Portrait of Edward Steiner


Edward A. Steiner assumed the position of E. D. Rand chair in Applied Christianity at Iowa College in 1905, filling a six-year vacancy from 1899-1905 following the resignation of Herron. A Slovak immigrant from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Steiner converted from Judaism to Christianity upon arrival in the United States. He then gained prominence in the Midwest for his preaching of the Social Gospel. His rhetoric was informed not only by his conversion but also by his relationship with Leo Tolstoy, whom he visited a number of times in the years leading up to Tolstoy’s death. Steiner brought the Department of Applied Christianity into the twentieth century. His plans for the department differed from Herron’s. While Herron had focused on training ministers for service, Steiner emphasized the importance of instructing all students regardless of their future career plans.


Portrait of Edward Steiner and his wife