Many a visitor to Union is surprised by what they see when they first walk through our doors. On the outside, our imposing stone walls and gargoyles easily suggest that what goes on inside must involve weighty, ancient matters. Such an impression is not wrong—the religious and spiritual topics taught at Union are as formidable as the gothic walls that house our classes. But this impression doesn’t tell the full story. Just inside our walls lies a spacious courtyard, where on a summer’s day birdsong drowns out the noise from Broadway. Here, the world feels open, inviting, and as changing as the seasons displayed by the New York City sky above.
A heart of open space encircled by magnificent buildings: that’s Union. We are a school where nothing less than God is the subject of our study, and where the care of the world is our calling. We are Christian, ecumenical, interreligious, world-engaged, broad in thought, and welcoming to all who venture in. We are gracious, open, hospitable and safe, and our campus is a space waiting to be filled by those who choose to wander here. We are at once a place of learning and lightness, gravitas and grace.
It requires some imagination to see the dual truths of our institutional identity. The summary of our strategic plan mapped below attempts to bear witness to this complexity, and uses that understanding to thoughtfully project the necessary contours of our future course. Over the next five years, Union is committed to expanding and growing stronger physically and programmatically. This strengthening, however, is dependent upon our willingness to be open and inviting to new kinds of students, new ideas in our classrooms, and a new spirit of global possibility.
The Strategic Plan for 2012-2017 re-affirms Union’s educational mission and proposes strategies to continue and enhance the Seminary’s vitality. This mission-driven growth includes a new curriculum, a robust faculty, a thriving student body, a renovated world-class campus, and a sturdy financial base.