Robert Ellwood

Robert Ellwood Named Alumnus of the Year 2009


The Board of Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union has named Robert Ellwood the Divinity School's Alumnus of the Year for 2009.

Ellwood was a professor of world religions at the University of Southern California for thirty years, from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. He served as Chairman of the Religion Department there, and received the USC Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award and Distinguished Emeritus Award in 2002.

The author of The Politics of Myth: A Study of C. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell, Ellwood has written over twenty-five books, ranging from textbooks in religious studies (including Many Peoples, Many Faiths, a popular world religion textbook, and Introducing Japanese Religion) to books of religious history (The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace, The Sixties Spiritual Awakening, Cycles of Faith, and Islands of the Dawn, among others) to inspirational books written from a theosophical perspective.

Born in Normal, Illinois, in 1933, Ellwood was educated at the University of Colorado, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He received his Ph.D. in History of Religions at Chicago in 1967. He has also served as an Episcopal priest and a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.

Ellwood now lives in Ojai, California, with his spouse Gracia Fay (Bouwman) Ellwood (Divinity School M.A. '65, in Religion and Art) whom he met at the Divinity School and married in 1965. He has two grown children: Richard, a teacher at Besant Hill School in Ojai, and Fay Ellen, a graduate student at the Claremont Graduate University in California.