Born in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was an engineer, his mother a housewife and devoted Christian. Following an education in an strict, religious and ethical environment, he became a rather isolated, independent and disciplined person, and acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world. His first career choice was agriculture, followed by religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Beijing for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions; to help him clarify his career choice, he attended to a seminar entitled 'Why am I entering the ministry?', after which he decided to change career.
He signed-up to the Psychology program in Chicago, and obtained his Ph.D. in 1931. He taught and practiced at Ohio State (1940), the University of Chicago (1945) and the University of Wisconsin (1957). However, following several internal conflicts at the department of psychology of Wisconsin, Rogers became disillusioned with academica. He received an offer at La Jolla for research, where he remained, doing therapy, speeches and writing until his sudden death.
Rogers' idea of the 'fully functioning person' involved the following qualities, which show marked similarities to Buddhist thinking.
See also: Person Centred Counselling, Buddhism