My friend, Philip Clayton, is part of a grand experiment in theological education, covered this week by Inside Higher Ed:
Two Schools, Three Religions (So Far)
Claremont Lincoln University is a collaboration between two established schools: the Claremont School of Theology and the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, which trains future rabbis, cantors and chaplains from all branches of Judaism, although Orthodox Jews do not accept the academy’s ordination. A Muslim institution, Bayan College, is in the works: it will be part of Claremont Lincoln, established through a partnership between the Islamic Center of Southern California. Administrators say it will be one of the first schools to train Sunni and Shiite imams entirely within the United States.
Claremont Lincoln also offers a master’s degree in religious leadership in Muslim contexts, a course of study for both men and women that it says is the first graduate program of its kind in the United States.
While many theological schools are adding programs to familiarize students with world religions — whether to increase interfaith understanding or make students more effective proselytizers — the students are usually of one faith. Bringing Christian, Muslim and Jewish students together creates a different, and richer, learning experience, says Najeeba Syeed-Miller, an assistant professor of interreligious education.