Union Theological Seminary (New York City)
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Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (UTS) is a
non-denominational A non-denominational person or organization that does not follow or is not restricted to any particular or specific religious denomination A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, in ...
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or ...
in
Morningside Heights, Manhattan Morningside Heights is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has und ...
,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. It is affiliated with neighboring
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
. Since 1928, the seminary has served as Columbia's constituent faculty of theology. In 1964, UTS also established an affiliation with the neighboring
Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a Conservative Jewish Conservative Judaism (known as Masorti Judaism outside North America) is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement that regards the authority of Jewish law and tra ...
. UTS is the oldest independent seminary in the United States and has long been known as a bastion of
progressive Christian Progressive Christianity represents a Postmodernism, post-modern theological approach, and is not necessarily synonymous with progressive politics. It developed out of the Liberal Christianity of the Modernity, modern era, which was rooted in Ag ...
scholarship, with a number of prominent thinkers among its faculty or alumni. It was founded in 1836 by members of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, but was open to students of all denominations. In 1893, UTS rescinded the right of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to veto faculty appointments, thus becoming fully independent. In the 20th century, Union became a center of
liberal Christianity Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, is a movement that interprets Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Ch ...
. It served as the birthplace of the Black theology,
womanist theology Womanist theology is a methodological approach to theology which centers the experience and perspectives of Black women, particularly African-American women. The first generation of womanist theologians and ethicists began writing in the mid to ...
, and other theological movements. It houses the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, one of the largest theological libraries in the Western Hemisphere.


History


Early history

Union Theological Seminary was founded in 1836. During the late 19th century it became one of the leading centers of
liberal Christianity Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, is a movement that interprets Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Ch ...
in the United States. In 1891, Charles A. Briggs, who was being installed as the chair of biblical studies, delivered an inaugural address in which he questioned the verbal inspiration of Scripture. When the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. vetoed Briggs' appointment and eventually deposed Briggs for heresy two years later, Union removed itself from denominational oversight. In 1939 the
Auburn Theological Seminary Auburn Theological Seminary, located in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,81 ...
moved to its campus and departed in 2014. Among its graduates were the historian of Christianity
Arthur McGiffertImage:McGiffert.jpg, 200px, Arthur Cushman McGiffert Arthur Cushman McGiffert (March 4, 18611933), American theology, theologian, was born in Sauquoit, New York, the son of a Presbyterian clergyman of Scotch-Irish American, Scots-Irish descent. Biog ...
; biblical scholar
James Moffatt James Moffatt (July 4, 1870, Glasgow – June 27, 1944, New York City) was a Scottish theologian and graduate of Glasgow University , image_name = University_of_Glasgow_Coat_of_Arms.jpg , image_size = 150px , latin_name = Universitas Glasg ...
;
Harry Emerson Fosdick Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24, 1878 – October 5, 1969) was an American pastor. Fosdick became a central figure in the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s and was one of the most prominent ...

Harry Emerson Fosdick
, the pastor of
Riverside Church Riverside Church is an interdenominational Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religion ...

Riverside Church
who served as professor during his tenure there; and the Socialist leader
Norman Thomas Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 – December 19, 1968) was an American Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protest ...
.


Union Settlement

In 1895, members of the Union Theological Seminary Alumni Club founded
Union Settlement Association Union Settlement Association is one of the oldest settlement houses in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estim ...
, one of the oldest settlement houses in New York City. After visiting
Toynbee Hall Toynbee Hall is a charitable institution that works to address the causes and impacts of poverty in the East End of London The East End of London, often referred to within the London area simply as the East End, is the historic core of wi ...
in London and inspired by the example of Hull House in Chicago, the alumni decided to create a settlement house in the area of Manhattan enclosed on the north and south by East 96th and 110th Streets and on the east and west by the
East River The East River is a salt water tidal estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary be ...

East River
and
Central Park Central Park is an urban park in New York City located between the Upper West Side, Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the List of New York City parks, fifth-largest park in the city by area, covering . It is the most visited ...

