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bMS 551

Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001. Papers, 1915-2001: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 551
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001.
Title: Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001. Papers, 1928-2001.
Date(s): 1928-2001.
Quantity: 53 boxes
Abstract: Biographical files; sermons, lectures, speeches, writings and other materials documenting Howard Schomer's career as a minister, human rights advocate, pacifist, and business consultant.

Aquisition Information:

Gift of Howard and Karine Schomer.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Howard Schomer, June 9, 1915-June 28, 2001; Harvard College, B.S., 1937; Chicago Theological Seminary, D.D., 1954; ordained minister (United Church of Christ), 1941; married Elsie Swenson, 1942. Schomer refused ministerial exemption from the draft in World War II and served as a conscientious objector assigned to Civilian Public Service. From 1946-1955 he and Elsie served as Fraternal Workers in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, where thousands of Jewish and other refugees had been rescued during the Nazi occupation. In 1948, as Special Assistant to the UN Commission on Human Rights, he helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He subsequently served the World Council of Churches in Geneva, with primary focus on the preservation of religious freedom behind the Iron Curtain. In 1958, he became President of Chicago Theological Seminary, guiding its involvement in the ecumenical, civil rights, peace and urban renewal movements. He worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and marched with him in Selma, Alabama. In 1966 he became Director of Specialized Overseas Ministries of the National Council of Churches, and was active in opposing the war in Vietnam. In the 1970s, as World Issues Secretary of the United Church of Christ, he developed action programs for the promotion of peace, human rights and corporate social responsibility.


Organized into the following series;

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of biographical files; sermons, lectures, speeches, and writings; Chicago Theological Seminary papers, 1958-1966; Chambon-sur-Lignon College papers, 1946-1990; material on the World Council of Churches, 1950-1962; National Council of Churches, 1961-1980; and United Church Board for World Ministries, 1971-1980 that includes consultant papers and reports. It also includes information about Elsie Schomer, Howard's wife and co-worker.

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