Document Type

Finding Aid

Publication Date


Inclusive Dates--Span


Inclusive Dates--Bulk


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of J. Ridley Stroop; newsprint articles detailing his life as researcher, professor, preacher, and author; correspondence; photos; many of his books and publications; personal books; publications that reference his work and the "Stroop Test;" syllabi from his classes; notes and outlines for his classes, sermons, and books; and financial papers. The collection also contains some of the personal papers and objects of his wife and children.

Also, because of his family connection with David and Margaret Lipscomb, the collection also contains artifacts from their lives: correspondence; photos; physical objects; and books, newsprint, and magazine articles detailing their personal history.

The collection is housed in 4 boxes. Box 4 is housed separately in oversized storage because of its large size. It also includes a selection of books, both authored by J. Ridley Stroop and from his personal library. These have been added to the larger library collection and can be found in the catalog; each record includes a note that indicates the item is part of the J. Ridley Stroop collection and its location.

Biographical Note

John Ridley Stroop (1897-1973) was a man of many talents: renowned psychologist, Bible scholar, preacher and author. He was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on March 21, 1897. He began his academic career at David Lipscomb College, where he graduated as valedictorian in 1921. He married his wife, Zelma Dunn, great-niece of David and Margaret Lipscomb, in December of that same year. After their marriage, they lived with Margaret until her death in 1926. He received his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Peabody College, now a part of Vanderbilt University, in 1933. His most lasting contribution to the field has been “The Stroop Test,” which studies how interference affects mental processing speeds and attention. The test has been cited in scholarly publications well over 2,000 times since its initial publication and is still a foundational study in the field of cognitive psychology. However, shortly after its publication, Dr. Stroop chose to switch his focus, and he began a diligent career in biblical study, preaching, and teaching.

He served at David Lipscomb College in various roles—registrar, professor, and department chair—for 45 years, until his retirement in 1967, at age 70. During this time, he also published seven major works, as well as many pamphlets and booklets, which discuss Christianity, the Bible, the Church, and the Restoration Movement. He was an active biblical scholar and preacher until his death in 1973.

Donor Note

Katherine Rall, granddaughter of John Ridley Stroop


The processors retained the original order as received as much as possible.

Content List

See PDF finding aid for folder inventory.


Churches of Christ--Tennessee (Nashville); David Lipscomb College; Nashville Bible School



Extent of Collection

9 linear feet (4 boxes)

Manuscript Number

Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #83

Physical Location

Center for Restoration Studies

Use Restrictions

Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.

Processing Status


Finding Aid created by

Kayla Sanderson, Mac Ice, Amanda Dietz

Subjects--Personal Names

Stroop, John Ridley, 1897-1973; Lipscomb, David; Lipscomb, Margaret Zellner


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