Claremont School of Theology

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Maclay School of Theology in San Fernando, c. 1890
Claremont School of Theology, 2013

Claremont School of Theology (CST) is a graduate school located in Claremont, California, offering Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in religion and theology. It had a relationship with Claremont Graduate University which allowed the two schools to share faculty members, library resources, cultural events, and joint academic research endeavors. In July 2017, after failing to reach agreement with Claremont Graduate University about a land deal, CST began negotiations to merge with Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.[1] After the signing of a memorandum of understanding in May 2019, in July 2020, the school began the 2-3 year process of moving to and embedding with Willamette.[2][3]


Founded as the Maclay School of Theology in San Fernando, California, in 1885, the Methodist seminary was founded by Charles Maclay, founder of the town of San Fernando, former Methodist minister and State Senator. The school became affiliated with the University of Southern California from 1900 to 1957, staying on the USC campus until it moved to its present location in Claremont. The school is one of thirteen seminaries affiliated with the United Methodist Church, though usually more than forty different denominations are represented in the student body in any given school term.[citation needed]

In a 2008 meeting, the Board of Trustees set in motion the Claremont University Project by approving the following mission statement: As an ecumenical and inter-religious institution, Claremont School of Theology seeks to instill students with the ethical integrity, religious intelligence, and intercultural understanding necessary to become effective in thought and action as leaders in the increasingly diverse, multireligious world of the 21st century. On May 16, 2011, the University Project was officially named Claremont Lincoln University. In doing so, CST became a founding member of a new multireligious consortium - this was the original intent for Claremont Lincoln University (CLU).[4] On April 21, 2014, CST's Board of Trustees announced an official end to the relationship with Claremont Lincoln University. The mutual split resulted from an acknowledgement that both institutions' "fundamental philosophies have diverged" when "Claremont Lincoln decided to move away from its interreligious roots and become a secular-focused university" after CLU announced "a decision to discontinue several of its programs."[5] In the same announcement, CST's Board of Trustees affirmed a commitment to maintaining relationships with its partner schools (the Academy for Jewish Religion (California) and Bayan Claremont).

CST is home to the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center (ABMC),[6] a research center devoted to the documentary history of Judaism and Christianity. It also houses the Center for Process Studies (CPS),[7] a joint faculty center of Claremont School of Theology and the Claremont Graduate University. The CPS promotes a "relational approach" found in process thought, specifically process theology. CST also has a strong representation of students and faculty from all along the Pacific Rim. It houses the Center for Pacific and Asian-American Ministries (CPAAM), which provides ministerial education and other services to enhance ministry to Pacific and Asian American constituencies of all denominations.

Among the non-Methodist institutions sharing the CST campus are the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont and the Disciples Seminary Foundation.


As of 2020, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission had the Claremont School of Theology listed as "Accredited with Notice of Concern" related to a commission action from February 2020[8] It is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).[9]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Chang, Kristine (September 22, 2017). "Claremont School of Theology Pursues Move to Oregon". The Student Life. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  2. ^ Kuan, Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey (May 22, 2020). "A Loving Farewell from the Claremont School of Theology". Claremont Courier. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "Willamette/CST Partnership: Frequently Asked Questions". Willamette University. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  4. ^ "Claremont Lincoln University - Online Master's Degrees for 21st Century Careers". Claremont Lincoln University. 2019-12-10. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-07-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2020-07-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The Center for Process Studies". The Center for Process Studies. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  8. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status: Claremont School of Theology",, WASC Senior College and University Commission, 14 February 2020, retrieved 28 September 2020
  9. ^ "Member Schools: Claremont School of Theology",, Association of Theological Schools, retrieved 19 May 2016
  10. ^ "Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Rosemary Radford Ruether". Retrieved 2018-05-08.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°06′29″N 117°42′58″W / 34.1080647°N 117.7160804°W / 34.1080647; -117.7160804