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United Student Christian Council records

 Collection
Call Number: RG 239
Scope and Contents
The materials in this collection consist of correspondence, memos, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, reports, and various publications detailing the administrative program of the USCC and its predecessor the Provisional Council of the WSCF in the USA. Within the categories established, all material is arranged alphabetically by subject then chronologically.

Series I: Provisional Council of the World Student Christian Federation in the United States of America, houses records pertaining to the Provisional Council of the World Student Christian Federation in the United States of America which was the precursor to the United Students Christian Council. The organization was comprised of the National Intercollegiate Council of the YMCA and YWCA, Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, University Commission of the Church Boards of Education, and the Lutheran Student Association of America. The primary goals for the Provisional Council consisted of being the North American link to the World Student Christian Federation, and raising money for student relief and reconstruction for those in war torn Europe.

Series II: USCC Correspondence, consists of five subseries divided by administrative era of each Executive Secretary plus an initial section for Donald Noyce, who was the student chairman responsible for administrative duties until a permanent Executive Secretary could be secured. These records detail the Executive secretary's role as administrator, fund raiser, and advocate for the USCC. In addition, correspondence between the WSCF secretary and the USCC Executive Secretary illustrates the relationship between the two organizations.

Series III: USCC Committees and Commissions, is divided into seven subseries. Six of the subseries pertain to the more substantive committees of the USCC with the seventh subseries bringing together additional committees that existed to reach a goal or were phased out due to lack of interest:

The Budget Committee dealt with incomes and expenditures within the USCC as well as keeping track of WSCF contributions. When USCC became a related movement to the NCCC they transferred their accounts over. USCC was responsible for raising their own income, but they had to clear their budget through the NCCC.

The Campus Strategy Committee existed from 1949-1952. The primary goal of the committee was assessment of cooperative patterns between student Christian organizations on university and college campuses. In certain cases such as that of Bowling Green State University, the CSC would step in to help advise, and coordinate more effective ecumenical activities. In 1952, the CSC was transferred to the NCCC's Department of Campus Christian Life.

The Ecumenical Voluntary Service Committee was originally run by the Congregational Christian Service Committee, which was related to World Council of Churches, and a committee on ecumenical work camps in USA administered by United Christian Youth Movement. The secretary, Joseph Howell, stepped down, and WCC requested the NCCC take charge of the committee. It made logical sense for USCC to take over in 1955. CEVSP acted as a clearing house for service projects domestically and internationally. It was involved in assisting a Russian American exchange program in 1958.

The Executive Committee kept the USCC on target with what goals and priorities had been set by the General Assembly meeting.

The Study Department organized study conferences that were scheduled as quadrennials, and they published material pertinent to the USCC’s perspective on bible study. Early in 1957, the Study Department initiated a pilot study program with certain Christian university groups as part of the WSCF Life and Mission of the Church Project. The purpose of the study was to address so-called "University question" - how student Christians should relate to an increasingly secular and technological world. Responses were sent to the study department, and would be the research for which Lex Miller wrote his book on the University question entitled Faith and Learning: Christian Faith and Higher Education in Twentieth Century America.

The WSCF Committee was responsible for fund raising, promotion of WSCF by sending out literature, and coordinating programs and projects . The most prominent project was the WSCF Universal Day of Prayer that occurred every February on universities and college campuses across the world. The USCC would print and distribute programs for this event as well as recommend WSCF speakers to campuses. The WSCF Committee also assisted in sending American student delegates to summer projects such as the WSCF Work Camp in Bievres, France after World War II, and the Student in Industry project in Brantford, Ontario. The WSCF Committee also coordinated travel and speaking engagements for WSCF speakers.

Series IV: Conferences, is split into four subseries. USCC Conferences encompass the General Assembly which is their annual meeting, and the miscellaneous study conferences focused on bible study and Christian theology. USCC Consultations were in between enlarged meetings and a weekend conference. Consultations often brought different groups together to discuss or tackle an issue affecting the organization such as the merger with NCCC, or how to better work with international students. WSCF conferences ranged from the WSCF General Committee meetings which occurred in Geneva to localized, domestic conferences. The last subseries pertains to other conferences that were conducted by other student Christian movement groups or organizations such as the National Student Council of the YMCA/YWCA.

Series V: USCC Publications and Printed Materials, is comprised of all the publications or printed material produced by the USCC. Any type of material that was sent to member movements can be found here. These materials are official meeting minutes of the General Assembly, circular letters, the newsletter Communique, and study guides.

Series VI: USCC Organization and Policy Records, relates to the day to day administrative work and policies set by USCC. These records contain annual files, office procedures, tax information, and working files of student chairman.

Series VII: World Student Christian Federation, is divided into three subseries: Commissions of the WSCF, Publications and printed material, and Student Christian movements in other countries. John Deschner sat on the Political Commission of the WSCFfrom 1947-1949. This Commission’s task was to look at 1)Christian concern for politics; 2)Christianity and Communism; and 3) World order with special attention to United Nations Organization. Members of the Political Commission were John Deschner (USA), Kiang Wen-han (China), Penry Jones (UK), Philippe Maury (France), and M.M. Thomas (India). Much attention was given to Communism in Europe and China.

Series VIII: Denominational and YMCA Correspondence and Publications, consists of two subseries. The first is devoted to correspondence with the member movements while the latter subseries contains publications and printed materials created by the various member movements.

Series IX: Related Organizations, is divided into nine subseries pertaining to organizations that were related to the USCC. These include the Chinese Student Christian Association, Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, the Interseminary Movement, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, the World Student Service Fund, and the World University Service. The ninth subseries brings together various other "related" organizations that were less central to the work of the USCC. Related organizations worked closely with the USCC, and each would cooperate on promoting programs to the universities and colleges. The Chinese Student Christian Association were in talks to become a member movement of USCC, but became a related movement instead shortly before it dissolved.

Series X: Oversize Materials, includes materials removed from other series based on their larger format.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Robert E. Speers Theological Library, Princeton Theological Seminary
Arrangement
  1. I. Provisional Council of the World Student Christian Federation in United States of America
  2. II. USCC Correspondence
  3. III. USCC Committees and Commissions
  4. IV. Conferences and Consultations
  5. V. USCC Publications and Printed Materials
  6. VI. USCC Organization and Policy Records
  7. VII. World Student Christian Federation
  8. VIII. Denominational and YMCA Correspondence and Publications
  9. IX. Related Organizations
Associated Materials
Dates
1938-1960
Extent
66 Linear Feet (159 boxes)
Related Names
United Student Christian Council
Language of Materials
English