Born: January 1, 1819, Chur, Graubünden, Switzerland.
Died: October 20, 1893, New York City.
Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.
Schaff was educated at the universities in Tübingen, Halle, and Berlin, Germany, and received the degree of Licentiate of Theology (BD) at Berlin, May 29, 1841.
He later received an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Berlin (May 5, 1854); the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (April 20, 1887); and the University of the City of New York (November 25, 1892). He also received an LLD degree from Amherst College, Massachusetts, in 1876.
After emigrating to America, Schaff became a professor at the Mercersburg Reformed Seminary in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1843. He spent 20 years there, then moved to New York in 1863. He lectured at seminaries in Andover, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; and New York.
In 1869, Schaff joined the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he held successively the chairs of Propædeutic and Symbolic, Biblical Literature (first Hebrew, then Greek), and (in 1887) Church History.
Schaff also served as secretary of the New York Sabbath Committee, honorary corresponding secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, and president of the American Bible Revision Committee. He was repeatedly sent on embassies to Europe on behalf of the Bible Revision Committee, the Evangelical Alliance, the Pan-Presbyterian Alliance, and as a delegate to the Fifth Centennial of Heidelberg University, Germany (1886), and the Eighth Centennial of Bologna University, Italy (1888).