Graduate Theological Union

Centers of Distinction

More than a dozen academic centers, programs, and affiliates allow the Graduate Theological Union to be a pioneering place for interdisciplinary religious thought, study, and practice, adding to its unparalleled depth of faculty and course selection.

The Asia Project seeks to transform theological education by addressing Asian theologies and contexts. It furthers GTU’s mission to educate students for teaching, research, ministry, and service – preparing future global leaders with knowledge of Asian theologies.

The Black Church/Africana Religious Studies Program (BC/ARS) is an initiative to investigate African American religion within the framework of the African Diaspora. This program is especially attuned to the need for Womanist studies. A certificate is available for graduate students at GTU and its member schools.

The Center for the Arts & Religion (CARe) promotes scholarship, reflection, and practice in the arts and religion, serving the Graduate Theological Union and benefiting the broader community.

The Mira and Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies (CDS) supports scholars and students from the Hindu and Jain Dharmic heritage communities and many other traditions as they seek to understand Dharma in its multidimensional richness. CDS emphasizes the study, teaching, and research on the Dharma Traditions as spiritual and practical resources for engaging the challenges of a complex global reality. 

The Center for Islamic Studies (CIS) provides graduate courses in Islamic history, theology, philosophy, culture, arts, and religious practice. Founded in 2007, CIS serves to foster dialogue and interaction among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars and provides resources to local Muslim communities.

The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) is a premier center for the advanced study of Jewish history, literature, and culture. Among the Center’s areas of academic focus are modern Jewish literature and culture, Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations from late antiquity to modernity, rabbinic Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish literary studies. CJS also hosts numerous conferences and lectures, celebrations of Jewish holidays, and other programs that attract wide participation by the public.

*The Center for Swedenborgian Studies (CSS) has been a graduate school for religious training and scholarship since 1866. CSS offers courses in numerous disciplines and cross-disciplines, especially theology, the arts, spirituality, history, and biblical studies. Emphasizing interreligious engagement, cultural studies, and personal spiritual formation, CSS functions as a think-tank for Swedenborgian studies globally and also as the official seminary of the Swedenborgian Church of North America.

The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) is a global leader in facilitating and promoting the crucial dialogue between religion and science. Originally incorporated in 1982 as a not-for-profit organization, this long-time GTU affiliate became a GTU program unit in 2016. CTNS finds the GTU’s diverse, engaged community to be the perfect setting to bridge divides.

*The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) has been affiliated with the GTU since 1985. Also associated with the Buddhist Churches of America, the seminary and graduate school practices interreligious collaboration through its Master of Arts degree and lectures and programs open to all.

*New College Berkeley (NCB) provides resources for Christians to connect their faith with daily life. In 1992, NCB added its unique voice to the GTU as the only U.S. evangelical school in the United States connected to both a theological consortium and a major public university.

*The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI) sponsors the Master of Arts with a specialization in Orthodox Christian Studies at the GTU. The Institute regularly offers lectures and other educational programs throughout the year. It is a "patriarchal institute" under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

*The School of Applied Theology (SAT), founded in 1960 as the Institute of Lay Theology, became an affiliated GTU institution in 1968. SAT offers a holistic Sabbath experience in the San Francisco Bay Area to those who live locally and who come from around the world, seeking attentive rest, theological renewal, and spiritual transformation. SAT offers a variety of Sabbatical offerings: day, week, month, and a semester or two.

Women's Studies in Religion Program (WSR) is an initiative aimed at sustaining, promoting, and advancing the study of women in theology and religion in full recognition of race, sexual and gender orientation, ethnicity, class, culture, nationality and religious orientation. WSR offers a Women's Studies in Religion Certificate for graduate students at GTU and its member schools.

*GTU Affiliate