A Progressive Interreligious Theological School

For such a time as this

Imam-Dr.-Jihad-Safir

Imam Dr. Jihad Saafir developed one of the first organizations of its ...

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Rev. Dr. Chris Carter

Rev. Dr. Chris Carter is addressing environmental injustices against people of color. ...

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Rev. Brenda Bos

Rev. Brenda Bos was elected as the first openly lesbian bishop in ...

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USAF Capt. Mir M. Ali

U.S. Air Force Captain Mir M. Ali ministered 24/7 to evacuees during ...

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Rev. Dr. Nikia Smith-Robert

Rev. Dr. Nikia Smith Robert empowers churches to imagine a world beyond ...

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Dr. Kristin Ritzau

Dr. Kristin Ritzau founded Food ED to help young students understand how ...

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Nina Fernando

Nina Fernando envisions an America where people of all backgrounds are treated ...

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Dr. Mazvita Machinga

Dr. Mazvita Machinga founded the only registered psychotherapist center in Mutare, Zimbabwe. ...

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Dr. Woonjoo Baek

Dr. Woonjoo Baek led his church through conflict and turmoil back to ...

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Imam-Dr.-Jihad-Safir
Imam Dr. Jihad Saafir
MA ‘14, PhD ‘21
  • Developed an inner city community center
  • Supports people experiencing homelessness
  • Founded a K-8 microschool

Did You Know?

Imam Dr. Jihad Saafir developed one of the first organizations of its kind in the US.

Islah LA is a South Los Angeles community center that offers a food pantry, transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness, and a program that supports, educates, and instills renewed confidence in formerly incarcerated individuals.

Jihad serves as the Director of Islah LA and as the Director and Arabic Instructor at Islah Academy, a K-8 microschool he also founded. Islah Academy implements a restorative justice teaching methodology designed specifically as a tool to break the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Rev. Dr. Chris Carter
Rev. Dr. Chris Carter
MDiv ‘10, PhD ‘16
  • Inspired by a CST course
  • Researches food inequity and environmental exploitation
  • Has a new book, 'The Spirit of Soul Food'

Did You Know?

Rev. Dr. Chris Carter is addressing environmental injustices against people of color.

Inspired by taking the CST class Animal Theology and Ethics with Dr. Grace Kao, Dr. Carter teaches that the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the land on which we work suffer from environmental exploitation. In his latest book, The Spirit of Soul Food: Race, Faith, & Food Justice, Dr. Carter asks, “What should soul food look like today?”

Dr. Carter is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, teaches in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. His research, writing, and activism center on racial justice.

Rev. Brenda Bos
Rev. Brenda Bos
MDiv ‘11
  • First openly lesbian bishop in ELCA
  • CST faculty helped her find her voice
  • Values CST’s interreligious commitment

Did You Know?

Rev. Brenda Bos was elected as the first openly lesbian bishop in the ELCA.

Elected as bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2021, Rev. Bos sees CST’s world-class faculty as crucial to her spiritual formation, and vocational discernment. She credits them with helping her live into God’s unique call on her life, strengthening her spiritual life, and helping her find her distinctive voice.

She is “forever grateful” for the way CST’s interreligious and ecumenical commitment sharpened her Lutheran articulation and gave her “greater sensitivity to the faith journeys of others.”

USAF Capt. Mir M. Ali
USAF Capt. Mir M. Ali
MDiv ‘15
  • Joined the Air Force in 1999
  • One of first CST grads specializing in Interfaith Chaplaincy
  • Guided by Qur’an to serve refugees

Did You Know?

U.S. Air Force Captain Mir M. Ali ministered 24/7 to evacuees during the U.S. Afghanistan withdrawal.

Almost overnight, Mir – the only Muslim Armed Forces chaplain serving with Operation Allies Refuge at Ramstein Air Base and throughout Europe – went from tending to the spiritual needs of a small USAF community to providing hope to thousands of Afghan refugees living in tents.

Mir feels connected to refugees culturally, ethnically, and by faith, and noticed their deep gratitude for ministerial support and his ability to communicate in a language that is familiar to them (Urdu/Hindi).

Rev. Dr. Nikia Smith-Robert
Rev. Dr. Nikia Smith Robert
PhD '21
  • Founded Abolitionist Sanctuary
  • Reshaping ideas of policing and justice
  • CST was the incubator

Did You Know?

Rev. Dr. Nikia Smith Robert empowers churches to imagine a world beyond policing, prisons, and punishment.

Dr. Robert founded Abolitionist Sanctuary, a faith-based coalition united against the moral crisis of mass incarceration and the criminalization of impoverished Black motherhood.

While earning a PhD in Religion with a focus on ethics and public policy, CST served an incubator for her ideas. She is grateful for the strong emphasis that CST places on connecting theory with praxis to make a transformative social impact.

Dr. Kristin Ritzau
Dr. Kristin Ritzau
PhD '18
  • Founder of Food ED
  • Sees potential in every seed planted
  • School garden programs are successful and save money

Did You Know?

Dr. Kristin Ritzau founded Food ED to help young students understand how the ecosystem works.

After noticing that most elementary schools in America serve food to young students without ever teaching them about our ecosystem, Dr. Ritzau founded Food ED, an educational nonprofit that partners with communities and schools in the San Gabriel Valley.

Research demonstrates that garden programs in schools are cost effective and cost-saving, improve student and staff productivity and health, and increase civic engagement and critical thinking skills. She is convinced that every seed is a prayer and a miracle.

