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Profiles

Robert Schuller

Robert Schuller came to Garden Grove, California, in 1955 to found the Reformed Church in America's congregation. With his wife, Arvella, as organist and U.S.$500 in assets, he rented the Orange drive-in theater and conducted Sunday services from the roof of the snack bar. The congregation's growth over the years dictated the decision to build the internationally acclaimed Crystal Cathedral.

Schuller was ordained a minister by the Reformed Church in America in 1950 after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Western Theological Seminary, both in Holland, Mich. After ordination, Schuller became a minister at the Ivanhoe Reformed Church in Chicago, where he remained for five years. During his ministry there, the congregation grew from 38 to about 500. He left Ivanhoe Reformed for Garden Grove in 1955.

Schuller is the author of more than 30 books, including five that have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Schuller has received numerous awards, including the Horatio Alger Award; Freedom Foundation Awards; Clergyman of the Year, presented by Religious Heritage of America; Awards of Excellence for Religion in Media; and Peacemaker Awards. His affiliations include member of the Guild of Architects of the American Institute of Architects; board of counselors of the YMCA; board of directors, Horatio Alger Association; board member of the National Council of Christians and Jews; board member of Retinitis Pigmentosa International; advisory board member of Church Growth International, Seoul, Korea; and chairman of Churches Uniting in Global Mission. In 1993 he received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.

Schuller has received honorary doctorate degrees from Azusa Pacific University, Hope College, Pepperdine University, Barrington College in Rhode Island, Ashland College in Ashland, Ohio, and Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea.