Ernest E. Ryden
Ernest Edwin (E.E.) Ryden was the son of Swedish immigrants, born in 1886. After graduating from high school, Ryden went to work as a police reporter for the Kansas City Star.
He continued there until he enrolled in undergraduate studies in 1907 at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. While at Augustana he worked his way through school as a telegraph editor at the Moline Dispatch.
He graduated with a bachelor of arts in 1910 and with a bachelor of divinity from the Augustana Theological Seminary in 1914. He was ordained into the ministry on June 14, 1914, in Sycamore, Illinois.
Ryden’s career in journalism began early on with his work at the Kansas City Star
and the Moline Dispatch
and continued through his work as the editor-in-chief of Augustana College’s newspaper, The Augustana Observer.
But it culminated in 1934 when Ryden became the editor of the Augustana Synod’s church paper, The Lutheran Companion
Ryden would become the longest serving editor at the LC when he retired in 1961. During his tenure, the paper saw editorial as well as layout changes. He was known as a pacifist, who believed that the road to peace was through international cooperation, not isolation. His editorials reflected this thinking. His objectives with the paper were made known in 1934 when he said that his hope was to make the LC a force within the Synod. He believed that in a time when church members were faced with conflicting ideas and ideological uncertainty there was even more of a need for the church paper to be a source of clear guidance and inspiration in knowing the principles for which their church stood.
In addition to his congregational calls and editorship of the LC, Ryden was a noted author and hymnologist. He published two books on hymns. He served as secretary of the Joint Commission on a Common Hymnal, which in conjunction with the Joint Commission on a Common Liturgy created the Service Book and Hymnal
which represented the collaborative work of the eight Lutheran church bodies that comprised the National Lutheran Council. In the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship
, three of his hymn texts are included.
During his tenure at Gloria Dei in St. Paul, Ryden hosted, as well as wrote, a radio program, “The Story of Our Hymns,” on KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1928-1934. He was president of Augustana’s Minnesota Conference’s Board of Christian Service. He was also a great proponent of Lutheran Unity and served on the Joint Commission on Lutheran Unity.
Many honors were presented to Ryden during his career. In 1930 Augustana College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity. And in 1949 he was given the Royal Order of the North Star by the government of Sweden for his body of work, especially his work with Scandinavian hymnody.
After retirement from active ministry, Ryden continued to participate in the activities which gave him great joy. He began to learn Portuguese when he was in his nineties so he could edit a hymnal for the Presbyterian Church of Brazil. Throughout his life, E.E. Ryden lived out his vocation and used his talents and gifts for the glory of God. His example of Christian service, his leading voice for peace in a troubled world, his support for Lutheran unity, and his love of the Lutheran church’s heritage of hymns serve as a model for future generations who are called to serve their church.Description:
Records date from 1907-1962 and include a variety or record types. Included is correspondence, both of a personal and business nature, meeting minutes, printed reports, topical essays and articles, news articles, newspapers clippings, manuscripts, proof pages, postcards, academic transcript, sermons, diary, address book, visitation book, and black and white and sepia-toned photographs.