Fredrik Axel Schiotz (1901-1989)

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Fredrik A. Schiotz was born June 15, 1901, in Chicago.  His mother and father were both immigrants from Norway.  The family later moved to Hawkins and Ladysmith, both in Wisconsin.  He graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1924; he then taught high school in Ladysmith (1924-1926).  He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, interrupting his studies for one year to serve as traveling secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions.  He was ordained in 1930.  He later studied at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

He was pastor at Zion Lutheran in Duluth, Minnesota (1930-1932); Trinity Lutheran in Moorhead, Minnesota (1932-1938); and Trinity Lutheran in Brooklyn, New York (1945-1948).  He was executive secretary for the Student Service Commission of the American Lutheran Conference (1936-1945) and executive secretary for the Commission on Younger Churches and Orphaned Missions, of the National Lutheran Council in New York and Geneva (1948-1954).  He directed the Department of World Missions of the Lutheran World Federation (1952-1954).  He was president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1954-1960) and then became the first president of the newly formed American Lutheran Church, serving two terms (1960-1971).  During that period he was also president of the Lutheran World Federation (1963-1970).

He married Dagney Aasen, August 23, 1928.  They had three children.  Dr. Schiotz was awarded the rank of Commander with Star in the Order of St. Olav by the king of Norway in 1968; he also received numerous honorary doctorates throughout his life.  He died February 25, 1989.

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal papers of Fredrik Schiotz spanning his whole career and the many organizations for which he worked.

BIOGRAPHICAL FILES:  Three folders on Fredrik Schiotz himself.  Main folder contains interview transcript (1977), periodical clippings and photocopied articles, anniversary ephemera, conference programs, ALC memoranda and letters, photographs, addresses, and talks.  “Photos” folder contains positive photographic prints from throughout his life, memorial service program, two 33-rpm records of his addresses, oral history abstract, and clipping from Bond: Lutheran Brotherhood magazine.  “1994 Memorial Event” folder contains, flyers, brochures, periodical clippings, photocopied articles, correspondence, committee meeting minutes, and photographs.

Related files:  Folder for his wife Dagny contains obituaries and photographs.  Folder for their son, Rev. J. Paul Schiotz contains Luther Seminary enrollment card.

PAPERS COLLECTION:  Texts and notes for sermons and speeches.  Materials from his student days, including class notes; papers; and his master’s thesis, “Grounds for Belief in the Bodily Resurrection” (1932).  Correspondence, notably including exchanges with world churchmen, the World Council of Churches, the American Lutheran Church, and other ecclesiastical bodies, as well as general correspondence.  Lecture notes, approximately 1968 to 1980.  Materials from his extensive travels, including travel arrangements, log books, and notes.  Materials from missionary organizations, such as pamphlets, minutes, and constitutions.  Notebooks from meetings and conferences.  Articles he authored, mainly on social issues such as Vietnam, race, and poverty.  Photographs of Fredrik Schiotz, his family, and others.  Sound records of his speeches on 33-rpm records.  A boxed Vesterheim Medal (1978).

Box List