Remembering Marie Little

Marie Huttenlock Little, an early InterVarsity staff member who faithfully managed the ministry legacy of her famous husband, passed away on July 28, 2009, at the age of 91. A memorial service was held Saturday, August 15, 2009, at Willow Creek Church, 67 East Algonquin Road, South Barrington IL. 

Marie first entered the world of InterVarsity when she became active in Nurses Christian Fellowship as a nursing student in Philadelphia in the late 1930s. Later, as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, she helped initiate an InterVarsity chapter there. She attended InterVarsity’s first Missions Conference in Toronto in 1946, and subsequently went to China with China Inland Mission. After returning from the mission field in 1952 she joined the staff of InterVarsity.

Paul Little was on staff with InterVarsity from the time he graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1950 until his tragic death in an automobile accident in 1975. Although Paul had been president of the Pennsylvania chapter that Marie had helped establish, they didn’t meet until they were assigned to work together on the campuses of New York City. They married in 1953.

Paul was InterVarsity’s director of Evangelism from 1965-1975 and is best remembered for his commitment to evangelism. Marie’s autobiographical account of their marriage devoted to ministry is online at the InterVarsity Press website.

Marie’s connection with InterVarsity continued after Paul’s death. She worked with InterVarsity Press to make sure that Paul’s popular writings stayed relevant and stayed in print. One of his books, Know Why You Believe, was selected by Christianity Today as one of the 50 most influential books of 20th century evangelicalism. He’s also known for How to Give Away Your Faith and Know What You Believe.

The current editions of all three books have been re-edited and updated, and contain a recent introduction written by Marie. This assures that new generations have access to Paul’s creative thinking on evangelism and apologetics.

InterVarsity president Alec Hill said, “Marie demonstrated her commitment to campus evangelism and the Great Commission as a student. The chapter she helped establish at the University of Pennsylvania is still ministering to the spiritual needs of students. Through her service on InterVarsity staff, her marriage to Paul Little, and her faithful dedication to keeping Paul’s books up-to-date, she has helped make the gospel relevant for generations of seekers.”

You can make a memorial gift in honor of the life and ministry of Marie Little by going to