Center for theology and the natural sciences

Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley
Established 1962
Type Private
Location Berkeley, California, U.S.
President James A. Donahue

The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley (GTU) is a consortium of nine independent theological schools, and eleven centers and affiliates. Eight of the theological schools are located in Berkeley, California. The GTU was founded in 1962. It maintains the Graduate Theological Union Library, one of the most extensive libraries of its type in the world, and its material acquisitions are coordinated with the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University libraries. Borrowing privileges are available for all three institutions. The GTU is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, and most of the GTU member schools are located in the Berkeley hills one block north of the university. GTU's enrollment is currently approximately 1,300. The local nickname for the neighborhood is "holy hill".


Religious traditions represented include Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. Curricula amongst the schools includes the arts, cultural and historical studies, spirituality, philosophy and interdisciplinary studies, in addition to traditional theological subjects. GTU offers M.A., M.Th., and M.Div degrees, as well as Ph.D and Th.D programs in cooperation with the University of California at Berkeley's graduate school, and two joint Ph.D programs with the university's Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Department of Jewish Studies. All degree seeking students at GTU may take any classes offered at the University of California, Berkeley

Constituting Schools

Research Centers


The National Research Council (NRC) has released a comprehensive assessment of doctoral programs in the United States.[1]

In one independent compilation based on the NRC’s "regression-based" rankings, the GTU appears at #22 overall.[2]

Notable alumni

John Dear MA 1992 Nominee for Nobel Prize in Peace 2008.

Shibley Telhami MA 1978 Ph.D University of California Berkeley Professor of International Relations and Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development University of Maryland

Charlotte Fonrobert, Ph.D Associate Professor and Graduate Director of Religious Studies, Co-Director of Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University.

João Biehl Ph.D Professor at the Department of Anthropology of Princeton University.

James Donahue Ph.D President of Saint Mary's College of California.

Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe Ph.D U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Nancey Murphy Ph.D. Th.D. Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Wesley Wildman Ph.D. Professor of Theology and Ethics at Boston University, Co-Founder of Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, and Director of Liberal Evangelical.

Arthur S. Thomas Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Air Force

Vincent W. Patton III Ed. D Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard

Notable graduates of GTU member schools

The Rev. Robert Fulghum, Starr King School for the Ministry, author of eight best-selling books of non-fiction, including All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten and It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It

Chung Chin-Hong, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Professor of Phenomenology of Religion at Seoul National University

Yvette Flunder, San Francisco Theological Seminary, founder of the City of Refugee and Chair of the San Francisco Inter-religious Coalition on AIDS

Carolyn S. Leeb, San Francisco Theological Seminary, professor in theology at Valparaiso University.

Herb Long, former Dean of Students at Harvard Divinity School.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, first female Primate in the Anglican Communion


The GTU's dean is Arthur Holder. The president is James A. Donahue.

Robert J. Russell, Professor of Science and Theology and the founder and director of the Center for Natural Science and Theology at Berkeley

Ted Peters, Lutheran theologian and the Professor of Systematic Theology at GTU and editor of the Journal of Theology and Science

David Alexander, Professor of Old Testament and Theology at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and President Emeritus of Pomona College

Aaron Brody, Robert and Kathryn Riddell Associate Professor of Bible and Archaeology at Pacific School of Theology and participating faculty at the University of California at Berkeley

Christopher Ocker, Professor of History at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and affiliated faculty of the history department of the University of California at Berkeley

John Dillenberger, Professor Emeritus, Graduate Theological Union Berkeley, California

Imam Zaid Shakir, Served in the United States Air Force; served as an interfaith council Chaplain at Yale University, currently chairman of the board, co-founder, and senior faculty member at Zaytuna College

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, President, cofounder, and senior faculty member of Zaytuna College. Also, an advisor to Stanford University’s Program in Islamic Studies and the Center for Islamic Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union

UC Berkeley.


External links

  • Graduate Theological Union
  • Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
  • Franciscan School of Theology
  • Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
  • Pacific School of Religion
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
  • San Francisco Theological Seminary
  • American Baptist Seminary of the West
  • Church Divinity School of the Pacific
  • Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • [1]
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