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|Motto||"Grow In Knowledge. Thrive in Spirit. Unite in Solutions."|
|Ecumenical and Multireligious|
|The Association of Theological Schools|
|Chairman||Susan Cook Hoganson|
|President||Rabbi Daniel L. Lehmann|
|Dean||Uriah Y. Kim|
|Dean of Students||Kathleen Kook|
The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) is a consortium of eight private independent American theological schools and eleven centers and affiliates. Seven of the theological schools are located in Berkeley, California. The GTU was founded in 1962 and their students can take courses at the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, some of the GTU consortial schools are part of other California universities such as Santa Clara University (Jesuit School of Theology) and California Lutheran University (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary). Most of the GTU consortial schools are located in Berkeley area with the majority north of the campus in a neighborhood known as "Holy Hill" due to the cluster of GTU seminaries and centers located there.
Many of the GTU's constituent seminaries were established at various locations throughout the Bay Area in the early 20th or even the late 19th centuries. Because of the foundation of the University of California, several of them relocated to Berkeley and established cooperative relationships with the University. In the wake of the formation of the World Council of Churches and the Second Vatican Council, Bay Area seminaries began negotiations to form a cooperative degree program. In 1962, agreement between the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School (now the American Baptist Seminary of the West), Episcopalian Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary enabled for the incorporation of the Graduate Theological Union in 1962. In 1964, the Pacific School of Religion, St. Albert's College (now the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology) and Starr King School for the Ministry joined the GTU consortium. In 1966, Alma College relocated to Berkeley and was renamed the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. In 1968, the Franciscan School of Theology moved to Berkeley from Santa Barbara and joined the GTU consortium, although in 2013 it merged with the University of San Diego, leaving the consortium and relocating to Oceanside, California . By 1971, the GTU was fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
In 1969, the GTU common library was established and the individual libraries of the seminaries were merged into one collection. In the 1970s, construction began on a Louis I. Kahn-designed building to house the GTU library. The main library building was completed in 1987 and was named the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library in honor of the Hewlett Foundation.
The dean of the GTU is the chief academic officer. The dean also chairs the GTU's council of deans, which is composed of the academic deans of the member schools. Traditionally, deans have held the John Dillenberger Professorship in their general field of specialization. The fifth dean, Margaret Miles, was the John Dillenberger Professor of Historical Theology while the sixth dean, Arthur Holder, was the John Dillenberger Professor of Christian Spirituality. The current dean, Uriah Y. Kim, is the John Dillenberger Professor of Biblical Studies.
Academic Centers include the Center for the Arts & Religion, The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Islamic Studies, the Mira & Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Affiliates include the Center for Swedenborgian Studies,the Institute of Buddhist Studies (Buddhist Churches of America), New College Berkeley, and Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Eastern Orthodox Church).
The GTU offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree and the Master of Arts degree in cooperation with its member seminaries. GTU consortial seminaries variously offer M.Th., M.Div, Doctor of Ministry, S.T.B., S.T.L., and S.T.D. degrees. Ph.D. students are encouraged not only to take advantage of the academic resources available to them at the University of California at Berkeley, but are required to include a non-GTU scholar in their exams or dissertation committees. As such, students have collaborated with UC-B faculty members in the anthropology, critical theory, ethnic studies, history, philosophy, sociology, etc. departments.
There are four doctoral departments, with more than 30 concentrations, encompassing the breadth of religious and theological scholarship at the GTU. The Sacred Texts and Interpretation department focuses on Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Rabbinic Literature, and studies in the sacred texts of Islamic and Hindu traditions. Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions encompasses studies in history of religions, art and religion, interreligious studies, and sociology of religion. Theology and Ethics focuses on theological and ethical reflections in the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu traditions. Other concentrations include comparative theology/ethics, philosophical theology, theology and science, and aesthetics. Religion and Practice focuses on homiletics, liturgical studies, missiology, practical theology, and religious education. The GTU also offers certificates in specialized studies.
All degree seeking students at GTU may take any classes offered at the University of California, Berkeley, and have access and borrowing privileges at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University libraries. Only Ph.D. students have unrestricted access to registering for UCB classes (subject to approval of course instructors). Cross-registration opportunities are also available at Dominican University of California, Holy Names University, and Mills College. Additionally, students can participate in international exchange programs.
The GTU's in-house academic journal is the Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology.The journal is managed by current doctoral students, although peer-reviewers include members of the consortial doctoral faculty. All issues are available free online.
Although the GTU consortium occupies many buildings throughout the Bay Area, only three buildings are owned by the GTU. The largest of the buildings is the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, one of the largest theological libraries in the world, with around 529,000 volumes.
The GTU draws its consortial faculty from its constituent seminaries and centers. Although faculty members are employed at their respective seminaries and centers, they commit to supervising doctoral and masters students, as well as occasionally teaching advanced GTU-wide courses.
Former faculty members include David Alexander, John Dillenberger, and Roy I. Sano.
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (UTS) is a non-denominational Christian seminary in New York City. It is affiliated with neighboring Columbia University. Since 1928, the seminary has served as Columbia's constituent faculty of theology. In 1964, UTS also established an affiliation with the neighboring Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Harvard Divinity School (HDS) is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As of January 2020, the school's mission is to educate its students either in the academic study of religion or for leadership roles in religion, government, and service. It also caters to students from other Harvard schools that are interested in the former field. HDS is among a small group of university-based, non-denominational divinity schools in the United States.
