Herbert L. Seamans, 85, a retired official of the National Conference of Christians and Jews here, died Sept. 10 in Miami, Fla.

He served as director of the commission on educational organizations for the conference from 1939 until retiring in 1957. During the period, he developed human relations training for teachers and was an education adviser to the federal government.

Dr. Seamans developed a pamphlet series on teaching human relations through the use of role playing. He inaugurated a program of human relations workshops in 1941. Since then, more than 150,000 teachers have attended the sessions.

From 1948 to 1950, Dr. Seamans took a leave of absence from NCCJ to serve as religious education adviser to U.S. occupation officials in Japan.

Born in Kinsley, Kan., he was a graduate of Wichita State University, earned a master's degree from Yale and received a doctorate from Stanford University.

From 1913 until 1939, when he joined NCCJ, Dr. Seamans served in various posts with the YMCA at Colorado State and Ohio State universities and the University of Washington.

In 1960-61, he was a specialist with the U.S. Information Service exchange of persons program, sponsored by the State Department, and visited Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Greece.

Dr. Seamans also made several trips to Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, lecturing on education and group interaction for the State Department.

He was a life member of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and a founder and first president of the Council for International Visitors of Greater Miami.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Helen Hoft Seamans, of the home in Miami; two daughters, Dorothy Buck and Margaret Gurka, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to Goucher College in Baltimore.