James Petigru Boyce

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James Petigru Boyce
Born 1827
Died 1888
Nationality American
Education Brown University
Princeton Theological Seminary
Occupation Preacher, author, seminary president and professor

James Petigru Boyce (1827–1888) served as a Southern Baptist pastor, theologian, author, seminary professor, and founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Early life[edit]

James Petigru Boyce was born in 1827. He was educated at Brown University under Francis Wayland, whose evangelical sermons contributed to Boyce's conversion, and at Princeton Theological Seminary under Charles Hodge who led Boyce to appreciate Calvinistic theology.


Boyce became a pastor, then a university professor, and finally the founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he taught theology from 1859 until his death in 1888. Throughout his ministry, Boyce insisted on the importance of theological education for all ministers. In a preface, he described his Abstract of Systematic Theology, published the year before his death, as follows: "This volume is published the rather as a practical text book, for the study of the system of doctrine taught in the Word of God, than as a contribution to theological science."


Boyce died in 1888.


  • Nettles, Tom J. James Petigru Boyce: a Southern Baptist Statesman. Phillipsburg, N.J: P & R Publishing, 2009.
  • Nettles, Tom J., and James P. Boyce. Stray Recollections, Short Articles and Public Orations of James P. Boyce. Cape Coral, Fla: Founders Press, 2009.
  • Wills, Gregory A. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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