Central Park
. The neighborhood, known as
East Harlem East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem or , is a neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, New York City, roughly encompassing the area north of the Upper East Side and bounded by 96th Street (Manhattan), 96th Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the ...
, was filled with new tenements but devoid of any civic services. The ethos of the settlement house movement called for its workers to "settle" in such neighborhoods in order to learn first-hand the problems of the residents. “It seemed to us that, as early settlers, we had a chance to grow up with the community and affect its development,” wrote William Adams Brown, Theology Professor, Union Theological Society (1892–1930) and President, Union Settlement Association (1915–1919). Union Settlement still exists, providing community-based services and programs to support the immigrant and low-income residents of East Harlem. One of East Harlem's largest social service agencies, Union Settlement reaches more than 13,000 people annually at 17 locations throughout East Harlem through a range of programs, including early childhood education, youth development, senior services, job training, the arts, adult education, nutrition, counseling, a farmers' market, community development, and neighborhood cultural events.


20th century to present

Reinhold Niebuhr Reinhold is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German langua ...
and
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundament ...
made UTS the center of both liberal and
neo-orthodox Neo-orthodoxy or Neoorthodoxy, in Christianity, also known as theology of crisis and dialectical theology, was a theological movement developed in the aftermath of the First World War. The movement was largely a reaction against doctrines of 19th ...
Protestantism in the inter-war period. Niebuhr joined UTS in 1929 and Tillich in 1933. Prominent public intellectual
Cornel West Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, r ...

Cornel West
commenced a promising academic career at UTS in 1977. As liberalism lost ground to conservatism after the 1960s (while neo-orthodoxy dissipated) and thus declined in prestige, UTS ran into financial difficulties and shrank significantly because of a reduced student base. Eventually, the school agreed to lease some of its buildings to Columbia University and to transfer ownership of and responsibility for the Burke Library to Columbia. These agreements helped stabilize the school's finances, which had been hobbled by increasing library costs and the need for substantial campus repairs. On July 1, 2008, feminist theologian Serene Jones became Union's first female president in its 172-year history, succeeding Joseph C. Hough, Jr. On June 10, 2014, Jones announced that the Seminary would be joining the movement to divest from the fossil fuels industry in protest at the damage the industry is causing to the environment. The Seminary's $108 million endowment will no longer include any fossil fuel investments. Although administratively independent from Columbia, Union is represented by one voting faculty member, and one non-voting student observer member, of the Columbia University Senate.


Campus

Union's campus is located in the
Morningside Heights Morningside Heights is a Neighborhoods in Manhattan, neighborhood on the West Side, Manhattan, West Side of Upper Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Morningside Drive (Manhattan), Morningside Drive to the east, 125th Street (Manhattan ...
neighborhood of
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
, bordered by
Claremont Avenue Claremont Avenue is a short avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of N ...
,
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd St ...
, and West 120th and 122nd Streets. The brick and limestone English Gothic revival architecture, by architects
Allen & Collens Allen & Collens was an architectural partnership between Francis Richmond Allen and Charles Collens that was active from 1904 to 1931. ''See also:'' Allen had previously worked in the Boston-based partnerships Allen & Kenway (1878–91) and A ...
, completed in 1910, includes the tower, which adapts features of the crossing tower of
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ...

Durham Cathedral
. Adjacent to
Teachers College Teachers College, Columbia University (TC) is a graduate school of educationIn the United States and Canada, a school of education (or college of education; ed school) is a division within a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whol ...
,
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abs ...
, the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a Conservative Jewish Conservative Judaism (known as Masorti Judaism outside North America) is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement that regards the authority of Jewish law and tra ...
, and the
Manhattan School of Music Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is a Private school, private music conservatory in New York City. The school offers Bachelor's degree, bachelor's, Master's degree, master's, and doctoral Academic degree, degrees in the areas of Classical music, c ...
, Union has cross-registration and library access agreements with all of these schools. The building was added to the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
on April 23, 1980, and parts were made a
New York City designated landmark The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the New York City agency charged with administering the city's Landmarks Preservation Law. The LPC is responsible for protecting New York City's architecturally, historically, and cu ...
in 1965. Some sections of the campus are now on long-term lease to Columbia University.


