Reinhold Niebuhr

His Life


††††††††† Reinhold Niebuhr was born on June 21, 1892 in Wright City, Missouri.His parents, the Reverend Gustav Niebuhr and Lydia were immigrants from Germany.They pastored in a German-speaking congregation composed of both Lutherans and Reform traditionalists.The Niebuhrsí had four children: Helmut Richard, Hulda, Walter, and Hubert.Helmut Richard became a theologian, making many contributions to the realm of religious thought.Hulda taught and wrote for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago[1].

††††††††† Religion and free thought were important in the Niebuhr household.The children were given love and guidance to aide them on their way to success.The importance religion held in his family helped guide Reinhold into the ministry.He attended the Evangelical Synodís Elmhurst College in the Suburbs of Chicago.Then he went to Eden theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri.He eventually attended Yale University, where he received both his Bachelorís Degree and his Masterís Degree.He took a pastoral position in a small Detroit Church that would change his life dramatically[2].


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Sara Manning created this web page.It was last updated April 15, 2001.Please email any questions to


[1]Fackre, Gabriel, The Promise of Reinhold Niebuhr, J.B. Lippincott Company: Philadelphia, 1970, 15.

[2] Ibid.