Cornel West Accepts Full-Time Professorship at Union Theological Seminary


Princeton University Professor Cornel West, one of America’s most influential civil rights activists, authors, commentators and scholars will join the faculty of Union Theological Seminary starting in July.

Currently the Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, West will maintain his ties to Princeton as a professor emeritus.

West is no stranger to Union Theological Seminary. He previously served on Union’s faculty from 1977-84 and 1987-88.  In his new position at Union, he will serve as professor of philosophy and Christian practices.

“Union is a place where Cornel West’s view of the world is in our life blood. Historically, Union has inspired strong public voices which speak to our nation’s ills and ideals – be they protests against war, poverty, racism, sexism, or other societal scourges,” said Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, in a release about West’s hiring.

“Some call Cornel West this generation’s Reinhold Niebuhr, but I think he’s in a class by himself,” Jones said. “Cornel is, quite simply, the leading public theologian of our age.”

West will teach classes in the areas of philosophy, theology, social change, community engagement and Christian activism.  He will teach a full schedule of courses to religious leaders, scholars and activists.

“I am overjoyed and completely excited to hear Dr. West is coming to Union,” said current U.T.S. student, Daniel J. Rohrer, a Master of Divinity a doctoral student at Union. “Dr. West is somebody who is really in touch with America and its religious and public policies.  His teaching will help us be more effective leaders in our churches and communities.”