Featured Collections


Pacific Coast Theological Society

The Pacific Coast Theological Society (then Group) was established by John C. Bennett  (1902-1995) and supported by the Hazen Foundation in 1939. Bennett, then Professor of Christian Theology at Pacific School of Religion,  was inspired by a similar organization on the East coast ("the younger theologians"). more

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Archival Collections

Over the past 30 years, Special Collections and Archives developed significant resources on the religious activities of LGBTQ clergy and organizations.Our most noteworthy collections are owned by The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) and are managed by the GTU library. more

Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Collection

Edith Stein (1891-1942), St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was born into a Jewish family in Breslau. Germany.  She became a philosopher, phenomenologist, teacher, feminist, and translator.  In 1922, she was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church.  Unable to continue as a teacher as a Jew under Nazi rule, she joined the Discalced Carmelites in 1933.  In 1942, she and her sister Rosa were arrested in Echt and killed at Auschwitz. Edith Stein was canonized in 1998.  She is one of the six patron saints of Europe. more

Oral Histories of the Graduate Theological Union

Ever wonder what was on the minds of the founders of the Graduate Theological Union? Or what challenges theological educators faced in the Sixties and Seventies? Or at least, what they later remembered. This site contains oral histories on the founding and development of Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California, and related digital content. One collection, Remembering Theological Education in the Sixties, was conducted by Ray F. Kibler III in 1993-1994.  The other collection came from an oral history class conducted by Barbera Brown Zikmund and Charles McCoy in Spring 1988.

Douglas G. Adams Collection

Doug Adams (1945-2007) was professor of Religion and Art at Pacific School of Religion and one of the core faculty of Graduate Theological Union for 31 years. Adams was an international scholar in religion and the arts, worship, dance and humor.  more

Margaret Fisk Taylor Sacred Dance Collection

Margaret Palmer (1908-2004) was a pioneer in the field of sacred dance in America. Born in Oakland, California, she was a daughter of a Congregational minister. She began to incorporate sacred dance at her husband's  church. She continued to expand her dancing, organizing rhythmic choirs and teaching in workshops, festivals, and classes in many denominational and college settings. She interpreted and choreographed dances for worship services well into her 90's.  more

Robert McAfee Brown Collection

Robert McAfee Brown (May 28, 1920 – September 4, 2001) was a theologian, preacher, author, activist, and professor. He was a world-renowned leader in civil rights, ecumenical, and social justice issues.  more

Albert Gleaves Cohen Campus Ministry, Social Justice and Environment Collection

Albert Gleaves Cohen served as campus minister with United Ministries in Higher Education (UMHE) at California State University Fullerton (1965-69) and California State University in Los Angeles (1969-97). The collection contains his activities on campus and off for civil rights, minority causes, social justice, population, student issues, and intelligent stewardship of the environment. more

Sanctuary Oral History Project, 1971 - 2007

In 1998, Eileen M. Purcell began the Sanctuary Oral History Project in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the Salvadorean martyrs in 2000. She began conducting interviews with many of the leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, Purcell became critically ill in 2000, and the project was set aside. She survived the illness. Purcell donated the collection to the Graduate Theological Union Archives on March 24, 2009, adding additional  these personal memories to the records found in  our other collections on the movement:  Gustav Schultz Sanctuary Collection, GTU 90-5-01; National Sanctuary Defense Fund Collection, GTU 98-9-04.  more

Anne McGrew Bennett Collection, 1959-84

Anne McGrew Bennett (1903-1986) was a pioneer feminist who insisted on women's equality within the ecumenical church. She was an inspiration for feminists and feminist theologians in the sixties and seventies. She served on the board of the Office of Women's Affairs at the GTU. Her husband, John C. Bennett (1903 - 1995) was a Christian ethicist, professor and president of Union Theological Seminary in New York from 1963 to 1970. On March 19, 1970, she was charged with "disorderly conduct." Here is her eloquent response. more

The Center for Women and Religion Collection Opens for Research

The Center for Women and Religion at the GTU was the earliest established center for women in theological education. It was founded in 1970 as the Office of Women's Affairs by Bay Area women in religion, including some GTU women, who recognized "that seminary women at the GTU schools needed a channel, an advocate, an office through which to express their needs and concerns." more

The Elsie Thomas Culver Collection

During World War II, Elsie Thomas Culver (1898-1988), a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion and ordained a Congregational minister (1943), worked for the Church Committee on Overseas Relief and Reconstruction (which later became Church World Service under the National Council of Churches). As a publicist, she was in charge of creating material for fund raising campaigns. When the war ended in May 1945, Elsie, at the age of 47, packed up her camera and traveled throughout Europe that September through December. more

Thomas Starr King Collection

When the Rev. Thomas Starr King died on the morning of March 4, 1864, the City of San Francisco went into mourning. Federal and state offices closed, flags flew at half mast, and buildings were draped in black. Newspaper accounts describe a scene of mourning befitting a head of state as thousands filed silently through the church where his body was laid out. more

The Radical Religion Collection

Radical Religion: A Quarterly Journal of Critical Opinion was published 1973-81. In 1973, the Berkeley Free Church which had operated in the South Campus area of Berkeley since 1967, closed its doors taking time to contemplate its future work. The former staff and board made decisions to conclude its ministry of survival services to street people, and continue its publication arm in a new direction. more

Paul W. Yinger Collection

The Rev. Paul W. Yinger was not a famous man, but he touched many lives. A Congregational minister who once served as chairman of the GTU board of trustees and later as GTU vice- president, Yinger had a distinguished career in ministry and public speaking. more