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Inventory of the Albert G. Cohen Campus Ministry, Social Justice and Environment Collection
GTU 2003-10-02  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Index
  • Other Finding Aids
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Albert G. Cohen Campus Ministry, Social Justice and Environment collection
    Dates: 1939 - 2003
    Collection number: GTU 2003-10-02
    Collector: Cohen, Albert G.
    Collection Size: 25 linear feet (29 archives boxes, 1 folio, 1 map case drawer)
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: Albert Gleaves Cohen served as campus minister with United Ministries in Higher Education at California State University Fullerton (1965-69) and California State University in Los Angeles (1969-97). The collection contains his activities on campus and off for civil rights, minority causes, social justice, population, student issues, and intelligent stewardship of the environment.
    Physical location: 7/F/1 -7/G/3; 3/E/top; map drawer
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Albert G. Cohen Campus Ministry, Social Justice and Environment Collection, GTU 2003-10-02. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were donated by Rev. Albert G. Cohen in seven shipments from October 2003 through August 2009. Additional posters (no. 142-200) received August 14, 2009. Additional materials-personal, ministerial and project related-received November 5, 2009.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Albert Gleaves Cohen (1928- ) grew up in Philadelphia and attended nearby Haverford School. The son of a naval commander and grandson of Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He graduated in 1949 with a concentration in mechanical engineering. He toured the Seas of Japan on USS Floyd B. Parks prior to the Korean War and later served as an engineer on the USS K-1 submarine and the USS Catfish.
    In 1954 he resigned from the Navy and enrolled in Graduate School of Theology, Oberlin College, Ohio. He writes, "I wanted to equip myself to be a peacemaker in this new age. Given the way the world was heading in the post World War II years, I saw a church career as consistent with the family tradition of responsible citizenship."(1) While attending the seminary, he served as pastor of nearby Brighton Congregational Church.
    He was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1958 and served for five years as youth minister at Oneonta Congregational Church in Pasadena, California. Following a one year stint at Tabernacle Congregational Church in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, he returned to Southern California and served Plymouth Congregational Church in Whittier. During this time he became active in civil rights and assisted in voter registration in Columbus, Mississippi, and Selma, Alabama.
    In 1965 Cohen accepted a call as the first full time campus minister with the United Christian Campus Ministry at California State College at Fullerton, founded in 1957. Originally hired by the Westminster Foundation in Southern California, the following year his ministry became part of the United Ministries of Higher Education (UMHE) of Southern California. UMHE of Southern California was funded by the Disciples of Christ, Evangelical United Brethren, United Church of Christ and United Presbyterians.
    Cohen's duties at Fullerton included counseling for individuals and groups, being the unofficial administrator of the religious center, and promoting connections with local congregations. An advertisement in the campus newspaper, The Titan (September 27, 1968) announced: "Counseling for Problem Pregnancies, Draft Counseling, Grape Boycott Information, Theological Study Opportunities: See your UCCM Minister, Rev. Al Cohen."
    Cohen, like many other campus ministers at this time, was an activist and served as a mediator between factions. (2) He became a voice of Christian conscience on the campus for peace, civil rights, fair housing and freedom of speech. He is featured and quoted in a number of articles in The Titan. Off campus, he was arrested on three occasions during demonstrations supporting civil rights, the rights of Mexican students, and student rights (San Fernando Valley State College). Along with his other activities, he helped found the religious studies program at Fullerton.
    In 1969, Cohen moved to California State University at Los Angeles, where he remained as the UMHE campus minister until 1996. His activities extended beyond the campus. He became a member of the Committee on Higher Education and Public Policy (COHEPP), Southern California University Pastors (SCUP), from 1971 through 1975, when California debated dramatic changes to the Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960. He became well-known as a minister and social activist in Los Angeles. He chaired and served in various capacities on community groups (Zero Pet Population Growth), ecumenical organizations (Southern California Ecumenical Council), and UCC commissions (Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility, convener with Donald B. Clark). Beginning in 1972, Cohen participated in world population and environmental conferences, bringing with him students and church members.
    Following his retirement from the ministry in 1996, he became Executive Director of the Southern California Ecumenical Council. As of 2007, he also served on the Steering Committee of California Interfaith Power and Light and as a member of the Board of the Interfaith Environmental Council.
    Cohen married Ruth Ann Appley in 1954 and had four children. Following his divorce in the late seventies, Cohen married Faith Anne Sand, a religious journalist, author and CEO of Hope Publishing House.
    (1) Evelina Gleaves Cohen. Family facts and fairy tales. Hope Publishing House, 1988, 126.
    (2) John Dart. "Times a-Changing for Campus Ministries," Los Angeles Times, April 16, 1977, 31.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection documents the changing state of ministry in higher education in Southern California in the 20th century. Roughly half of the collection documents actions and positions taken on social justice, population, and the environment. Along with organizational and individual notes are newspaper articles, journals, correspondence, pamphlets, handbooks, conference materials, and other publications. A variety of newspapers from church and various causes are detailed and stored separately. Over 200 posters and signs ranging from antiwar and tiger cages for prisoners to social issues to conferences are listed individually. The collection follows the original order by subject and chronology.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Disciples of Christ--California--History.
    Evangelical United Brethren--California--History.
    Presbyterian Church--California.
    United Church of Christ--California--History.
    Church work with students--California--Fullerton--History.
    Church work with students--California--Los Angeles--History.
    Church work with foreign students--California--Los Angeles--History.
    College chaplains--United States.
    Universities and colleges--Religion--Societies, etc.
    Clergy--Political activity.
    United States--Race Relations--History--20th Century.
    Civil Rights movements--United States--History--20th century.
    Christianity and justice--United States.
    Church and social problems--United States.
    Interdenominational cooperation--Southern California.
    Social Justice--Religious Aspects.
    Ecology--Religious Aspects.
    Population--Religious Aspects.
    Environmental Protection--Religious Aspects.
    Human Rights--Religious Aspects.
    Euthanasia of animals--Los Angeles.
    Student movements--California.
    Civil disobedience--Religious aspects--Christianity.
    College chaplains--United States.
    Universities and colleges--Religion--Societies.
    Southern California Ecumenical Council.

