Honorary Doctor of Divinity awarded to Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji

On August 12, 2023, Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, president emeritus and senior advisor to the president, presented the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa to Jain saint, scholar, and spiritual teacher, Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji in a New Jersey ceremony. This marked the first time CST has awarded this honor to a non-Christian recipient.

During the service, Dr. Kuan noted CST’s longstanding commitment to interreligious dialogue and education, as well as the significance of this award. 

“Claremont School of Theology views the awarding of an honorary degree with high esteem…[F]or CST, a Christian theological school, to be able to award this honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to H.H. Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji, the first non-Christian recipient, is deeply meaningful” he said. 

“It symbolizes the school’s appreciation for the significant contribution of Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji in making a difference for a better world and especially CST’s commitment to interreligious theological education. This award is also an expression of CST’s deep gratitude for the partnership and support of the Jain community for CST’s effort in interreligious theological education.”

You can watch portions of the ceremony, including additional remarks by CST trustee Dr. Nitin Shah, through this link: Click here to watch on YouTube

This honorary degree had previously been awarded to Rakeshji in absentia at CST’s 2023 Commencement in May.