Skip to main content

University Christian Movement in New England Records

Call Number: RG 88

Scope and Contents

These records provide insight into Protestant religious work among college and university students in America and the college scene in general during the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, documenting various programs and organizations that sought to reform American society.

The Organization and Policy Records of Series I include some material related to predecessor organizations, including the Student Christian Movement in New England. The "Historical Information" folder in Series Iincludes a few documents tracing the UCM's activities after 1975, but most records documenting the period from 1975 to the present remain with the UCM. Series II, documenting the programmatic work of the UCM, is divided into topical, regional, and state files.

The Related Organizations of Series III include the Student Christian Movement of Canada, United Ministries in Higher Education, denominational groups, and miscellaneous other organizations with which the UCMNE interacted. Collected Materials in Series IV include documentation arranged according to topic that documents the range of concerns and program interests of the UCMNE, as well as publications of various non-UCM groups. The final series contains extensive financial records.


  • 1918-1990


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the UCMNE.


  1. I. Organization and Policy Records, 1920-1990
  2. II. Program, Regional and State Files, 1968-1981
  3. III. Related Organizations, 1929-1979
  4. IV. Collected Materials, 1955-1980
  5. V. Financial Material, 1952-1975

Related Materials

Record Group 88A contains an addendum to this collection, and includes all the remaining material belonging to the organization that was not submitted to Yale University in 1998.

There is considerable overlap between these archives and the archives of predecessor and related groups also held at the Yale Divinity Library. Files of UCM associate Helen Morton, which were received with these archives, have been organized into a separate record group, Record Group 133. For more extensive Student Christian Movement New England records, see Record Group 57. Additional United Ministries in Higher Education records are available in Record Groups 54 and 104.


20 Linear Feet (49 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers include correspondence, reports and minutes, printed material, and financial material. They constitute the official archive of the organization from its formation in 1967. The papers contain information about the local Christian ministries' programs of various colleges and universities in New England and document issues that were of concern to college students during the turbulent late 1960s and 1970s. These papers fit into a line of documentation at YDSL of religious work among college and university students, including the archives of the YMCA-Student Division, Student Christian Movement in New England, New England Commission for United Ministries in Higher Education, National Campus Ministry Association, and United Ministries in Higher Education. The University Christian Movement in New England is a non-denominational campus ministry organization formed in 1967 to continue the work of the Student Christian Movement in New England. The Student Christian Movement was formed in 1934 by the YMCA, YWCA, and various Protestant denominations to promote cooperative religious work among college and university students.

Biographical / Historical

In 1934, the Student Christian Movement in New England came into being under the auspices of the YMCA and YWCA. As the years progressed, most Protestant denominations joined in support of the SCM through direct financial contributions or by contributing staff. Through the 1950s SCM units flourished on most campuses throughout New England. The SCM supported the work of these local units, facilitated regional conferences, and related to both national and international expressions of student Christian life. The early 1960s found most of the SCM units dissolving as students became more politicized and gravitated toward other organizations, often feeling that the Church was not responding to the urgent needs of the time. In 1967 the SCM decided to become a regional member of the national University Christian Movement and officially changed its name to the University Christian Movement in New England.

During the years 1968 to 1970 a two-year experiment was undertaken to develop an organizational style for the organization that would encourage student initiative in the creation of local action projects for social change. The major Protestant denominations supported this two-year experiment of the UCM via their involvement in United Ministries in Higher Education (UMHE). Efforts were made to build a communication network among various student and youth groups in New England who were not in the main stream of the church and to provide services to these groups that would help their local work. In 1970 two new women staff members were hired to give impetus to the new style of operation.

The UCM supported a variety of projects during the 1970s. In Maine, it supported the Franco-American Resource Group at the University of Maine and the Penobscot Native American Nation. In Vermont it supported the People's Free Clinic. In New Hampshire it supported the New Hampshire People's Press, which worked with local groups around community issues such as racism in the high schools and the Vietnam War. In Connecticut it supported the Women's Abortion Referral Service and the Women's Research Project, both based in New Haven. In Massachusetts it supported the For the People organization, which coordinated college students' activities on their campuses, such as women's centers and Black Student Unions.

The bulk of the documentation in this record group ends around 1975; the UCMNE still exists and additional archives will be added in the future.

Guide to the University Christian Movement in New England Records
Compiled by Carl L. Beckwith and Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301

Opening Hours