In 1800 he entered the University of Copenhagen, from which he graduated in 1803 as a bachelor of theology.
In his Nordens Mythologi ("The Mythology of the North") he indicated an interest, continued in Optrin af Kampelivets Undergang i Nord (1809 - 1811) ("Episodes from the Downfall of the Northern Heroic Life").
In 1810 Grundtvig preached his first official sermon, entitled "Why Has the Word of God Disappeared from His House?"
- a sharp attack on the prevailing rationalism, and one which brought him a stern reprimand from the authorities of the state church.
Briefly filling various pulpits in the vicinity of Copenhagen, Grundtvig became increasingly defiant of the state-church authorities, and finally was denied access to all pulpits, chiefly because of a lecture, Om Polemik og Tolerance (1814) ("On Polemics and Tolerance").
He then devoted himself exclusively to writing, which he had resumed when he published Kort Begreb af Verdens KrønikeKronike (1812) ("Brief View of the History of the World"), an attempt to prove the central position of Christ in world history. During the period between 1818 and 1822 Grundtvig translated into Danish Saxo's chronicle of Denmark, Gesta Danorum, and Snorri Sturluson's corresponding work of early Norwegian history.
He reverted from time to time to his attacks on rationalism in religion, notably in Kirkens Genmale (1825) ("The Reply of the Church"), which castigated Professor H. N. Clausen so bitterly that Clausen promptly sued Grundtvig for libel.
Grundtvig was fined, and his writings were subjected to censorship--an order which remained in effect until 1838.
Grundtvig engrossed himself in the study of the Bible and theological works and finally announced that he had made a unique discovery, namely, that Christianity was based on the "living word" of the Apostolic Creed rather than on the Bible.
In 1832 he was given permission to preach at certain evening services, and seven years later he became the pastor of the free church Vartov congregation in Copenhagen, where he remained until his death, receiving in 1861 the title of nominal bishop. From all over Denmark people came to hear him preach. In the meantime he took the initiative in establishing the Danish folk high schools as a protest against academic aridity.
The influence of these schools on the rural population of Denmark was immeasurable, and they early acquired an international reputation.
In 1837 Grundtvig issued the first volume of his Sangvark for den danske Kirke ("Collection of Songs for the Danish Church"), containing about one thousand of his own hymns.
He died September 2, 1872, the day after he had preached his last Vartov sermon.
(7" X 4.2" 24 page pamphlet)
Grundtvig was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year. His first wife was Elisabeth Blicher (1787–1851). They were married in 1818 and had three children. His second wife was Marie Toft (1813–54). She died a few months after giving birth to a son. In 1858, he married Asta Reedtz (1826-1890).