Claremont School of Theology is proud to share that CST alum Dr. Patrick Reyes, who earned his doctorate and Master of Arts from CST, has been appointed at the Director for Doctoral Initiatives for the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). Reyes will be responsible for managing the fellowship program for doctoral students, relationship building and providing support to leaders of theological institutions developing future leaders for the church and academy.

“With great confidence we welcome Dr. Reyes to the team as he carries forward FTE’s legacy of advocacy, mentoring, and communal support for students and scholars of color,” said FTE Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Matthew Wesley Williams in a press release. “His leadership will advance our historic work, tending to the future of the field in an increasingly complex moment for the church and academy.”

Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Dean of the Faculty at CST, was Reyes’ doctoral advisor. She says, “Patrick is an innovative teacher and scholar; he brings together a deep love for theological education with a deep commitment for societal and cultural transformation. I look forward to his leadership at FTE, and feel fortunate to work with him as a colleague in the future.”

In a blog Reyes put his new role into a sacred context in a blog post for FTE shortly after his appointment. “I claim without hesitation that the sacred work of supporting courageous faithful theological educators and religious scholars is a life and death matter for me, for our distinguished alumni network, and for our departed elders who support our work in spirit,” he wrote. “The stakes are no less high today than at its founding, and I intend to enter into this sacred work with the courage and support of all those who have worked for, with and through this organization before me. The sacred work continues.”

Reyes’ words reflect a shared ethos between FTE and CST – one that is reflected in other recent collaborations between the two institutions. At Commencement 2012, CST awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr. Sharon Watson Fluker who served as Vice President of Doctoral Programs and Administration for FTE from 1998-2011. In April 2015, FTE welcomed CST into its first Institutional Network – a cohort of theological schools that have demonstrated a lasting commitment to cultivating scholars of color. Later in the year, CST President Jeffrey Kuan was featured in FTE’s 1 Minute to Inspire video series that lifted up voices from religious leaders across the country.

“Claremont School of Theology has a long and treasured relationship with FTE,” said President Kuan. “We are thrilled for Patrick as he takes on this significant role and we look forward to supporting him and the mission of FTE in our shared commitment to lifting up new voices in religious leadership and scholarship.”