Rev. Kathleen McTigue

It is our pleasure to announce the formation of the new Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice and our great delight to announce the appointment of Rev. Kathleen McTigue as its inaugural director.

The UU College of Social Justice (CSJ) is a formal collaboration of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Its mission is to increase the capacity of Unitarian Universalists to catalyze justice. Building on several years of successful UUA-UUSC partnership, especially in the area of disaster response, the college will combine resources of both organizations to offer current leaders and future activists of any age a broader and more effective portfolio of service-learning and justice-education experiences.

Our vision is to provide transformative learning experiences that equip our current and future leaders with a deeper firsthand understanding of the roots of injustice, direct experience in successful social change, a deeper grounding in Unitarian Universalism and their own spiritual resources, and encouragement to put their own call to justice into action. Beyond the service-learning and justice-education programs, which will serve as the starting point for CSJ, we aspire over time to assist congregations in discerning their own focus for social-justice work, to more effectively harness our collective UU power for change on selected issues of central importance to our faith, and to build our capacity for advancing justice in the local communities we serve. In all these respects, the college is intended to be an enduring educational institution that transforms lives and shapes our shared ministry for the years to come.

We could not be more fortunate than to have Rev. Kathleen McTigue lead the start-up of this new venture. McTigue brings an activist’s passion to the work, having studied fascism in Spain, researched and written about economic strategies to end apartheid in southern Africa, and witnessed for peace through years of work in the United States and Central America. Most importantly, she brings 25 years of experience in parish ministry, having served for the last 21 years as senior minister of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, Conn. She has not only helped build a thriving congregation there but has been an extraordinarily effective alliance builder and strong public voice for justice on behalf of peace, marriage equality, and immigrant rights. In addition, McTigue has served in the leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA). In all these forms of ministry, she has distinguished herself as a passionate, grounded, and highly accomplished leader. She was recently selected by her colleagues celebrating 25 years in ministry to speak on their behalf at this year’s UUMA meeting in Phoenix, an honor that recognizes their esteem for her ministry.

McTigue will begin in her new role on a limited-time consulting basis as of May 21 and will be present for the official CSJ launch at this year’s Justice General Assembly. She will begin as the full-time director of the college on July 16.

From the moment 74 years ago when American Unitarian Association President Frederick May Eliot asked Rev. Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp to undertake the work that ultimately led to the formation of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, our two institutions have been on a joint mission to cross boundaries that separate people, to become true allies with those who are marginalized and oppressed, and to be more powerful religious catalysts for justice. Today’s announcement represents an exciting next step on that faithful journey.

Please join us in celebrating this new milestone for Unitarian Universalism and offering our hearty congratulations and full support to McTigue in this vital work.

In faith and witness,

Rev. William F. Schulz
President and CEO
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Rev. Peter Morales
Unitarian Universalist Association


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