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Allen, Roland (1868–1947)

  1. Kehinde Olabimtan

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0029

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Olabimtan, K. 2011. Allen, Roland (1868–1947). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Roland Allen was an English mission theorist and high churchman with evangelical spirituality. A second generation priest, he received his dual theological heritage from his mother's strong evangelical persuasion and the influence of the Oxford Movement. Having finished his secondary education at Bristol Grammar School in 1887 he proceeded to St. John's College, Oxford, where he studied Classics and History. At Oxford he came under the influence of the Anglo-Catholic faculty at Pusey House. This “Liberal Catholic” institution left a lifelong impression on Allen's ecclesiology, which later shaped his thinking on mission. On leaving Oxford in 1890, he entered the High Anglican training school at Leeds. He was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Durham in 1892 and, the following year, a priest. This assignment was but a prelude to the missionary vocation that would soon engage his passion and faculty. After an initial setback with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) because of his heart ailment, he applied to its associated mission, the independent Church of England mission to North China. This time he overcame doubts about his physical fitness with his resolute determination and was accepted by the mission.


  • allen, roland (1868–1947);
  • english mission theorist;
  • diocese of north china;
  • preaching the gospel, to the eastern mind;
  • preparing the way, independent native churches