Union Theological Seminary

Union Theological Seminary has always embodied the freedom to learn and the freedom to teach—ideals that may be more critical than ever to churches and society at this moment in history. Founded in 1836, Union forged a new vision for theological education: to center ministerial training in an urban context so that academic excellence and personal faith might respond to the needs of the city.

Today, a new Union in a world city remains faithful to that vision. With roots that are firmly planted in the Protestant, Reformed tradition, the Seminary continues to reform itself in response to the changing needs of the world and an evolving understanding of what it means to be faithful.

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is a seminary and a graduate school of theology established in 1836 by founders “deeply impressed by the claims of the world upon the church.” Union prepares women and men for committed lives of service to the church, academy, and society. A Union education develops practices of mind and body that foster intellectual and academic excellence, social justice, and compassionate wisdom. Grounded in the Christian tradition and responsive to the needs of God’s creation, Union’s graduates make a difference wherever they serve.

Union Theological Seminary News

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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. [...]

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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 [...]

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Aaron Stauffer, M.Div. ’14

Aaron Stauffer, M.Div. ’14 Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA Nashville TN and New York NY What do you do? I’m the Executive Director of Religions for Peace USA, a national interfaith nonprofit organization that works to inspire and advance multi-religious actions for peace and justice. Religions for Peace USA, the most broad-based interfaith organization in the US, works in three primary areas: Islamophobia, climate change, and immigration reform. I’m currently running an anti-Islamophobiacampaign in Nashville and examining how Islamophobia intersects with other forms of racism as well ashow it is impacted by issues such as immigration and economic justice. Much of this work is similar to community organizing, but I also run a non-profit and oversee a staff. Our main office is at the United Nations Church Center, so I return to New York [...]

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Kevin Kruse Live

Kevin Kruse is a professor of 20th Century American History at Princeton University. His new book, “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America” is an examination of the myth of a Christian America, and how many of the tropes invoked to “prove” that America is a Christian country were invented just in the last 80 years. Even more revealingly, the invention of a Christian America came from a coalition of businessmen and popular preachers who wanted to fight the “creeping socialism” of the New Deal. From the very beginning, the myth of a Christian America was tied to the myth of free enterprise — and so the rise of the Religious Right and of neoliberal capitalism in the 1980s are deeply intertwined.

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