C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical Rediscovery of the University

by A. Donald MacLeod

C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical Rediscovery of the University
paperback
  • Length: 283 pages
  • Published: May 2007
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3432-7
  • Item Code: 3432
  • Case Quantity: 36

  • The Word Guild 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Awards winner

C. Stacey Woods was a moving force in mid-century American evangelicalism. The Australian-born, Brethren-bred Woods came to Canada to head InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the age of 24. He went on to become as well the first general secretary of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the United States. He started the influential student magazine HIS in the early 1940s and was instrumental in the founding of the worldwide umbrella organization of indigenous student movements--the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. His global vision inspired many of the most outstanding Christian leaders of the 1960s and 1970s from around the world.

He was a brusque, outspoken entrepreneur whose whirlwind style achieved much but was not always suited to administration. A man of great strengths and weaknesses, perhaps his most striking achievement was challenging the anti-intellectualism of conservative American Christianity, encouraging an active engagement with the university. He confronted a fundamentalism that had abandoned to liberalism the very educational institutions its forebears had founded. Woods turned this approach on its head, encouraging active engagement with the students and faculty of the university as well as with the institution itself.

This story is an important chapter in understanding the ways evangelicalism has interacted with culture in North America and around the world.

"Stacey Woods was the individual who did the most to make InterVarsity Christian Fellowship a leading campus ministry in North America in the mid-twentieth century. In many ways the balance of its emphases on piety, a solid theological core, evangelism and missions reflected his own character. Donald MacLeod presents a well-researched, engaging, sympathetic and honest account of Woods's lifework in InterVarsity and as secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students."

George Marsden, author of The Soul of the American University

"One of the most important events in the life of the church since World War II has been the evangelical rediscovery of the university. Generations of students at secular universities have heard the gospel for the first time or had their faith strengthened and deepened through the dedicated efforts of ministries such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. An ideal way to tell this important story is through the life and ministry of a dynamic, pioneering figure at the center of it all, C. Stacey Woods. Professor Donald MacLeod was not only on the scene himself for part of this story, but he is also one of the greatest evangelical biographers working today. He has given us a well-researched, insightful study that is full of both grace and truth."

Timothy Larsen, McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

This book is really about leadership as we get the opportunity to look at the life of one of the most dynamic leaders the Canadian Christian church has ever seen.

Presbyterian History Newsletter, Canada, May 2008

MacLeod has put us in his debt with this illuminating volume.

Kenneth J. Stewart in Westminster Theological Journal, Fall 2007
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CONTENTS

Abbreviations
Preface
Introduction

1. Bendigo Brethren Boyhood
2. Australian Adolescence
3. Dallas Dynamic
4. Canadian Challenge
5. A League Beleaguered
6. Expansion South
7. To the Whole World
8. Unprecedented Growth
9. Articulate Author
10. A Dark Space
11. International Inspiration
12. Mid-decade Malaise
13. American Farewell
14. Global Challenges
15. Mittersill Momentum
16. Canadian Crisis
17. Final Farewells
18. Retirement Rites
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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A. Donald MacLeod (DD, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Harvard Graduate School and has served Presbyterian churches in Canada and Boston. He is currently research professor of church history at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Toronto. He has been president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and from 1975 to 1980 was general director of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. He is the author of W. Stanford Reid: An Evangelical Calvinist in the Academy.

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