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Samuel Slie Papers

Call Number: RG 111

Scope and Contents

This collection provides valuable biographical information about Slie as well as documenting the numerous organizations and issues that were of interest to Slie during his long career as a prominent African American religious leader in the New Haven area. Much of the collection consists of writings and printed material related to the various issues that concerned Slie, but there are also writings and correspondence by Slie. Taken in conjunction with relevant organizational archives held at the Yale Divinity School Library, these papers provide insight into the volatile era of the 1960s and 1970s in New England, a time of great change for student Christian work and society in general.

The 2010 Addendum consists of Slie's "working file" of materials related to various organizations and issues of interest to him.


  • 1961-1986


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Samuel Slie


  1. I. Religion in Higher Education
  2. II. Social Justice
  3. III. Interfaith and Ecumenical Dialogue
  4. IV. Yale Connections
  5. V. Personal
  6. VI. Addendum - 2010


30 Linear Feet (67 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


This collection documents Samuel Slie's work with numerous organizations involved in student Christian work, ecumenical issues, and social justice, particularly in New Haven and New England. The papers complement organizational archives held at the Yale Divinity School Library, including the archives of the Student Christian Movement in New England, University Christian Movement, United Ministries in Higher Education, and National Campus Ministry Association. Samuel Slie, a Yale Divinity School graduate, was involved in religious work with college and university students in New England and served as Associate University Pastor at Yale.

Biographical / Historical

Reverend Samuel Slie was born in Branford, Connecticut on June 8, 1925. Since his childhood he has been affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC) into which he was ordained in 1952. He graduated from Hillhouse High School, was a veteran of the infantry service in World War II after which he obtained his B.S. in Group Work and Community Organization from Springfield College in Massachusetts. He also studied at Wilberforce University in Ohio and overseas in Florence, Italy. In 1952 he received his B.D. in Religion and Higher Education and in 1963 a S.T.M in Roman Catholic Ecumenical Thought fromYale Divinity School.

Befitting his education, Rev. Slie has held many positions which placed him at the center of the dialogue between religion and higher education and interfaith/ecumenical thought. He began at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) for which he became the Southern Area Secretary of the National Student Council in 1952. In 1955 he became the Regional Director of the New England Student Christian Movement (SCM) for the United Church of Christ, a position he held for ten years until 1965. The position which led him into closer contact with Yale was the Coordinating Chaplain of the United Ministry in Higher Education in Greater New Haven, which he began in 1965. His work there was as a campus ministry liaison and resource person on an ecumenical basis among the seven colleges of Greater New Haven. His accomplishments in this position were endorsed by the New Haven Council of Churches. In January of 1966 he also became the Associate University Pastor, Yale University, Church of Christ (part-time) and a Fellow of Morse College. From 1969 through 1975 he was part-time lecturer at Yale Divinity School. He lectured on: The Church and the Black Experience, Women in Campus Ministry, and Christian Ministry in Higher Education.

As a resource person and a pastor he was required to be current on a variety of issues from religious, to social, to intellectual. He was affiliated with the Danforth Foundation and the Ministries to Blacks in Higher Education, was knowledgeable of the New Haven Pagan Council, concerned about famine in South Africa, and desired the flourishing of Christian Unity. Despite his knowledge of and frequent offers to work for secular institutions he consistently chose the institutional church. His theological grounding and faith were repeatedly praised by a variety of people. His ministry has been most appropriately described as a ministry of reconciliation where both judgment and healing can occur.

Guide to the Samuel Slie Papers
Compiled by Adam Rohler and Martha Lund Smalley
2001, 2010
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

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