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Claremont School Relocates to Los Angeles

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

Claremont School of Theology (CST) announced for the first time in 66 years it will be relocating this summer to Los Angeles, CA.  In existence since 1885, CST will be located at Westwood United Methodist Church.

Claremont School of Theology is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment of the United Methodist Church.

CST, a leading theological school in the West, has been in Claremont, CA, since 1957.  It was previously located on the campus at the then Methodist-affiliated University of Southern California (USC) before moving to Claremont.  The school will continue to offer all its current degree programs at its new location, strategically located within walking distance from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a short distance from USC.  The name of the school will remain Claremont School of Theology.

“We are beginning to reimagine CST around our signature values of ‘Compassion, Justice, and Belonging’ by expanding upon our recognized distance learning excellence and transformative in-person hybrid experiences, allowing for increased flexibility and accessibility as a global community of learners.  CST will be expanding both its in-person and 100% online programs,” said Bishop Grant Hagiya, President ad interim.  “We see Westwood as a strategic move that allows us to begin to retire debt, expand our online digital offerings, and continue to reach toward our 150th year.”

“Our new partnership with Westwood UMC maximizes their facilities and opens new partnerships with other educational institutions and faith communities across the greater Los Angeles area.  I am grateful to the Westwood congregation for sharing the vision in new, innovative, and deeply faithful configurations,” Farris said.

The relocation to Los Angeles will deepen the school’s mission and emphasis on both in-person and distance learning and will ultimately fold into a strategic plan with renewed focus on the principles of Compassion, Justice, and Belonging.  The plan is in the early stages and is currently labeled “Claremont 2.0.”  The plan will expand the range and quality of its programs and community partnerships.  The school has also launched a new website design today,, that will more deeply share its progressive core values.

“Westwood UMC is pleased to welcome CST, and proud to be able to use our beautiful campus in a location in Los Angeles as a home for progressive theological education,” said Rev Molly Vetter, pastor of Westwood UMC and graduate of CST. “The congregation has a deep commitment to theological inquiry and a long legacy of partnership in interfaith work and justice-seeking that are a natural fit with CST’s commitments.

CST’s leadership is working with apartment property managers and owners surrounding Westwood, including housing executives who are members of the Westwood UMC congregation, and is identifying affordable housing options that the school will subsidize for CST students currently living on its campus.  Beyond subsidizing the cost of housing for its current students living in offered Westwood area apartments, CST will also be paying their moving costs.

“This is the exciting conclusion to a long process to find the perfect location for such a vital institution like CST,” stated Dr. Jeffrey Kuan, the school’s president who is currently on sabbatical leave.  “We are eager to be in a location that will enable us to continue our mission.

CST’s transition to Los Angeles will occur this summer. 

Claremont School of Theology website, Claremont, CA

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.

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