    Clark, Donald B.
    Cohen, Albert Gleaves (1927- )
    Sand, Faith Annette (1939- )

    Other Finding Aids

    Campus ministry: GTU 94-11-04 CMHE (Cooperative Ministry of Higher Education) in Northern California and Nevada Collection; GTU 2006-7-02, John S. Hadsell Westminster House Collection (U.C.-Berkeley, Presbyterian Campus Ministry); GTU 2001-11-02, United Campus Christian Ministry at San Jose State University Collection, 1960-2000; GTU 94-11-01 Marna McKenzie Collection, Developing Ministries, CMHE (Cooperative Ministry of Higher Education) in Northern California.
    Social justice: GTU 89-5-016, Berkeley Free Church Collection, 1959-1976; GTU 96-7-03, Church and Disarmament Collection, 1981-86; GTU 97-2-01, Northern California Presbyterians for Peace and Justice; and GTU 98-7-02, Northern California Ecumenical Council Collection, 1943-96.

    Separated Material

    These publications were duplicates of existing material within the GTU or damaged.
    Malcolm Boyd, You can't kill the dream
    Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black power : the politics of liberation in America
    John B. Cobb, Is it too late
    Robert Cooney and Helen Michalowski, editors. The Power of the people : active nonviolence in the United States
    Esquire, September 1968. [Missing section on "The Beautiful People ;Campus Heroes for 68/68"]
    Faith and science in an unjust world : report of the World Council of Churches' Conference on Faith, Science, and the Future, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge , USA, 12-24 July 1979, Vol 2
    John Francis and Paul Abrecht, editors, Facing up to nuclear power : a contribution to the debate on the risks and potentialities of the large-scale use of nuclear energy
    Edgar J. Friedenberg, The vanishing adolescent
    Lorraine Hansberry, The movement : documentary of a struggle for equality
    Abbie Hoffman, Woodstock nation
    Duncan Howlett, No greater love : the James Reeb story
    Martin Luther King, I have a dream; the story of Martin Luther King in text and pictures
    "The Negro and the Cities," Life, March 8, 1968, 64(10). [Damaged with cut outs]
    Louis E. Lomax, The Negro revolt
    Mad, No. 130, Oct 1969; No. 165, March 1974; 12th Annual Edition of the worst ; 1969
    Michael McClure, The beard
    Herbert Marcuse, One dimensional man
    Zedong Mao, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung
    National Lampoon, March 1974; March 1975; April 1975
    Jean-Francois Revel, Without Marx or Jesus
    Carol S. Robb and Carl J. Casebolt, editors, Covenant for a new creation : ethics, religion, and public policy
    Jerry Rubin, Do it: Scenarios of the revolution
    J. L. Simmons and Barry Winograd, It's happening; a portrait of the youth scene today
    Dave Steffenson, Walter J. Herrscher, and Robert S. Cook, editors, Ethics for environment : three religious strategies : the proceedings of a national conference held at the University of Wisconsin--Green Bay , June 11-13, 1973
    William Stringfellow, My people is the enemy; an autobiographical polemic
    Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1969; January 1979; Spring 1970;
    The challenge of peace : God's promise and our response : a pastoral letter on war and peace, May 3, 1983, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
    Map of Soviet Union, National Geographic, 1981
    Imperial World on Mercator Projection, Rand McNally, ND.