Library

The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, one of the largest theological libraries in North America, contains holdings of over 700,000 items. The Burke's holdings include extensive special collections, including Greek census records from 20 CE, a rare 12th Century manuscript of the Life of St. Boniface, and one of the first African-American hymnals, published in Philadelphia in 1818. The Burke Library also maintains a number of world-renowned archival collections, including the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship and the Missionary Research Library Archives. In 2004 Union's Burke Library became fully integrated into the
Columbia University Libraries Columbia University Libraries is the library system of Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research univers ...
system, which holds over 14 million volumes. The library is named in honor of Walter Burke, a generous benefactor to the library who served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Seminary from 1976 to 1982.


Faculty

In 1930,
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer (; 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become ...
was a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow at the seminary. He later returned in 1939 to be a member of the faculty and to escape Nazi harassment in Germany. Writing of his experience there in his book ''Barcelona, Berlin, New York'', Bonhoeffer was dismayed by the liberalism of the seminary and its students, noting, "The students are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are not familiar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, are amused at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level...." Referring to Union Seminary, Bonhoeffer noted: "A seminary in which numerous students openly laugh during a public lecture because they find it amusing when a passage on sin and forgiveness ...is cited has obviously, despite its many advantages, forgotten what Christian theology in its very essence stands for" (pp. 309–10). He soon regretted his decision and decided that he had to return to Germany to resist the Nazis. He took the last ship from New York to Germany in late August 1939. Due to his secret involvement with the
20 July plot On 20 July 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg Claus Philipp Maria Justinian Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (; 15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German army officer best known for his failed attempt on 20 July 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitle ...
on Hitler's life, he was executed at the
Flossenbürg concentration camp Flossenbürg was a Nazi concentration camp built in May 1938 by the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office. Unlike other concentration camps, it was located in a remote area, in the Fichtel Mountains of Bavaria, adjacent to the town of Floss ...
on April 8, 1945, only 15 days before the United States Army liberated the camp. Both
Reinhold Niebuhr Reinhold is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German langua ...
and
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundament ...
taught at the seminary. Nieburhr joined the faculty in 1929 and retired in 1952. Tillich was recruited by Niebuhr to UTS following his dismissal from the University of Frankfurt. Nazi officials terminated Tillich from the University of Frankfurt and placed him on their list of "undesirables." Tillich subsequently narrowly escaped arrest by the Gestapo in October 1933 and made his way out of Germany joining UTS in December, 1933. Dr. Serene Jones, the seminary's first female president, was inaugurated in November 2008. Dr. Joseph Hough, UTS' immediate past president, is a Christian Democratic Socialist.
Henry Sloane Coffin Henry Sloane Coffin (January 5, 1877, in New York City – November 25, 1954, in Lakeville, Connecticut) was president of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Union Theological Seminary, Moderator of the General Assembly, Mod ...
was a past president. Civil Rights Activist Dr.
Cornel West Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, r ...

Cornel West
joined the faculty in July 2012, and rejoined again in 2021. Dr. James Hal Cone is one of the founders of liberation theology and is active in the development of African-American theology. Union has also been home to Womanist theologians such as Delores S. Williams. Dr. Gary Dorrien is a social ethicist. Dr. James A. Forbes, the former senior pastor of the adjacent
Riverside Church Riverside Church is an interdenominational Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religion ...

Riverside Church
, is an adjunct professor at the seminary and had been a full-time, chaired professor before accepting the Riverside post.


