Muslim college buys seminary campus

Faith-based education to continue on Berkeley hilltop

Cal Lutheran sold the 10-acre property on Marin Avenue where its PLTS had operated to Zaytuna College.

Photo: Michael DeTerra

(BERKELEY, Calif. – Sept. 22, 2017) The hilltop property where a Lutheran seminary stood for 65 years before moving downtown will now house a Muslim college.

California Lutheran University sold the 10-acre property on Marin Avenue where its Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) had operated to Zaytuna College.

The purchase will allow Zaytuna, a liberal arts college that launched its undergraduate program in Berkeley in 2009, to expand as it develops its first master’s degree program and works toward joining the Graduate Theological Union.

PLTS, one of seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), moved to an office building on Center Street in downtown Berkeley this summer. The new location allows students to work more closely with the surrounding community, and the sale of the hilltop property will contribute to the seminary’s long-term financial sustainability. 

“We are delighted that the property is going to another nonprofit, faith-based educational institution,” said Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball. “We are also pleased that Zaytuna is committed to preserving the campus and its buildings as neighbors had wanted.”

Zaytuna is the only Muslim liberal arts college in the United States and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It aims to educate students to become morally, intellectually and spiritually accomplished persons who, having been rigorously trained in the Islamic and Western scholarly traditions, are ready to interact with and shape modern society by the light of principles that transcend it, being motivated constantly by the intention of finding the extent of human wisdom.

“We are humbled and honored by this beautiful display of interreligious cooperation,” said Zaytuna President Hamza Yusuf. “The Lutheran community built and maintained this lovely campus, and has seen fit to entrust us with its next chapter, and we intend not to disappoint them. We will honor the intentions of its founders, whose expressions of love and excellence in service of the sacred remain manifest across the campus. We hope for a continued cooperation with all the great schools on Holy Hill, with special affection for our Lutheran brothers and sisters after this sincere and heartfelt demonstration of trust and solidarity.” 

“The continuation of the property as a place for faith-based education and vocational formation represents yet another opportunity for bridge-building in a multi-religious world,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. “We will pray for our Muslim neighbors of Zaytuna College and all the neighbors who will receive them.”

More

  • Muslim college buys seminary campus
    Fri September 22, 2017

    The hilltop property where a Lutheran seminary stood for 65 years before moving downtown will now house a Muslim college.

  • An update on the PLTS move to downtown Berkeley
    Thu April 20, 2017

    The seminary staff, faculty and students will move to the new campus in June. The official start of operations at PLTS in the heart of Berkeley will be on Aug. 1.

  • Rector named to help guide seminary
    Mon March 13, 2017

    A Chicago professor, ordained pastor and community organizer will serve as the first rector of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University.

  • Seminary to come down off hilltop
    Wed December 14, 2016

    Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is coming down off the hilltop into downtown Berkeley.

  • PLTS Move Frequently Asked Questions
    Wed November 30, 2016

    Answers to many FAQ regarding the upcoming campus move.

  • Great work of our time
    Wed November 30, 2016

    As the Reformation turns 500, some see the climate crisis as cause for a new one.

  • 3 alumni focus of Cal Lutheran ceremony
    Wed October 12, 2016

    California Lutheran University will highlight three alumni during its Founders Day Convocation – the founder of a Haitian relief organization, an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and an ordained minister who spent nearly two decades supporting Lutheran higher education.

  • Announcement
    Thu August 18, 2016

    A letter from Rev. Brian Stein-Webber, Interim Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Seminary Relations.

  • Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda Response to Shootings
    Tue July 19, 2016

    I have felt a visceral sense of terror, a tightening in my guts, when I imagine how  I would feel if my two precious sons were Black and, therefore, in danger of their lives every day and night at the hands of police violence and other manifestations of institutionalized white supremacy.

  • Message on Orlando Shootings
    Mon June 13, 2016

    PLTS is the western-most seminary in the ELCA, but we keenly feel for those on the other end of the country, in Orlando, who suffered and are suffering from just the latest, and also the largest, mass shooting in our nation’s modern history.  

©