Olin Alfred Curtis was born on 10 December 1850 in Frankfort, Maine. While working in business in Chicago, he was greatly influenced by the preaching of Dwight Moody and began religious work. He was twenty-seven when he graduated with a BA from Lawrence University. He then attended Boston University Theological School, graduating three years later in 1880. After serving in the ministry for several years at Methodist Episcopal churches in Wisconsin and Chicago and studying for two years at Leipzig, he became professor of systematic theology at Boston University Theological School in 1889. He spent six years in this position, traveling several times for study in Europe: to Erlangen in 1890, Marburg in 1893, and Edinburgh in 1894. In 1896 he took the chair of systematic theology at Drew Theological Seminary, where he stayed until his retirement in 1914. Curtis died on 8 January 1918 in Leonia, New Jersey.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.