University of Pennsylvannia Christian Association Records

Span Dates: 1857-2000
Bulk Dates: 1968-1990
Volume: 60 cubic feet


Although this collection spans many decades and topics, of interest are the records documenting the emergence of the LGBTQ work of this student organization in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection consists of two record groups. The first group, 1857-1990, has been organized into ten series: 1. History, Bylaws, Mission Statement, 1897-1988; 2. Board Records, 1857-1990; 3. Committee Records, 1902-1989; 4. Administration, 1898-1990; 5. Programs, 1927-1990; 6. Financial Records, 1893-1990; 7. Affiliated Denominational Groups, 1912-1988; 8. Other Organizations, 1952-1990; 9. Scrapbooks, Cards,? 10. Memorabilia. The second record group, 1902-2000, is arranged alphabetically by subject. The bulk documents the activities and development of the institution from the late 1980s to the end of the century. It consists of administrative files, Board and committee records, general financial files, and files of various programs, such as black studies, the African American ministry, gay and lesbian peer counseling, etc.

Hist/Bio Note

The institution, emerged in the mid-nineteenth century and has been affiliated with Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and the United Church of Christ. In the early days, each denomination had a representative on its staff. After 1958, each denomination gradually began to have its own budget. Since 1967, the CA has enjoyed support from the Pennsylvania Commission of the United Ministries in Higher Education. In the 1960s the CA's interest in social service burst into a wide variety of cultural and social activities which corresponded to the liberal and civil rights movements in the nation in general. The CA sponsored art exhibits, film series programs, the Wilma Theater, the Cultural Harvest program, the Big Small Theater, the Fish Poetry series, etc. In addition, the CA developed services specifically addressed to homosexuals. A campus ministry to gay students took shape around 1970. By 1974 the CA had formalized its gay ministry. In 1978, the CA sponsored the Philadelphia Gay Cultural Festival, formed Gay and Lesbian Peer Counseling, supported homosexual student groups at the University, and created the Philadelphia Lesbian Gay Task Force. Although the CA terminated its relationship with PLGTF in 1983, its support of gay ministry continued.

Finding Aid

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