Stuart Barton Babbage was born in Auckland in 1916. He studied history and economics at Auckland University, then completed a PhD at London University. After ordination in 1939 he served in an Essex parish, then as RAF chaplain in Norfolk. He married Elizabeth King in 1943, and was then sent to Iraq and Persia. In 1946 he came to Sydney as diocesan missioner, then served as Dean from 1947-1953. In 1953 he became Principal of Ridley College and Dean of Melbourne (1953-1962). In 1959 he chaired the organising committee for Billy Graham's crusade. He went to America in 1963 to take up a position of professor Columbia Theological Seminary, Georgia. He established the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and was President from 1963-1973. Returning to Australia, he was Master of New College at the University of New South Wales from 1973-1983, and in 1995 was awarded the Order of Australia. From 1977-1992 he was also Registrar of the Australian College of Theology. He and Elizabeth had four children; she died in 1984.