Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001

Birth 1915
Death 2001

Biographical notes:

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.

From the guide to the Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001. Papers, 1928-2001., (Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School)

United Church of Christ minister; social policy consultant. American Board Mission to the Churches of Europe, Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, 1946-1955; Secretary for Europe, Inter-Church Aid, World Council of Churches, 1955-1958; President and Professor of Church History, Chicago Theological Seminary, 1959-1966; Executive Director, Dept. of Specialized Ministries, Division of Overseas Ministries, National Council of Churches, 1967-1970; Indochina Liaison Officer, World Council of Churches, 1970-1971; United Church of Christ Officer for Social Responsibility in Investments, 1972-1981; founder, director of Corporate Advisory Services, 1981- .

From the description of Howard Schomer. Papers, 1928-2001 (inclusive). (Harvard University, Divinity School Library). WorldCat record id: 561745639


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  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Religious aspects
  • Civil rights--Religious aspects--Christianity
  • Race relations--Religious aspects--Christianity
  • Nuclear disarmament
  • Social responsibility of business
  • Ecumenical movement
  • Peace--Religious aspects--Christianity
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
  • Conscientious objection


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  • South Africa (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)