CLAREMONT, Calif. June 24, 2021—Claremont School of Theology (CST) will remain in Claremont, California. After learning of the California Supreme Court’s refusal to hear its case, CST leadership is moving forward with a two-campus model, offering progressive theological education both at its main campus in Claremont and at its branch campus at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
CST President, Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan shared, “The name Claremont is synonymous with rigorous undergraduate and graduate-level education, so it’s only fitting that Claremont remain CST’s main campus. CST has been part of the City of Claremont for nearly 65 years, and has shaped and has been shaped by the “city of trees and PhD’s.” While CST had hoped to sell the campus at fair-market value in order to relieve its financial burden, CST leadership is considering this moment in the school’s history as a blessing in disguise. And while the financial challenges remain, CST is more determined than ever to live out its mission and live into its vision — right here in Southern California.”
United Methodist in origin and affiliation and ecumenical and interreligious in spirit, CST’s mission is to prepare students for lives of ministry, leadership, and service and to nurture students to become agents of transformation and healing in churches, local communities, schools, non-profit institutions, and the world at large.
2021 graduate, Rev. Dr. Jessica Chapman Lape said, “CST provided me with a strong and renewed sense of confidence in my pastoral, scholarly, and professional identity. From student leadership positions, to leading and attending chapel services, to my scholarship being celebrated and uplifted, each area of my vocational identity was nurtured, honored, and respected as I grew and found my voice. CST also provided me with the space, freedom, and community to explore how my passion for social justice intersects with my academic interests and call to ministry. I will forever be grateful to CST.”
CST’s student body continues to grow and to reflect a multiplicity of religious, ethnic, cultural, sexual, and gender identities with nearly 65% of its current student body composed of students of color. CST is committed to remaining one of the most, if not the most, diverse theological schools in the United States. President Kuan explained, “Our commitment to lifting up marginalized voices and to shepherding underrepresented, under-resourced, and under-served community leaders fuels our faculty and staff and motivates school leaders to find a viable way forward.”
Established in 1885, Claremont School of Theology is fully recognized and approved as one of thirteen official theological schools of The United Methodist Church, with close relationships with other Protestant denominations, as well as many interreligious partnerships. CST offers graduate level programs, including Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in religion and practical theology.