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HOPEWELL, JAMES F., 1929-1984.
James F. Hopewell papers, 1953-1987.

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rpj5g

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hopewell, James F., 1929-1984.
Title: James F. Hopewell papers, 1953-1987.
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 080
Extent: 23.25 cubic feet (44 boxes)
Abstract:Consists of the papers of James F. Hopewell, Professor of Religion and the Church at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Pitts Theology Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], James F. Hopewell papers, MSS 080, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Cynthia Crouch with assistance from Dr. Barbara G. Wheeler, 1986.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Minister and faculty member of the Candler School of Theology, James Franklin Hopewell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 5, 1929. He married Ruth Yvonne Cecil on July 27, 1951. The Hopewells had three children: James William, Paul Cecil, and Anne Ruth. Dr. Hopewell attended the University of Cincinnati from 1947 to 1951. From 1951 to 1954 he attended the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree, cum laude. In 1958 Hopewell received his doctorate in the History of Religions from the Department of Religion of Columbia University.

Dr. Hopewell is noted for his contributions to the development of theological education in developing countries. In 1954 he was ordained in Liberia to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. He served as Professor of Bible and Comparative Religion at the Cuttington College and Divinity School in Suacoco, Liberia from 1954 to 1960, and as the Dean of the Divinity School and Vice President of Cuttington College from 1958 to 1960. As the Associate Director (1960-1964) and later, as the Director (1964-1970) of the Theological Education Fund Committee of the World Council of Churches, Hopewell traveled extensively, visiting theological faculties in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He also was instrumental in the formation of theological schools in Nigeria, the Malgache Republic, Indonesia, Korea, and numerous other countries.

Before coming to Emory University, Hopewell was Professor of Religion in Contemporary Sub-Saharan African Society at the Hartford Seminary Foundation in Connecticut for two years. In 1972 he received an appointment as Professor of World Religions at Emory University, and in 1974 he became the Director of the Institute for Church Ministries (now the Claudia A. Rollins Center for Church Ministries). Hopewell founded the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Cumming, Georgia, in 1974 with the assistance of lay persons and served as its first vicar. Three years later, he was appointed Professor of Religion and the Church at the Candler School of Theology.

Dr. Hopewell published numerous articles, book reviews, and essays and contributed to several books including "The Jovial Church," in Building Effective Ministry: Theory and Practice in the Local Church, edited by Carl Dudley; "Ghostly and Monstrous Churches," Christian Century (1982); "Protestant Theological Education in Latin America," Lutheran World (1968); and "Mission and Seminary Structure," International Review of Missions (1967). At the time of his death, Dr. Hopewell was working on a book entitled Congregations: Stories and Structures. Dr. Barbara G. Wheeler of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York edited the text, and the book was published posthumously in 1987 by Fortress Press.

After a long struggle with cancer, Dr. Hopewell died in October 1984.

Scope and Content Note

The papers of James F. Hopewell consist of correspondence, subject files, printed materials, rough drafts and reference materials relating to his writings and research projects. Also included are syllabi, notes, and other materials relating to the courses which he taught, and minutes and reports of the Theological Education Fund Committee of the World Council of Churches for 1958-1969 and 1974.

The bulk of the papers relate to his writings, especially his book, Congregations: Their Structures and Stories. These files include bibliographies, notes, outlines, and several drafts of the book. Most of the general correspondence, arranged chronologically from 1976 to 1984, was written to Dr. Hopewell in his capacity as a faculty member of the Candler School of Theology. Correspondence relating to a specific file, such as a class, a professional society, or a review, remains in the pertinent file. Material relating to his classes at Emory University are arranged by the title of the course: History of religions/world religions, Ministry 300, and Sociology of religion, followed by other ministry courses, courses taught at locations other than the Candler School of Theology, and non-credit courses offered at Emory University. Dr. Hopewell's papers include very little personal correspondence or items.

Dr. Barbara G. Wheeler provided invaluable assistance in outlining and clarifying Dr. Hopewell's papers. In most instances, her notes and comments have been retained in the box/folder list and are indicated with her initials bgw. The following outline describes the arrangement of Dr. Hopewell's papers.

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