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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 690

Billinsky, John Milton. Papers,


Papers of John Milton Billinsky, an important figure in the clinical pastoral education movement. The papers include writings, correspondence, biographical and personal information and the papers of Anton T. Boisen. They span 1923-1983.


  • Creation: 1923-1983.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


1 collection (4 linear feet (4 boxes))

This collection includes biographical material; published and unpublished writings by Billinsky and others; correspondence of both a personal and professional nature; institutional materials that represent conferences or committees which Billinksy was affiliated with; and some correspondence and writings of Anton T. Boisen, who is considered to be the pioneer founder of the clinical pastoral education movement. The institutional materials include records pertaining to the formation and early years of the Council for the Clinical Training of Theological Students (which later developed into the Council for Clinical Training), the Institute of Pastoral Care (IPC), and the merger process between the two. This merger process is outlined in the papers of the Committee of Twelve, a council of board members of both the CCT and the IPC, of which Billinsky was a prominent member. Also of interest are the records of the Clinical Experience for Students of New England Theological Schools, which was developed by A. Philip Guiles and would evolve into the New England Group. The final series consists of papers of Anton T. Boisen, probably acquired by Billinsky through his association with Guiles at Andover Newton Theological School. The bulk of this series consists of correspondence, both personal and professional, as well as photographs of Boisen with colleagues, a commission from the Massachusetts Home Missionary Society, and materials pertaining to Boisen's memorial service.

Biographical / Historical

John Milton Billinsky (1916-1984) was an important figure in the development of the clinical pastoral education movement. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Hartford School of Education in 1939, received his BD from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1942, and his EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1952. He married Elizabeth French, and served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1944 at Old South Church in Boston and was named chief of chaplains of Boston City Hospital that same year. He was Professor of Psychology and Clinical Studies at Andover Newton Theological School from 1945 until his retirement in 1981, and was named to the Guiles Chair following A. Philip Guiles's retirement in 1952.


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal material
  2. Series II. Writings by Billinsky
  3. Series III. Writings by others
  4. Series IV. Correspondence
  5. Series V. Institutional affiliations
  6. Series VI. Anton T. Boisen papers

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Billinsky (John M. Billinsky's son), 2005.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 688, the papers of Austin Philip Guiles, 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.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Robert W. Swartz in 2007.

Billinsky, John Milton. Papers, 1923-1983: 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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