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Claremont School of Theology

Coordinates: 34°03′55″N 118°25′56″W / 34.06518428428643°N 118.43225225683219°W / 34.06518428428643; -118.43225225683219
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Claremont School of Theology
Seal of Claremont School of Theology
Former name
Maclay School of Theology[1]
TypePrivate graduate school
Established1885 (1885)[2]
AccreditationWSCUC,[3] ATS[4]
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Endowment$10.1 million (2019)[5]
PresidentGrant J. Hagiya[6]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
34°03′55″N 118°25′56″W / 34.06518428428643°N 118.43225225683219°W / 34.06518428428643; -118.43225225683219
Colors   Red and White
Red rectangle showing school seal with the words "Claremont School of Theology"

Claremont School of Theology (CST) is a private graduate school focused on religion and theology and located in Los Angeles, California. It is one of the thirteen official theological schools of the United Methodist Church, and also has close relationships with a variety of other faith traditions and Protestant denominations, especially the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.[7]


Maclay School of Theology in San Fernando, c. 1890

Founded as the Maclay School of Theology in San Fernando, California, in 1885, the Methodist seminary was founded by Charles Maclay, founder of the town of San Fernando, former Methodist minister and state senator.[8] The school was affiliated with the University of Southern California (USC) from 1900 to 1957, staying on the USC campus until it moved to Claremont in 1957.[9]

The master plan for the Claremont campus was designed by Edward Durell Stone, who also designed the school's Kresge Chapel, listed as an historic building by the LA Conservancy.[10][11]

In 2008, CST became a founding member of the Claremont University Project,[12] a multi-religious consortium [13] that eventually became Claremont Lincoln University (CLU).[14] In 2014, CST announced the end of its relationship with Claremont Lincoln University. The mutual split resulted from an acknowledgement that both institutions' "fundamental philosophies have diverged" when "Claremont Lincoln decided to move away from its interreligious roots and become a secular-focused university" after CLU announced "a decision to discontinue several of its programs".[15] In the same announcement, CST's board of trustees affirmed a commitment to maintaining relationships with its partner schools (the Academy for Jewish Religion (California) and Bayan Claremont).

Claremont School of Theology, 2024

In 2015 [16] CST disputed its 1957 agreement [17] with the Claremont Colleges (TCC) that stated that if CST ever sold its Claremont campus, TCC would have the opportunity to purchase the property for pennies on the dollar. Based on an early 1980's California law, CST believed this 1957 restriction was no longer applicable while TCC insisted it remained valid. Both parties entered litigation and in December 2023, CST and TCC completed arbitration.[18]

Before the arbitration was completed, CST began negotiations in 2017 to merge with Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.[19] After signing a memorandum of understanding in May 2019, the school began planning the move to Willamette in July 2020. [20][21] However, due to the ongoing litigation with TCC, CST was not able to move and in 2021 decided to "maintain its presence in Southern California with its main campus located in Claremont, while also retaining a partnership in Salem with Willamette".[22] [23]

Responding to the increased demand for online education the school announced in 2023 that it would increase its online and hybrid offerings, and move from its 16-acre Claremont location to a more sustainable Los Angeles campus. [24] The school is now on the campus of the Westwood United Methodist Church.[25]

CST was the original home for the Center for Process Studies (CPS).[26] In 2023 the CST Board of Trustees approved a proposal that enabled CPS to establish itself as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with joint faculty with CST.[27] The CPS promotes a "relational approach" [28] found in process thought, specifically process theology.



