Protestants: Successful Misunderstanding

In 1926, the young Presbyterian minister Henry Pitney Van Dusen wrote a congratulatory letter to his friend and mentor, Henry Sloane Coffin, newly elected president of Manhattan's Union Theological Seminary. In it, Van Dusen, a recent past president of Union's student body, innocently offered his assistance to Coffin in any matter concerning the students. Although Van Dusen had no thoughts of an academic career, Coffin with mistaken shrewdness concluded that the young cleric was fishing for a job. Later, Coffin wrote Van Dusen, urging him to take an instructorship at Union, and...

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