Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Deep Ecological Roots

The longer I'm at Claremont, the more I learn about this School's remarkable history.

Last week, the Seminarians for Social Justice (a student group here at Claremont) organized the second annual Responsible Social Engagement Awards to honor Dean Freudenberger, former professor of international development and missions at Claremont School of Theology.

Like many of Claremont's faculty, Dean was way ahead of his time. As an ordained United Methodist elder also trained as an agronomist, he argued early on that ecological sustainability should be a critical theological concern for individuals and their faith communities. This argument he still makes today.

I hope you will take a few minutes to read more about Freudenberger in this recent feature in the Claremont Courier. It includes a great photo of Dean and comments about him from one of his former faculty colleagues, Frank Rogers, who introduced him at the event.

As Claremont looks toward the future, we can learn a lot from its past. And nobody exemplifies the rich history of Claremont more than Dean Freudenberger.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I have a couple of quick updates to share with you.

First, it came to my attention that the link to my statement about Claremont School of Theology's accreditation was not easily accessible. You can go directly to the statement by clicking here.

Also, additional context about the Mission, Vision and Values set forth by the Board of Trustees earlier this spring is now available online. Read more about the Claremont University Project here.

Again, I look forward to your thoughts about these two statements.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Exciting News from Claremont

We've been busy here at Claremont School of Theology, and I have exciting news to share on two fronts.

You may have heard that the School has had issues with its accreditation due to issues of financial planning and governance. Though the School never lost its accreditation, it was dangerously close when I came to Claremont nearly two years ago. Earlier this spring, we received word that the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) removed its most serious sanction from the school and elevated Claremont to a probationary status. This is good news as it demonstrates the great strides we are making to becoming a financially healthy institution. To read more about this, please see my complete statement at

The second piece of news is the new statement of mission, vision, and values set forth by Board of Trustees. In short, the Board recognizes the diverse and multi-faith reality in which the school is already operating, and turns Claremont's gaze in some interesting new directions. As a result, the Board is setting a bold and imaginative course to expand on Claremont's history of preparing religious leaders for service to the world. The statements in their entirety are on the School's Web site.

As we move forward, I look forward to your thoughts about the School's new direction. I encourage you to leave a comment on this blog, or email me at to continue the conversation.