University of Redlands

San Francisco Theological Seminary, University of Redlands Initiate Process Toward a Transformative Partnership

Respected innovators in higher education sign an Agreement in Principle to bring S.F. Theological Seminary into University of Redlands

The San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), based in Marin County, and the University of Redlands (U of R), located in Southern California, have signed an Agreement in Principle to create a transformative partnership — one that enhances the academic mission and traditions of each institution and creates unique synergies between them.

“In recent years, SFTS has been creating a new kind of seminary for the 21st century—designed to preserve our core values while expanding our reach and opening new pathways for purposeful leadership, community service, and public life,” said Jim McDonald, president of SFTS. “As we looked to the future, we recognized the need and imperative to re-imagine and reset our course to meet a changing world. Our partnership with the University of Redlands accelerates our efforts to make this essential transformation. We are very excited about the possibilities this new relationship creates for students from all walks of life.”

“The University of Redlands and SFTS have many shared values and interests, including the commitment to teaching, scholarship, and community,” said Ralph W. Kuncl, president of U of R. “This forward-thinking partnership has huge potential to unlock dynamic, new opportunities for current and future students.”

Through this partnership, the institutions will create a new graduate school, the Graduate School of Theology (GST) within the University of Redlands, that will articulate and pursue the mission of preparing students for theological engagement and meaningful ministries. The new GST will operate on equal footing with U of R’s other, long-established schools (notably its graduate and professional programs in its School of Education and School of Business), as well as its College of Arts and Sciences and School of Music. The SFTS campus will become part of the University of Redlands and continue to be the primary location for SFTS and its degree programs.

Prior to the Agreement in Principle, U of R and SFTS developed a joint continuing studies program – the Mental Health and Spirituality Certificate — which will hold its first classes next month. Developed within SFTS’s Applied Wisdom Institute and U of R’s School of Education, the program will teach and guide community leaders, building knowledge and competencies in mental health, spiritual care, and community engagement.

With the Agreement in Principle now approved by both Boards of Trustees, the institutions will work to finalize the details and obtain approval from accreditors. An official agreement could take effect by mid-2019. For more information regarding the announcement, please visit: or