Largest Enrollment in 35 Years, 30 Months Ahead of Schedule

In the last three years, the number of students seeking their Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree more than doubled, spurred by the growth of Hybrid/Online programs. The number of students who identified as African American rocketed from 21 in 2013 to 46 in 2017, and the number of students identifying as Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian is at its highest level in our history.

With the arrival of President Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan in 2013, Claremont School of Theology (CST) mapped out a timeline of ambitious goals, which included breaking the mark of "400 students enrolled" by Fall, 2019. Claremont School of Theology is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund.

CST reached that milestone 30 months ahead of schedule, with 414 students enrolled this Spring, 2017.

"This is an amazing time for Claremont School of Theology and its ecumenical and interfaith partners," said Murad Dibbini, Senior Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services. "Potential students are seeking exactly what we offer: a sacred space where people of all faiths and practices can come together and learn, side-by-side, with respect and understanding. That mission, coupled with our On-Campus and Hybrid/Online classes taught by a world class faculty, is bringing repeated success."

"This is a dream come true," said Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, CST President. "A dream for which we planned, prayed, and worked very diligently. We have more plans for growth but today, we are taking time to count our blessings and show gratitude for all the growth we have seen in the last three-and-a-half years."

Students identifying as males total 54 percent; as women, 44 percent. The average age of our students is 40; the youngest, 19 and the oldest, 86. The highest number of denominationally-affiliated students is from The United Methodist Church at 99 or 24 percent, followed by our Disciples Seminary Foundation partners which includes more than 55 students or 14 percent of our population. Nondenominational Christians at 5 percent; 38 students are Muslim thanks to our partnership with Bayan Claremont, a graduate Islamic school; 2 Hindu; 3 Jewish; and 6 Buddhist.

"These students receive a top notch theological education that they will use for leadership in our churches, mosques, temples, and communities," said Pres. Kuan. "They will be the future of our churches, teachers of the faith, community organizers, bridge builders, peacemakers, and proponents of justice, creating a difference for the world we live in." 

CST believes in "desegregating" theological and religious education by teaching and learning in the presence of religious diversity. Founded by Methodists, we are fortified by numerous ecumenical friendships – in particular, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – as well as by our partnerships with Bayan Claremont, the Academy for Jewish Religion California, and University of the West. Together, we are creating a difference for the world we live in.

Claremont School of Theology website

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.