Office of the Dean

Dean's Welcome

Welcome to San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) at the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology. We welcome seekers, questioners, and believers from all Christian denominations, all faith traditions, and no tradition at all. This is a place to reflect critically and think theologically, to challenge assumptions, and to face complexity head on, in order to work for a more just, sustainable, and faithful future.

Since 1871, SFTS has welcomed students to study theology, scripture in its original languages, the history of Christianity, ethics, worship, pastoral care, and other arts of an active, compassionate, and socially engaged ministry. We were founded by Presbyterians. The Reformed Tradition of Protestantism shapes the high value we place on an educated clergy, critical thinking, and ministry as leadership for the transformation of society.

But we never stopped there. Our graduates are activist pastors and innovators in congregations and chaplaincy, and in ministries of racial justice and compassion. They are spiritual directors. They have served congregations in dozens of denominations, as Presbyterians, of course, but also in Disciples, Methodist, Baptist, and Pentecostal churches, as lay leaders and clergy in Catholic parishes and organizations, in synagogues, and in other faith communities on four continents, in many nations. They have led denominations, and they have helped transform denominations.

We are a founding member of the 
Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley (GTU), the largest interfaith consortium of graduate schools of theology in North America. And for many years, our view of the world has been disrupted and rebuilt by the relationships we have enjoyed with churches in Asia and the South Pacific, and by the extended families of those churches in the United States.

Our students enjoy the best of multiple worlds. Residential students live in an intimate, supportive environment, enjoying close interaction with a distinguished faculty on a beautiful campus. Online and non-residential students enjoy the flexibility of hybrid course formats. Spectacular nature and North America’s most progressive metropolitan region are at our doorstep. Our students take courses on our campus and in the GTU’s eight schools and five centers. Through the GTU, they have access to graduate courses in the University of California at Berkeley. Through the University of Redlands, students have the opportunity to combine the study of theology with practical courses in organizational leadership, counseling, non-profit management, and more.

We are enormously proud of over 3,000 graduates of our programs at work in the world today. Maybe you should be one of them too.

About the Dean—Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina

Rev. Dr. Garrett-Cobbina has been part of SFTS since 2006, holding various roles such as the Shaw Family Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education, Director of the Clinical Pastoral Education Program, and Shaw Chaplaincy Institute for Spiritual Care and Compassionate Leadership.

Prior to joining SFTS, Rev. Dr. Garrett-Cobbina served as director of spiritual care, a hospital-based healthcare chaplain, and clinical educator in Indianapolis, IN, Charlotte, NC, and San Francisco, CA. She has served as senior pastor at churches in North Carolina and San Francisco. She holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from the Graduate Theological Union, and a master's in theology and a Master of  Divinity from Princeton.

As Dean, Rev. Dr. Garrett-Cobbina will also serve as the SFTS representative on the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) Council of Deans, as  well as represent SFTS on the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) Committee on Theological Education (COTE) and General Assembly (GA).


Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, Ph.D.
Dean of the Seminary
Director of the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute, Shaw Family Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Education
San Francisco Theological Seminary
University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology


Rev. Ruth T. West
Associate Dean
San Francisco Theological Seminary
University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology
Montgomery Hall, 113
P: 415.451.2838