Timothy Dwight

1752-1817. Congregational theologian and educator. Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, he graduated from Yale and taught for some years before ordination as a Congregational pastor in Fairfield, Connecticut (1783-95). There he became famous as an educator, endeavored to establish an American literary tradition in poetry, and was a recognized leader in Connecticut Congregationalism. The College of New Jersey and Harvard both conferred honorary doctorates on him. From 1795 until his death he was president and professor of divinity at Yale, reforming administration and curriculum and tripling enrollment. A religious revival took place under his preaching, which by 1802 converted a third of the students. His chapel sermons, constituting a moderately Calvinistic or Edwardsean system of theology, were posthumously published as Theology, Explained and Defended (five vols., 1818-19). He was a leading conservative force in New England and exerted powerful influence in the Second Great Awakening.*