Berkeley School of Theology

  (Redirected from Berkeley Baptist Divinity School)

The Berkeley School of Theology (BST) is a theological school affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA and located in Berkeley, California. It is part of the Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of theological schools and centers in the Berkeley area. BST changed its name from the American Baptist Seminary of the West in July 2020. Prior to that it was called Berkeley Baptist Divinity School.

Berkeley School of Theology
Former names
California College, Berkeley Baptist Divinity School, American Baptist Seminary of the West
TypeGraduate Theological Seminary
AffiliationAmerican Baptist Churches USA
PresidentJames Brenneman
DeanLeAnn Snow Flesher
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

37°51′54″N 122°15′21″W / 37.86502°N 122.25575°W / 37.86502; -122.25575Coordinates: 37°51′54″N 122°15′21″W / 37.86502°N 122.25575°W / 37.86502; -122.25575
AffiliationsGraduate Theological Union
American Baptist Churches USA


The earliest roots of Berkeley School of Theology lie in the chartering of California College, Vacaville, in 1871. In 1887[1] the college moved to Oakland, and in 1912 to Berkeley, at which time it changed its name to Berkeley Baptist Divinity School (BBDS), keeping this name until 1968. In 1915, BBDS merged with the Pacific Coast Baptist Theological Seminary, which had begun in Oakland in 1890 and had moved to Berkeley in 1904. In 1968, BBDS merged with California Baptist Theological Seminary (founded in 1944 in Los Angeles, and located in Covina since 1951). To reflect the fact that the school was no longer wholly in Berkeley, it was renamed the American Baptist Seminary of the West, but six years later the Covina faculty moved to the Berkeley campus, effecting considerable cost savings and at the same time availing themselves of the resources of the Graduate Theological Union. In July 2020, ABSW changed its name again to Berkeley School of Theology to "[encourage] expanding [its] reach to a broader, more inclusive audience[2]."


BST offers accredited Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Community Leadership (MCL), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degrees. Jointly with the Graduate Theological Union, ABSW offers an accredited Master of Arts (MA). ABSW also participates with the Graduate Theological Union in offering the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Theology (ThD) degrees.


  1. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 12. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. ^ emorrow (2020-07-24). "American Baptist Seminary of the West Changes Name to Berkeley School of Theology". Graduate Theological Union. Retrieved 2020-08-17.

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