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Philip C. Landers Papers

Call Number: RG 191

Scope and Contents

This collection contains valuable documentation of the life and work of a layperson who worked for state and national interdenominational organizations and was instrumental in establishing the University of Life religious education program. The documentation in this collection related to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible complements the archives of the Standard Bible Committee found in Yale Divinity School Library Record Group No. 70.

Series I, Correspondence, contains letters to and from Philip C. Landers during the course of his career. Series II and III relate to programs that were central to Landers' work - the University of Life and the introduction of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Series IV contains printed material related to various organizations with which Landers was involved. Series V contains detailed biographical information about Landers and his family.


  • 1913-1972


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Laurence G. Landers, 1995.


  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Related to University of Life
  3. III. Related to Revised Standard Version of the Bible
  4. IV. Collected Material
  5. V. Biographical Information


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, writings, collected materials, and biographical material document the life and work of Philip C. Landers. Landers and his wife, Ethna, both pursued careers in Christian education. Landers was a founder of the "University of Life" movement in Minnesota. He later worked for the International Council of Religious Education in Chicago, which merged into the National Council of Churches, based in New York. He coordinated the nationwide introduction and interpretation of the new Revised Standard Version of the Bible in the early 1950s.

Biographical / Historical

1897 January28
Philip Corliss Landers born in Middletown, MA, second son of the Reverend and Mrs. Warren Prince Landers
Following graduation from high school in Brockton, MA worked for shoe company and for Massachusetts Total Abstinence Society
Served in U.S. Army
Worked for Prudential Life Insurance Company in Brockton
Attended Boston University School of Religious Education for undergraduate and graduate degrees; served as Director of Religious Education in area church
Married Ethna V. Jones, who also graduated from the Boston University School of Religious Education and remained active as a Director of Christian Education in various churches throughout her husband's career.
Served as Director of Christian Education at Trinity Methodist Church in Springfield, MA
On staff of Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN. Began the University of Life program.
PCL began work for Minnesota Council of Religious Education (later Council of Churches). Set up interdenominational Leadership Training Schools across the state and interdenominational Universities of Life. Started the Faribault Summer School of Christian Education.
Director of The Laymen's Crusade for Christian Education and Director of Public Relations for the International Council of Religious Education in Chicago. Became Associate General Secretary in 1946.
ICRE merged with seven other national interdenominational organizations to form the National Council of Churches in 1950. PCL one of three Administrative Secretaries of the NCC, based at Interchurch Center in New York, overseeing Treasury Office, Publications Office, Personnel Office, Business Office, and Fund Raising.
Received honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN
Coordinated the nationwide introduction of the new Revised Standard Version of the Bible
Retired to Minnesota, with winter home in Brownsville,TX; provided volunteer service to Walker Community Church and Union Congregational Church in Hackensack, MN.
Guide to the Philip C. Landers Papers
Compiled by Kathryn I. Lund and Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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