Claremont School of Theology

A progressive Christian grad school with an ecumenical approach to theological education. Welcome to the official Claremont School of Theology page.

Please take a moment to read through our posting and commenting policy below. Then, jump right in! The CST page is intended to be an online community where all people are welcome and encouraged to respectfully engage with one another on a variety of topics and share CST-related discoveries, experiences, and information. Those who post in and comment on this page are asked to follow the gu

Operating as usual


Did you know the first woman graduated from our school in 1890? Since then, we’ve had hundreds of other bright, talented, passionate female scholars make CST part of their journey as they work towards creating a positive impact in the world, each in their own unique way.


We love this photo of students and Rev. Clint Collins from our in-person PhD Colloquium and Master’s Discussions Sessions enjoying lunch together at our new campus in Westwood, Los Angeles! Thanks to Rev. Dr. Yuki Schwartz for capturing the moment.


CST’s Dr. Lailatul Fitriyah was recently interviewed on the Talking Indonesia podcast about the topic of Religion, Gender and Migrant Worker Identity. Dr Fitriyah has researched and published on the migrant worker experience through an intersectional lens, focusing particularly on how gender and religion shape the lived experiences of women working overseas. The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Tito Ambyo from RMIT and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University. Listen to the full episode at:

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 03/01/2024

Thank you to everyone who joined us for “Reigniting Our Future” on February 25th to celebrate and tour our beautiful new campus at Westwood United Methodist Church. Through transformative education, CST will continue to move forward as a progressive force for hope and healing in the world. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for this next chapter.


Many ideas. Many faiths. Many questions. Many answers. Many faces. Many hearts. One Claremont School of Theology. Learn more about our leading progressive theological institution at:


Dr. Venu Mehta has generously opened her course, Spiritual Practices in Global Perspective, to the public for a special talk with guest speaker Ms. Prema Bhat on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM Pacific Time on Zoom. The title of this online talk will be Expressions of Devotion (Bhakti) and Performing Arts.

Prema Bhat is an accomplished Indian classical vocalist with a master’s degree in South Indian Carnatic voice, a certified yoga teacher and a former faculty member at Dept. of Music at Emory University, Atlanta. Please email [email protected] to receive a link to join this special event on Zoom.


A huge thank you to Escondido United Methodist Foundation for their generous gift of $10,000 to fund one of our new Digital Learning Classrooms – a space designed to inspire learning for students and instructors, both in-person and online. Our new equipment will simplify the Zoom experience by adding tools like touch-screen enabled whiteboards and Smart Gallery framing of in-person users that not only improve everyone’s experience of their time together – whether virtual or in-person – but open the door to an emerging field of creative innovations in course design and online learning. We’re continuing to push the envelope for facilitating theological education and formation in a digital age and are humbled to have Escondido United Methodist Foundation as partners in this exciting work.


CST is proud to announce the recent appointments of several alums to significant leadership positions in South Korea. Dr. Pooreum Clara Chung, PhD ‘10, has made history by ascending to the distinguished position of president at the Korean Association of Pastoral Counselors (KAPC), becoming the association’s first female president. Currently, she serves as a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at Healing and Counseling Graduate University in Seoul, South Korea.

Dr. Jinsook Kwon, MDiv ‘07, PhD ‘11, an Assistant Professor of Practical Theology imparting wisdom on Pastoral Care and Counseling at Methodist Theological University in Seoul, South Korea, has assumed the mantle of General Secretary at KAPC.

Dr. Sungwon Kim, MA ‘90, a professor of systematic theology and Christian worldview and Dean of Compliance of Office at Seoul Theological University in Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, has been designated as the General Secretary of the Korea Association of Christian Studies, which is akin to the esteemed American Academy of Religion (AAR) in the United States.

