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David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. ’06

David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. ’06 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA What do you do? I am currently an Associate Professor of Early Christianity and Christian Origins at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. I am also the Director of LMU’s American Cultures Studies Program and the Book Review Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. I serve on the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession, and I’m the former President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States. What’s the best thing about your job? The best thing is teaching and interacting with undergraduate and graduate students. How did Union prepare you for this? Union taught me to be an intellectual transgressor. I was taught that all systems and bodies of knowledge are up for reinterpretation. I was taught that religious and theological studies, once construed, are as subjective as my own socially-located [...]

David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. ’062015-04-24T14:47:00-04:00

Seth Pickens, M.Div.’ 06

Seth Pickens, M.Div.’ 06 Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church Los Angeles CA What do you do? I’m pastor of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and I’m also completing an doctoral program in education (Ed.D.) at the University of Southern California. I’m writing my dissertation now and expect to graduate in May 2015. So I’m a pastor, educator, and spiritual leader in the community. My doctoral program is a great opportunity to examine the challenges and resources for pastoral leadership in the twenty-first century. In particular, I’m investigating the skills needed for pastors in a changing cultural context. The general trend is that congregations are losing members and financial giving is down. At the same time, pastors are working hard (on average 57 hours per week) and showing signs of stress and fatigue. But are they working smarter? Yes, pastors show a high level of job satisfaction, but they have multiple demands on them [...]

Seth Pickens, M.Div.’ 062015-04-24T15:07:00-04:00

Announcing the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary

New Center Unites Environmentalism with Religious and Humanist Moral Concerns For Immediate Release, April 22, 2015 Contact: Shay O’Reilly 212-280-1425 gso2107@utsnyc.edu New York, NY — Facing the reality of human-caused global climate change, people of conscience from around the world came together at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York last fall for the Religions for the Earth Conference. The success of that conference has led to the creation of the new Center for Earth Ethics, launching today at Union and headed by Karenna Gore (Union MA ’13), with the aim of further articulating and enacting a moral response to the climate crisis and its root causes. “People are understanding climate in a new way that recognizes the spiritual dimensions of this crisis,” Gore said. “It’s important now to move from talk to action, and particularly action on behalf of the most vulnerable peoples, communities, and ecosystems.” Goals of the Center for Earth Ethics (CEE) [...]

Announcing the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary2015-04-24T16:26:00-04:00

2015 Commencement

Union Celebrates Commencement Class of 2015 Friday, May 15, 2015, 4:00 p.m. Seminary Quadrangle (Rain: James Chapel) Commencement Event Schedule Watch Live! Monday, May 4th End-of-Semester Cookout 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Seminary Quadrangle Tuesday, May 12th Interfaith Commissioning McGiffert Roof 6:00 p.m. Reception Following Service Wednesday, May 13th Roman Catholic Women Commissioning Lampman Chapel 2:00 p.m. Reception Following Service Students of Color Commissioning James Chapel 7:00 p.m. Reception Following Service Thursday, May 14th PhD Rehearsal Quad 5:30 p.m. PhD Dinner (Only PhD Graduates & their Partners, Pres. Jones, Dean Boys & Advisors) 6:00p.m. TBD Queer Commissioning James Chapel 7:00 p.m. Reception Following Service in the Refectory Honoring Union Medalist Mandy Carter RSVP now! Friday, May 15th Commencement Communion Service James Chapel 10:30 a.m. Brunch Refectory 11:30 a.m. Commencement Ceremony Quad (Rain Site: James Chapel) 4:00 p.m. Pre-ceremony music will begin at 3:30p.m. Commencement Reception Quad ~ Following the Ceremony

2015 Commencement2015-05-05T10:52:10-04:00

Incarcerated Women Reflect On Jesus’ Seven Last Words On The Cross

by HuffPost Religion Editors | The Huffington Post | April 3, 2015 On Good Friday, many Christians reflect on what are known as the seven last words — the final statements Jesus Christ said while on the cross, as recorded by the canonical gospels. For some people in prison, these words can be particularly affecting. David Carr, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, teaches a course called “Trauma and the Bible” to female inmates at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York state’s only maximum security prison for women. Half of the students in the course are prisoners finishing degrees in sociology in the Marymount Manhattan College Bedford Hills College program, while the other half of the students in the class are enrolled at Union Seminary. Although Carr has spent years studying, teaching and writing about the Bible and trauma, he said teaching the course at Bedford Hills has been illuminating for him. “Each week these students, [...]

Incarcerated Women Reflect On Jesus’ Seven Last Words On The Cross2015-05-07T17:59:00-04:00

Vice President Al Gore and LGBT Activist Mandy Carter Awarded Union Medal

UNION MEDAL TO BE AWARDED TO VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AND LGBT ACTIVIST MANDY CARTER AT UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S 177TH COMMENCEMENT Gore and Carter’s lifetime of faithful activism beautifully exemplifies the spirit of Union FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joey Longley | jlongley@uts.columbia.edu | 419.953.5495 NEW YORK, NY — Former Vice President Al Gore and LGBT activist Mandy Carter will receive the Union Medal, the highest honor awarded by Union Theological Seminary, at the school’s 177th Commencement Ceremony on May 15th at 4:00pm. The ceremony will be streamed live at https://utsnyc.edu/commencement-live/ “Union Theological Seminary is a unique and truly extraordinary institution that educates, inspires and empowers leaders uniquely suited to help humanity embrace and successfully deal with the greatest moral challenges of our time,” said Gore. “I am deeply honored and genuinely humbled to receive the Union Medal.” The Union Medal was established in 1991 to recognize people engaged in works of ministry in congregations, public service, [...]

