Claremont School of Theology is United Methodist in origin and affiliation and ecumenical and interreligious in spirit. Students are nurtured by Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason and are prepared for lives of ministry, leadership, and service. Graduates become agents of transformation and healing in churches, local communities, schools, non-profit institutions, and the world at large.
Claremont School of Theology is fully recognized and approved as one of thirteen official theological schools of The United Methodist Church. CST has close relationships with other Protestant denominations, especially the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The school traces its history to 1885 with the founding of the Maclay College of Theology in San Fernando, California. In 1900, Maclay College moved to the campus of the then Methodist-affiliated University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1956, the School withdrew from the University and became an independent corporation, related to the Southern California-Arizona Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The School moved to its present Claremont site in 1957.
The following distinguished presidents have provided extraordinary leadership for Claremont School of Theology:
Ernest Cadman Colwell (1957-1968)
Gordon Elliott Michalson (1968-1977)
Richard Wilson Cain (1977-1990)
Robert W. Edgar (1990 – 2000)
Philip A. Amerson (2001-2006)
Jerry D. Campbell (2006-2013)
Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan (2013 – 2023)
Grant Hagiya ad interim (2023 – )
The seal of the Claremont School of Theology (below), was designed by its first president Ernest Cadman “Pomp” Colwell and symbolizes the spirit of this community of scholars.
In his words, “The cross represents our central concern for the Christian Gospel. The cross is joined to an arc to create an anchor, an ancient Christian symbol of salvation, the healing of the [human] spirit. A lamp of knowledge, symbolic of the community’s abiding commitment to the disciplines of the mind and of learning, is a central feature of the figure. The circle, symbol of wholeness and unity, surrounds the elements. The circle is broken in three places to symbolize openness and free exchange of ideas across religious traditions.”
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