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Robert K. Greenleaf Papers

Call Number: RG 287

Scope and Contents

The collection includes autobiographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, and memorabilia.


  • 1927 - 1991




Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Andover Newton Theological School Collection, 2017


Series I. Journal and Autobiographical Material

Series II. Correspondence

Series III. Subject Files

Series IV. Unpublished Literary Manuscripts

Series V. Publications

Series VI. Memorabilia


8 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection documents Greenleaf's professional life, including as founder of the Servant Leadership movement and of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, which was first known as the Center for Applied Ethics.

Biographical / Historical

Greenleaf was born in 1904 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He attended Rose Polytechnic (an engineering school) in Terre Haute for several years, then transferred to Carleton College in Minnesota. He graduated as a math major in 1926 and took a job with AT and T (telephone company). During his 38-year career with the company he served as Director of Management Development, originator of the world’s first corporate assessment center, promotion of the first females and blacks to non-menial positions, a program to expose up-and-coming leaders to the humanities, even bringing in famous theologians and psychologists to speak about the wider implications of corporate decisions.

Greenleaf retired in 1964 and began his second career as a writer, consultant, and teacher. His seminal essay "The Servant as Leader" was published in 1970. In 1976, Paulist Press published a book of his essays titled "Servant Leadership." He died in 1990.
Guide to the Robert K. Greenleaf Papers
Andover Newton Theological School and Yale Divinity School Library staff

Repository Details

Part of the Yale University Divinity School Library Repository

409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301