|Claremont Lincoln University announces agreement with University of the West|
|Thursday, March 01, 2012|
Claremont Lincoln University and University of the West (UWest) are pleased to announce a commitment to collaborate. Beginning Fall 2012, each institution’s graduate students will be able to take courses at either university for academic credit.
“At the heart of Claremont Lincoln’s mission lies the ideal of building bridges of understanding for the purposes of improving and repairing our shared society, environment, and world,” said Rev. Dr. Jerry Campbell, President of Claremont Lincoln. “We are excited about this new agreement with University of the West. It reaffirms Claremont Lincoln’s place as one of the most dynamic and truly collaborative centers for religious education in the country.”
“The University of the West is equally excited about the agreement. “Our mission is to provide a whole-person education in a context informed by Buddhist values such as compassion, interdependence, and liberation from suffering, and to facilitate cultural understanding and appreciation between East and West,” said C. S. Wu, President of University of the West. “We see our relationship with Claremont Lincoln as a unique opportunity to enhance and extend that global and inclusive mission.”
The University of the West and Claremont Lincoln University share a number of important common interests and goals. Each institution offers Masters- and doctoral-level courses in religious studies and cognate disciplines. Both institutions place a strong emphasis on compassion: Claremont Lincoln speaks of “engaged compassion,” and the University of the West speaks of “humanistic or engaged Buddhism.” Both are practitioner-oriented; both train religious leaders; and both are open to people of all faiths as well as those of no faith.
Claremont founders “came West looking for fresh ideas and the ability to innovate.” The founders of the University of the West sought to bring the East to the West or to bridge East and West. (The school’s original name, “Hsi Lai,” means “East coming to the West and West coming to the East.”)
Particularly important are the core values that both institutions share. Both work to foster academic excellence in the study of specific religious traditions and both value the perspectives of religious practitioners in this endeavor. When they specialize in particular religious traditions, they do so without deprecating other traditions. Nor do they hold the academic (theoretical) study of religion as the only value; they believe that religious traditions have the capacity to address urgent global issues in the world today, especially when infused with the best of modern thinking.
Claremont Lincoln affiliates include Claremont School of Theology (CST), Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJRCA), and Bayan, established by the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC). In addition, the International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) and the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA) are in the beginning stages of creating the International School for Jain Studies at Claremont Lincoln. The University of the West becomes Claremont Lincoln’s newest association, with the signing of a Letter of Agreement on Feb. 29, 2012, by Rev. Dr. Jerry Campbell and Dr. C.S. Wu, President of UWest.
Claremont Lincoln University
Established in 2011, Claremont Lincoln University is an interreligious graduate school offering accredited degree programs, advanced certificates, and custom-designed curricula for leadership that spans multicultural, multireligious, spiritual, and secular value systems. The University also serves as the hub of a history-making consortium of professional schools that educate religious leaders in their respective traditions while sharing a common interreligious curriculum. The new University is situated in Southern California among the prestigious Claremont Colleges, on the Claremont School of Theology campus. For more information: www.ClaremontLincoln.org.
University of the West
Founded in 1991, in the famous Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, the University of the West was initially know as Hsi Lai University and its student body was made up of the monks and nuns of the temple. From the first, however, these religious leaders had the goal of creating a Buddhist-founded university in Los Angeles County with mainstream academic recognition. In 1996, the University purchased its current campus in Rosemead, added more programs, and encouraged students from all backgrounds to attend. In 2006, UWest was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition to its undergraduate degrees, it offers a number of graduate degrees in business and psychology, as well as a Master of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy, and masters and doctor’s degrees in Religious Studies, with Buddhist and/or Comparative Religions concentrations. It is also home of the Institute for Chinese Buddhist Studies. For more information: www.uwest.edu.