I am pleased to share with you the 2023 Impact Report for Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. It’s a first for us. While we are constantly communicating with our many stakeholders, we do not have a tradition of creating a single, comprehensive, public facing annual update. As a step towards improving our work and pursuing best practices in theological education, we have created this report! Great thanks go to the many people at Union who worked on this report and to those who appear in it. I hope you enjoy what you find in these pages – the stories are phenomenal but even more, the people that comprise Union are just downright amazing to behold!
As you will see in the pages ahead, Union is filled with vitality and vision as it continues to uphold its historic mission while also forging ahead, reaching toward ever-expanding horizons for the practice of theological education. This year’s Impact Report is organized around our present Strategic Plan, the central goal of which is to support and strengthen the Union of today so that 50 years from now, students will still be walking through our doors, zooming onto our screens, and joining the work of the Seminary via whatever new forms of communication and education await us in the future.
I am happy to say that Union has been making great strides towards creating foundations for that lively future. You will read about our extensive campus renovations, our new degree programs, our emerging platforms for public education, our incredible fundraising successes, and most importantly, the brilliance and passion of the students who continue to show up, seeking the unique education we offer. In a world where the horizons of many seminaries are constricting, Union is thriving as it reaches further and further out to communities and people who seek the fruits of theological study and formation. We know, as do you, that the education we offer here – justice-seeking, love-embracing, world-transforming, faith-inspiring – has never been so urgently needed.
Ahead, we share the incredible work of our amazing faculty, staff, students, and alums, all pulling together in the same exciting direction. We also share the incredible leadership journeys of some of our alums.
We have organized the report around the central pillars of Union’s Strategic Plan which I share here with you.
- Shaping 21st Century Religious Scholarship
- Innovation in Theological Education
- Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Students
- Cultivating Intentional Community
- Reimagining Faith in the Public Square
- Ensuring Union’s Future: Cultivating Partnerships
- Ensuring Union’s Future: Campus Renewal & Climate Responsibility
- Ensuring Union’s Future: Development & Alum Relations
- Ensuring Union’s Future: Financial Sustainability
On behalf of the whole Union community – which reaches far and wide – I am happy to say thank you for your witness and your faithful labor in our broken and struggling yet resilient world. We remain committed to you and to keeping Union a place Where Faith and Scholarship Meet to Reimagine the Work of Justice. May it do so for many generations to come!
I hope you enjoy reading this inaugural issue of Union’s 2023 Impact Report!
Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy