NJ seminary will pay $28M in reparations for slavery
PRINCETON — A seminary in New Jersey will provide scholarships and set up doctoral fellowships to repent for having benefited from slavery.
On Friday, Oct. 18, the Princeton Theological Seminary Board of Trustees unanimously adopted "a multi-year plan to repent for the Seminary’s relationship to slavery and to commit to tangible action to shape our community’s future in meaningful, lasting ways," according to a statement on the Seminary's website.
Princeton Theological Seminary will set aside $28 million to provide up to 30 active scholarships at a time for students who descended from slaves or underrepresented groups.
The seminary will also designate one new doctoral fellowship each year, to last for the duration of the student’s five-year doctoral program. As outlined by the Seminary's reparations report online, at full capacity, there will be a total of five active fellowships at a time among all doctoral students.
The same report said "current federal nondiscrimination guidelines and case law permit educational institutions to focus but not limit scholarships to particular racial/ethnic groups."
Other actions outlined by the Seminary include beginning a search by fall 2020, for a full-time director for the Center for Black Church Studies, and within two years, develop a recruitment initiative to identify, attract, and enroll African American students.
Seminary President Craig Barnes says the school is "committed to telling the truth" and considers the payments an act of repentance.
Princeton Theological Seminary invested in Southern banks and had donors who benefited from slavery.
Founding teachers and leaders used slave labor and some advocated to send free black men and women to Liberia.
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