Franciscan School of Theology Turns 40

HNP Communications Franciscan World

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) here is commemorating its 40 years of life.

In the summer of 1968, a group of students, including Joe Chinnici, OFM, and Melvin Jurisich, OFM,  with their leaders, Robert B. Pfisterer, OFM, Kenan Osborne, OFM,  and Pierre Etchelecu, OFM, set out from  the mission Santa Barbara to Berkeley to set up, as a member school of the ecumenical Graduate Theological Union (GTU), what would become known as FST. 

On Sept. 2, classes began for FST’s 40th year. According to Friar News, a monthly newsletter of St. Barbara Province, from its roots as the theology seminary for the friars of the province, FST grew to include seminarians from other religious orders, and later, lay men and women interested in theological formation for service and ministry. It offers three masters degree programs: master of divinity, master of theological studies, and master of arts in ministry for a multicultural church. 

Together with GTU, it offers the master of arts degree. In addition to academic programs, it provides a program in spiritual formation and leadership.

FST has a faculty of 19, including men and women, ordained and non-ordained, religious and lay. Included are six active friars and two retired, according to the September 2008 issue of Friar News.

A celebration of the anniversary will take place in March 2009.