Open main menu

John Oluf Evjen (December 13, 1874 – January 4, 1942) was an American author, Lutheran church historian and professor of theology.[1]


John Evjen was born in Ishpeming, Michigan. He was educated at Augsburg Seminary (class of 1895) and the Theological Institute of Augsberg Seminary (1898). He earned his doctorate in Germany at the University of Leipzig (Ph.D., 1903). Evjen was an ordained minister in the Lutheran Free Church. He served as a Lutheran minister in Muskegon and Grand Rapids, Michigan.[2]

He was acting professor of church history at the United Church Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota from 1903 until 1905. He was a professor of biblical History in Pennsylvania College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from 1905 until 1909. Starting in 1909, he became a professor of theology at Augsburg Seminary in Minneapolis, MN.[3]

Evjen was also the author of numerous books frequently addressing issues of Lutheran church theology and providing biographies of church theologians. Evjen is most frequently associated with his 1916 volume Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630-1674. This epic work is a reference book frequently used by historians tracing the early immigration of German and Scandinavians to North America. It contains a collection of biographies based on ship passenger lists, parish records, church records, court records, and legal documents. Included is information such as dates of birth, places of origin, marriages, names of children, types of occupation, and references to sources.[4]

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Scandinavia and the Book of Concord (1906)
  • En boganmeldelse (1910)
  • Lutheran Germany and the Book of Concord (1911)
  • Scandinavian Immigrants in New York 1630-1674; With appendices on Scandinavians in Mexico and South America, 1532–1640, Scandinavians in Canada, 1619–1620, German immigrants in New York, 1630-1674 (1916)
  • Luther and the Reformation (1916)
  • Dr. Rudolph Sohm: Jurist and Church Historian (1935)
  • The Life of J.H.W. Stuckenberg,: Theologian, Philosopher, Sociologist, Friend of Humanity(1938)


  1. ^ Evjen Family Tree ( by John Margie Evjen)
  2. ^ Tarald Rasmussen. "John Oluf Evjen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  3. ^ New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia Of Religious Knowledge Author: Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) Baker Book House- Grand Rapids, Michigan Page 551
  4. ^ The Norwegian Pioneer in the Field of American Scholarship (Laurence M. Larson, Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume II: Page 62)

External linksEdit