Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Woodrow Wilson – Ruling Elder, Spiritual President - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Woodrow Wilson: Ruling Elder, Spiritual President

Barry Hankins


When Woodrow Wilson was elected as a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in 1897, his preacher father allegedly remarked, “I would rather that he held that position than be president of the United States.” Fifteen years later he was both. Easily one of the most religious presidents in American history, Wilson’s every policy and nearly all his important speeches were infused with religious concepts. The son, grandson, and nephew of southern Presbyterian ministers, with six consecutive generations of preachers on his mother’s side, Wilson viewed his political career as a sacred calling. As h ... More

Keywords: religious history, spiritual, righteousness, Presbyterian, Reformed Protestantism, Calvinism, secularization, Progressive Era, U.S. presidency, World War I

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198718376
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718376.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Barry Hankins, author
Professor of History, Baylor University