  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Practical Theology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion
  • Doctor of Professional Counseling

Research centers[edit]

  • Center for Engaged Compassion
  • Center for Sexuality
  • The Clinebell Institute
  • Process and Faith[29]

Other programs[edit]

Claremont School of Theology hosts the Course of Study and Licensing School programs [30] of the United Methodist Western Jurisdiction [31]. Programs are open to students from any United Methodist Jurisdiction. These programs are for those seeking to become a local pastor in The United Methodist Church.[32]


The school is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As of 2023, the commission had the Claremont School of Theology listed as "Accredited with Notice of Concern" related to a commission action from February 2020.[3] The school is also accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). However, it is important to note that its status has been changed to 'Accredited on Warning' due to challenges in financial resources.[4]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Maclay School of Theology, San Fernando, CA". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved July 3, 2024.
  2. ^ "Claremont School of Theology". General Board of Higher Education & Ministry. Retrieved July 3, 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Claremont School of Theology". wscuc.org. WASC Senior College and University Commission. 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Member Schools: Claremont School of Theology". ats.edu. Association of Theological Schools. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Claremont School of Theology". IPEDS Data Center. Retrieved July 3, 2024.
  6. ^ "Staff Directory". Claremont School of Theology. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  7. ^ "Claremont School of Theology". General Board of Higher Education & Ministry:United Methodist Church. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  8. ^ Kim, Chan-Hie (April 1, 2001). "Robert Samuel Maclay (1824-1907): the pioneer of the American Protestant mission in Korea". Methodist History. 39 (3): 167–181.
  9. ^ "Early Views of USC". Water and Power Associates. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  10. ^ "Kresge Chapel, Claremont School of Theology". Los Angeles Conservancy. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  11. ^ "Building Claremont: the mid-century years". Claremont Courier. June 7, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  12. ^ Grossman, Ethan (March 5, 2010). "Claremont School of Theology Receives $10M Gift". The Student Life. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  13. ^ Landsberg, Mitchell; Times, Los Angeles (June 9, 2010). "Claremont seminary reaches beyond Christianity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  14. ^ "Claremont Lincoln University - Online Master's Degrees for 21st Century Careers". Claremont Lincoln University. December 10, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  15. ^ Kuan, Jeffrey (April 21, 2014). "Board of Trustees Announces End of Relationship with Claremont Lincoln University". Claremont School of Theology News. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  16. ^ Weinberger, Peter (October 7, 2021). "TCC vs. CST: A deal gone sour—podcast, court docs". Claremont COURIER. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  17. ^ "Agreement between Claremont College and Southern California School of Theology" (PDF). Claremont Courier. June 5, 1957. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  18. ^ mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com (January 11, 2024). "School of Theology to sell former campus property for $7.7 million". Claremont COURIER. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  19. ^ Chang, Kristine (September 22, 2017). "Claremont School of Theology Pursues Move to Oregon". The Student Life. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Kuan, Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey (May 22, 2020). "A Loving Farewell from the Claremont School of Theology". Claremont Courier. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  21. ^ "Willamette/CST Partnership: Frequently Asked Questions". Willamette University. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Hudson, Khimmoy (September 17, 2021). "Following legal battle, Claremont School of Theology will stay local". The Student Life.
  23. ^ staff, Collegian (September 27, 2021). "Claremont merger called off, Willamette affiliation still on". Willamette Collegian. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  24. ^ DSF (March 15, 2023). "Claremont School of Theology Announces Relocation to Los Angeles". DSF. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  25. ^ "Claremont School Relocates to Los Angeles". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  26. ^ "The Center for Process Studies". The Center for Process Studies. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  27. ^ "About-The Center for Process Studies". The Center for Process Studies. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  28. ^ "What is Process Studies". Center for Process Studies. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  29. ^ "Library & Research Centers". Claremont School of Theology. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  30. ^ "Course of Study and Licensing School". Claremont School of Theology. Retrieved July 1, 2024.
  31. ^ "Course of Study & Licensing School". Course of Study & Licensing School. Retrieved July 1, 2024.
  32. ^ "Local Pastor". General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Retrieved July 1, 2024.
  33. ^ "Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Rosemary Radford Ruether". people.bu.edu. Retrieved May 8, 2018.

External links[edit]