The mission of UCM is to engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, work for social justice, and community service guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.
UCM is a non-profit organization focused on spiritual growth and progressive social action. Our ministry offers a variety of programming, events, and opportunities for spiritual growth, community service, and social justice. Our programs are free and open to everyone, regardless of who you are, what you believe (or don’t), or where you come from. Radical hospitality is what we do and we mean it!
Since its incorporation in 1968, UCM has played a role in the start-up of many local organizations and efforts. Some have come and gone based on need, some have become part of larger organizations or agencies, and some still are filling a community need. Our start-ups include:
- Appalachian Peace and Justice Network
- Careline: Crisis Support Line
- Central American Solidarity Committee
- Child Assault Prevention Program
- Gay Activist Alliance > GALA > Open Doors
- My Sister’s Place
- River Valley Community School
- Southeastern Ohio Foodbank (now part of HAPCAP)
- Thursday Supper and Saturday Lunch
- OU’s Women’s Studies Program (now Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies)
UCM can’t do this alone and is indebted to many, including our many individuals and Sustaining donors. You can become one today through our PayPal account or mail your tax-deductible donation to UCM, 18 N. College Street, Athens, OH 45701.
United Campus Ministry (UCM) is the result of a long evolutionary process of hard work, dedication, and cooperation. The development of UCM began in December 1951 when the house at 18 North College Street was donated by Delbert Robinson to the Westminster Foundation, a Presbyterian campus ministry program. The director of Presbyterian Campus Ministry in Ohio, Reverend John Miller, arranged the donation and organized the fundraising drive for its restoration. In October 1955, the renovated building was dedicated in a ceremony at which William Carson Blake of the National Council of Churches spoke.
During the late 1950s, other Protestant denominations began to join forces with the Westminster Foundation for the purpose of forming a stronger commitment to campus ministry. In 1956, the United Church of Christ (UCC) joined Westminster, providing funding and a staff member. In the mid-1960s, the American Baptist and the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ joined with the UCC and the Presbyterians to become the United Campus Christian Fellowship. In 1967, a shared staff situation was created with the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd’s Reverend Ned Dougherty. United Campus Ministry was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1968 and the United Methodist Wesley Foundation merged with UCM in 1969.
UCM’s evolutionary process was just getting started with these mergers. Throughout UCM’s history a diverse and dedicated staff has shaped and changed UCM and the services it has offered to both students and the local community. UCM is a dynamic organization committed to spiritual growth, leadership development, community service, and social change.
Areas of ministry have included anti-war activism, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, anti-racism, environmental and economic justice work, progressive spirituality and interfaith community-building, and empowering the next generation to continue and expand our work and reach. Our work on the streets and in the region have shaped and transformed the Athens and Ohio University communities in countless ways. Our home on College Street has also been a center of growth, understanding, and transformation. In 2021, we reintroduced ourselves as UCM Center to focus attention on all the ways we are a vital community center.
Our EXECUTIVE STAFF OVER THE YEARS
|1953-1958||Rev. Chet Marquis|
|1958-1970||Rev. Tom Niccolls|
|1963-1968||Rev. Richard Putney|
|1958-1968||Rev. George Kennedy|
|1967-1969||Rev. Ned Dougherty|
|1968-1978||Rev. Chuck McCullough|
|1969-1971||Rev. Tom Jackson|
|1970-1976||Rev. Fred Mong|
|1970-1974||Rev. Don Budenzer|
|1976-2004||Rev. Jan Griesinger|
|1979-1980||Rev. Wayland Melton|
|1980-1987||Rev. Dorsey Blake|
|1988-1989||Rev. Jesse Truvillion|
|2005-2020||Rev. Evan Young|
UCM Center has a rich history and we invite you to learn more at our archives page.