Rev. Serene Jones in conversation with Krista Tippett • Amphitheater Lecture Series
President, Union Theological Seminary Author, Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World
A highly respected scholar and public intellectual, the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 182-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is a past president of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the world’s largest gathering of scholars of religion.
Jones came to Union after 17 years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, and chair of the university’s Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. Jones is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters and several books, including Trauma and Grace and her recently released memoir, Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World. Jones, a popular public speaker, is sought by media to comment on major issues impacting society because of her deep grounding in theology, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history, and ethics.
An ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, Jones received her bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa; her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and her doctorate from Yale University.
Krista Tippett, Host, “On Being”
Founder and CEO of The On Being Project, host of “On Being,” and curator of The Civil Conversations Project who, as Week Seven’s host and co-curator, will be leading daily conversations in the Amphitheater.
A journalist and former diplomat who had studied theology, Tippett saw a black hole where intelligent conversation about the religious, spiritual, and moral aspects of human life might be. She pitched and piloted her idea for a show for several years before launching “Speaking of Faith” — later “On Being” — as a weekly national public radio show in 2003. “On Being” is now a pursuit of the ancient and enduring human questions that gave rise to our spiritual traditions and resonate through every institution anew in this century. The show is now heard on over 400 public radio stations and a successful podcast, is produced by On Being Studios, together with the On Being Blog, initiatives like the Poetry Radio Project and Public Theology Reimagined, and an expanding portfolio of new podcasts. Additionally, Tippett is the curator of The Civil Conversations Project, and founder of the independent, non-profit public life and media initiative The On Being Project.
Tippett is the author of Speaking of Faith; Einstein’s God; and Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. She is at work on her next book, Letters to a Young Citizen. For her work, President Barack Obama awarded Tippett the National Humanities Medal in 2014.
Tippett is a graduate of Brown University and holds a Masters of Divinity from Yale University.
(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)