The United Methodist Church has lifted sanctions against the Claremont School of Theology, which risked breaking its longstanding ties with the church when it announced plans earlier this year to begin training Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis in addition to Christian pastors.
In a terse statement Friday, the United Methodist University Senate announced that it had rescinded a public warning and restored funding to the school, which will remain affiliated with the church. The senate oversees all Methodist-affiliated seminaries.
Claremont President Jerry Campbell said the change of heart came after the school managed to allay fears "that we were turning a United Methodist-related seminary into something very different."
The church had sanctioned the school in January after expressing concerns about both its failure to submit a budget and its plans for a "substantial reorientation" of the school's mission. To satisfy the church, Claremont altered its original plans to train Christian, Muslim and Jewish students in one college, instead creating a new university with separate graduate schools for Muslim and Jewish students. Only the existing Christian school will receive Methodist funds. Claremont hopes to eventually add programs for Buddhists and Hindus.