So my first campus visit will not be far from my hometown of Tustin, CA. A few weeks ago, a recruiter came to Honolulu, after the name of the school had been brought up in conversation about reputable theology schools. I was impressed mostly by their focus on interfaith efforts and the attached Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center (ABMC). In the near future, CST hopes to incorporate professors and scholars from outside ‘the Christian fold’ to teach alongside minaline Protestant scholars and theologians. From what I understand, this is still a few years off, but I admire the ambition and vision of such an edeavor. There is also some degree of formal/informal relationship with the Claremont Graduate University across the street, which could be edifying.
To be honest, I don’t know how I feel spending up to two years in California. Just something about the landscape I think leaves something to be desired… My younger sister and I just got done driving around the area, and I isn’t as active and vibrant as I would really like. Two other schools I am considering both have very active student bodies (and a third is in Manhattan), and I have realized that I am drawn to that because for the duration of my studies fo far have been exclusively at commuter schools. This can be troubling because this can limit interaction and community building within the student body. However, finances are a bit promising for CST. There is a new scholarship program that could provide free tuition and books and a free on-campus apartment. That’s pretty tempting. Also, the reputation of CST is actually pretty well regarded, so I shouldn’t discount the school too much.
I will be walking into see the addmissions officer in a little while. The office has set me up with an appointment to speak with one of their (I think) top professors, a Philip Clayton, who specializes in Philosophy and Religion, and has guest lectured at Harvard Dvivinity. I look forward to hearing and seeing more, and should have another post-visit update coming down the pipe in the next day or so.