Union Launches ‘Encore Transition Program’ – A Four Month Social Justice Training Program for Baby Boomers & Non-Traditional Students

Categories: Press Releases

New York, NY (November 29, 2016) Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary, announced the launch of the Encore Transition Program, a four-month series beginning in January 2017, designed to provide faith-based and spiritual guidance for people 55 and older who are looking to make a career change by doing work in social justice. The program is specifically shaped to address the country’s unusual time of discernment and to provide a dialogue and experiential learning for transitioning to an “encore” stage of life, working in a social justice setting.

The Encore Transition Program at Union embodies a social trend in the country, at a time when the aging in America can help advance both personal and social renewal. The program is modeled on a graduate seminar with an experiential learning component to introduce participants to new environments where they can put their values into action.

“Union believes that being pro-active in addressing critical issues that impact our society and creating positive social change is of the highest priority,” explained Rev. Dr. Serene Jones. “With the Encore Transition Program, we see ourselves as “fellow travelers” in this emerging new stage of adult life, and we look forward to sharing and learning from program participants.”

The Encore Transition Program combines the spiritual and theological perspective of an ecumenical seminary and the application of real-world praxis for undertaking an important life transition. The program will be facilitated by a recent M.A. graduate of Union, Ruth A. Wooden, who enrolled at Union as her “encore” after retiring in 2011 from her professional career as President of both Public Agenda and the Advertising Council. Wooden also served as the Board Chair of encore.org, the leading voice in research and advocacy for building a movement to tap the skills and experiences of those in midlife and beyond.

As a preview to the Encore Transition Program, on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:00 pm, Union Theological Seminary and encore.org will co-sponsor a public dialogue on the Union Campus on the topic of “The Aging of America: A New Work Force for Social Justice.” The evening is part of Union’s Faith in America series of monthly public conversations on critical issues related to faith and society. Ruth Wooden will interview Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman and AARP Experience Corps CEO Lester Strong on their own encore stages of work.

About Union Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is a seminary and a graduate school of theology established in 1836 by founders “deeply impressed by the claims of the world upon the church.” Union prepares women and men for committed lives of service to the church, academy and society. A Union education develops practices of mind and body that foster intellectual and academic excellence, social justice, and compassionate wisdom. Grounded in the Christian tradition and responsive to the needs of God’s creation, Union’s graduates make a difference wherever they serve.

Union believes that a new interreligious spiritualty of radical openness and love is the world’s best hope for peace, justice, and the care of God’s creation. Empowered by groundbreaking inquiry aligned with practical realism and a bias for action, Union is charting a profound new course for enduring social change. Our graduates make a difference wherever they serve, practicing their vocations with courage and perseverance, and speaking clearly and acting boldly on behalf of social justice in all of its forms.

Learn more at www.utsnyc.edu.


Ian Rees
Ian@gzandassociates.com | 215.869.9064