Bibliography of the
Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching

Yale Divinity School
New Haven, Connecticut


The Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching at Yale Divinity School was established April 12, 1871 by a gift of ten thousand dollars from Henry W. Sage, esq. in memory of Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), a member of the Yale College class of 1797. Beecher was a Presbyterian and Congregationalist minister who held pastorates in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, Litchfield, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts. He was also the first President of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio and served the Second Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati for ten years.

Henry W. Sage, the donor of funds for the establishment of the lectureship, was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church of Brooklyn, N.Y., where Henry Ward Beecher, son of Lyman Beecher, was pastor for forty years. Sage was a prosperous businessman and one of the chief benefactors of Cornell University, where he served on the Board of Trustees.

In accordance with the wishes of Mr. Sage, his gift to Yale was devoted by the Yale Corporation to the establishment of a foundation to be designated as, "The Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching" to be filled from time to time, upon appointment of the Corporation, by a minister of the Gospel, of any evangelical denomination who has been markedly successful in the special work of the Christian ministry. With the authorization of the donor, the Corporation voted in May, 1882, "that henceforth the Lyman Beecher lecturer shall be invited to lecture on a branch of pastoral theology or in any other topic appropriate to the work of the Christian ministry." In December 1893, the donor authorized the Corporation, "if at any time they should deem it desirable to do so, to appoint a layman instead of a minister to deliver the course of lectures on the Lyman Beecher Foundation."

Biographical sketches of each lecturer and analysis of the lectures from 1871 to 1951 are found in the The Royalty of the Pulpit by Edgar Dewitt Jones (N.Y., Harper, 1951, WQ4/J714r). A study of the Lyman Beecher Lectures from the perspective of homiletics is available in The Heart of the Yale Lectures by Batsell B. Baxter (N.Y., Macmillan, 1947, WQ4/B333h).

In the Divinity School Library collection, many of the Lyman Beecher Lectures published before 1970 have call numbers beginning with WQ4 and a second line consisting of the year in which the lectures were given. Since about 1970, the published lectures have been classified separately in the Library Congress system. Lectures which have not been published are so indicated in this bibliography.

* = Available on cassette tape or CD: pre-1993-1994 from the Divinity Library; otherwise, available from the Yale Divinity School Bookstore. The price is $12 for each individual lecture on cassette or CD, $32 for a full set. Contact the Divinity Library to check availability by email or telephone (203-432-5289). To check what is available at the YDS Book Store either call (203) 432-6101 or go to the web page.

* = Available on cassette tape or CD: pre-1993-1994 from Divinity Library (203) 432-5289, thereafter from YDS Book Store (203) 432-6101 (

Beecher lectures from 2005-2009 may also be viewed online at Yale Divinity School: Webcasts.

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File last modified 3/2/11