Collegium brings together the best academic, ministerial, lay, and other resources to bear upon the intellectual life of Unitarian Universalism through encouraging, sharing, and distributing scholarly and other creative work.

Collegium is a mutually supportive network of academic and independent scholars, ministers, and students, most but not all of whom are Unitarian Universalists.

Members and participants of Collegium are involved in scholarly pursuits related to liberal religious studies has met annually since 1975 to share mutual interests and work-in-progress. Members gather for a weekend each October or November, alternating between a Boston-area location, one near Chicago or one in the San Francisco area. Sessions include a presentation by an invited Distinguished Scholar and meetings of separate groups interested in one of two focus areas – history and theology and ethics – to hear and discuss papers presented by members. Manuscripts benefit from friendly critique, ideas are sparked, and resources are shared in conversation with one another.

Distinguished scholars who have honored Collegium over the years include James Luther Adams, Mark Morrison-Reed (right), George Huntston Williams, Kendra and Huston Smith, Clare Benedicks Fischer, and Thandeka. From time to time the association sponsors the publication of conference proceedings and other scholarly work related to liberal religion.


Begun in 1975 to foster collegial connections and intellectual conversations among academic and independent scholars, the Unitarian Universalist Collegium has a distinguished history of four decades.

The chief visionary in founding Collegium was James Luther Adams (1901-1994), whose commitment to Unitarian and then Unitarian Universalist scholarship was long evident in his own teaching career and his leading role in founding the Greenfield Group. READ MORE.

As James Luther Adams noticed forty years ago, there is still a need to bring together scholars in different contexts and stages. Collegium strives to continue to be a community that nurtures vital intellectual conversation about Unitarian Universalism.

Learn more about JLA at the James Luther Adams Foundation

Covenant of Right Relationship

We who participate in UU Collegium agree to treat each other fairly and respectfully. We are committed to supporting one another’s continuing education, scholarly work, academic interests, and related skills and talents. By accepting and practicing the following attitudes and actions, we agree to... Download Covenant.


The Collegium Constitution, last amended in 2010, has nine parts: (1) Introduction; (2) Programs; (3) Scholar’s Database; (4) Membership; (5) Officers; (6) Responsibilities of Officers; (7) Executive Committee; (8) Responsibilities of the Executive Committee; and (9) Amending the Constitution. Download Constitution

Living Tradition

Collegium is a living tradition of scholars supporting Unitarian Universalism and liberal religious studies more broadly. Please add your voice to this diverse group of thinkers. We welcome your scholarly contributions and look forward to working with and learning from you. 

Distinguished Scholars

2018 Catherine Brekus
2017 Sylvester Johnson
2016 Rosemary Bray McNatt
2015 Gary Dorrien
2014 Anthony B. Pinn
2013 Philip F. Gura
2012 Mark A. Hicks
2011 Gabriella Lettini
2010 Catherine Keller
2009 Phillip Hewitt
2008 Mark Morrison-Reed
2007 Daniel Berrigan
2006 Glenna Matthews
2005 Ursula Goodendough
2004 David Johnson
2003 Rebecca Parker
2002 John Hayward
2001 Robert Richardson
2000 Gene Reeves
25th Anniv. Speaker, Neil Gerdes
1999 Rosemary Radford Ruether
Honored Member, Spencer Lavan
1998 Robert R. Richardson ^
1998 Ernest Cassara
1997 Margaret Miles


1996 Ronald Engel
1995 John Godbey
1994 David Robinson
1993 Thandeka
1992 Sharon Welch
1991 Sharon Welch ^
1990 Kendra & Huston Smith
1989 Jack Mendelsohn
1988 Clare Fischer
1987 William R. Jones
1986 James Luther Adams
1985 Daniel Berrigan ^
1984 Ralph Burhoe
1983 Conrad Wright
1982 John C. Bennett
1981 Bernard Loomer
1980 Sidney E. Mead
1979 Bernard Meland
1978 George G. Williams
1977 Charles Hartsthorne
1976 Spencer Lavan
1975 James Luther Adams

^ Unable to Attend