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Collection 628 Papers of Carl F. H. Henry

Identifier: CN 628

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reports, notes, minutes, and manuscripts related to theologian and author Carl Henry, documenting his work with the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, but which also touch on a few other aspects of his life, including his association with Wheaton College and with the magazine Christianity Today.


  • Created: 1925-1984

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Carl Ferdinand Howard Henry

Birth: January 22, 1913, in New York City

Death: December 7, 2003 in Watertown, Wisconsin, USA


Parents: Karl and Johanna (Vaethroeder) Henry

Siblings: Eleanor, Isabella and Johanna

Marital Status: Married Helga Irmgard Bender August 17, 1940, at the chapel of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Children: Paul Brentwood, Carol Jennifer

Conversion: At the age of 20 through conversation with acquaintance Gene Bedford

Ordination: By the Council of Baptist Churches of the Chicago Baptist Association on January 19, 1941


1929 - Graduated from Islip High School in Islip, New York, USA

1935-1938 - Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA; graduated with B.A.

1939-1940 - Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA; M.A. in theology

1940-1941 - Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, USA; B.D.

1941-1942 - Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, USA; Th.D.

194?-1949 - Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Ph.D. in philosophy


1929-1933 - Started as proofreader at the Smithtown Star newspaper in Nassau County, New York, USA; eventually became editor. He also worked at various times as a stringer for the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, and Chicago Tribune.

1938-1947 - Taught theology for brief periods at Wheaton College during these years

1940-1942 - Assistant professor of theology at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary

1942-1947 - Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary

1947 - Acting Dean of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA

1947-1956 - Professor of Theology and Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA

1947 - Published The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism

1948 - Published Remaking the Modern Mind

1948-1956 - Co-chairman of the annual Sunrise Easter Service at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, USA

1952-1953-  Daily radio program, Let the Chips Fall, station KPOL, Los Angeles, California, USA

1956-1970 - Member of the Board of Administration of the National Association of Evangelicals. He had been associated with the NAE in one way or another from its founding in 1943.

1956-1968 - With L. Nelson Bell and Billy Graham helped plan Christianity Today; served as the magazine's first editor

1957-1969 - Editor of the Contemporary Evangelical Thought series

1957 - Published Christian Personal Ethics

1966 - Chairman and one of the chief planners with Billy Graham of the World Congress on Evangelism, which met in Berlin, Germany

1967 - With Billy Graham convened the meeting of church leaders that resulted in the Key ‘73 national evangelistic effort

1967-1970 - President of the Evangelical Theological Society

March 1967 - Incorporation of the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies (IFACS). Henry was one of the founders and a member of the first board of directors

1969-1974 - Professor of Theology, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1971 - Program chairman of the Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy

1971-1974 - President of IFACS

1973 - Editor of Baker's Dictionary of Christian Ethics

1974-1987 - Theologian-at-large, World Vision International

1976-1983 - Published God, Revelation, and Authority in six volumes

1976-1979 - Member of the board of directors of IFACS

1979-1980 - President of the American Theological Society

1981-1985 - Member of the board of directors of IFACS

1986 - Published Confessions of a Theologian: An Autobiography

1987 - Carl F. H. Henry Study and Resource Center was established in his name, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA

Other significant information:

Visiting professor or special lecturer at many universities and seminaries around the world (including Asian Center for Theological Studies and Missions, Bethel Theological Seminary, Christian Theological Seminary, Columbia Bible College, Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary, Gordon Divinity School, Hillsdale College, Hong Kong Baptist College, Latin American Theological Seminary, Soong Sil University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Winona Lake Summer School of Theology) and author of many articles and more than twenty-five books

1963 - Honorary Litt. D. Degree from Seattle Pacific College

1966 - Freedoms Foundation Medal

1968 - D. Letters, Wheaton College

1971 - Distinguished Social Service Award, Wheaton College Alumni Association

1973 - L.H.D., Houghton College

1975 - Religious Heritage of America Foundation award in America

1979 - Northwestern College, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

1984 - LL.D., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

1990 - National Association of Evangelicals: J. Elwin Wright Award

1992 - Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Distinguished Service Award

1993 - Religious Heritage of America Foundation, gold award for fifty years of spiritual and moral leadership


1.30 Cubic Feet (3 Boxes (DC), Oversize Materials, Photographs)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation “folder 2-5" means “Box 2, Folder 5"]

Series: Oversize Materials

The following items are in the OVERSIZE FILE. Request by collection number and folder location (in parentheses).

CERTIFICATES (OS 28). Henry graduation certificates from the Grammar Department of Central Islip (New York state) Public School (1925) and from Islip High School (1929). Both certificates are black and white and signed by the board of education and the principal.


Series: Photographs

The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

GRAHAM, RUTH BELL. Ruth Bell with Harold Lindsell at a Wheaton College banquet. Picture was used in the 1939 Wheaton yearbook. Circa 1939. 1 b&w.

HENRY, CARL. Portrait photos, including the photo used in Wheaton College yearbook; shots of Henry with V. Raymond Edman and the yearbook staff; 1937-1945. 8 b&w.

