Thomas S. Derr Jr.

Professor Emeritus of Religion and Biblical Literature

Smith College

Contact & Office Hours

Tilly Hall 104



Ph.D., Columbia University

M.Div., Union Theological Seminary

A.B., Harvard University


Thomas Sieger Derr, an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, worked at Stanford (assistant chaplain 1956–59) and for the World Council of Churches in Geneva (various dates, for the Department on Church and Society and the Commission on Faith and Order). He came to Smith in 1963, where he taught courses in applied ethics, including ethics in medicine, business, statecraft and international relations, the environment, sexual matters, race relations, war and church-state issues.

Derr was also an adjunct member of the department of Afro-American Studies, and was the chair of the founding committee of that department. He chaired both departments and twice directed the Smith Junior Year program in Geneva. In 2002, he was given the Honored Professor award for service to the college. Off campus he serves on the ethics committee of the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, as a member of the governing council of the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York and on the editorial advisory board of the journal First Things.

Selected Publications

Derr has published 10 books and 60 articles, including Environmental Ethics and Christian Humanism (Abingdon, 1996).