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University Christian Movement Records

 Collection
Call Number: RG 235

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the correspondence, memos, meeting minutes, position papers, news clippings, reports, and various publications detailing the administrative and program activities of the University Christian Movement.

Series 1: The UCM Administrative Records series is divided into nine subseries. The General Committee records illustrate the organization grappling with identity and program direction. The Advisory Council shows the perspective of those in the NCCCUSA Department of Higher Education and agency and mission boards on the UCM. The Officers meeting records contain minutes and materials for reading prior to meeting attendance. The Administrative Correspondence subseries contains correspondence ranging from general to that of the last UCM president Nell Sale. The Budget and Finance Committee subseries comprises budgets and meeting minutes. The Membership Committee contains applications to join UCM, correspondence, and meeting minutes. The Program and Planning Evaluation Committee contains meeting minutes and reports regarding programing. The Personnel Committee includes correspondence, job descriptions for UCM positions, and meeting minutes. The Nominations Committee consists of recommendations and nominations to the General Committee and for the election of officers.

Series 2: The UCM Program Records series is divided into six subseries. The Field Service Committee records contain both the administrative records for the department and the correspondence and reports from field staff. The Political Concerns Committee houses a variety of topical material on UCM political interests as well as correspondence, minutes, and reports. The Caucuses and Task Forces subseries comprises meeting minutes and reports from the various groups including the Black Caucus, Ideology Task Force, Latin America Task Force, Radical Caucus, and the Southern Africa Task Force. The Committee on International Ecumenical Ministry includes proposals, meeting minutes, and reports on groups working with international students on college campuses. The Committee on Study Resources and Publications contains correspondence, drafts of publications, meeting minutes, and materials relating to UCM creation and history. The Theological Reflection Committee includes meeting minutes and memos on theological issues within the UCM.

Series 3: The Publications series comprises the various printed material produced and/or distributed by the UCM. The Second Look newsletter and The Wind and Chaff journal were the two primary publications produced by the University Christian Movement.

Series 4: The Conference series is divided into three subseries. The first subseries details the program coordinating, meeting minutes, and reports for the UCM Annual Assemblies. The second subseries contains correspondence, evaluations, meeting minutes, promotion materials, program coordination, and a scrapbook describing the Process ’67 conference. The Other Conferences subseries are divided into two subseries: UCM Conferences and Other Conferences. The UCM Conferences consists of planning materials for various seminars, and preparation materials for the WSCF Turku ’68 conference. The Other Conferences subseries contains correspondence and planning material for the Church and Society Conference sponsored by the National Churches in Christ in the USA.

Series 5: The Organizations series is divided into four subseries. The Member Organizations subseries contain correspondence, program materials, and reports from UCM member groups. The World Student Christian Federation subseries consists of correspondence, meeting minutes, papers, and reports from various activities. The Related Organizations subseries includes correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports from the National Council of Churches Department of Higher Education and Ecumenical Voluntary Service Committee, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the YMCA. The Other Organizations subseries contains subject files on organizations not specifically related to UCM.

Series 6: The Collected Materials series is divided into two subseries: The William G. Roy Research Files and The Paul E. Schrading Papers. William G. Roy was the Southeast regional president for the UCM in 1968 while attending Emory University. While attending graduate school at the University of Michigan, he wrote a sociology paper on the UCM. The Roy subseries contains his research notes and notations on UCM materials. The correspondence files are a mix of Roy's own correspondence, as well as UCM correspondence that includes his notes. Paul E. Schrading was the Associate General Secretary in 1966 and took over as General Secretary in 1968. The Schrading subseries contains a mix of topical news clippings, meeting minutes, reports, photographs, and papers such as Alphabet Soup, the Sixties, and Process '67, as well as a draft of Schrading’s remembrance of UCM that was printed in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.

Dates

  • 1955-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1966 - 1969

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Princeton Theological Seminary Library, 2010

Arrangement

  1. I. General Committee and Standing Committee Records
  2. II. Program Records
  3. III. Publications
  4. IV. Conferences
  5. V. Organizations
  6. VI. Collected Material

Associated Materials

Other collections related to the University Christian Movement that can be found at Yale Divinity School Library:

National Student Christian Federation Records

Extent

20 Linear Feet (49 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/divinity.235

Overview

The University Christian Movement was an ecumenical student Christian organization in the USA that existed between the years 1966-1969. The UCM was the successor to the National Student Christian Federation. It was the U.S.A. member of the World Student Christian Federation and a related movement of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. UCM sought to be a student movement that would unite the academic community through social action. The organization dissolved in 1969 due to a lack of program direction and an inability to define itself.

