Spirituality Resources

Seminary offers multiple settings to explore spirituality and practices that nurture the life of the spirit. Union’s Office of Student Affairs takes the lead in organizing programs that are relevant and transformational. Students, staff and faculty listen to the spirit and work together to provide diverse and inclusive spiritual resources.


Reverend Bertram Johnson, MDIV, MSW

For over two decades, Rev. Johnson has served churches, non-profits, and faith-based organizations dedicated to social justice, spiritual care, and public health. As a faith leader, he seeks to help bridge the divide between faith in God to healing wounded spirits and communities through love and justice. He has years of experience directing programs for people living with HIV, mental health concerns and addiction and as a chaplain for cancer patients. He has also worked nationally in HIV/AIDS research education, promoting awareness and access among communities most disproportionately impacted by the virus. Reverend Johnson is the first openly gay African American to be ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A native Floridian, he holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and A Master of Social Work from Rutgers University.
Reverend Johnson can be reached at: bjohnson@utsnyc.edu

Reverend Thiessen

Reverend Thiessen is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a trained spiritual director, a Union alum and a former church pastor. She knows, in her words, the “craziness and wonderment of Union” and loves the place and its students. Reverend Thiessen studied the Art of Spiritual Direction at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California where she earned a Certificate in the Art of Supervision. She is available to listen and accompany you as you seek authenticity and a deeper relationship with the Divine. Rev Thiessen also holds weekly meditation sessions, generally on Monday morning-please check the Student Digest for schedule.
Reverend Thiessen can be reached at: fthiessen@utsnyc.edu


Three current Union students serve as Peer Chaplains, and are available for individual and group sessions.

You may contact them directly by email:
Gabriela De Golia
Jesse Ortiz 
Bridget Webster 


Union’s curriculum informs and guides students on a challenging path of spiritual formation. Supplemental co-curricular courses for one credit are offered for your enrichment, especially in the areas of spiritual formation and the practice of ministry. Consider one of the SU 125 Introduction to Spiritual Formation courses, or one of the SU 190 Topics in Ministry courses to relate leadership skills to your spiritual practices. See course catalog for full details.