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John R. Mott

This article is about the leader of the YMCA. For the Revolutionary War soldier, see John Mott (captain). For the U.S. Representative from New York, see John De Mott.

John Raleigh Mott (May 25, 1865 – January 31, 1955) was a long-serving leader of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for his work in establishing and strengthening international Protestant Christian student organizations that worked to promote peace. From 1895 until 1920 Mott was the General Secretary of the WSCF. In 1910, Mott, an American Methodist layperson, presided at the 1910 World Missionary Conference, which was an important milestone in the modern Protestant missions movement and some say the modern ecumenical movement. From 1920 until 1928 he was the Chairperson of the WSCF. For his labors in both missions and ecumenism, as well as for peace, some historians consider him to be "the most widely traveled and universally trusted Christian leader of his time".[1] Intimately involved in the formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948, that body elected him as a lifelong honorary President. His best-known book, The Evangelization of the World in this Generation, became a missionary slogan in the early 20th century.[2]

Mott was born in Livingston Manor, New York, Sullivan County, New York on May 25, 1865, and his family moved to Postville, Iowa in September of the same year. He attended Upper Iowa University, where he studied history and was an award-winning student debater. He transferred to Cornell University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1888. Mott married Leila Ada White in 1891 and had two sons and two daughters. He retired to Orlando, Florida and lived at 528 E. Washington Street. It was there he learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The papers of John R. Mott are held at the Yale Divinity School Library.[3]

Mott and a colleague were offered free passage on the Titanic in 1912 by a White Star Line official who was interested in their work, but they declined and took the more humble liner the SS Lapland. According to a biography by C. Howard Hopkins, upon hearing of the news in New York, the two men looked at each other and remarked that, “The Good Lord must have more work for us to do.”[4]


Mott is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on October 3.


  • The Decisive Hour of Christian Missions (1910)
  • World Student Christian Federation (1920)
  • Cooperation and the World Mission (1935)
  • Methodists United for Action (1939)
  • The Larger Evangelism (1945)

See also



  • Cracknell, Kenneth and Susan J. White. An Introduction to World Methodism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-521-81849-4.

Further reading

  • Fisher, Galen Merriam. John R. Mott: Architect of Cooperation and Unity. New York: Association Press, 1953.
  • Hopkins, Charles Howard. John R. Mott, 1865–1955. Eerdmans, 1979. ISBN 0-8028-3525-2.
  • Mackie, Robert C. Layman Extraordinary: John R. Mott, 1865–1955. London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1965.
  • Matthews, Basil Joseph. John R. Mott: World Citizen. New York, Harper, 1934.
  • Mott, John Raleigh. The Evangelization of the World in This Generation. Arno, 1972. ISBN 0-405-04078-4.
  • Козловський С. Біля витоків екуменізму: „апостол студентства” Джон Мотт / Сергій Козловський // Духовність. Постаті. – [Електронний ресурс] – Режим доступу до публікації:

External links

  • Nobel Committee information on 1946 Peace laureates
  • Biography at
  • World Student Christian Federation

Template:Nobel Peace Prize Laureates 1926-1950

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