The 2024 Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectures
Princeton Theological Seminary

March 18–21, 2024

The Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectures

Dr. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, one of the most distinguished professors in the life of Princeton Theological Seminary from 1887 to 1921, wished to establish the Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectureship through endowed funds outlined in his last will.

While the Warfields were in Germany, the couple was caught in a violent thunderstorm during a walk in the Harz mountains. Annie was traumatized by this event, and she never recovered. For much of the remainder of her days, Annie lived as a partial recluse and the last few years of her life, she was confined to bed. Benjamin had a remarkable devotion to his wife. Hugh Thompson Kerr once wrote, “Devoted hardly contains the weight of Benjamin’s loyal commitment to his lifelong companion. He guarded, protected, and stood by her pursuing his full teaching and writing assignments. He himself, by his own choice, became house confined and scarcely ever ventured more than an hour or two from her side.”

Professor Warfield desired that this lectureship should perpetuate the memory of his life partner, and that the Lectures should deal with some central doctrine in the theological thought of the Reformed Churches. His will provided that each lecturer should deal, to quote Dr. Warfield, “with the Biblical Basis, or the Historical Development, or the Systematic formulation, or the Exposition, or Defense” of the particular doctrine or doctrines chosen for discussion. It is a testimony to the catholicity of Professor Warfield that for him the Reformed faith is enshrined not only in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, but also in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England.

The Warfield Lectures were given for the first time on February 2–6, 1959 by Dr. James I. McCord in the seminary’s chapel. The seminary’s goal for the Lectures was to make a contribution to the Reformed faith, the genius of which is to go on being reformed, through an ever deeper understanding of Holy Scripture and an ever greater relevance to the human situation in each succeeding age.

The lectureship on our Reformed theological heritage is now held every two years to honor the memory of Annie Kinkead Warfield. In the 1990s, the Warfield family agreed to the faculty’s request to expand the Lectureship series to include speakers who were not confessionally Reformed.

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