Earle Cairns

Earle Edwin Cairns, Professor of History Emeritus, came to the faculty of Wheaton College in 1943. He served as Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science from 1948-1973 and was Chairman of the Social Science Division, 1969-1974. He taught courses in a wide variety of areas including World History, English History and Modern European History. Church History was of vital concern to him and he pioneered the Church History program in the Wheaton Graduate School. He was named Wheaton's "Teacher of the Year" in 1961 and retired from full-time teaching responsibilities at Wheaton College in 1977. Born in Manitoba, Canada in 1910 with three siblings, he left at age sixteen to attend Western Bible College in Winnipeg, where he later taught from 1931-35. He continued his education in the United States, receiving his A.B. degree from the University of Omaha and a Th.B. from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, concurrently in 1938. He married Helen Purdy in 1939 (JoAn Jordan, 1960s) and received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nebraskain 1939 and 1942. Both his thesis and dissertation dealt with the effect of British colonialism on missions in Africa. He also studied at the University of Wisconsin and taught for a year at the Presbyterian Seminary in Omaha prior to comingto Wheaton College. He was an ordained minister of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and was an active member of the College Church in Wheaton, IL for 40 years. He has several publications: Blue Print for Christian Higher Education (1953); Christianity Through the Centuries (1954); Saints and Society (1960); Christianity in the United States (1960); In the Presence of the King (1972) (official biography of Wheaton College's fourth president, V. Raymond Edman); The Christian in Society (1973); International Dictionary of the Christian Church (1974, American Consulting Editor); God and Man in Time (1979); An Endless Line of Splendor (1986), as well as chapters in other books and numerous articles in Moody Monthly, Christianity Today and United Evangelical Action. Cairns died on May 28, 2008 at age 98.