A loving farewell from the Claremont School of Theology
You have been a blessing to our school for more than 60 years, and even though we are moving to Salem, Oregon, this summer, we will continue our friendship for years to come.
When our School of Theology moved to Claremont from the campus of the University of Southern California back in 1956, the city of Claremont was preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and underground train systems were just gaining popularity.
Today, hybrid cars and hybrid education are commonplace, technology has advanced at monumental speeds, a billionaire reality TV star is in the White House, and we are facing a global pandemic that requires us to rethink everything.
I am grateful for the leadership of our city, county and state as they guide us through this crisis, and for the Claremont community that shares many of the same values of justice and compassion for all our neighbors.
We will certainly miss the “City of Trees and PhDs,” but we will take our name and the progressive, rigorous, and life-transforming theological education you have come to expect from Claremont School of Theology with us. Indeed, it was in Claremont that our professors developed the world-renowned Center for Process Studies and the holistic mental health services of The Clinebell Institute, and it is where we expanded the very definition of theological education by partnering with various Christian denominations and even Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Jain and other religious institutions.
It is this type of innovative education that Willamette University and the city of Salem welcome and it is why we will keep Claremont in our name.
Since 1885, when our school was born in the San Fernando Valley, we have moved and evolved and grown to meet the challenges of the day. Today is no different.
In addition to everything else that is changing in education, together we face a new challenge with this global pandemic. We have responded with the same integrity and energy, so no matter what happens with this pandemic, our dedicated staff and faculty will continue to serve, teach, and equip compassionate and grounded religious leaders for this generation and the next.
As we depart Claremont, I pray the legacy we leave behind is one of hope, perseverance, and gratitude. We shall be forever grateful for how you welcomed us and served alongside us in the shaping of theological education and in the formation of spiritual and religious leaders and educators.
Blessings and good health,
Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan
Claremont School of Theology