Please join us in celebrating these remarkable accomplishments, which are a testament to the quality and dedication of our alums across the globe. Read the full article at:


We’re busy adding the finishing touches on our new campus in Westwood, Los Angeles. Watch this video from a few weeks ago to get a sneak peek as construction concludes. We can’t wait for you to experience the campus in person! Register to join us February 25th for “Reigniting Our Future,” an event to celebrate and tour our new location. The event includes an incredible line-up of speakers as well as refreshments and finger foods. Learn more at:


This past week, several CST students, faculty, and staff were in attendance at the Compelling Preaching Conference, hosted by USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. This one-day conference was an exploration of transformative preaching in today’s ever-changing social and cultural landscape. One student reflected: "this event was timely, nourishing, and fruitful for our ministry to God and the world!" Thanks to USC Center for Religion & Civic Culture for the invitation to join in on this important event!


Prof. Frank Rogers will be leading a discussion on his latest book, Cradled in the Arms of Compassion (awarded one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2024 by Spirituality & Practice), at First Christian Church in Tucson, Arizona on February 16th. On Saturday the 17th, he will be leading a workshop on the spiritual dimensions of trauma. For more information on the workshop and to sign up, please visit:


“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” - Genesis 3:19 NRSV

May God bless you with peace and deep spiritual growth this Lenten season.


Nearly a century and a half after our founding, Claremont School of Theology is at a place of urgency. Without your help, the mission of the only United Methodist seminary west of the Rocky Mountains may come to an end, and the only progressive seminary in Southern California may close its doors. As a result of an antiquated agreement signed in 1957, CST is legally directed to sell our 16+-acre prime location campus to the Claremont Colleges (TCC, Inc.) for $7.7M. The current professionally appraised market value is more than $80M. Our students, our trustees, our staff, our faculty, and many of you all agree this is an injustice, especially against a school that makes such a difference in the world. However, it is where we are. We need your gifts immediately in amounts that make a difference. Please help us keep the mission of the school alive and moving forward.

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 02/10/2024

Rev. Dr. Jessica Chapman Lape received her PhD in Practical Theology from CST in 2021 where she earned the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and the Jack Coogan Award for the Creative Use of the Arts in the Life of the CST Community. Today, she serves as Assistant Professor and Program Director for Interreligious Chaplaincy at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Her research inhabits the intersection of spiritual care, healthcare, and reproductive justice.

Jessica is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a staff chaplain at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN, a trained community birth doula working to integrate traditional African American birthwork and midwifery practices into her clinical chaplaincy, and she’s a mother. We’re so proud of Dr. Chapman Lape and all of our incredible alumni who strive to make the world a better place.


“I love this school,” says Meghann Robern. “Coming here for my graduate studies is one of the best decisions I've ever made.” See what other alumni have to say about Claremont School of Theology in this short video.


Classes have begun at our beautiful new campus in Westwood, Los Angeles. Don’t forget to register to join us on February 25th for “Reigniting Our Future,” an event to celebrate and tour our new location. Refreshments and finger foods will follow. Register for this free event at:

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 02/02/2024

Have you seen CST’s new rotating billboard in Fullerton off the 57 Freeway at Placentia Avenue?


We are change. We are love. We are hope. We are belief. We are doubt. We are faith. We are forgiveness. We are searchers. We are helpers. We are teachers. We are students. We are Claremont School of Theology.


“The denunciations of surrogacy brought back memories of me as a 40-year-old Christian ethicist, and a married mother of two, who agreed to become pregnant for my friends.”

Dr. Grace Y. Kao, CST professor of ethics and author of My Body, Their Baby: A Progressive Christian Vision for Surrogacy, recently wrote an article for MSNBC. Read the full opinion piece at:


In our Doctor of Philosophy in Religion Program, one could go so far as to say that you will learn from your religious study, and your religion will learn from you. It’s the way of spiritual and theological growth. It’s the way of community growth. CST offers concentrations in contextual or comparative theology and philosophy, Jewish studies, Christian origins, religious ethics, and Whiteheadian process studies. Learn more at:

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 01/23/2024

Dr. Sam Lee and Dr. Namjoong Kim had a wonderful time with thirteen students at
목원대학교(Mokwon University) in Daejeon, South Korea who just completed CST’s Intensive Korean-Language Doctor of Ministry Program. Dr. Kim is looking forward to the Spring semester at our new campus in Westwood when we will welcome more students from South Korea.


