Union Theological Seminary Academics


Committee on Spiritual Formation

The Committee on Spiritual Formation was formed in response to the community-wide need for integrating spiritual formation into the core curriculum and daily experience of Seminary students. The Committee responds to this need by programming in five key areas:

  • Bridging the classroom, pulpit and the pew
  • Fostering conversations about vocation and call
  • Integrating the pastoral and the prophetic
  • Cultivating spiritual practices
  • Encouraging reflection on “the religious life”

As just a few examples of the programming offered in support of the above objectives, the Committee provides the following services:

  • Maintaining a weekly prayer list
  • Hosting round table SpiriTalk discussions
  • Offering one-credit S.U. courses on matters concerning the Introduction to Spiritual Formation
  • Offering retreats at key moments in the academic and liturgical year
  • Offering individual, confidential Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling
  • Working with the Worship Office to ensure Union’s worship experiences are as numerous, diverse, and enriching as our community itself

In addition to the above stated objectives and programs, the Committee routinely evaluates the present needs and concerns of the entire Union community as it seeks to respond with relevant, topical, and timely resources in support of individual and communal spiritual care.

Committee Structure, Appointment & Terms

The Committee is an 11-person body comprised of five students (three at large; one worship office representative; one student senate representative), three rotating faculty, one standing faculty, and two standing academic office representatives. Committee terms are as follows:

At Large Student Representatives (3): renewable 12-month calendar year terms (1/1 – 12/31) Worship Office Representative (1) and Student Senate Representative (1): renewable 12-month terms that follow the academic year (Convocation – the following year’s New Student Orientation) Rotating Faculty Representatives (3): renewable 12-month terms that follow the academic year (Convocation – the following year’s New Student Orientation)

The Academic Office Representatives (2) and Standing Faculty Representative (1) are standing positions appointed by the Academic Dean

Appointments:  How To Join The Committee

The Committee listens for the Spirit’s voice in all that we do, and particularly in encouraging individuals to step into Committee leadership. Though the four student appointments are made at the outset of each academic year, statements of interest are welcome throughout the year as vacancies sometimes occur and we are always open to new suggestions and stirrings. If you would like to serve on the Committee, please submit the following information to Dean Yvette Wilson at ywilson@uts.columbia.edu.

  1. Your Name, Degree Program, and Year
  2. Your Preferred Contact Information (email and telephone)
  3. A short statement on the following:
    • Your current spiritual practice(s)
    • What brings/calls you to the Committee’s work
    • How do you imagine your talents benefitting or propelling Spiritual Formation at Union
  4. Your current resume or curriculum vitae

The committee reviews statements of interest throughout the year and will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

2013–14 Committee Members


Kristen Guest, 2nd year MDiv, Worship Office Rep (1-yr term ends 8/31/14, renewable)

Rashad Moore, 2nd year MDiv, Student Senate Rep (1-yr term ends 12/31/13, renewable)

Chris Fici, 2nd year MDiv, Student-at-Large Rep (1-yr term ends 12/31/13, renewable)

AJ Turner, 2nd year MDiv, Student-at-Large Rep (1-yr term ends 12/31/13, renewable)

Carmen Williams, 3rd year MDiv, Student-at-Large Rep (1-yr term ends 12/31/13, renewable)

Faculty appointment TBA (1-yr term ends 8/31/14)

Faculty appointment TBA (1-yr term ends 8/31/14)

Troy Messenger, Directing & Visiting Assistant Professor of Worship

Yvette D. Wilson ’09, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Mary Boys, Dean of Academic Affairs (ex officio)

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