Bob had concurrent careers as a Presbyterian minister, a teacher, a pioneering researcher on the history and practice of religious education in America, and a foundation executive.
After graduating from Yale Divinity School in 1952, he became an associate pastor of adult education at a church in Denver, Colo., then earned a doctor of theology degree in 1959 in practical theology at Union Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty at Union and later became dean of Auburn Seminary.
In 1993, while a board member of the Yale Corp., he headed the search for that university’s 22nd president, Richard Levin. As senior vice president for religion at the Lilly Endowment, he created grants programs to improve the practice and renewal of Protestant theological education. After retirement from Lilly in 1989, he continued research on religious education and other aspects of American congregational life.
Bob died Oct. 7, 2018, at age 93 in Scarborough, Maine. He was predeceased by children Janet and Thomas; his brothers, Greg and John; and his sister, Margaret Lynn Brinkley. Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, Katharine Wuerth Lynn; their daughters Elizabeth and Sarah; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.