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John M. Kelly Library

Henri J.M. Nouwen - A Biographical Timeline

Born in the Netherlands, Nouwen was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1957. He taught in the areas of pastoral psychology, spirituality, and ministry at a number of institutions of higher learning including the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic Theological Institute in Utrecht, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School.

He wrote extensively in his areas of expertise, authoring hundreds of articles, books, newsletters, pamphlets and papers.The last ten years of his life were spent in Toronto ministering at L'Arche Daybreak, a community of people with developmental disabilities.

1932 January 24 Born in Nijkerk, Holland.

1957 Ordained to the Catholic priesthood for the Archdiocese of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

1957-1964 Studies in psychology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Doctorandus degree received.

1964-1966 Fellow in the program for Religion and Psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.


Visiting professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
Taught: Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Personality Theory, Psychology of Religion, Pastoral Psychology.

1968-1970 Staff member of the Amsterdam Joint Pastoral Institute and member of the faculty of the Catholic Theological Institute in Utrecht.
Taught: Pastoral Psychology, Christian Spirituality.
Supervised: pastoral work of candidates for the pastoral ministry.

1970-1971 Advanced degree studies in theology at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Doctorandus degree received.

1971-1981 Associate Professor in Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Taught: 1) Courses on Ministry: General Introductory course - Discipline and Discipleship, Ministry to the Elderly, Ministry to Prisoners, Ministry in Non-Religious Institutions, Ministry as Hospitality, The Ministry of Vincent van Gogh, and 2) Courses on Spirituality: General course on the Relationship between Ministry and Spirituality, The History of Christian Spirituality, The Life and Works of Thomas Merton, On Prayer.
Received tenure in 1974.
Made Full Professor in Pastoral Theology in 1977.

1976 Fellow at the Ecumenical Institute in Collegeville, Minnesota.

1978 Scholar in residence at the North American College in Rome.

1979 Six month stay at the Abbey of the Genesee, Piffard, New York.

1981-1982 Six month stay in South America.

1983 January to May Lenz Lecturer, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1983-1985 July Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1985-1986 Nine month stay with L'Arche Community for the handicapped, France.

1986-1996 Priest in residence at L'Arche Daybreak, near Toronto, Canada.

1996 September 21 Died of a heart attack in the Netherlands.