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50-Year Anniversary History

Fifty years ago, members of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and two brave schools (Mission House Seminary and Yankton School of Theology) took a leap of faith and founded United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. It was a "mustard seed" moment when Mission House and Yankton came together to form an intentionally ecumenical seminary, reflecting the uniting spirit of the UCC.

Since our doors opened in 1962, United has distinguished itself as the leading progressive theological school in the Upper Midwest. Our faculty members have had a vital impact on theology and church leadership. They have made significant contributions to church and society through their teaching and scholarship. Faculty who are now retired (see below) shaped a generation of theological creativity both within and beyond the seminary walls.

  • James Nelson has contributed to a profound shift in Christian understandings of the body and sexuality through his theological writings on embodiment and incarnation.

   
  • Wilson Yates continues to provide ground-breaking leadership and scholarship in the field of theology and the arts.
   
  • Clyde Steckel is highly respected as a historian and polity expert within the UCC and has passed on his love for "the real church" to generations of students.
   
  • Mary Farrell Bednarowski has brought a distinctive feminist voice to the study of theological imagination, women, and religion in American culture.
   

United's current faculty members continue to respond to the Spirit and contribute to theological discourse.

Shaped by all they have learned here, our graduates:

- serve as innovative, dedicated, local church pastors;
- provide able leadership in conferences and denominational settings;
- blaze creative trails in public ministry and arts-based ministries;
- offer excellent chaplaincy services; and
- speak both prophetically and with care to the deep needs and divisions of our society.

Our mid-sized, Midwestern seminary - like the mustard seed in Jesus' parable - has changed lives. And these changed lives continue to change the world.

50-Year Anniversary

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