Claremont’s Religious Diversity: Church Affirms Multi-Faith Project

July 2, 2010

Author: Robin Russell

Source: The United Methodist Portal

In a bold move to prepare future clergy for America’s increasingly diverse religious landscape, Claremont School of Theology will help offer clerical training this fall for Muslims and Jews as well as Christians.

And the project has the blessing of the United Methodist Church, with which the seminary has long been affiliated.

The denomination’s 25-member University Senate announced in a June 25 statement that the California seminary would be allowed to maintain its affiliation as a United Methodist institution. The Senate had put the 275-student seminary on “public warning” in January for failing to consult with the church on “a substantial reorientation of the institution’s mission.” A review panel visited the seminary in April to evaluate its mission and budgets.

The Senate also released $800,000 from the Ministerial Education Fund—an apportioned fund that supports scholarships and budgets at the 13 United Methodist seminaries—that had been suspended in February toward Claremont’s $10 million budget pending the review.

In a consortium arrangement starting this fall, students from Claremont, the Academy for Jewish Religion and the Islamic Center of Southern California will take classes side-by-side as they earn degrees from their respective institutions.