Princeton Theological Seminary has vowed to pay $27.6 million in reparations through a series of new initiatives.
According to a press release on the school’s website, the seminary’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of the plan in order to begin to “repent for its ties to slavery.”
Some of those initiatives include offering 30 new full scholarships, plus an additional $15,000 for the descendants of slaves.
They are also designating five doctoral fellowships for students who are descendants of slaves or underrepresented groups. The money will come from the school’s $1 billion endowment, and will remain in perpetuity.
Princeton Seminary acknowledges it had ties to slavery—while they say they never owned slaves, nor was the campus built with slave labor, they did say they benefitted from the slave economy.
They also benefited from investing in Southern banks during the mid-19th century and from donors who profited from slavery.
“We are committed to telling the truth. We did not want to shy away from the uncomfortable part of our history and the difficult conversations that revealing the truth would produce,” President M. Craig Barnes said.
Founded in 1812, the seminary’s founders also used slave labor. Some of the first professors and board members were heavily involved in the American Colonization Society, that advocated for sending free black people to Liberia.
“...We seek to redress historic wrongs and to help the Seminary be more faithful to our mission as a school of the church, both now and in the years to come,” Barnes said.
According to NJ.com, Georgetown University students voted to raise their own tuition so 272 descendants of slaves could be paid reparations.
Both Rutgers and Princeton University have acknowledged their past ties to slavery but have not issued any reparations.