Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is a preeminent independent graduate school of theology, located in Manhattan between Claremont Avenue and Broadway, 120th to 122nd Streets. The seminary was founded in 1836 under the Presbyterian Church [ [http://www.utsnyc.edu/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?&pid=758 Union Theological Seminary - Timeline, 1836 to 1869 ] ] , and is currently affiliated with nearby Columbia University.


The brick and limestone English Gothic architecture, by Francis R. Allen (1844–1931) and Collins, completed in 1910, includes the tower ("pictured"), which adapts features of the crossing tower of Durham Cathedral. The Seminary is also adjacent to Teachers College, Barnard College, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Manhattan School of Music and has cross-registration and library access agreements with several of these schools. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1980.


The seminary was founded in 1836, and is one of the most prestigious divinity schools in the country. During the late-19th Century, Union Theological Seminary (UTS) became one of the leading centers of liberal Christianity in the United States. Among its graduates were the historian of Christianity Arthur McGiffert, biblical scholar James Moffett, Harry Emerson Fosdick, pastor of Riverside Church, who served as professor during his tenure there, and the Socialist leader Norman Thomas. It is home to the Burke Theological Library, which is the largest theological library in the Western Hemisphere and serves a national and international field of scholars, pastors, and students. It contains more than 700 thousand volumes, periodicals, manuscripts, scores, and rare historic material.

On July 1, 2008, prolific feminist theologian Serene Jones became Union's first female president in its 172-year history, replacing Joseph Hough [ [http://www.utsnyc.edu/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=1081&srcid=332 Union Theological Seminary - Serene Jones, President of the Faculty ] ] .

"Union has a distinguished history among graduate theological institutions. Its faculty has always ranked among the best in the world, and has included such luminaries as Walter Raushenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonehoeffer, James Cone and others. Its students come from around the country and the world. The seminary is known for its progressive understanding of religion in general, and Christianity in particular, and has long been at the forefront of the great social movements in this nation's history [Columbia Wiki] ."


UTS currently employs several prominent theologians on its faculty. Dr. Joseph Hough, the current President, is an important Christian Democratic Socialist. Henry Sloane Coffin was a past president. Dr. James Hal Cone is one of the founders of liberation theology and is especially important in the development of African-American theology. Dr. Gary Dorrien is a leading social ethicist. Dr. James A. Forbes, the senior pastor of the adjacent Riverside Church, is an adjunct professor at the seminary and had been a full-time, chaired professor before accepting the Riverside post.

Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich made UTS the center of liberal Christianity in the post-War period. Prominent public intellectual Dr. Cornel West commenced a promising academic career at UTS in 1977. As liberalism lost ground to conservatism after the 1960s, UTS ran into financial difficulties, and shrank significantly. 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.


The school confers Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, S.T.M, Th.D and Ph.D. degrees. The school has long been associated with ecumenism.

List of founders

* Charles Butler (NYU) (1802-97)

Notable current faculty

*Mary C. Boys — Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology
*Euan K. Cameron — Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History & Academic Dean. (1958-)
*David Carr — Professor of Old Testament; contributed to Genesis in the New Oxford Annotated Bible (New Revised Standard Version)
*James Cone — Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology - Founder of Black Liberation Theology.
*Gary Dorrien — Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics
*Paul F. Knitter — Paul Tillich Professor of Theology
*Chung Hyun Kyung — Associate Professor of Ecumenical Theology
*Barbara Lunblad — Joe R. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching
*Daisy L. Machado — Professor of the History of Christianity; first U.S. Latina ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
*Christopher Morse — Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Theology & Ethics
*John Anthony McGuckin — Professor of Early Church History
*Anne Belford Ulanov — Christiane Brooks Johnson Memorial Professor of Psychiatry and Religion
*Janet Walton — Professor of Worship

Several of Union's members also teach in the Religious Studies department at Columbia University and at the Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Former theologians and faculty

*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 movement.
* Reinhold Niebuhr (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 (1886–1965) — German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher.
*Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) — a German Lutheran pastor and theologian and participant in the resistance movement against Nazism, engaged in post-graduate studies at UTS.
*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.
*Robert Pollack — professor of Science and Religion
*Raymond E. Brown (1928–1998) — One of America's preeminent New Testament scholars and member of Pontificial Bible Commission was professor in UTS for 23 years.
* Edward Robinson Biblical scholar and discoverer of Robinson's Arch and Hezekiah's Tunnel in Jerusalem.
*Harry Emerson Fosdick — First minister of Riverside Church and professor of homiletics

Notable alumni

*Dietrich Bonhoeffer — German Lutheran theologian and Nazi resister who did post-graduate work at Union
*Marcus Borg — Popular lecturer and writer, Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University
*Frederick Buechner — Writer
*Frederick Buckley Newell (Bachelor of Divinity, 1916) — Bishop of The Methodist Church
*Walter Brueggemann — William Marcellus McPheeters professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary
*Gladwyn M. Childs — Anthropologist and missionary
*Nelson Cruikshank (Master of divinity, 1929) — Labor union activist and strategist responsible for the passage of Medicare
*David Dellinger — Noted American peace activist and member of the Chicago Seven.
*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
*David Gushee — Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. Author of 9 books and over 70 articles [ [http://www.davidgushee.com/ david jacques louis painting travel at davidgushee.com ] ]
*Mark Hanson — current Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*Dwight Hopkins — Professor of Theology at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago
*Myles Horton — Co-founder of the Highlander Center
*Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz — Professor of Ethics and Theology at Drew University
*Mark Juergensmeyer — Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies and Global Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.
*Andrew McLellan — former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
*Bruce McLeod (PhD) — Moderator of the United Church of Canada
*Andrea Smith — Cherokee intellectual and anti-violence activist
*John Stoltenberg — feminist writer
*Norman Thomas — American Socialist
*K. H. Ting — President emeritus of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council
*Delores Williams — Womanist theologian
*James David Manning — Pastor of ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem, New York City
*Lynn de Silva (Master of Sacred Theology) — Sri Lankan theologian, former director of the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue, Methodist minister, and a pioneer in promoting Buddhist-Christian dialogue


External links

* [http://www.utsnyc.edu Union Theological Seminary webpage]
* [http://www.unionpodcast.org/ Union Podcast]
*"The WPA Guide to New York City" 1939, reprint 1982.
* [http://www.wikicu.com/Union_Theological_Seminary Union Theological Seminary in Columbia University's Wiki]

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