Vice President Al Gore and LGBT Activist Mandy Carter Awarded Union Medal2015-05-13T20:34:00-04:00

Cops, Community, Clergy Gather to Improve Community-Police Relations

Diverse Faith Leaders Meet Friday to Call for Cops, Community, Clergy Sabbath Weekend Gathering aimed at intentional police-community dialogue in houses of worship FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joey Longley, 419-953-5495, jlongley@uts.columbia.edu NEW YORK, NY—As protests continue to spread across the country in the wake of the deaths of unarmed black men and women by law enforcement, a diverse group of faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and community members will gather on Friday, May 22 at 8:00am to call for a “Cops, Community, and Clergy Sabbath Weekend.” The weekend, planned for June 12-14, aims to be a time for intentional dialogue between police officers and members of the community. “As faith leaders, we are committed to the hard work of reconciliation,” said Union Theological Seminary President Serene Jones. “This year has exposed the deep and tragic racial divides that plague our communities and our country. While dialogue alone won’t fix this problem, it is a necessary step [...]

Cops, Community, Clergy Gather to Improve Community-Police Relations2015-05-18T18:39:00-04:00

#ClergyCommunityCops Recap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joey Longley, 419-953-5495, jlongley@uts.columbia.edu Today, Union Theological Seminary joined with our friends at Auburn Seminary, the Interfaith Center of New York, the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary, the Riverside Church, and the Drum Major Institute for a #‎ClergyCommunityCops Multifaith Prayer Breakfast. Over 100 faith, law enforcement, and community leaders gathered to continue the hard work of truth telling, reconciliation, and healing. While one breakfast that included dialogue amongst people of vastly different social locations won’t solve the persistent and pernicious problems that plague our communities, we believe that this is one step towards a more whole, beloved community. As Union student Wesley Morris said, “There’s no way under this or around this. You have to go through this. We have to go through this.” We look forward to building off of the momentum of this breakfast as we observe the #ClergyCommunityCops Sabbath Weekend on June 12-14. Email info@utsnyc.edu to tell [...]

#ClergyCommunityCops Recap2015-05-22T20:06:00-04:00

Acclaimed Author And Scholar Robert Wright Coming To Union Theological Seminary For 18-Month Templeton Grant

Grant covers teaching and cultivating ideas about the relationship between science and spirituality. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joey Longley, 419-953-5495, jlongley@uts.columbia.edu NEW YORK, NY — Robert Wright, scholar, journalist, and award-winning author of several bestsellers on religion and science, will join Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York for an 18-month grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation beginning this summer. “It’s great to be at a seminary that’s so open to new ideas and with an activist air about it,” said Wright. “One of my goalsat Union is to delve deeper into the question of how we develop a worldview that is spiritual, but totally compatible with and informed by science.” Over the next 18 months, Wright will utilize the resources available to him at Union toteach, write, speak, and host forums. His first seminar in the fall will be called, “Elements of Spirituality.” “I am thrilled to have a scholar with Wright’s [...]

Acclaimed Author And Scholar Robert Wright Coming To Union Theological Seminary For 18-Month Templeton Grant2015-05-26T19:36:00-04:00

Union Mourns Professor Lou Martyn

Dr. James Louis Martyn, Edward Robinson Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, died at home on June 4, 2015 of congestive heart failure. He was 89 and lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His beloved wife of 65 years, Dorothy Watkins Martyn, was with him to the very end. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m. at Carolina Meadows, 100 Carolina Meadows Drive, Chapel Hill NC 27517. “Lou” — as he was known to colleagues and students alike — will be remembered first and foremost as one of the preeminent New Testament scholars of his generation, but more importantly as a friend and mentor. He was particularly adept at helping students untie the sort of intellectual knots students are wont to tie themselves in, usually by gently suggesting a return to the text. As Ray Brown wrote for Lou’s Festschrift in 1989, “His basic test is always [...]

Union Mourns Professor Lou Martyn2015-11-10T06:54:19-04:00

Pope’s Climate Encyclical

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 18, 2015 Contact: Joey Longley, 419-953-5495 Leaders at Union Seminary Respond to Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical President Serene Jones, Dean Mary Boys, and Karenna Gore Hope Document Spurs Reflection and Change NEW YORK, NY— Following the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical addressing the devastating environmental, theological, and moral consequences of climate change, Union Theological President Serene Jones offered the following statement: “The Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change is a clear call to all people of faith and all people of conscience to care for the Earth and all who inhabit it,” said President Jones. “Francis correctly identifies our ‘throwaway culture’ and the burden of climate change primarily on the poor as the moral underpinnings of serious action on the climate. As we move to divest our endowment from fossil fuels and further green our campus, I join Francis in calling for sweeping systemic changes to save our planet.” Sister Mary Boys, Dean of Academic Affairs [...]

Pope’s Climate Encyclical2015-11-10T06:54:19-04:00
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