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About Us

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Our Mission

At Meadville Lombard Theological School, we educate students in the Unitarian Universalist tradition to embody liberal religious ministry in Unitarian Universalist congregations and wherever else they are called to serve. We do this to take into the world our Unitarian Universalist vision of justice, equity, and compassion.


Meadville Lombard

The Meadville Theological School was founded in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1844. Its founder was a prosperous businessman, Harm Jan Huidekoper, who had discovered Unitarianism and wanted to help spread its message of liberality and hope in the "west." From its very beginning "no doctrinal test" was ever to be made a part of admission to the school. To become less isolated and to find a more enriching intellectual environment, Meadville moved in 1926 to become a part of the University of Chicago academic community.

Lombard College, originally the Illinois Liberal Institute, was founded in 1851 in Galesburg, Illinois, and its Universalist Divinity School in 1881 in Chicago. When the undergraduate college discontinued operations during the Great Depression, the Divinity School began a merger process with Meadville.

From 1929 to 2011, Meadville Lombard was located at South Woodlawn Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.  Our school began a new chapter when we relocated to our current location on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago's South Loop.

Meadville Lombard Alumni/ae Include:

  • The poet Carl Sandburg, attended Lombard College
  • William F. Schulz, Current President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Former Executive Director of Amnesty International (1994-2006), and former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1985-1993). 
  • O. Eugene Pickett, former president of the UUA (1979-1985).
  • George Huntston Williams, Hollis Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Harvard University.
  • Rev. Dr. Michio Shinozaki, President of Gakurin Seminary, Rissho Kosei-kai, Japan.