communism, social injustice and racial discrimination, sexual and family life, and evangelism, folder 24-10 on social action, folder 25-1 with manuscripts Little gathered on assorted themes (the Lordship question, eschatology, the study of Greek, the unconscious, Christian rock and roll, hedonism, history, African religious movements, church structure, discipleship, communication, conversion) and Hans Kung's "Justification and Sanctification According to the New Testament," and folder 25-2 on the charismatic movement, folder 25-4 on women's role in the church, and folder 25-6 on world view

Area studies: Latin America in folder 23-9

Other: Little even gathered material on activities in Chicago, the metropolitan area where he resided (folder 20-14). There are numerous examples of publicity material (folders 24-3,4,5) generated for Little's meetings (1960-1975), including newspaper clippings, brochures, posters, handbills, and event programs in which he is one of the featured speakers. There are also articles or advertisements (folder 24-6) about Little or his publications. Folder 20-12 contains Timothy Smith's "Slavery and Theology: The Emergence of Black Christian Consciousness in America" in the file titled "Black Theology;" also see documentation on interaction with African American Christians and Tom Skinner specifically in folder 5-4. A trace of Little's involvement in Billy Graham's 1957 New York Crusade is reflected in the few documents in folder 20-11 (a more substantive record of his involvement is located in Collection 300); Little also gathered clippings for the crusade, which have been integrated into the Clipping File, Collection 360. Folder 20-16 includes an unattributed and undated "Christmas in China," possibly written or collected by Marie Little when she was a missionary there with China Inland Mission between 1947 and 1951 (see Collection 315, Interview with Marie Little) .Folder 22-1 includes a brief bibliography for young atheists or "dangerous christian books i have read" and The Way. The contents of folder 22-3 is centered on Great Britain's One Step Forward movement. Folder 22-4 has articles and booklets on evangelism. A set of questions submitted to Little and Billy Graham, perhaps during Graham's 1957 New York Crusade comprise the contents of folder 22-5; folder 22-10 contains retyped questions asked by students on various topics at Harvard, Wellesley and the University of Michigan. Little gathered several surveys to be used as part of community or campus outreach (folder 24-14), and F. Roy Coad's Prophetic Developments: with Particular Reference to the Early Brethren Movement is in folder 25-1. Also among the unfoldered material was Little's 1966 international driving permit which includes a photograph of him.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Paul Little in December 1989. Duplicate material or that determined to be outside the scope of the collection was discarded at the donor's request.

Accession 89-97

April 24, 2002

Paul A. Ericksen

J. Dennison

A. Santoso

Collection 426 Papers of Paul E. Little
Paul Ericksen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US