Notable current faculty

* Mary C. Boys – Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology * David M. Carr – Professor of Old Testament; contributed to Book of Genesis, Genesis in the New Oxford Annotated Bible (New Revised Standard Version) * Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary as well as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral. * Chung Hyun Kyung – Associate Professor of Ecumenical Theology * Michelle Alexander – writer, civil rights advocate, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, opinion columnist for The New York Times *
Cornel West Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, r ...

Cornel West
 – Professor of Religious Philosophy and Christian Practice * Jason Wright – Board of Trustees member Several of Union's members also teach in the Religious Studies department at
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
, the Teachers College, Columbia University, New York Theological Seminary, and the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a Conservative Jewish Conservative Judaism (known as Masorti Judaism outside North America) is a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious movement that regards the authority of Jewish law and tra ...
.


Notable former faculty

* John Anthony McGuckin  – Nielsen Professor of Early and Byzantine Church History, President of the Sophia Institute, Archpriest of the Orthodox Church * Charles Butler (NYU), Charles Butler (1802–1897) – founder * Philip Schaff (1819–1893) – Theologian and ecclesiastical historian who served as chair of theological encyclopedia and Christian symbolism, then as chair of Hebrew and the cognate languages, followed by chair of sacred literature, and finally chair of church history until his death in 1893. * William Greenough Thayer Shedd — Professor of Sacred Literature (1863–1874) and of Systematic Theology (1874–1890) * Charles Augustus Briggs – Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Languages (1874–1891) and of Biblical Theology (1891–1904); an important early leader of the Modernist Christianity, Modernist movement *
Reinhold Niebuhr Reinhold is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German langua ...
(1892–1971) – Professor of Applied Christianity – Christian social ethics, author of the influential ''The Nature and Destiny of Man'' (1941), and the Serenity Prayer (popularized through the Twelve-step program) *
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundament ...
(1886–1965) – German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher * John Macquarrie – Professor of Systematic Theology (1962–70), afterwards Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford and Canon Residentiary of Christ Church, Oxford (1970–1986) * James Hal Cone, James Cone (1936-2018) – a founder of Black theology, he was Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology until his death *Beverly Wildung Harrison - a Christian feminist ethicist, she taught for 34 years at Union, and was the Caroline Williams Beaird Professor of Ethics. She was the first woman president of the North American Society of Christian Ethics. * Robert Pollack (biologist), Robert Pollack – professor of Science and Religion * Raymond E. Brown (1928–1998) – Professor of New Testament (1971-1990), member of the Pontifical Bible Commission, and the first Catholic to gain tenure * Edward Robinson (scholar), Edward Robinson – Biblical scholar and discoverer of Robinson's Arch and Hezekiah's Tunnel in Jerusalem *
Henry Sloane Coffin Henry Sloane Coffin (January 5, 1877, in New York City – November 25, 1954, in Lakeville, Connecticut) was president of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Union Theological Seminary, Moderator of the General Assembly, Mod ...
 – President of Union and a leading theological liberal. Coffin also obtained his Bachelor of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in 1900. He declined an offer to become president of Union Theological Seminary in 1916. In 1926, offered the presidency (a second time), he accepted and retained the post until 1945. * Dorothee Soelle – Socially engaged German theologian *
Harry Emerson Fosdick Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24, 1878 – October 5, 1969) was an American pastor. Fosdick became a central figure in the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s and was one of the most prominent ...

Harry Emerson Fosdick
 – First minister of
Riverside Church Riverside Church is an interdenominational Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religion ...

