Magazine article The Christian Century

Muslim College Purchases Berkeley Campus That Was Lutheran Seminary

Magazine article The Christian Century

Muslim College Purchases Berkeley Campus That Was Lutheran Seminary

Article excerpt

A Muslim liberal arts college that offers subjects such as Islamic law alongside courses in math and philosophy has bought a former seminary campus for its undergraduate program.

Zaytuna College, the nation's first accredited Muslim college, paid $10 million for the ten-acre Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary on a hilltop in Berkeley, California. The college, whose name means "olive tree" in Arabic, integrates Islam with the Western canon.

Zaytuna, which has 52 male and female undergraduates enrolled this fall, will move to the seminary grounds in January. It will continue to own three buildings near the Graduate Theological Union, also in Berkeley. Those buildings will be used to develop a graduate-level seminary down the road, said Amna Mirza, a spokeswoman.

Pacific Lutheran is one of seven seminaries affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The school, which is part of California Lutheran University, moved to an office building in downtown Berkeley this summer.

Karin Grennan, a seminary spokeswoman, said that admissions at the seminary have decreased, and it wanted to provide students opportunities to work with social service agencies and develop urban ministries near downtown Berkeley. …

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