Pacific School of Religion (PSR) is a private Christian seminary in Berkeley, California. It maintains covenantal relationships with the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the Disciples of Christ, ensuring the school provides the necessary requirements for candidates to seek ordination within these denominations. These three denominations account for approximately half of the student population of PSR. The school has also maintained close relationships with the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as other denominations. Over the years PSR has provided training for clergy from a wide range of religious traditions including Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Pentecostals, and Roman Catholics.
Claremont School of Theology (CST) is a graduate school located in Claremont, California, offering Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in religion and theology. It has a relationship with Claremont Graduate University which allows the two schools to share faculty members, library resources, cultural events, and joint academic research endeavors.
The Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a Christian ecumenical American seminary located in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of several seminaries historically affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Chicago, originally established in 1855 under the direction of the abolitionist Stephen Peet and the Congregational Church by charter of the Illinois legislature. In addition to being a seminary of the United Church of Christ, CTS offers students coursework necessary to be ordained by the Metropolitan Community Church denomination.
Candler School of Theology is one of seven graduate schools at Emory University, located in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. A university-based school of theology, Candler educates ministers, scholars of religion and other leaders. It is also one of 13 seminaries affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) is one of the nine seminaries of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. It is located in Berkeley, California, and is a member of the Graduate Theological Union. The only Episcopal seminary located in the Far West, CDSP has, since 1911, been designated the official seminary of the Episcopal Church's Eighth Province, the Province west of the Rocky Mountains.
The Center for Swedenborgian Studies is the seminary of the Swedenborgian Church of North America at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. It offers a Certificate in Swedenborgian Studies and a Certificate in Swedenborgian Ministry Studies. It also functions as a think-tank for Swedenborgian studies globally.
The School of Divinity at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of twelve graduate or professional schools within Yale University.
The Washington Theological Consortium is an ecumenical organization of Christian theological schools and interfaith partners located in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Members cooperate to deepen ecumenical unity in theological education and to broaden interfaith dialogue and understanding. The Consortium is one of the most diverse of its kind in the nation, as it includes Roman and Byzantine Catholic traditions, mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Historic Black Divinity schools; with partners in spiritual formation, Jewish, and Islamic education.
Starr King School for the Ministry is a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, California. It is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. The seminary was formed in 1904 to educate leaders for the growing number of progressive religious communities in the western part of the country. An emphasis on the practical skills of religious leadership and personalized study characterized the school's transformation-based educational philosophy from the beginning. Today, it educates Unitarian Universalist ministers, religious educators, and spiritual activists, as well as progressive religious leaders from a variety of traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, earth-centered traditions, and others.
The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) is a Roman Catholic graduate school in Berkeley, California. It offers certificate and degree programs to lay men and women, Catholics and non-Catholics, as well as training for the Dominicans of the Western Province. DSPT is the only graduate level theological institution in the United States to offer a concurrent degree, 2 MAs with 1 thesis, in philosophy and theology.
Don H. Compier became Dean of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry in Topeka, KS, in July 2014. BKSM is a joint project of the Episcopal Dioceses of Nebraska, Western Kansas, Kansas, and West Missouri. It uniquely seeks to educate candidates for ordained ministry, both priests and deacons, together with lay ministers. The school is strongly committed to making quality theological education affordable and accessible to all. Compier was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in January 2015.
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) is a private Lutheran seminary in Berkeley, California. It is affiliated with California Lutheran University and is a member school of the Graduate Theological Union.
The Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in the Chestnut Hill and Brighton neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts, is the Jesuit, Catholic, graduate theological school of Boston College and an ecclesiastical faculty of theology that trains men and women, both lay and religious, for scholarship and service, especially within the Roman Catholic Church.
The San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) is a seminary in San Anselmo, California with historic ties to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); SFTS became embedded in the private, nonprofit University of Redlands in 2019.
The Flora Lamson Hewlett Library is the central library of the Graduate Theological Union. Located on the summit of the "Holy Hill" area of Berkeley, California its collections comprise one of the largest collections of theological works in the United States, with over 500,000 volumes as of 2014. The library's collections are open to the public. Borrower privileges are accessible not only to students and faculty of the GTU's consortial seminaries and affiliated centers, but also to the faculty and students of the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and American Theological Library Association institutions participating in Reciprocal Borrowing. The Hewlett Library also maintains a branch on the campus of San Francisco Theological Seminary at San Anselmo. It also has storage facilities on the campus of the American Baptist Seminary of the West and at Santa Clara University.
New College Berkeley is an Gospel-centered, ecumenical graduate school of Christian studies and spiritual formation. It is located near the campus of the University of California, Berkeley and is affiliated with the nearby Graduate Theological Union. The purpose of New College Berkeley is to provide resources to bring God’s presence into the public world of work, politics, civic life and academia, as well as the private spaces of discipleship, family and friendship. All of the approximately 200 students each year are enrolled part-time in various courses, seminars and conferences.
Robert Harry Smith was a Lutheran clergyman, theologian, prolific author and lecturer on the Bible's New Testament, and dean of a Lutheran seminary in exile in the early 1980s. Smith was one of 40 faculty members from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod's Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri who walked out in 1974 in a theological dispute that ended with the ousting of Concordia's president, John Tietjen, who disagreed with a literal reading of the Bible.
Christopher Ocker is a historian and the Director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry in the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. He was formerly professor of history at San Francisco Theological Seminary, chair of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and an affiliate professor of the department of history, medieval studies, and the Center for the Study of Religion at the University of California Berkeley. Ocker is known for his works in the history of religion in Europe, Medieval and early modern intellectual and cultural history, and the social and political history of late medieval and early modern Central Europe.