Union Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary has historically raised its voice to call for social and economic justice. The mission statement reads “Union graduates will practice their vocations with dedication to the mission of the churches and leadership in the academy and society, ever seeking to bring a religious and moral voice to discussions of major social and political issues.”
In May 2003, students and community leaders proposed a new program, the goal of which is to eliminate poverty, to Union’s President Joseph Hough. Since then, students and community leaders have been working with Union trustees, administration, including new President Serene Jones, faculty, and alumni to build the “Poverty Initiative.”
In the past five years, Union Theological Seminary has established itself as the non-denominational seminary with a track-record of focusing on the religious response to poverty. Denominations, educational institutions, seminaries, and other religious groups and congregations have expressed interest in replicating the Poverty Initiative.
By focusing on Union Theological Seminary, with its national reputation for social justice and its network of active alumni/ae leading struggles for social justice around the US and globally, the Poverty Initiative has been able to reach out to the Union family, and also the greater society that follows Union’s lead.