Muslim college buys seminary campus
Faith-based education to continue on Berkeley hilltop
(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 a Muslim liberal arts college 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.”
- Rev. Dr. Anthony Bateza at the 2023 Luther Lecture
Fri March 24, 2023
- More than 200 attend hybrid film screening for "The Ants and the Grasshopper"
Thu February 16, 2023
- Dr. Arvin Gouw 2023 Mohrenweiser Lecture
Thu February 16, 2023
PLTS was immensely fortunate to welcome Dr. Arvin Gouw for our 2023 Mohrenweiser Lecture. Dr. Gouw clearly described the mechanism and uses of CRISPR for a lay audience, and then dug deeper into the ethical and religious implications of this powerful gene-editing tool. Afterward, Dr. Ted Peters offered a response that pushed religious leaders, particularly pastors, to think through how the existence and increasing prominence of this technology might affect their congregants.
We encourage you to watch and share the below video of this lecture and continue the conversation.
- Dr. Larry Rasmussen - Founders' Day 2022 Lecture
Thu November 10, 2022
PLTS welcomed Dr. Larry Rasmussen to give the 2022 Founders' Day Lecture to our gathered community in-person and online. Watch Dr. Rasmussen's lecture below.
- Seminary starts programs for change agents
Wed March 2, 2022
California Lutheran University’s Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) is offering new programs to prepare religious leaders and laypeople to work for social and environmental change with online options.
- Faculty retiring with emeritus status
Wed April 21, 2021
Seven California Lutheran University faculty members with a combined total of more than 160 years of service are retiring with emeritus status.
- Fall 2020 Update
Tue June 23, 2020
Given that health officials have indicated that the COVID-19 health crisis will be with us through the fall, we have decided to deliver the courses that had been scheduled face-to-face for the fall 2020 semester virtually.
- PLTS faculty statement regarding George Floyd, racism and white supremacy
Wed June 10, 2020
- Hope in all climates
Mon November 25, 2019
From Cal Lutheran's seminary in Berkeley, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda helps people in faith communities and secular society to be agents of justice.
- Faith tested
Thu February 21, 2019
When horrific events affect both congregants and additional outsiders, their need for advice and prayer is piled on top of the usual emotional and spiritual demands presented by requests to discuss life’s hardest aspects ranging from addictions and marital problems to grief counseling — creating a surefire recipe for pastor burnout.