Charles Caldwell Ryrie

Charles Caldwell Ryrie (March 2, 1925 – February 16, 2016) was an American Bible scholar and Christian theologian. He served as professor of systematic theology and dean of doctoral studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and as president and professor at what is now Cairn University. He is considered one of the most influential American theologians of the 20th century.[1] He was the editor of The Ryrie Study Bible by Moody Publishers, containing more than 10,000 of Ryrie's explanatory notes. First published in 1978, it has sold more than 2 million copies.[2] He was a notable proponent of classic premillennial dispensationalism.

Early life, education, and family

Ryrie was born to John Alexander and Elizabeth Caldwell Ryrie[3] in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Alton, Illinois. After graduating from high school in 1942, he attended The Stony Brook School on Long Island for one semester, where he became acquainted with headmaster Frank E. Gaebelein.[4]

Ryrie attended Haverford College, intending on following his father into a banking career. However, during his junior year, while meeting with Dallas Theological Seminary founder Lewis Sperry Chafer, Ryrie dedicated his life to Christian ministry, and left Haverford to study theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Haverford conferred his B.A. (1946) on the basis of his studies at Dallas. A year later, he earned his Th.M. (1947), and two years following that his Th.D. (1949). He went on to complete his Doctor of Philosophy (1953) at the University of Edinburgh. He also earned a Litt.D. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, now Liberty University School of Divinity.[4]

In 1987 Ryrie and his wife divorced. Believing that the Bible did not allow divorced persons to remarry, he determined to live the rest of his life as a single man, despite his wife's subsequent remarriage.[5]

Dr. Ryrie was the father of three children and three grandchildren.[4]

Academic career

Ryrie began his academic career by teaching one summer for Midwest Bible and Missionary Institute (which would eventually become a part of Calvary Bible College).[6] Ryrie joined the faculty of Westmont College in 1948 and eventually became dean of men and chairman of the Department of Biblical Studies and Philosophy. He returned to Dallas Theological Seminary in 1953 to teach systematic theology, but left for several years to serve as president of Philadelphia College of the Bible (now Cairn University), from 1958 to 1962.[4] He was also an adjunct faculty (distinguished professor) from Fall 1991 through Fall 2001. Upon returning to Dallas once again, he became dean of doctoral studies until his retirement in 1983.[4] Ryrie has written 32 books which have sold more than 1.5 million copies.[7] Additionally, his study bible has sold more than 2.6 million copies.[8] Ryrie was an avid collector of quality rare Bibles and Bible manuscripts. On December 5, 2016, his collection was sold by Sothebys for 7.3 Million USD.[9]


Ryrie died on February 16, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.[4][10]


Two of his books (The Miracles of Our Lord and So Great Salvation) garnered the Gold Medallion Book Award. Other publications include:


  • Ellwell, Walter. (1993). Handbook of Evangelical Theologians. Baker Book House. ISBN 978-0801032127
  • Enns, Paul P. (1993). Walter A. Elwell, ed. Handbook of Evangelical Theologians. Baker Book House. ISBN 978-0-8010-3212-7. 
  • Hannah, John D. (2009). An Uncommon Union: Dallas Theological Seminary and American Evangelicalism. Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-23786-6. 
  • Weaver, Paul D. (2015). Charles Caldwell Ryrie: The Man, His Ministry and Method. Kindle Direct Publishing.
  1. Ellwell, Walter (1993). Handbook of Evangelical Theologians. Baker.
  2. Charles C Ryrie
  3. Weaver, Paul D. (2015). Charles Caldwell Ryrie: The Man, His Ministry and Method. Kindle Direct Publishing.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Glahn, Sandra (February 16, 2016). "Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (1925-2016)". DTS Magazine. Dallas Theological Seminary. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  5. "A Tribute To Dr. Charles Ryrie" by Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer | url=
  6. Weaver, Paul D. (2015). Charles C. Ryrie: The Man, His Ministry and Method. Kindle Direct Publishing.
  7. Hannah, John D. (2009). An Uncommon Union: Dallas Theological Seminary. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0310237860.
  8. Vincent, James (2011). The MBI Story: The Vision and Worldwide Impact of Moody Bible Institute. Moody Publishers.
  10. "DTS Tweet". Dallas Theological Seminary.
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