The Reverend Dr. Ronald Edwin Osborn (1917–98) was an American priest, academic, and church historian. In 1968, he became the first moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ,) a group of American Protestant churches.
Born in Chicago, Osborn attended Phillips University obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (1938,) a Master of Arts (1939,) and a Bachelor of Divinity (1942.) He also received a Doctor of Philosophy (1955) from the University of Oregon and a Doctor of Divinity (1989) from Bethany College.
Osborn was a professor (1950–73) of church history at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, and dean (1959–70) of that institution. He was the author of nine books including The Spirit of American Christianity (1958,) The Faith We Affirm: Basic Beliefs of Disciples of Christ (1979,) and Creative Disarray: Models of Ministry in a Changing America (1992.) His analysis of preaching in Christian history is The Folly of God: Rise of Christian Preaching (3 vols., 1997–99.)
Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
—Ronald E. Osborn