I thought this week we could recap some “interesting” news items from 2010. I’ll have a follow-up item tomorrow.
In June, many news sources, including Fox News, carried this story:
Methodist theology school in Calif. to add Muslim, Jewish faiths to seminary curriculum
A rabbi, a minister and an imam walk into a classroom, and it’s no joke.
The venerable Claremont School of Theology has taught Methodist ministers and theologians for more than a century, but in the fall they’ll try an unorthodox approach: cross-training the nation’s future Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders in classrooms scattered around Southern California as they work toward their respective degrees.
You may read more on the Fox News website.
On the Claremont School of Theology website, we read the headline: “THE WORLD IS CHANGING. AND SO IS CLAREMONT.”
They explain the change this way:
Claremont School of Theology is engaged in a far-reaching and ambitious effort to transform the means by which religious leaders –including clergy, educators, scholars, counselors, and other religious figures — are trained in contemporary American society.
Although religions in America are conceived and practiced for the betterment of the world in which we live, all too frequently our religions have served as divisive forces in American society and the world at large. In response to these realities, the Board of Trustees voted in March 2008 to set in motion the University Project as a means to rethink classical models of theological education in an effort to promote interreligious cooperation and ethical integrity in the training of religious leaders for a variety of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. . . .
By teaching students to recognize the integrity of their own traditions as well as the integrity of other traditions, we will graduate religious leaders who are well-prepared to recognize and cooperate with other religious traditions that can play important roles in addressing the needs of our contemporary worldd.
Our Methodist Roots
Claremont School of Theology has functioned as a Methodist theological school since its foundation in 1885 as the MaClay College of Theology in San Fernando (1885-1900) and later as the University of Southern California School of Religion (1900-1956). Since moving to Claremont in 1957, it has continued to be engaged in the preparation of ministers for The United Methodist Church and other Protestant denominations as well as scholars for the broader religious world and academy. Throughout its history, Claremont School of Theology as been recognized for its ecumenical and interreligious outlook and for its rigorous academic training.
As the founding partner of the University Project, Claremont School of Theology will continue to prepare clergy and leaders for The United Methodist Church and other traditions within Christianity. But it will also develop a consortium that clusters several collaborating graduate schools and centers around a religiously focused University. Our partners will likewise train religious leaders in their respective traditions (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.).
Well, the world is changing (as Claremont has changed), but God’s Word does not change. There are so many things we could say in relation to this news item, but I will just end with two verses of Scripture:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
Our nation needs prayer! Many seminaries of this nation need prayer!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,