Mission and Tradition

In This Light Which Gives Light

A History of the College of St. Albert the Great

by Christopher J. Renz, OP
Preface by John S. Cummins, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Oakland

DSPT - In This Light Which Gives Light - Cover

ISBN: 978-1-883734-18-3

To order a copy mail a check for your donation of $14.99 plus $5.00 shipping and handling per copy to:

Attn: Fr. Chris Renz, OP
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
2301 Vine Street
Berkeley, CA 94708

Originally founded in 1851 as the House of Studies for the Western Dominican Province, the College of St. Albert the Great was civilly incorporated in the State of California in 1932 with the hope that it would become "a lighthouse of religion and learning to the regions around," and in so doing open up a conversation between the Church and contemporary culture.

In tracing the history of the College, the author sets it within the eight-hundred year-long educational mission of the Order. From the earliest day, Dominicans were dedicated to combining the education of the friars with the education of the laity and the spread of sana doctrina. The friars of the Western Province incorporated ideas from the famous Angelicum (Rome) in order to establish a place where laity would be educated in philosophy (and later theology) and thus be equipped to engage confidently the challenges of their time.

As its growth continued, the College became well situated both academically and geographically to respond to the ecumenical movement of the mid-twentieth century. Ideas which served as the seedbed for the Graduate Theological Union (1962) also provided the means for the College to be the first Catholic institution to join the GTU in 1964. Shortly thereafter, the College changed its name to the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, moving classrooms and administration to the GTU campus.

As Bishop Cummins notes, "St. Albert College has grown much from the Benicia days. It has received much from its participation in what was once an experiment in Berkeley. We rejoice in what St. Albert's has contributed to the Graduate Theological Union. Without the Catholic presence, the consortium would be a respected educational institution but it would hardly be distinguished."

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