Auburn Theological Seminary

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Auburn Theological Seminary
Type 501(c)(3) charitable organization
  • United States New York, N.Y.
Key people Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson (President)
Rev. John Vaughn (Executive Vice President)
Macky Alston (Director, Auburn Media)
Rabbi Justus Baird](Director, Education Programming)
Isaac Luria (Director, Auburn Action)
Valarie KaurFounding Director, Groundswell
Focus(es) Religious Education and Activism
Method(s) Education, Advocacy

The Auburn Theological Seminary is an institute for religious leadership that "faces the challenges of our fragmented, complex, and violent time. We envision religion as a catalyst and resource for a new world—one in which difference is celebrated, abundance is shared, and people are hopeful, working for a future that is better than today." [1] The Seminary is based in New York City and shares space with Union Theological Seminary.

19th century clergyman
Dirck Cornelius Lansing, Founder and Professor 1821-1826
stone building
Former buildings from 1892


The school was proposed in 1818 by Presbyterian pastor Dirck Cornelius Lansing in Auburn, New York.[2] It started operation in 1821 with 4 teachers and 11 students. The only remaining buildings from that campus, called Willard Memorial Chapel-Welch Memorial Hall built in 1892 are listed as a National Historic Landmark. The chapel was named for donor Sylvester Willard.[3]

The Auburn Affirmation is named for Robert Hastings Nichols who was a professor at the time.

In 1939, the Great Depression caused the seminary to move to New York City to share the campus of the Union Theological Seminary. It is located at 3041 Broadway.[4]

Since the 1990s, Auburn has focused on religious continuing education and become leaders in theological research, attempting to redefine what it means to be a seminary in today's world. It also participates in social action and advocacy via its program, Groundswell.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". web site. 
  2. ^ John Quincy Adams (1918). A history of Auburn Theological Seminary, 1818-1918. Auburn Seminary Press. 
  3. ^ "Willard Memorial Chapel". web site. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Auburn Theological Seminary web site. Retrieved 2010-01-21.