By John Lomperis (@JohnLomperis)
We have earlier reported in this space on the fact that, as part of its new interfaith orientation, Claremont School of Theology (CST) was considering removing the cross from its chapel space, in order to make the space more accommodating for religious services of non-Christian faith communities. This prompted a reply from CST’s Director of Media Relations, which we agreed to post here, and then responded to it here.
CST is one of the 13 official, offering-plate-funded U.S. seminaries of the United Methodist Church.
We have recently learned that Claremont officials have formally decided to leave the cross permanently in place in the seminary chapel, after all. Furthermore, at this point, no religious symbols from other faiths are being added to the chapel.
We have also been informed that the CST chapel holds Christian as well as interfaith services, and that while the space is presented as being open to all regardless of belief, it is not presently used for organized, regularly scheduled, religious services exclusively within a non-Christian faith tradition.
This update obviously does nothing to alleviate the deep concerns evangelicals have had about CST, especially for the last several years. But at least now they will not be doing the additional damage of removing the cross from their chapel.