Riverside Church
and professor of homiletics * Harry F. Ward – chairman of the ACLU and Professor of Ethics * Walter Wink – Biblical scholar and activist * Roger Haight – theologian banned from teaching by the Holy Office * Harrison S. Elliot (1882–1951) – author and leader in the Y.M.C.A., Religious Education Association, and Union Theological Seminary. * J. Brooke Mosley, president * W. D. Davies, (1911–2001), Welsh-born Edward Robinson Professor of Biblical Theology, noted New Testament scholar and Congregationalist Minister. * Ann Belford Ulanov – Christiane Brooks Johnson Memorial Professor of Psychiatry and Religion * Christopher Morse –
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer (; 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become ...
Professor of Theology & Ethics * Paul F. Knitter –
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundament ...
Professor of Theology * Peter C. Phan – the inaugural holder of the Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University


Notable alumni

* Rubem Alves – Brazilian theologian and writer * William Scott Ament (Bachelor of Divinity, 1877) – controversial American missionary to China (1877–1909) * John Batchelor – American radio news show writer and host * Frederic Mayer Bird – Class of 1860: clergyman, educator, and hymnologist. * J. Seelye Bixler – 16th president of Colby College *
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer (; 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become ...
 – German Lutheran theologian and Nazi resister who spent half a year at UTS. Of UTS he wrote: "There is no theology here... they (the students) talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation and with no evidence of any criteria. The students... are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level." * Anton Boisen – founder of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) movement * Marcus Borg – Biblical scholar and author; former Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University * V.C. Samuel – Indian Christian theologian, philosopher and historian * Malcolm Boyd – Episcopal priest and author. He was one of the most prominent of the gay clergy to come out of the closet when he did so in 1977. For two years in 1956 and 1957, Boyd engaged in post-graduate studies at Union Theological Seminary where he wrote his first book, ''Crisis in Communication''. He participated in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements in the 1960s. * Frederick Buechner – an American writer, novelist, poet, essayist, theologian, and ordained Presbyterianism, Presbyterian minister. Buechner described his time at Union at length in his 1982 autobiographical work, ''The Sacred Journey.'' In 2008 Union honored Buechner with the Unitas Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards, bestowed upon alumni/ae who exemplify the Seminary’s academic breadth, diversity, and inclusiveness. * Frederick Buckley Newell (Bachelor of Divinity, 1916) – Bishop of The Methodist Church (USA), The Methodist Church * Edwin Otway Burnham (Bachelor of Divinity, 1855) – a rifle shooting Congregational missionary in Sioux Indian territory who could bark a squirrel, swing an axe or dispense Gospel with equal fervor and efficiency. * David Budbill – poet * Walter Brueggemann – William Marcellus McPheeters professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary * W. Sterling Cary (BD 1952) – president of the National Council of Churches from 1972 to 1975 * Gladwyn M. Childs – anthropologist and missionary * Grigor Cilka – reverend, missionary, teacher and founder of first Protestant parish in Korçë, Albania * Nelson Cruikshank (Master of divinity, 1929) – Trade union, labor union activist and strategist responsible for the passage of Medicare (United States), Medicare * David Dellinger – noted American peace activist and member of the Chicago Seven * Lynn de Silva (Master of Sacred Theology) – Sri Lankan theologian, former director of the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue, Methodist Minister (Christianity), minister, and a pioneer in promoting Buddhism and Christianity, Buddhist–Christian dialogue * John R. Everett (BD 1944) - President of Hollins College, first Chancellor of the City University of New York, Municipal College System of the City of New York, and President of the New School for Social Research * Helen Flanders Dunbar (B.D. 1927) – an important early figure in U.S. psychosomatic medicine * Franklin I. Gamwell – Shailer Mathews Professor of Religious Ethics, the Philosophy of Religion, and Theology at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago * Francis L. Garrett – Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Navy * Beverly Roberts Gaventa – New Testament exegete, theologian, and author most recently of ''When in Romans'' * J. T. Gulick, evolutionary biologist * Susan E. Goff, suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia * David P. Gushee – Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University. Author of 9 books and over 70 articles * Douglas John Hall – emeritus professor of theology at McGill University, and theologian of the cross. * Mark Hanson – former Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. * Edler