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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 688

Guiles, Austin Philip. Papers,


Papers of Austin Philip Guiles includes biographical material, writings, teaching materials, correspondence, institutional records, and case files. The records cover 1920-1953.


  • 1920-1953.


The case files in box 8 are restricted for 80 years from the date of their creation. No reproduction of these files is permitted. Please contact the curator for further information.


8 boxes

Biographical / Historical

Austin Philip Guiles (1894-1953) was born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Princeton University in 1921, received his MA from Columbia in 1923, his BD from Union Theological Seminary in 1925, and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1934. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1924 and became a Congregationalist in 1939. He married Louise Earhart in 1925, and served as pastor of Union Church, Palisade, New Jersey, from 1925 to 1927. In 1928 he began training for pastoral work with emotionally disturbed persons under the direction of Anton T. Boisen at Worcester State Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. Guiles was a key figure in the foundation of the Council for the Clinical Training of Theological Students in 1930, securing necessary funding for it through his father-in-law's Earhart Foundation. He appointed Helen Flanders Dunbar as executive director of this organization, and in 1932 Guiles withdrew from this council and started his own organization, the New England Group. This organization spawned the New England Theological Schools Committee on Clinical Training (1938) and the Institute for Pastoral Care (1944). These organizations were the major vehicles for the clinical pastoral education movement in New England, and Guiles was a key figure in creating and guiding them through their formative years. He was one of the first to employ the case study teaching method, which was based on the interaction between a student counselor and a patient within a hospital setting. This method was intended to help a counselor develop a "clinical theology" which could be empirically derived from clinical experience. This method is now standard in pastoral care and counseling training. In 1931 Guiles was appointed to the faculty of Andover Newton Theological School, becoming the first clinically trained person appointed to a theological faculty. Promoted to Smith Professor of Pastoral Psychology in 1934, Guiles devoted the rest of his career to the vision of integrating clinical studies into the core of the theological curriculum and developing clinical training programs for pastors throughout New England.

—from American National Biography Online, 2007


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal material
  2. Series II. Writings
  3. Series III. Teaching materials
  4. Series IV. Correspondence
  5. Series V. Earhardt Foundation
  6. Series VI. Institutional records
  7. Series VII. Case files

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marion Schmidt, daughter of Austin Philip Guiles, 2005.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 690, the papers of John M. Billinsky and bMS 542, the records of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.

General note

The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number.

Guiles, Austin Philip. Papers, 1920-1953: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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