Claremont School of Theology was established under a charter that explicitly called for the School to commit itself to ecumenical education and engagement. Over time, that commitment was broadened to include interreligious education and engagement. CST has lived out this commitment over the decades through the on-campus presence of students, faculty and staff from a wide range of traditions.
Over its nearly six decades of history, Claremont School of Theology has learned that there is nothing to lose in opening its doors to students and partners of a wide diversity of traditions. Quite the contrary, in fact. It has been our experience that exposure and engagement with traditions different from one’s own result in greater depth and clarity of belief and practice. – President Jeffrey Kuan
Watch President Kuan discuss CST’s commitment to ecumenical and interreligious education.
The CST faculty embodies a rich diversity of traditions extending beyond its United Methodist roots. The current faculty includes ordained and lay representation from the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, African Methodist Episcopal and Nazarene traditions within Christianity.
In 1992, Prof. Marvin Sweeney was appointed as Professor of Hebrew Bible, becoming the first interreligious member of the CST faculty. Twenty years later, Najeeba Syeed joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education. As CST’s first Muslim faculty member, Syeed brought a wealth of experience in conflict resolution among communities of ethnic and religious diversity.
A number of CST’s faculty adopt an interreligious approach to their wide ranging research projects.
Listen to an interview with Duane Bidwell, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Spiritual Care and Counseling, by the CBC program Tapestry on the topic of multiple religious belonging.
Watch Mildred M. Hutchinson Professor of Urban Ministries, Ethics, Politics and Society Helene Slessarev-Jamir discuss how her experience with interreligious education has influenced her research and teaching at CST.
Interreligious exposure and awareness is built into the heart of the CST experience. Most master’s students are required to complete a course in Interreligious Leadership and Dialogue as a core requirement of their curriculum.
CST has also developed relationships with a wide range of schools and religious institutions to ensure that its students have every opportunity to pursue learning in a wealth of ecumenical and interreligious environments. In turn, these agreements bolster participation of students from a broad range of traditions in campus life at CST, both inside and outside the classroom.
CST maintains relationships with a number of ecumenical schools and institutions including: