Dwight, Timothy, 1752–1817, American clergyman, author, educator, b. Northampton, Mass., grad. Yale, 1769. He renounced legal for theological studies and after 1783 was pastor for 12 years of a Congregational church at Greenfield Hill, Conn. During his pastorate he became famous throughout New England for his preaching and for the excellent private school he established near his church. One of the leaders of the Connecticut Wits, he tried to modernize the curriculum at Yale. At the death of Ezra Stiles, Dwight was named president of Yale, and from 1795 to 1817 he presided over the college. A great leader and teacher in his day and a strong believer in theocracy and Federalism, he vigorously opposed the rising Republicanism of Connecticut and the nation. His theology owed much to that of his grandfather, Jonathan Edwards.
See his Theology, Explained and Defended (5 vol., 1818–19) and Conquest of Canäan (1788, repr. 1970); biographies by C. E. Cunningham (1942) and K. Silverman (1969).