Frequently Asked Questions for Separation from Claremont Lincoln University
FAQ FOR SEPARATION OF CST & CLU
Q: Why is CST parting ways with CLU?
A: At the outset of the two schools’ relationship, both institutions shared a vision for how to offer interreligious education for the 21st century. That can no longer be said. CLU decided it would move away from its faith-focused roots and become secular in nature. After careful consideration, each institution has decided to pursue its respective vision independently of one another
Q: What direction is CST heading in following its separation from CLU?
A: CST’s mission is not changing. It will continue to educate religious leaders for the 21st century. We will remain true to our identity as a United Methodist-affiliated institution with a rich ecumenical heritage. We will look to that heritage to propel us forward into a pluralistic religious environment embodied by our Southern California surroundings – the most diverse metropolitan region in the world.
Q: Does this mean CST is going back to being a United Methodist seminary?
A: CST never stopped being a United Methodist seminary. It has never departed from its United Methodist heritage. Our institutional DNA is rooted in The United Methodist Church. We operate in an environment of learning and scholarly inquiry that reflects the best of our understanding of Wesleyan teaching.
Q: To what extent is CST going to be involved in interfaith or interreligious education?
A: It remains CST’s belief that authentic religious life in the 21st century is interreligious by its very nature. Over the last three years, CST has forged meaningful relationships with interreligious organizations in Southern California and beyond. Because of those relationships, CST can honestly claim to be more interreligious in its identity and philosophy than ever before. CST has moved to reinforce its existing relationships with Bayan Claremont, AJRCA, and the University of the West and will continue to grow and develop all its interreligious relationships to the benefit of our school, our church, our communities, and our world.
Q: What is CST’s stance regarding online/distance education?
A: CST recognizes that the boundaries for theological education are expanding. The demand for a quality theological education is growing while traditional modes of meeting that demand remain relatively stagnant. CST is committed to expanding its reach as a theological school for the 21st century through modes of distributive learning that utilize 21st century technology while maintaining a traditional on-campus educational community.
Q: What is the nature of CST’s relationships with AJRCA, and Bayan Claremont moving forward?
A: CST remains committed to its vision to provide an interreligious experience in its effort to train religious leaders for the 21st century. As such, CST has moved to continue its relationships with AJRCA and Bayan Claremont. In May, the CST Board of Trustees approved Bayan Claremont’s status as a program of CST while they pursue independent accreditation. Details of a cross-registration agreement with AJRCA are currently being finalized. All three institutions are committed to ensuring that students will continue to benefit from learning side by side in the classroom, in worship, and in service to the world.
Q: Which programs will CST be taking over?
A: As of this fall, PhD programs in Religion, and Practical Theology; Master of Arts in Interfaith Chaplaincy; Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies; and Master of Arts in Religion and Social Change will be administered by CST.
Q: What happens to current CLU students in programs that CLU will no longer be supporting?
A: There are opportunities available at CST for current CLU students to enroll in accredited degree programs that will grant them access to benefits such as federally-subsidized financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and educational visas for international students.
Q: What options are available to students graduating this May?
A: All students from both institutions who are scheduled to graduate in May 2014 will receive an accredited degree.
Q: Will the separation result in changes of faculty at CST?
A: Changes in the relationship between the two schools will have no impact on CST’s faculty. Faculty who taught courses through CLU have always been CST faculty and will remain so.
Q: What does this mean for CLU alumni in programs that will no longer exist?
A: CST’s Office of Alumni/ae Relations will contact graduates of discontinued programs to keep them informed of their options for connecting with a wider alumni/ae community. All alumni/ae of discontinued programs who are in need of transcripts can contact the CST Registrar for appropriate documentation of their studies.
Q: What happens to the interreligious consortium established through CLU?
A: At its last meeting, the CST Board of Trustees voted not to participate in an interreligious consortium organized around Claremont Lincoln University. Over the next few months, the trustees of Bayan Claremont and AJRCA will have an opportunity to independently decide whether to continue in a consortium arrangement. Claremont School of Theology has no plans to create a new or alternate consortium. However, CST is actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate with graduate institutions that are similarly committed to interreligious education. We are currently working with University of the West—a Buddhist institution-- to consider ways to collaborate including a cross registration agreement.
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