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Charles W. Ranson Papers

Call Number: RG 96

Scope and Contents

These papers document Ranson's work for ecumenical mission organizations, his work as a theological educator and administrator, and his latter years in a Congregational pastorate. Printed materials and correspondence with individuals such as John R. Mott and John Mackay shed light on the operations and development of the ecumenical missions enterprise, particularly the International Missionary Council and the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches.

The correspondence of Series I is divided into three subsections, reflecting Ranson's system of filing. The Alphabetical Sequence primarily covers the years up to 1967 while the Chronological Sequence covers the years from 1967 to 1979. A Topical Sequence primarily relates to Ranson's speaking and writing engagements. Correspondence related to Ranson's address to the World Council of Churches meeting in Evanston in 1954 has been filed with that address in Series II, Writings. A significant portion of Ranson's professional correspondence is contained in Series V, Organizations Served, particularly in the files for Drew University, the Hartford Seminary Foundation, the Irish Methodist Church, and the Theological Education Fund.

The Writings of Series II are divided into two sections: Articles and Lectures/Sermons. These writings include both published and unpublished material. They are complemented by the Travel Diaries and Notes of Series III, which primarily relate to Ranson's work with the International Missionary Council, and the Notes of Series IV, which primarily relate to his work as a professor.

Series V, Organizations Served, contains a great deal of valuable documentation about the operations and policy of the church and educational organizations that Ranson led. The Yale Divinity Library holds complementary archival material for many of the missions and ecumenical organization with which Ranson was involved.


  • 1938-1979


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Ranson family.


  1. I. Correspondence, 1940-1979, undated
  2. II. Writings, 1938-1979, undated
  3. III. Travel Diaries / Notes, 1946-1960, undated
  4. IV. Notes, undated
  5. V. Organizations Served, 1947-1979, undated
  6. VI. Biographical Documentation, 1945-1977, undated
  7. VII. Collected Material, 1949-1969, undated


9 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


This record group documents Ranson's mission and ecumenical work, particularly providing insight on the development and operations of the International Missionary Council and Theological Education Fund. His work as a theological educator and administrator, and his latter years in a Congregational pastorate are also documented. Ranson served as an Irish Methodist missionary in South India, General Secretary of the International Missionary Council, Director of the Theological Education Fund and Dean of the Drew University Theological School.

Biographical / Historical

1903 June 15
Born in Ballyclure, Northern Ireland, son of the Rev. Henry John Fredrick and Elizabeth (Clarke) Ranson.
Educated at Queens University and Edgehill Theological College, Belfast, and Oriel College, Oxford.
Ordained to ministry of Methodist Church in Ireland.
Missionary, Chennai (Madras), South India; chaplain to the Viceroy and Governor General of India.
Married Jessie Grace Margaret Gibb (d. 1957). Children: Mary Elizabeth, John Hugh, Kathleen Anne.
Published A City in Transition
Published The Things that Abide
Secretary, National Christian Council of India, Burma, and Ceylon
Published The Christian Minister in India
Research Secretary, International Missionary Council, London
General Secretary, International Missionary Council
D.Th, University of Kiel, Germany
Published That the World May Know
Director, Theological Education Fund
President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
Married Barbara B. Hicks
Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Drew University Theological School
1963-1967 Jan
Dean, Drew Theological School
Professor of Theology and Ecumenics, Hartford Seminary Foundation
Pastor, Congregational Church, Salisbury, CT

Processing Information

Place names were modernized in the description, with the name originally used in the collection material or in an older version of the finding aid in parenthesis: e.g. “Beijing (Peking)” or “Benin (Dahomey)”.

Guide to the Charles W. Ranson Papers
Compiled by Laura C. Wood 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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