Celebrating 150 Years of SFTS!

Forming, Reforming, and Transforming Lives Through Spirit and Service

2021 marks the 150th Anniversary of San Francisco Theological Seminary! It is only fitting we open with the words of former professors Bob Coote and John Hadsell, authors of San Francisco Theological Seminary: The Shaping of a Western School of the Church, 1871-1998. Affectionately known as the “Blue Book,” time and time again we have referred to its thoughtful pages for the careful retelling of our formation, reformation, and transformation:

“In this history we have paid particular attention to the broad contours of the context that helped shape theological education at SFTS. The most important connections have been those between the Seminary’s history and the social, intellectual, and religious history of American society…this Seminary, like any institution, has survived and thrived within a complex matrix of conditions.”


"Spirit and Service" refer to our community of intrepid souls who make up this place, this unique and hearty community, which stretches the world over. What does ministry look like today? It’s well beyond the church walls. It’s wherever compassion and connection can help others flourish.

As we look back, we also look ahead. This page will evolve as we gather stories, photos, and in community once again to share our hearts.  Our transformation as a member of University of Redlands promises new creations and possibilities to further education for a more loving engagement with the world.


"A Promise for Tomorrow" with Jimmy Stewart

What a gift—the California State Library's California Revealed project digitized and posted Promise for Tomorrow, the seminary's 1963 promotional film. Our president at that time was Ted Gill, whose famous friendships cast a wide net. As a personal favor, his friend Jimmy Stewart stepped in to narrate!