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Nils Arne Bendtz Papers

Call Number: RG 202

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the life and work of Lutheran theologian and ecumenist N. Arne Bendtz.

Series I, Correspondence is divided into five subseries: Professional / work-related correspondence of Bendtz, Personal correspondence of Bendtz, Family correspondence, Correspondence of others, and Swedish language correspondence. Of most interest in this series are the letters related to Bendtz's work with the National Lutheran Council and when he was stationed in Indonesia.

Series II, Writings, consists primarily of unpublished typescript writings by Bendtz on subjects related to theology and missions, but also includes some writings of others, including "A History of Augustana Foreign Mission" by Dr. Eric Wahlstrom.

Series III, Documentation of Activities, includes printed material, minutes, reports, etc. regarding organizations with which Bendtz was involved.. These materials should be considered in connection with correspondence from the same era.

Series IV, Collected Material, includes materials not specifically associated with Bendtz's work, but which he had collected over the years.

Series V, Personal Items and Memorabilia, includes biographical information and clippings re. Bendtz as well as photographs.


  • 1927-2003 1953-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1953 - 1990


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of N. Arne Bendtz, 2004


  1. I. Correspondence, 1930-1990, n.d.
  2. II. Writings, 1947-1990, n.d
  3. III. Documentation of Activities, 1942-1984, n.d.
  4. IV. Collected Material, 1927-1990
  5. V. Personal Items and Memorabilia, 1931-1991


9 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


This collection documents the life and work of Lutheran theologian and ecumenist Nils Arne Bendtz. Bendtz received his B.D. and Ph.D. from Yale. He served as a missionary in China under the Board of Swedish Missions, with prisoners of war during World War II under the YMCA World's Committee, in Sumatra under the Commission of Younger Churches and Orphaned Missions of the National Lutheran Council, as a professor at Augustana Theological Seminary, as a pastor at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY, and for the Lutheran World Federation.

Biographical / Historical

1914 October 2
Nils Arne Bendtz born in Stockholm, Sweden, son of Nils T. and Emma Bendtz
Attended Inner Mission Bible College and Lutheran Independent Theological Seminary, Oslo, Norway
Attended China Inland Mission College, London
Served as missionary in China under the Swedish Board of Missions
Director of War Prisoners Aid of the World's Committee YMCA in China
General Secretary of Christian Welfare Association among Korean refugees in China
Married Elsa L. Linne
B.D. cum laude from Yale Divinity School
McFadden Fellow at Union Theological Seminary , New York
Served the Batak Church, Sumatra, including as Liaison Office between Lutheran World Federation and Indonesia and Professor of Theology in seminary. Helped to found Nommensen University, the first Lutheran university in Far East.
Ph.D., Yale University - Thesis: "The Meaning of Luther's Doctrine of Forgiveness"
Returned to the U.S. from Indonesia due to health reason, served as guest lecturer at Augustana Theological Seminary, IL
Field representative for Lutheran World Action of National Lutheran Council; visiting across the U.S. and in Colombia and Ecuador
Professor of Systematic Theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, CA
Married Britt M. Friman; one son - Nils Arne Bendtz, Jr.
Pastor of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY
Superintendent, Leif Ericson Day School, Brooklyn, NY
Adjunct Full Professor, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
Director, International Management-Education Foundation, Honolulu, Hawaii
Guide to the Nils Arne Bendtz Papers
Fantasia Thorne and Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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