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Interdenominational Theological Center Audio Visual Collection

Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0066

Scope and content note

This collection contains photographs and audio recordings dating from the 1880s to the 1980s, with the bulk of materials from the middle 20th century. The photographs are arranged into three series by organization, and nine subseries where appropriate including: Buildings and grounds, Campus life, Departments, Events, Faculty and Staff, Groups and organizations, Identified groups, Unidentified groups, Identified individuals, Unidentified individuals, Class composites, and Photo albums. The photographs consist mostly of students, alumni, faculty, administrative officers, campus events, and buildings of the Interdenominational Theological Center and it’s affiliates.

The Interdenominational Theological Center Audio Recordings contain 61 recordings spanning the years 1943 to 1969. The bulk of the recordings capture sermons and presentations given to ITC students during the 1960s. Among the speakers are prominent ITC faculty and staff, including Harry V. Richardson and Charles Copher; clergy from other religious institutions, including Rabbi Jacob Rothschild and Bishop Edgar Amos Love; as well as students and other visiting dignitaries. Topics covered include preaching, church administration, Christian history, and theology.

The Interdenominational Theological Center Audio Visual collection was processed, digitized, and made available online through the support of several grant-funded projects including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and LYRASIS HBCU Preservation Project - Rounds II and III, and the National Endowment for Humanities "Spreading the Word": Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library project.


  • Creation: 1880-1971

Rights Statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Historical note

The Interdenominational Theological Center was chartered in 1958 through the mutual efforts of four interdenominational seminaries: Morehouse School of Religion, Gammon Theological Seminary, Turner Theological Seminary, and Phillips School of Theology. These seminaries came together to form one school of theology in cooperation as an ecumenical cluster and were later joined by two additional schools, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, and Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary.

Morehouse College began as a training school for Baptist Ministers in Augusta, GA, in 1867. This school moved to Atlanta in 1879, and became Morehouse College in 1913, but kept the school ministers, which came to be known as Morehouse School of Religion in 1924. Under the leadership of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse College, the School of Theology joined the ITC consortium.

Gammon Theological Seminary was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1883 as a Biblical Department of Clark College (later Clark Atlanta University), becoming it’s own institution in 1888 after Clark moved to a new location in Atlanta. The great need for trained Black ministers moved H. Q. Fuller, Bishop H. W. Warren, and Reverend Elijah Gammon to organize this school of theology.

Turner Theological Seminary was founded in 1894 as a Department of Religion in Morris Brown College, with a mission to train ministers for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The establishment of Phillips School of Theology resulted from a School of Theology’s committee report to the Lane College Board of Trustees in 1944, calling for the organization of a theological school for the Christian (then known as Colored) Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church.

Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is one of the ten theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the only historically African-American Presbyterian seminary. Much of the seminary's early history parallels that of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. It was established on April 7, 1867, as a part of the Freedmen's College of North Carolina. In 1969, the Religion Department moved to Atlanta as Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary and became the fifth Protestant seminary at ITC. In 2014 it disaffiliated from the ITC.

In 1968, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) established the C.H. Mason Theological Seminary to train its ministers and ministry leaders. The overall charge of the Seminary is to be the official school for graduate training in theology and religious studies in the Church of God in Christ, and to educate men and women for careers in religious education in the global community. In 1970 under the leadership of Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr., the General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ authorized the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary to become a constituent of ITC.

An Episcopal seminary, the Absalom Jones Theological Institute, became part of the ITC in 1971, but it closed in 1979 after declining enrollment.

During its history, the institution has experienced growth under the administration of eight presidents. Dr. Harry V. Richardson served as the first president of the Interdenominational Theological Center from 1959 to 1968. Dr. Oswald P. Bronson served as president from 1968 to 1975. Dr. Grant S. Shockley became president in January of 1976 and served until the end of December 1979. Dr. James Deotis Roberts became president in August 1980 and served until April 1983. Dr. James H. Costen became president in December 1983 and served through June 1997. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin became president in July 1997 and served to June 2002. During the search for his successor, Dr. Oliver Haney, Jr. served as Interim President for one year. Dr. Michael A. Battle was appointed president in September 2003 and served for six years, until August 2009. Dr. Thomas Cole served as Interim President during the 2009-2010 academic year. On September 1, 2010, Dr. Ronald E. Peters became ITC's eighth president. Dr. Edward P. Wimberly was appointed Interim President in January 2013. On January 15, 2015, Edward L. Wheeler was elected President (Taken from ITC website:


11.4 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged in four series: Gammon Theological Seminary Photographs, Turner Theological Seminary Photographs, Interdenominational Theological Center Photographs, and audio recordings.

Separated materials

Oversized materials have been separated to appropriate housing.

Processing note

The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Interdenominational Theological Center Audio Visual Collection
In Progress
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Leming, April, 2016
April, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the AUC Institutional Records Repository