Faculty

Serene Jones

President of Union Theological Seminary
and Johnston Family Professor for Religion & Democracy


CONTACT

3041 Broadway, AD 129
New York, NY 10027
212-280-1403
presoffice@uts.columbia.edu

EDUCATION

B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Oklahoma, 1981
M. Div., Summa Cum Laude, Yale Divinity School, 1985
Ph.D., Yale University, 1991

CV/ Publications

BIOGRAPHY

A highly respected scholar and public intellectual, the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 182-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is a Past President of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the world’s largest gathering of scholars of religion. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and Chair of the University’s Program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of several books including Trauma and Grace and, most recently, her upcoming memoir Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World. Jones, a popular public speaker, is sought by media to comment on major issues impacting society because of her deep grounding in theology, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history, and ethics.

More information about her upcoming memoir, Call It Grace

“Theology is a place and a story. Theology is the place and story you think of when you ask yourself about the meaning of your life, of the world, and the possibility of God.”

So begins Serene Jones’ memoir of raw truth, fierce love, and spiritual teaching, the balm our nation’s fractured soul needs. From her
Oklahoma roots to her historic leadership of Union Theological Seminary, her story illuminates the deep fault lines of this age–and points beyond them. With a voice that is at once frank and poetic, humble and prophetic, intimate and practical, Jones makes complex teachings around hatred, forgiveness, mercy, justice, death, sin, and grace understandable and immediately applicable.

Excavating the wisdom of great theological voices–Soren Kirkegaard, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Calvin, James Baldwin, James Cone, Luce Irigaray, Saint Teresa of Avila–she brings them to life with an intimacy and vividness that illumines our lives and present culture. At the same time, and with great beauty, Call It Grace reveals Serene Jones as a towering voice of a new, and urgently necessary, public theology for this century.

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