Biographical / Historical

The University Christian Movement (UCM) was an ecumenical student Christian organization in the United States of America that existed between the years 1966-1969. The UCM was the successor to the National Student Christian Federation (NSCF). UCM was the U.S.A. member of the World Student Christian Federation and a related movement of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. UCM sought to be a student movement that would unite the academic community through social action. It was very much an organization of its time, and the material produced by the UCM reflects the enthusiasm and ideology for activism, as well as the societal anxiety caused by the Vietnam War in the late 1960s .

The UCM was created to address problems within the NSCF, as the NSCF's organizational framework was not accommodating the wants and needs of the students it served. As the 1960s progressed, students became more active in political and social concerns. At the annual meeting in September of 1966, the NSCF voted to reorganize under the name the University Christian Movement. UCM wished to be an organization where people at the national level could serve as resource liaisons for grass roots activists on the regional and local levels. Unlike its predecessor, the UCM did not restrict membership to Protestant organizations and included Roman Catholic and Orthodox organizations as members. The UCM also accepted secular organizations as related organizations, such as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The organizational structure of the UCM included an Annual Assembly in which important matters were discussed and voted upon. The Annual Assembly also voted for members of the General Committee, which consisted of forty-five people elected by the Assembly and officers of all UCM committees who met twice a year to approve or reject policy, personnel, program, and finance matters. The Standing Committees of the General Committee conducted administrative affairs such as policy, finance, and long term program planning and evaluation, while the Program Committees dealt with immediate concerns. The Standing Committees were a) Program Planning and Evaluation, b) Nominations, c) Personnel, d) Finance, and e) Membership. The Program Committees were the a) Committee on Study Resources and Publications, b) Committee on International Ecumenical Ministries, c) Field Services Committee, d) Political Concerns Committee, e) Committee on Theological Reflection, and f) any task force that needed to be created for an issue. In addition to the Standing and Program Committees, an Advisory Council was formed to give voice but no voting power to the “Committee of National Staff of the NCCUSA Department of Higher Education, mission boards, Christian social action boards, departments of ministry, councils of churches, the Ecumenical Voluntary Service Center, other boards or agencies concerned with higher education,” (UCM Articles of Operation). The concerns of the groups could be heard, but ultimately power rested with the students.

The program departments of the UCM illustrate the organization's commitment to social and political activism. The Field Department of the UCM was its most effective program department. This department was the last holdover from the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. While the SVM Field Department sent traveling secretaries to universities and colleges to promote missions abroad for Protestant mission boards and agencies, the UCM Field Department supported individuals who were involved in local social and political programs. Several of the Field Staff were involved in SDS projects, such as Steve Johnson, who worked on the Radical Education Project in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Another holdover from the SVM was the Quadrennial conference, and the Process ’67 conference can be viewed as the last Quadrennial. Compared to past conferences, Process ’67 was much more unstructured in organization and form. UCM centered the conference on Depth Education Groups (DEGs). These small groups were designed to concentrate on a single issue and find new ways to confront that issue through education, strategy, and model building. DEGs were conducted on a variety of social and political topics such as White Power and the Exploitation of the Ghetto; Abortion; and Mass Media, Public Opinion, and Politics. Process ’67 also employed closed circuit television in the hotel to broadcast conference events and talks, conducted workshops on the arts, held worship services, and coordinated a film festival.

At the General Committee meeting on March 1, 1969, the UCM voted to dissolve. UCM had spent three years struggling to find a clear identity and let all voices and perspectives be heard within the organization. Without a clear, defining principle the UCM could not bring unity to the diverse perspectives within the organization. Instead there were different groups vying for attention and funding. UCM also had a sustainability problem as its elected officers cycled off each year, resulting in a new direction that did not address follow up for past programs and activities. Without consistent leadership and identity the UCM could not be maintained.
Title
Guide to the University Christian Movement Records
Author
Mary N.S. Richardson
Date
2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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