HENRY, HELGA (BENDER) . Portrait photo. Undated. 1 b&w.

IRONSIDE, HARRY. Closeup of Ironside preaching at Wheaton College. Circa1939. Picture was used in the 1939 yearbook. 1 b&w. SAULNIER, HARRY. Saulnier by himself holding a book, probably a Bible; Sauliner with Carl Henry, who is giving him a copy of his book, The Pacific Garden Mission. Both pictures are badly faded. Circa 1942. 2 b&w.


Series: Paper Records (Box List)

Arrangement: Alphabetical by title; titles are based on those on the original folders

Date Range: 1925-1984

Volume: 1.2 cubic feet, 3 boxes

Geographic Coverage: United States

Type of Documents: Correspondence, reports, memos, manuscripts of articles, grant applications, minutes of meetings

Correspondents: Robert Clouse, Edward Coray, V. Raymond Edman, Paul Ericksen, Herman Fischer, Robert Frykenberg, Frank Gaebelein, Wayne Grudem, Carl Henry, Helga Henry, Paul Hiebert, Arthur Holmes, Calvin Linton, Ruth E. Eckert McComb, Ronald H. Nash, Richard Pierard, John W. Snyder, Merrill Tenney, Marlin J. Van Eldern, Keith Yandell

Subjects: Henry’s early years, the beginnings of his career as theologian and teacher of theologians, his involvement in IFACS (Institute for Advanced Christian Studies), developments in Evangelical Protestant theology in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s

Notes: This collection consists of a few files sent to the BGC Archives by Henry and in no way represents his full range of thought, interests or activities. The materials are concerned mostly with his leadership in the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, encouraging theological studies from an Evangelical Protestant perspective relating Christian faith to contemporary problems and current scholarly thought. But there is also some materials about his involvement with Wheaton College as a student, alumnus, and teacher and a very items from other aspects of his life. All of the materials have been refiled into new, archival folders; where the original manila folders had notes scribbled on them by Henry, the original folders are also in the new file.

Exceptional items:

Henry’s certificate of membership in the First Baptist Church of Babylon (New York) is in folder 1-2; his transcript from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary is in folder 3-8; his ordination certificate as a minister is in folder 3-5; an invitation to the Henrys’ wedding is in folder 3-9.

There are a few personal letters in folder 3-6, mostly relating to the settlement of his mother’s estate, but there is also one from his wife Helga.

Folder 1-1 contains a list of possible contributing editors to the new magazine Christianity Today, with a few notes by Henry.

Folder 3-12 contains the program of Wheaton College’s 1939 commencement (it mentions Henry, but his actual graduating class was the previous year); folder 3-11 contains the Bulletin of Wheaton College for December 1938, with a description by Henry of the weekly College prayer meeting. There are also some photos of Henry as editor of the 1939 yearbook, described in the photo Location Record in this descriptive guide. His active involvement in the alumni association for a number of years after his graduation is documented in folder 3-10, mostly in documents materials from 1946-1947, when he served as president of the association. This folder also contains the typescript of an address, “The Idea of a Christian College,” which was apparently given by college president V. Raymond Edman to a faculty retreat under a slightly different title. Henry may have assisted in the preparation of the talk and his own response can be found in the November 1946 Faculty Bulletin in folder 3-14. Other materials in folder 3-10 are concerned with fund raising and construction efforts of the college in immediate post World War II era. There is a 1947 booklet consisting of messages from the class of ‘38 with many members including Henry describing their current activities. The folder also has some issues of the alumni magazine for 1945-1946, showing the impact of the war and is endings on the college.

Folders 3-14, 3-15, 3-16 and 3-18 document Henry’s brief stint of teaching theology at the college in 1946-1947 and there are several documents, such a faculty handbook, that illustrate the school’s academic and intellectual life at that time and its administrative policies.

Folder 3-18 has a brief paper Henry wrote on the theology of Emil Brunner.

The vast majority of the documents in this collection relate to Henry’ service on the board of IFACS in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Henry had been instrumental in founding the institute a decade earlier, but there is nothing in these files about that period, except for a ten- year history written by Ruth E. Eckert in folder 3-3. The institute was intended to encourage Evangelical Protestant scholars to apply their knowledge to contemporary thought and problems. This was done by grants for promising projects, and sponsoring relevant conferences and publications. The IFACS minutes, correspondence, reports and applications in boxes 1 through 3 illustrate Henry’s involvement in the work, and particularly his concern for a series of books by Evangelical scholars in different fields that would develop a Christian world view (see especially folder 2-5). Discussion of particular books and projects in the various documents often contain Henry’s comments on particular points of Christian doctrine. Folder 2-4 contains a handwritten draft of an article entitled, “Some Reflections on a Christian Lifestyle,” possibly by Henry. A good overview of IFACS activities and interests can be gotten by looking at the two IFACS Bulletins in folder 1-4.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Carl Henry in 1981 and 1987.

Accession 81-9, 87-13, 87-164

January 2, 2008

Bob Shuster

K. Haywood

Collection 628 Papers of Carl F. H. Henry
Bob Shuster
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