UCA National History Society

The Uniting Church National History Society (UCNHS) was formed to preserve and promote the historical journey of the Uniting Church in Australia and its predecessor churches.

We are a nation-wide community of people passionate about the past, present and future of our uniquely Australian church.

Join us for just $25/yr.

What will I get with my membership?

Access to our Biennial Conference Publications and Resources

A voice in planning the future direction and priorities of the UCNHS at our Annual General Meetings

UCNHS National Conference: Growing Up Uniting

The third biennial UCNHS conference will take place in Sydney in 2021. The conference is scheduled from 11-13 June at the Centre for Ministry, North Parramatta, Sydney. The theme is 'Growing Up Uniting'.

Keynote speakers: President of the Uniting Church Assembly, Dr Deidre Palmer, Executive Director of the National Church Life Survey, Associate Professor Ruth Powell, Church Historian Dr William Emilsen and Social Scientist Dr Elizabeth Watson.


If you would like to present at the Conference,  click on the link below for the CALL FOR PAPERS. Proposals are due by 30 April 2020.

Meet our UCNHS President

UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia

Associate Professor Glen O’Brien

BTh (Kingsley), MA Biblical Studies (Kingsley), MA Theological Studies (Asbury), PhD (La Trobe)

Rev. Dr Glen O’Brien has been on the staff of Eva Burrows College, Melbourne, since 2009, having formerly served at Booth College, Sydney, as Head of Humanities and Head of Theology. He is a Uniting Church minister in the Yarra Yarra Presbytery with a placement to full time theological education in the Salvation Army. He is a member of the Salvation Army / Uniting Church Dialogue.

As Research Coordinator at Eva Burrows College Glen administers the University of Divinity’s Higher Degrees by Research offered through the College as well as lecturing in Christian History and Theology, specialising in Wesleyan studies. He also has administrative roles in the University of Divinity, is Vice-President of the Religious History Association, a Research Fellow of the Australasian Centre for Wesleyan Research (ACWR) and an Honorary Fellow of the Manchester (UK) Wesley Research Centre. He has published widely on Wesleyan and Methodist themes, and supervises doctoral research in various aspects of Methodist history and theology, Australian religious history, and eighteenth century studies.

National Board

UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia


Rev. Dr Glen O’Brien


UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia

Vice President

Dr Patricia Curthoys

New South Wales

UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia


Dr Judith Raftery

South Australia

UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia


Mr Bob Coote

New South Wales

UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia
UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia
UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia
UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia
UCA National History Society, Uniting Church Australia

New South Wales

William Emilsen

Western Australia

Rev. Dr Alison Longworth


Rev. Dr Julia Pitman

Northern Territory

Rev. Steve Orme


Rev. Robert Renton

Another successful conference

The second biennial conference of the UCNHS, held in Melbourne 7-10 June 2019, attracted 54 registrations, and by all measures was a great success:

  • three stimulating keynote addresses
  • papers presented by 22 members of UCNHS on a wide variety of UCA history topics
  • a great chance to exchange ideas about history - and other matters - amongst participants
  • an inspirational visit to the Church of All Nations, Carlton, on Pentecost Sunday
  • Sunday afternoon excursions taking in several venues of historical interest
  • a splendid burst of historically informed hymn-singing
  • fascinating insights into current holdings of, and future plans for, UCA archives
  • excellent catering

Finding a Home in the Uniting Church - UCNHS 2nd Annual Conference Proceedings
A Pilgrim People 40 years on: UCNHS 2017 Proceedings


A decision was taken at the AGM, held as part of the 2019 conference, to establish an electronic newsletter.

  • This will provide members with an opportunity to keep up with all sorts of events and developments relating to UCA history and archival matters, and religious history more generally.
  • It will also be a forum for you to promote local and regional events, new publications and any other matters relavent to the aims and interests of the UCNHS.
  • Your state/regional representative on the UCNHS Board will be your link to this activity. Contact him or her with your news, questions, ideas.