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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 420

Universalist Church of America. General Superintendent, Cummins, Robert, 1897-1982. Records, 1939-1969.


Records of Universalist minister, Robert Cummins as related to his tenure as the Universalist Church of America's General Superintendent, including correspondence, writings, and material on past General Superintendents. The papers span 1939-1969.


  • 1939-1969.
  • 1940
  • 1946
  • 1953
  • 1964


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


5 boxes
This collection consists of Universalist Church of America General Superintendent and personal correspondence, both arranged chronologically, as well as miscellaneous General Superintendent papers, including expense records, travel schedules, and reports. The collection also contains writings, such as articles and leaflets, as well as material on past General Superintendents and an audiocassette of an interview with Cummins conducted by Carl Seaburg and Theodore Webb.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Cummins (1897-1982) was born in Sidney, Ohio. He received a BA from Miami University in 1919, an MA from the University of Cincinnati in 1921, and a ThM from the University of Southern California in 1937. He was ordained a Universalist minister in 1926. Cummins began his career as a teacher at the Boon-It Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. He returned to the United States in the early 1920s and served pastorates in Milford, Newton, and Montgomery, Ohio, before settling in Cincinnati in 1926. He moved to Pasadena, California, in 1932 to become pastor of Throop Memorial Universalist Church. From 1938 to 1954, he served as the general superintendent of the Universalist Church of America. Cummins retired from active ministry in 1953 and was called upon by President Eisenhower to head the U.S. State Department's International Cooperation Administration. From 1960 to 1961 he served as president of the Universalist Church of Maine. He is also the author of Religious Implications of the Democratic Process (1940), Parish Practice in Universalist Churches: Manual of Organization and Administration (1946), The Universalist Church of America (1953) and Excluded: The Story of the Council of Churches and the Universalists (1964).


Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. General Superintendent correspondence
  2. Series II. Miscellaneous General Superintendent papers
  3. Series III. Personal correspondence
  4. Series IV. Writings
  5. Series V. Miscellaneous
  6. Series VI. Material on past General Superintendents
  7. Series VII. Interview

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 546.
Universalist Church of America. General Superintendent, Cummins, Robert, 1897-1982. Records, 1939-1969: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies.

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