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Willard Learoyd Sperry Edit Profile


Willard Learoyd Sperry, American theologian. Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1927.


Sperry, Willard Learoyd was born on April 5, 1882 in Peabody, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Willard Gardner and Henrietta (Learoyd) Sperry.


Bachelor of Arts, Olivet (Michigan) College, 1903. Bachelor of Arts, Oxford University, England (Rhodes scholar), 1907 (1st class honor in Theology). Master of Arts, same, 1912.

Master of Arts, Yale, 1909. Doctor of Divinity, Yale, 1922, Amherst, 1923, Brown, 1928, Williams, 1935, Harvard, 1941. Doctor of Literature, Boston University, 1939.


Ordained Congleton ministry, 1908. Assistant pastor 1st Church, Fall River, Massachusetts, 1908-1913, pastor, 1913.

Pastor Central Church, Boston, 1914-1922. Lecturer and professor practical theology, Andover Theological Seminary, 1917-1925. Dean Divinity School, Harvard, professor practical theology, since 1922.

Member of the board of preachers, Harvard, since 1921, Chairman of the Board and Plummer professor Christian Morals, since 1929. Dean of National Council on Religion in Higher Education, 1927-1931. Upton lecturer, Manchester College, Oxford (England), 1927.

Hibbert lecturer in England, 1927. Essex Hall lecturer, London, 1927. Lyman Beecher lecturer, Yale, 1937.

Trustee Vassar College, 1942-1946.


  • Other Work

    • Author: The Disciplines of Liberty, 1921. Reality in Worship, 1925. The Paradox of Religion (Hibbert lectures), 1927.The Divine Reticence, 1927. Signs of These Times, 1929. “Yes, But,” 1931


Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1927. Clubs: Century (New York City).


Married Muriel Bennett, December 15, 1908.

Willard Gardner Sperry

Henrietta (Learoyd) Sperry

Muriel Bennett