John Coleman Bennett was born on 22 July 1902 in Kingston, Ontario, the son of a Presbyterian minister. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Williams College (BA 1924), the University of Oxford (BA in theology 1926, MA 1930), and Union Theological Seminary in New York City (BD 1927, STM 1929). His STM thesis was on “Schleiermacher's Early Philosophy of Religion.” He was ordained in the Congregational Christian Churches in Berkeley, California, in 1939. Bennett's career as a Christian ethicist included theology teaching positions at Auburn (Presbyterian) Seminary from 1930 to 1938; Pacific School of Religion (United Church of Christ) from 1938 to 1943; and Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he was professor of Christian theology and ethics from 1943 to 1970. From 1961 to 1970 his title was Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics. At Union he also served as dean of the faculty, as acting President, and as President from 1963 to 1970. Bennett was a visiting professor of Christian ethics at the Pacific School of Religion from 1970 to 1977. After his retirement he was an occasional visiting professor at the Claremont School of Theology. He died on 27 April 1995 in Claremont, California.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.