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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Anti-Police Brutality Protesters Arrested in December Say Constitutional Rights Were Violated by NYPD

Some anti-police brutality protesters arrested in December now say their constitutional rights were violated by the NYPD. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report. Several protesters arrested and brought to police headquarters for questioning last year say they now feel they were treated like political prisoners. “They were asking all sorts of questions about, how did I find out about this protest? Were there places on social media that they could follow in order to discover the location of other protests?” said Benjamin Perry, one protester who was arrested. Perry and Shawn Torres are students at Union Theological Seminary who attended a rally after Officer Daniel Panteleo was not indicted in the death of Eric Garner. They were among those handcuffed and slapped with charges that ranged from blocking traffic to resisting arrest. Lawyers for [...]

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Don’t cut the Perkins Loan Program.

Serene Jones — The Hill — April 16, 2015, 04:00 pm   Every year around Tax Day, while settling up my account with Uncle Sam, I think about what it is that my tax dollars help to support. Some things I strongly agree with, some not so much. As President of Union Theological Seminary, I’m especially appreciative of the critical role our federal government plays in securing the future of American higher education. In particular, the Perkins Loan Program has allowed hundreds of students at Union to earn a graduate degree—an opportunity that without this program, they simply would not have had. Which is why I am so befuddled and angry that Congress is threatening to eliminate this critical program. Without it, students at more than 1,700 schools will lose their chance to earn an education. Far [...]

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The Path to Redemption for Our Criminal Justice System

By Serene Jones — @SereneJones — July 23, 2015   Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is President of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. We must first address the underlying issues President Barack Obama’s historic visit to a federal detention facility last week focused America’s attention on the brutal realities of our criminal justice system. Yet this broken system is only a symptom of an even more brutal American reality: white supremacy. Until we accept and address this underlying cause, systemic problems including unfairly long mandatory minimums, racialized police brutality, harsh prison conditions, and unnecessary obstacles upon release, will continue to plague our nation. Like an incessant game of whack-a-mole, addressing one will only cause racism to rear its evil head in another equally pernicious place. Every one of us needs to look deep into our souls [...]

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My prayer: Iran deal will help millennials in US and Iran bridge the divides (COMMENTARY)

By Serene Jones | Religion News Service | July 15   I woke up Tuesday (July 14) to buzz after buzz on my phone — texts flooding in from young Iranians I had met in June, celebrating the historic nuclear agreement that had just been announced. Only a few weeks have passed since I visited Iran with a select interfaith U.S. delegation, where we worked to break down the cultural and religious barriers that separate us and Iran. I am hopeful that this deal will empower many of the brilliant young leaders in Iran to steer their country to a better, more inclusive place. When many Americans think of Iran, they generally envision conservative Muslim religious and political leaders who articulate a strict and unyielding adherence to their version of the teachings of the Quran. This appearance [...]

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