Born in Missouri, Kruse attended Yale from 1915 to 1922, where he received the degrees of B.D., M.A., and Ph.D. He was an instructor at the University of Illinois, and then moved to Wesleyan as the junior colleague of A.C. Armstrong. He served in different roles including the APA (Secretary-treasurer, President), National Board of Officers (Secretary-Treasurer, President,), Inter-American Society of Philosophy (President), AFSC (Executive Board Member), Quaker House at the United Nations (Director). In 1947-48 he was the Executive Director of the American Council of Learned Societies and was its chairman from 1949 through 1953. From the 1930’s through the 1950’s, he was a kind of personal ambassador of American philosophy to philosophers and philosophical societies in other countries.