Board Votes to Disassociate Chapel’s Name from Samuel Miller

SEO Chapel pews

January 25, 2022

The Board of Trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary, after careful consideration and in an ongoing effort of repair following the historical audit on slavery, today voted to immediately and officially disassociate the name of Samuel Miller from the Princeton Seminary Chapel.

Further, the Trustees also voted to establish a task force of the Board charged with developing guiding principles and decision-making rubrics for naming, renaming, and the conferring of honor on all other physical sites and objects related to the Seminary. Students, faculty, and alumni will augment this task force. All official conversations concerning the names of buildings, old or new, and other forms of honor on sites and objects will cease until the Seminary officially adopts a set of governing principles based on the work of this task force.

This decision to disassociate the name Samuel Miller from the chapel is another step in Princeton Theological Seminary’s earnest commitment to greater equity, including reformation and repair of yesterday’s wrongs. In recent years the Seminary began implementing several measures in response to the historical audit on slavery. They include: dedicating thirty-five full scholarships plus stipends to descendants of the enslaved and those from historically underrepresented groups to pursue masters’ and doctoral degrees; naming the Seminary Library for Presbyterian minister and abolitionist Theodore Sedgwick Wright, the first African American graduate of the Seminary; enhancing programming resources for the Betsey Stockton Center for Black Church Studies; and incorporating the historical audit into the first-year curriculum for every master’s student to ensure that members of the community are taught this history.

Additionally, the Board of Trustees wishes to thank the student community in general and especially the Association of Black Seminarians (ABS), as well as the faculty and committed alums, for their thoughtful and spirited engagement over the years in seeking a more just and faithful witness of the Seminary’s mission.

As we undertake these important reforms, we do so with humility, modesty, and thoughtfulness, seeking to balance our responsibility to past generations with our obligation to those who will follow us.

The Princeton Theological Seminary Board of Trustees

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Youth Minister at Busbridge and Hambledon Church, Surrey, U.K.

Antonin Ficatier, Class of 2016

“What I like about working in an international church is that I’m always reminded that I’m a foreigner, that the land is not mine and I’m just a passenger on this journey.”