Garnet Hawkins – former Moderator of the General Assembly for the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. * Carter Heyward – lesbian feminist theologian and priest in the Episcopal Church * Richard Holloway – Scottish writer and broadcaster and was formerly Bishop of Edinburgh * Dwight Hopkins – Professor of Theology at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago * Myles Horton – co-founder of the Highlander Center * William H. Hudnut III – former Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana (1976–1992) * Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz – Professor of Ethics and Theology at Drew University * Suzan Johnson Cook – former presidential advisor and United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (2011–2013) * Mark Juergensmeyer – Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and Global Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies * Norman J. Kansfield – President New Brunswick Theological Seminary 1993–2005 and Senior Scholar in Residence, Theological School, Drew University * Mineo Katagiri – Minister and social activist * James Franklin Kay – Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics at Princeton Theological Seminary * George R. Lunn – Mayor of Schenectady, New York, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor of New York * Ernest Lyon (1860-1938) – Minister, former United States Ambassador to Liberia, and founder of the Maryland Industrial and Agricultural Institute for Colored Youths. * Reuben H. Markhammissionary educator to Bulgaria; journalist, Christian Science Monitor; author of numerous books * Rollo May – Existential psychologist * Rachel Kollock McDowell – religion editor of the ''New York Times'' (1920–1948) * Andrew McLellan – former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland * James David Manning – pastor in Harlem * Bruce McLeod (clergyman), Bruce McLeod (PhD) – Moderator of the United Church of Canada * William P. Merrill – first president on the Church Peace Union, writer of "Rise Up, O Men of God" * Henry F. C. Nichols – member of the Wisconsin State Assembly * Lisa Oz – author and radio and television personality *Eunice Blanchard Poethig (PhD, 1985) – minister, Presbyterian Church (USA) leader and educator * Paul Raushenbush – American Baptist Churches USA, American Baptist minister and Religion Editor for The Huffington Post * John Bunyan Reeve – first Black student, organized theology department at Howard University * Scott Rennie – minister of the Church of Scotland at Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen * James Herman Robinson (1938) – founder of Operation Crossroads Africa, a forerunner of the Peace Corps * Carl Rogers – pioneering psychologist * Leroy S. Rouner - Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Philosophical Theology at Boston University * Fleming Rutledge - Episcopal priest and author * E. P. Sanders – a principal founder of the New Perspective on Paul movement * Nathan A. Scott, Jr. – scholar of religion and literature *
Henry Sloane Coffin Henry Sloane Coffin (January 5, 1877, in New York City – November 25, 1954, in Lakeville, Connecticut) was president of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Union Theological Seminary, Moderator of the General Assembly, Mod ...
 – President of Union Theological Seminary * William Gayley Simpson – former associate director of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (American Civil Liberties Union) * Andrea Smith (academic), Andrea Smith – Indigenous intellectual and anti-violence social activist, activist * John Sung – a Chinese people, Chinese Christians, Christian Evangelism, evangelist who played an instrumental role in the revival movement among the Chinese in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia during the 1920s and 1930s * John Stoltenberg – feminist writer * Juhanon Mar Thoma – Metropolitan of Marthoma Syrian Church in India *
Norman Thomas Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 – December 19, 1968) was an American Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protest ...
 – American socialist * K. H. Ting – President emeritus of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council *Constance Cochnower Virtue - composer who developed the Virtue Notagraph * Raphael Warnock – U.S. Senator from Georgia (2021-) and former pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia), Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta * George W. Webber (minister), George W. Webber (1920–2010) – President of the New York Theological SeminaryMartin, Douglas
"George W. Webber, Social Activist Minister, Dies at 90"
''The New York Times'', July 12, 2010. Accessed July 13, 2010.
* Floyd Wilcox – third president of Shimer College * Walter Wink – Biblical scholar and activist


See also

* ''Union Seminary Quarterly Review''


References


Further reading

* Altman, Jake. ''Socialism Before Sanders: The 1930s Movement from Romance to Revisionism.'' New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. * Handy, Robert T. ''A History of Union Theological Seminary in New York.'' New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.


External links

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