Union Theological Seminary Union Days

Alumni/ae Relations

Union Days

"The Joy of Creating Just and Resilient Communities"
Thursday-Friday, October 9-10, 2014
Additional programming Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12

Union Days 2013Join us on October 9th and 10th for Union Days 2014! Union Days is a time for all alumni/ae, students, and friends of the Seminary to reconnect with one another and with the school.

Special attention is given to the reunion of the 50th, 25th and 10th anniversary classed. Our reunion classes and returning alumni/ae will:

  • Explore best practices for church, educational, and nonprofit leadership.
  • Enjoy conversations with thought leaders and other Union alumni, with special gatherings for the classes of 1964, 1989, and 2004.
  • Enter into spiritually nourishing and joyful worship.
  • Engage New York City through diverse ministry, artistic, and cultural sites.

All of these activities are woven together with Union-caliber academic programing to create a very special two days on campus. Union Days is also the time when the Alumni/ae Council honors four exceptional Union alumni/as at the Unitas Award Ceremony, which is followed by a banquet. Seminary alumni/ae, faculty, friends, staff, and current students are always welcome to participate and share in the unique community time available during Union Days.

Keynote Addresses

Miriam MacGillis
, OP, Genesis Farm, Blairstown, New Jersey

In 1980 Miriam MacGillis, a Dominican Sister, co-founded Genesis Farm, a 140-acre farm and eco-justice community in New Jersey, which has become one of the main prototypes for fifty ecological farms, earth-learning and retreat centers founded by other women's congregations in the U.S. and Canada.

The mission statement of Genesis Farm reads: “At Genesis Farm we raise serious questions about the global crises and evoke the rich spiritual insights that are within the hearts of all people. Focusing on connections between the health of Earth and of human communities within particular bioregions, we address the basic issues of our time in concert with all people of good will, learning together how to become part of creating that health, both inwardly and outwardly.”

Dr. Emilie M. Townes, Dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School
and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

The Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes, formerly the Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union, is a pioneering scholar in womanist theology, a field of studies in which the historic and current insights of African American women are brought into critical engagement with the traditions of Christian theology. She is the author of the groundbreaking book Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2006). Other books include Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Care and A Womanist Ethic of Care (Continuum, 1998), In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness (Abingdon Press, 1995) and Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope (Scholars Press, 1993).

In a recent interview, Dr. Townes said, “Then there’s the drumbeat we hear so much that the church is dying. I think that’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think the church is dying. The church is being transformed. We don’t know where it’s going, but it’s not going to look like the church I grew up in in the ’50s and ’60s. We’re going in another direction.

What I want to help . . . students understand is how to read what’s going on and become leaders and not just followers. And certainly, not just acquiescing to some of the models out there that I think are light on mission and substance and heavy on personal, individualized salvation. That’s no way to run a church, and it’s a very difficult way to be in [this] country.”

Schedule of Events

Early Arrivals

Wednesday, October 8, 6:00pm in James Chapel

The Union Forum presents Dr. John Raines ’59, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Temple University, who will speak about his participation in the burglary of an FBI office in 1971, which helped expose government spying on U.S. citizens and opened a national debate about the proper limits of government surveillance. He will share how Union prepared him for activism in the civil rights, peace, and other justice movements.

Registration is required for Thursday, October 9th and Friday, October 10th. RSVP Online>>

Thursday, October 9 Friday, October 10
9:00 a.m. Registration opens, breakfast 8:00 a.m. Breakfast

10:00 a.m.

President's Welcome 8:20 a.m. Planned Giving presentation

10:15 a.m.

Reunion Class Gatherings 9:15 a.m. Plenary: Dr. Emilie M. Townes
12:00 p.m. Worship 10:45 a.m. Break
12:30 p.m. Lunch 11:00 a.m. Workshops
1:30 p.m. Keynote: Miriam MacGillis, OP 12:00 p.m. Worship
3:00 p.m. Break 12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:15 p.m. Workshops 1:00 p.m. Conversation with the President
4:30 p.m. Break 2:00 p.m. Launching the Alumi/ae Network
4:45 p.m. Dedication of Automated Door 2:30 p.m. Networking with students
5:00 p.m. President's Reception 3:00 p.m. Reunion class gatherings
6:30 p.m. Dinner 4:30 p.m. Break
9:00 p.m. The Pub with Union students 5:00 p.m. Unitas Welcoming Reception
    5:45 p.m. Unitas Honors Ceremony
    7:00 p.m. Unitas Banquet


RSVP for this Event


Registration is required for Thursday, October 9th and Friday, October 10th. RSVP Online>>

Note: Students and Faculty who register for the event will not have meals included.

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