Graduate Theological Union

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Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley
Established 1962
Type Private
Location Berkeley, California, U.S.
President Riess Potterveld

The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) is a consortium of eight independent American theological schools and eleven centers and affiliates. Seven of the theological schools are located in Berkeley, California. The GTU was founded in 1962 and is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. Most of the GTU member schools are located in the Berkeley hills one block north of the university. GTU's enrollment is currently around 1,300. The local nickname for the neighborhood is "holy hill".


Religious traditions represented include Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. Curricula amongst the schools includes the arts, biblical studies, cultural and historical studies, ethics, social theory, spirituality, interreligious and interdisciplinary studies, in addition to subjects in systematic and philosophical theology. GTU offers M.A. and Doctor of Theology degrees as well as the Ph.D program in cooperation with the University of California at Berkeley. GTU seminaries variously offer M.Th., M.Div, Doctor of Ministry, S.T.B., S.T.L., and S.T.D. degrees. All degree seeking students at GTU may take any classes offered at the University of California, Berkeley, and have access and borrowing privileges at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University libraries.

Constituting schools[edit]

Research centers[edit]


The Graduate Theological Union maintains the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, the largest theological library west of the Rockies, and one of the largest theological libraries in the world, with almost 500,000 library volumes in 2007.[1] Its material acquisitions are coordinated with the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University libraries. Borrowing privileges are available for all three institutions. Furthermore, GTU students are privy to borrowing from the University of Texas, Austin libraries as part of the RCLP agreement between University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and UT-Austin. In addition, GTU and UCB students can access the rare and special collections in both institutions' libraries.


The National Research Council (NRC) has released a comprehensive assessment of doctoral programs in the United States.[2]

In one independent compilation based on the NRC’s "regression-based" rankings, the GTU appears at No. 22 overall.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable graduates of GTU member schools[edit]

(Acronyms: ABSW: American Baptist Seminary of the West, CDSP: Church Divinity School of the Pacific, DSPT: Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, JST-SCU: Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, PSR: Pacific School of Religion, SFTS: San Francisco Theological Seminary, SKSM: Starr King School for the Ministry)


The GTU's president is Riess W. Potterveld, who previously was president at the Pacific School of Religion.

The GTU's dean is Arthur Holder, who previously served as Academic Dean at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. His immediate predecessor was Judith Berling, who is professor of Chinese religions at the GTU and was president of the American Academy of Religion in 1990.

  • Kevin F. Burke, SJ, Associate Professor of Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology. A student of Roger Haight, SJ, his scholarship focuses on Christology, spirituality, and the theology of Ignacio Ellacuria.
  • John Dillenberger, Professor and President Emeritus, Graduate Theological Union Berkeley, California
  • Eduardo C. Fernandez, SJ, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. HIs research focuses on Latina/o theology, social justice, religion and culture, as well as missiology. He was the recipient of the Virgilio Elizondo Award, given by the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States.
  • Marion S. Grau, Associate Professor of Theology at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Her wide-ranging, interdisciplinary scholarship ranges from the theology of economics, soteriology, environment, hermeneutics, critical theory, missiology, among others. She is a student of Catherine Keller and Jürgen Moltmann and is involved with a project on theology and pilgrimage in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo.
  • Thomas Massaro, SJ, Dean of Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and Professor of Moral Theology. His interests focus on Catholic social ethics as it pertains to economic justice, sociology of religion, and the history of Christian political thought.
  • Ted Peters, Lutheran theologian and the Distinguished Research Professor of Systematic Theology at GTU and at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Editor of the Journal of Theology and Science


  1. ^ Association of Theological Seminaries. "Factbook on Theological Education, 2006-2007". 
  2. ^ <>
  3. ^ <>

External links[edit]