San Francisco Seminary at a Glance
Retreats started by San Francisco Seminary offer opportunities for spiritual growth
When San Francisco Theological Seminary cosponsors a five-day guided retreat next month, it will offer not only an opportunity for spiritual growth but also an example of how churches and seminaries can work together. Read more
105 Seminary Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
54 North Oakland Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
Students: 292 (249 FTE)
Faculty: 15 full-time, 15 part-time
Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Doctor of Ministry with emphases in Multidisciplinary Studies, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Pastor as Spiritual Leader, Urban Ministry/Black Church Studies
Spirituality Program, Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, Diploma in Spiritual Formation Studies, Certificate in Ministry Studies (Commissioned Lay Pastor Training), Clinical Pastoral education Program, Farlough Institute
San Francisco Theological Seminary prepares leaders for the Church of Jesus Christ sent by the Holy Spirit in God's mission to the world. SFTS is committed to the education of students in spiritual formation, critical theological reflection and the skills and arts of ministry, to serve in congregations, the wider church, the classroom and the public sphere. Read the mission statement.
History and Location
In the mid-19th century, Presbyterians in the San Francisco Bay area were determined to establish a denominational seminary that would have a global perspective, yet be attuned to the unique needs of congregations in the West.
In 1871 San Francisco Theological Seminary was founded. Nineteen years later, with the gift of a spectacular hilltop site across the Golden Gate, the seminary relocated to Marin County, in what is now the town of San Anselmo. In 1991 SFTS began offering Master of Divinity classes in Southern California and today SFTS is the only mainstream denominational seminary to have two fully accredited degree granting locations. SFTS/SC offers a new model of theological education for an urban environment — a non-residential congregationally based commuting program for mature adults.
What programs does San Francisco Theological Seminary offer?
The seminary's six degree programs provide approximately 700 students with a deepened faith perspective that is in touch with the complex issues affecting contemporary ministry. Master of Divinity students may choose to emphasize Christian Spirituality, World Christianity or Biblical Studies within regular degree programs. A concentration in globalization provides study encounters with cultures other than the student's own, inside or outside the United States. Students with a concentration in Christian Spirituality participate in continuing spiritual guidance groups and seminars on spiritual life and leadership. Those emphasizing Biblical Studies must do intermediate work in at least one biblical language. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, SFTS offers a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and, through the Graduate Theological Union, the Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Theology. Hundreds of lay people and clergy also participate each year in a variety of retreats, continuing education seminars and courses.
Meet a San Francisco student: Tim Nonn
Listening to Dr. Tim Nonn, a 1986 graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary, share his passion for helping the 2.5 million displaced civilians in Darfur would inspire anyone to join the fight against the genocide that has occurred in Sudan.
“Whenever I see any images or read stories about the people in Darfur, I become very emotional,” said the Petaluma resident who used to turn away from horrific images of the African nation’s internal turmoil. “I felt powerless and overwhelmed by the Darfur genocide; but as it turned out, it was God’s purpose for me to help.”
Nonn’s inspiration for getting involved came in 2004 after watching a television program about Darfur, which featured a story about a Dafuri woman who had witnessed her husband’s murder and the burning of her village. For a week, she walked across the desert with her three children until they reached a United Nations refugee camp. Nonn thought of his own son lying asleep in his bed, safe and secure, and he felt compelled to help.
So he published a letter in his local newspaper titled “Dear Sudan,” articulating the need for awareness and relief. With support from Church World Service and the United Church of Christ, the letter launched the “Dear Sudan” movement and inspired Petaluma and other communities around the country to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for humanitarian relief in Darfur.
We see your suffering, dying people. We refuse to turn away from genocide. We care enough to feed 55,000 refugees in Sudan for one day. That is the population of our community. We trust that other communities will do the same. We strive to ensure that hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees who face death by starvation and disease will not have to die.
We know what it is like to be mothers and fathers, children and grandparents, friends and community. We also know that even though you are far away, you are just like us, mothers and fathers, children and grandparents, friends and community.
We are making a small contribution so that you may live another day. You may never know our names, and we may never know your names, but we are one.
Love, Petaluma (CA)