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United Theological Seminary celebrates 150th anniversary and Burns the Mortgage

DAYTON, OHIO, October 15, 2021 — On Sunday, October 10, 2021, United Theological Seminary celebrated its 150th anniversary and burned the mortgage on its current campus facilities. Nearly 300 gathered in Dayton, Ohio, to mark the momentous occasion.

On October 11, 1871, United Theological Seminary, then Union Biblical Seminary, held its first classes in Dayton, Ohio. From a starting class of 11 students, the seminary has grown to 488 students in its most recent academic year, representing 37 denominations, 11 countries, and 39 states. Today’s seminary serves a diverse student body that is 51% African American as of Fall 2020.*

In 2005, United borrowed $5.5 million to purchase its current campus in Trotwood, Ohio. On its 150th anniversary, the seminary announced that the mortgage has been paid in full, freeing up $400,000 annually to support student scholarships.

During the celebratory event, United honored leaders and alumni/ae who exemplify the seminary’s vision to develop Spirit-led leaders for a Christ-like Church and transformed world. Two former presidents, Dr. Daryl Ward (1993-1994) and Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann (2007-2015), were honored with the President Emeritus title. Six alumni/ae received a Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding ministry in the church and in the world: Rev. Dr. Randy Clark ’13, Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook ’90, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale ’91, Rev. Dr. Rudy Rasmus ’19, Rev. Dr. Michael Slaughter ’90 and Dr. Frank Thomas ’91.

As he announced the burning of the mortgage, Dr. Kent Millard, President of United, led alumni/ae and guests in giving thanks to God for the past and saying “Yes” to God’s future. Heading into the next 150 years, the seminary continues a legacy of innovation with the introduction of the Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center and Houses of Study for specialized ministry.

United Theological Seminary is one of 13 seminaries of The United Methodist Church, offering master’s and doctoral theological degrees to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ. The seminary was established in 1871 by the Board of Education of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, which was chaired by Bishop Milton Wright, father of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville. For the past 150 years, United has been dedicated to the education of men and women for Christian ministry with academic programs and community outreach that are both local and global within the historic traditions of the United Brethren, Evangelical United Brethren and United Methodist churches. Learn more at www.united.edu.

*Figures represent those who responded.

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