Claremont School of Theology eyes move to Los Angeles

by Mick Rhodes |

Claremont School of Theology announced Tuesday it will likely be relocating to Los Angeles over the summer.

The school, which has been in Claremont since 1957, is awaiting on final approval for its move to Westwood United Methodist Church, 10497 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

The institute will remain Claremont School of Theology despite its new location and continue to offer all current degree programs. The move is in a final review and affirmation process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, CST said.

The proposed move would cap a decade-long battle with The Claremont Colleges stemming from a 1957 land agreement that set the price for any future sale of the property and gave TCC the right of first refusal on any potential future transaction. The Claremont School of Theology contended subsequent state law meant the then 60-year-old agreement was no longer binding. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter A. Hernandez disagreed however, and on January 7, 2022 affirmed its legality. The parties are now in arbitration, with a decision expected later this year.

“There has been a sea change in theological education the last two decades, and the COVID pandemic has confirmed for us that we do not need a 16-acre campus to teach and train our future leaders,” CST President Jeffrey Kuan said in a statement. “Yes, leaving our large Claremont campus will be difficult, but it has become a burden for our future success.”

Prior to 1957 CST was located at the then Methodist-affiliated University of Southern California.

School officials are working with apartment property managers and landlords surrounding Westwood to identify affordable housing options that the school will subsidize for CST students currently living on campus. CST will also pay moving costs.

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