CST’s Dr. Venu Mehta has been invited by the The Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University to speak at its inaugural convening of global scholars on the subject of religious pluralism. Hosted in May 2024, this event will draw together top minds from around the world in order to present and discuss research on the conditions and consequences of religious diversity, pluralism, conflict, and violence cross-nationally. We’re proud to have Dr. Mehta represent Claremont School of Theology.


In conjunction with the upcoming move to our new campus in Los Angeles, “CST Day” will be celebrated at worship services in all congregations in the California-Pacific and Desert Southwest Conferences of The United Methodist Church on Sunday, February 11, 2024, and Sunday, March 3, 2024, respectively. CST Day will be a time for these local churches to celebrate CST and help fund student scholarships.


Join us virtually on Tuesday, January 30th for our 46th Annual MLK Jr. Lecture and Celebration with guest lecturer Dr. Courtney Buggs – a preacher, scholar, motivational speaker, and retired Air Force Officer who currently serves as Christian Theological Seminary’s Assistant Professor of Homiletics as well as the Director of their PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Program.

The celebration includes a Worship Service with a sermon by Rev. Brandon Harris, Associate Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California. Head to our website ( to view the event schedule and register.

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 01/12/2024

Recent photos from South Korea of Dr. Namjoong Kim and the students of CST’s Intensive Korean-Language Doctor of Ministry Program. “The Korean Methodist Church officially acknowledges and honors CST’s Intensive DMin program as their premier pastoral leadership program,” says Dr. Kim.


At our progressive theological graduate school, we lower the walls between traditions – celebrating our commonalities and respecting our differences. We value our Christian roots while learning alongside our neighbors of all faiths and traditions. Watch the full video on CST’s history and see how we’re preparing our graduates to lead with their minds and their hearts at:


In a world divided by opposing views on religion, race, sexuality and gender, climate change, poverty and privilege, Claremont School of Theology produces something the world needs: compassionate, well-prepared, thoughtful leaders who serve as agents of transformation and healing in churches, mosques, temples, local communities, schools, non-profits, and the world at large.


Claremont School of Theology has a history of reinventing itself. We’ve always embodied a pioneer spirit- from our founding in 1885 of the Maclay College of Theology in San Fernando to moving in 1900 to the campus of University of Southern California. Then in 1956, the school became independent from USC and in 1957 moved to Claremont to build a new campus from the ground up. Now, we begin a new chapter with our relocation to Los Angeles on the beautiful campus of Westwood United Methodist Church. Watch the full video on CST’s history at:


Join us for “Reigniting Our Future,” an event to celebrate and tour our beautiful new campus at Westwood United Methodist Church (Westwood Church). Refreshments and finger foods will follow. Register for this free event at:

Photos from Claremont School of Theology's post 01/02/2024

Dr. Lailatul Fitriyah, CST’s Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education, gave a talk at UIN Jakarta Grad School on the structure of Whiteness in Islamic Studies from a perspective of Islamic feminism. Dr. Fitriyah said “I thank the Muslim feminist scholars on whose shoulders I grow up to be a scholar of my own, who taught me how to own my scholarly voice: Kecia Ali, amina wadud, Asma Barlas, Ayesha Chaudhry, Hina Azam, and others.”

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Videos (show all)

Did you know the first woman graduated from our school in 1890? Since then, we’ve had hundreds of other bright, talented...
Sneak peek at CST's new campus as construction concludes
What Students are Saying about Claremont School of Theology
At our progressive theological graduate school, we lower the walls between traditions – celebrating our commonalities an...
Claremont School of Theology has a history of reinventing itself. We’ve always embodied a pioneer spirit- from our found...
Help CST Train World-Changing Pastors
Today is World Teachers' Day and we’re celebrating our fantastic faculty– a diverse group of student-centric scholars te...
Why did PhD student Ayodele Ode choose Claremont School of Theology? Watch the video to find out and then head to our we...
What does PhD student Jack Morgan most appreciate about CST?
Support the Next Generation of Change-Makers
CST Alumni are Making a Difference
Support CST Rockstars





1325 N College Avenue
Claremont, CA
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