Jeffrey Kuan Named President of Claremont School of Theology

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3AM

Jeffrey Kuan Named President of Claremont School of Theology The Board of Trustees announced that the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan accepted their invitation to be the seventh president of Claremont School of Theology, effective July 1, 2013.

Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan has accepted the Board of Trustees invitation to be the seventh president of Claremont School of Theology. Dr. Kuan will succeed Jerry D. Campbell, who held the position for seven years. All are invited to his Inauguration Ceremony on Oct. 23, 2013.

“Jeffrey is a distinguished educator, scholar and minister who is deeply committed to the vibrant future of theological education,” said the Rev. Dr. David Richardson, chair of Claremont’s board. “His arrival at Claremont is well-timed for the continued development of this school and the vitality of the church in an increasingly globalized age.”

Kuan is an Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church who since 2011 has served as dean of Drew University Theological School. Previously, he spent nearly 20 years on the faculties of the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union teaching in the areas of Hebrew Bible and Asian and Asian-American hermeneutics.

“Claremont has a rich legacy and important role to play as a forward-looking theological school on the Pacific Rim,” Kuan said upon his appointment. “As Claremont continues to explore the future of faith in a multireligious world, our location in Southern California and proximity to Asia will be critical for the future development of the School.”

“Our CST community: present, past, and future, will be blessed with the excellent leadership of the Rev. Dr. Jeffery Kuan serving as our President. He offers an unique blending of theological and pastoral gifts that will be appreciated as he leads us with deep faith into our future firmly grounded in our United Methodist Wesleyan heritage. His relationships across both oceans will enhance our ministries to our sisters and brothers in the global and ecumenical contexts. On behalf of the Desert Southwest Conference and as a CST alumnus and trustee, I welcome Dr. Kuan, look forward with great anticipation to working with him and offer our prayers and enthusiastic support as he assumes this ministry.” Robert T. Hoshibata, Resident bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference of the UMC

Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan brings over 25 years of experience in theological education to the presidency of Claremont School of Theology. His career demonstrates his commitment to the vitality of the church and to deepening the relationship between Western Christianity and the global Church, especially in the Western United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Ordained in the UMC’s California-Nevada Annual Conference, Kuan is deeply involved in church leadership at the regional and national levels. He currently chairs the Commission on Theological Education of the UMC University Senate and recently completed two four-year terms on the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, where he served as Vice President. Kuan also serves on the boards of the Reconciling Ministries Network and Asian American and Pacific Islander United Methodist Clergywomen Association, and chairs the Member Council of the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium. He also preaches regularly in local congregations and retains membership at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, Calif.

"I celebrate the selection of Dr. Jeffrey Kuan as the new President for Claremont School of Theology. Jeffrey is a lifelong Methodist with a deep commitment to the Wesleyan tradition. He is a noted scholar that values our commitment to education and he also understands the need for our seminaries to be a resource for the local church. Dr. Kuan deeply cares about church vitality." Warner H. Brown, Jr., Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Conference of the UMC

Kuan is author, co-author and editor of numerous publications related to biblical history, interpretation and theology, with recent emphasis on interpretation in Asian and Asian American contexts. He is co-editor of Ways of Being, Ways of Reading: Asian-American Biblical Interpretation (Chalice, 2006) and authored a number of entries in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception and New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, of which he was an editor from 2006-2009. He is currently working on a commentary on the book of Joshua and is researching the history of biblical interpretation in Asia.

Kuan earned a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Emory University, an M.T.S. from Perkins Theological School and Bachelor of Theology from Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

A first generation Asian American of Chinese ancestry, Kuan’s grandparents emigrated from China to Malaysia, where he was born and raised before moving to Singapore for college. Kuan is married to Val Toh, a Certified Public Accountant currently living and working in the San Francisco Bay area. They have two daughters, one of whom is a former elementary school teacher and stay-at-home mother and the other who will be entering UC Berkeley in the fall.

Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan is the excellent leader that CST needs to take it into its next phase of service and witness. Dr. Jerry Campbell, the visionary outgoing President of CST will now go to lead the Claremont Lincoln University. Drs. Campbell and Kuan will be a formidable team in the work of preparing spiritual leaders for the church and the world. We give God thanks for these committed servants of Jesus Christ. Minerva G. Carcaño, Resident Bishop of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the UMC

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About Claremont School of Theology

Earlier this spring, the School announced that President Jerry Campbell would retire from Claremont School of Theology in July and remain President of Claremont Lincoln University as the new university continues to develop.

Established in 1885, Claremont School of Theology is chartered as an ecumenical institution of The United Methodist Church, situated in Southern California among the prestigious Claremont Colleges. Students are nurtured by Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason and are prepared for lives of Christian ministry, leadership, scholarship and service. A founding member of the Claremont Lincoln University Consortium, the School equips pastors, scholars and other Christian leaders to pursue effective careers in peaceful coexistence and collaboration with other cultures and religions. For more information, please visit

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