motive magazine

A publication from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry hosted at Boston University School of Theology

motive (always spelled with a lowercase "m") was the official magazine for the Methodist Student Movement from its founding in 1941 and, for a few years at the end of its life, for the entire University Christian Movement (UCM). Much celebrated even at the time for its avant garde editorial and artistic vision, in 1966 Time magazine said it stood out among church publications "like a miniskirt at a church social." It was the single runner-up to Life as Magazine of the Year in 1965. Ultimately, its strong stands on civil rights, Vietnam, and emerging gender issues became more than the Methodist Church officials could take. They withdrew funding and it ceased publication in 1972. An entire generation of religious activists were shaped by its vision.

On this website, digital scans of motive have been made available to browse, with more information to be added during the Fall of 2015. Each issue can be viewed and browsed via the table of contents, or searched using the search box in the upper righthand corner. Learn more about the history this digitization project and its contributors on our About page.


This website is still being finalized. Some links may not work yet, but please check back regularly for new content. We are working hard to improve and maintain all of the content on this website. Click here to read more about the state of this project


Click on the images below to "jump" down the page to browse the volumes from that decade.





1940s

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Volume I: 1941

Volume II: 1941 & 1942

Volume III: 1942 & 1943

Volume IV: 1943 & 1944

Volume V: 1944 & 1945

Volume VI: 1945 & 1946

Volume VII: 1946 & 1947

Volume VIII: 1947 & 1948

Volume IX: 1948 & 1949


1950s

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Volume X: 1949 & 1950

Volume XI: 1950 & 1951

Volume XII: 1951 & 1952

Volume XIII: 1952 & 1953

Volume XIV: 1953 & 1954

Volume XV: 1954 & 1955

Volume XVI: 1955 & 1956

Volume XVII: 1956 & 1957

Volume XVIII: 1957 & 1958

Volume XIX: 1958 & 1959


1960s

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Volume XX: 1959 & 1960

Volume XXI: 1960 & 1961

Volume XXII: 1961 & 1962

Volume XXIII: 1962 & 1963

Volume XXIV: 1963 & 1964

Volume XXV: 1964 & 1965

Volume XXVI: 1965 & 1966

Volume XXVII: 1966 & 1967

Volume XXVIII: 1967 & 1968

Volume XXIX: 1968 & 1969


1970s

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Volume XXX: 1969 & 1970

Volume XXXI: 1970 & 1971

Volume XXXII: 1972, Final 2 Issues