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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 551

Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001. Papers, 1928-2001.


Biographical files; sermons, lectures, speeches, writings and other materials documenting Howard Schomer's career as a minister, human rights advocate, pacifist, and business consultant.


  • Creation: 1928-2001.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


53 boxes

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.

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;

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal material
  2. Series II. Sermons, lectures, and speeches
  3. Series III. Articles, essays, book reviews, and other writings
  4. Series IV. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ABCFM) and Chambon-sur Lignon/College Cevenol
  5. Series V. World Council of Churches
  6. Series VI. Chicago Theological Seminary
  7. Series VII. National Council of Churches - USA
  8. Series VIII. United Church Board for World Ministries
  9. Series IX. Corporate Advisory Services (CAS) Howard Schomer Associates
  10. Series X. Miscellaneous topics
  11. Series XI. Audiovisual materials, 1962-2001

Aquisition Information

Gift of Howard and Karine Schomer.

Schomer, Howard, 1915-2001. Papers, 1915-2001: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School 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. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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