Nina Fernando
Nina Fernando
MA ‘13
  • Exec. Director of Shoulder to Shoulder campaign
  • Works to end anti-Muslim hatred and violence
  • Always recommends CST

Did You Know?

Nina Fernando envisions an America where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect and dignity. As Executive Director of the non-profit Shoulder to Shoulder, she helps equip faith leaders to be strategic partners in countering discrimination and violence against Muslims. She has also served as a Faith-rooted Organizer at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, a LankaCorps Fellow in Sri Lanka, and a OneBeat Fellow.

Nina says her MA program at CST offered the opportunity for exploration around critical thinking. “I loved my experience, and if I know of anyone who is in a place where they might consider a school of theology, I always point to Claremont.”

Dr. Mazvita Machinga
Dr. Mazvita Machinga
MTS '05, PhD '12
  • Volunteers clinical services in Mutare
  • Teaches and provides services at Africa University
  • Grateful for CST’s integrative approach

Did You Know?

Dr. Mazvita Machinga founded the only registered psychotherapist center in Mutare, Zimbabwe. In addition to volunteering her clinical services at Pastoral Care and Counseling Services (PCCS), she also teaches and serves as the University Counselor at Africa University.

“I’m proud to be a practical theologian, pastoral psychotherapist, and mental health specialist…At CST, my training in psychotherapy and counseling taught me how to integrate psychological, theological, ethical, and spiritual frames of reference when offering counseling.”

Mazvita hopes to one day secure financial assistance to build a Pastoral Care and Wellness Center.

Dr. Woonjoo Baek
Dr. Woonjoo Baek
MDiv '95, DMin '97
  • Revitalized his struggling church
  • Serves as board chair at Seoul Theological University
  • Draws upon his deep faith

Did You Know?

Dr. Woonjoo Baek led his church through conflict and turmoil back to health.

When he was appointed to Evangelical Holiness Church in South Korea, it had just lost 500 members. Through the uncertainty, Dr. Baek pressed on and today he works from sunup to sundown at the church of 3000+ members.

Dr. Baek, who also serves as chair of the board of Seoul Theological University, has never regretted his decision to respond to his call to ministry. Now a husband, father, and grandfather, he still believes that seeking and following God’s guidance is the only way.

Reigniting our Future: The Campaign for Claremont

Special Appeal: Give now to keep CST's mission alive

We need your gifts immediately in amounts that make a difference and allow us to land firmly in Los Angeles at Westwood United Methodist Church, and enable us to continue teaching and equipping spiritual leaders, scholars, and teachers – as we have done since 1885. Will you join us? [Click the headline to read more.]

Celebrate CST Day in Cal-Pac (Feb 11) and DSW (Mar 3)

The California-Pacific and Desert Southwest Conferences will celebrate CST Day on February 11 and March 3, respectively (congregations may choose a different day if needed). Click the headline to download files for bulletin inserts for your services!

Join us for Reigniting Our Future on February 25

Please join us on February 25 at 3pm Pacific for an exclusive first look at CST's new home in Westwood, as well as exciting updates about new initiative and our next chapter. Register by clicking the headline. [Click the headline to read more.]

What we stand for ...

Compassion

We believe that leaders should have a capacity to be moved by, and act to alleviate, suffering in the world.

Justice

We believe in the just and equitable treatment, inclusion, and representation of the incredible diversity reflected in today’s world.

Belonging

We believe that our biological hardwiring thrives when in deep relationship with others.

CST by the Numbers ...

0 %
of CST students are BIPOC
$ 0 mil
in scholarships awarded each year
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different faith traditions

Our Faculty ...

Hear from those who will journey alongside you

Ready to answer the call? Whether for ordination or chaplaincy preparation, the 72-unit MDiv is a foundational theological degree that will equip you to both lead and serve.

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Become equipped to meet real-world needs by diving deeply into past traditions, present dialogue, and a continuing quest for understanding and wisdom. This 48-credit degree combines academic depth with vocational exploration, preparing you for further graduate study, religious leadership, or personal enrichment.

Learn More

Respond to the world’s critical needs by cultivating dialogue and forging paths of reconciliation. This 48-credit degree prepares students to transform the world through the area of focus of your choice, tailored to your context. Are you ready to get your hands dirty?

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You’ve started the trek. Now let us help you carry the load. Study with a diverse group of peers and mentors and apply your coursework to your own ministry context.

Learn More

Take the next step by becoming a thought leader, contributing to both the academic community and society at large. Are you up to the challenge?

Learn More

Expand your knowledge and add your own voice to the ever-growing library of religious imagination.

Learn More

Ready to answer the call? Whether for ordination or chaplaincy preparation, the 72-unit MDiv is a foundational theological degree that will equip you to both lead and serve.

Learn More

Become equipped to meet real-world needs by diving deeply into past traditions, present dialogue, and a continuing quest for understanding and wisdom. This 48-credit degree combines academic depth with vocational exploration, preparing you for further graduate study, religious leadership, or personal enrichment.

Learn More

Respond to the world’s critical needs by cultivating dialogue and forging paths of reconciliation. This 48-credit degree prepares students to transform the world through the area of focus of your choice, tailored to your context. Are you ready to get your hands dirty?

Learn More

You’ve started the trek. Now let us help you carry the load. Study with a diverse group of peers and mentors and apply your coursework to your own ministry context.

Learn More

Take the next step by becoming a thought leader, contributing to both the academic community and society at large. Are you up to the challenge?

Learn More

Expand your knowledge and add your own voice to the ever-growing library of religious imagination.

Learn More

Join the CST community ...

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