News / USA

New University Desegregates Religious Education

California graduate school is made up of Christian, Muslim and Jewish institutions

Claremont Lincoln University is a new graduate school made up of Christian, Muslim and Jewish institutions, which all share a common goal of desegregating theological education.
Claremont Lincoln University is a new graduate school made up of Christian, Muslim and Jewish institutions, which all share a common goal of desegregating theological education.
Monaliza Noormohammadi

Located in southern California, the Claremont Lincoln University prides itself on being the first multi-religious academic institution and aspires to be a new model for theological education.

The new school offers master's programs in interreligious studies and Muslim leadership, but it also acts as a hub for its three founding institutions - the Claremont School of Theology, the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and the Islamic Center of Southern California.

Students affiliated with each of these institutions may also take courses at the others.

The Islamic school is in its beginning stages and its founders hope to incorporate an imam-training program sometime next year.

David Lincoln, chairman of the Board of Claremont Lincoln University, and his wife, Joan, donated $50 million to see the new university come to life.

“The religions will be promoting peace in the world and not fighting each other; in a lot of places now they fight each other, and if the religions could encourage solutions to the problems then the problems would be solved and we’d all be better off.”

Rev. Jerry Campbell, president of the Claremont School of Theology, says this new approach will not only make America a safer place, but will also strengthen America’s democracy.

“If we can’t love our neighbors who are not like us, if we can’t love them being who they are, how can our country hang together?" Campbells says.

Jihad Turk, director of Religious Affairs for the Islamic Center of Southern California, believes the Claremont Lincoln University model will be particularly beneficial for Muslim-Americans.

“It will demonstrate to the world that the United States is not on a war against the Muslim world or the Islamic faith but that there is great support from private institutions from the public at large and by the government as well that recognizes that Islam and Muslims are on the side of peace,” Turk says.

The keynote speaker at the new school’s convocation was Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States.  He is an advocate of interfaith cooperation, as a counterweight to fundamentalism.

“Anyone can step into the breach and claim to be speaking for God and unless the middle ground is able to establish what is God’s purpose we will cede more and more ground to the fundamentalists,” Rasool says.

And while the Claremont Lincoln University is brand new, it is already adding to the religious traditions involved.

Earlier in the day, a ceremony celebrated a new addition - the International School of Jain Studies - which will soon offer short term exchange programs and seminars. Jain is a minority religion from India.  

Campbell says Claremont Lincoln University is also currently in talks with the Bahai faith and he hopes to recruit more of the world’s religions.  The goal - he says - uniting people to promote religion as a source of healing, compassion and peace.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs