Research on the History of American Theological Education

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Thu, 05/01/1986

The history of one institution can often illuminate the larger story of American theological education, opening up new ways of understanding countless similar institutions. The story of the "ups" and "downs" of Union Theological Seminary offers an opportunity for retracing the rise and decline of liberal Protestantism in America. Union, once a bastion for world-renowned scholars and church leaders, had entered some years ago into a time of travail and uncertainty. In an effort to understand the sources of Union's afflictions and to renew its older traditions, the board of directors of the seminary asked a team of scholars to review the school's story over the past 150 years. Robert T. Handy, a respected church historian, was the author of the history of Union. This grant supported publication of his work. The larger purpose was to help in understanding the crises then facing American mainstream Protestantism. The book was published on the occasion of the seminary's 150th anniversary. (KA)