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JST Renewal Program

Renewal Program Photo

A cohort-based program of study, prayer, and reflection for professional, personal, and spiritual renewal.


JST’s stimulating graduate theological school environment, located in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area, provides an ideal setting for renewal and replenishment. The JST Renewal Program could serve as an excellent option for those who are planning a sabbatical centered around theological study. Elements of the program include:

  • Theological Updating: At the core of the Renewal experience is the opportunity for you to enroll in two graduate theology courses for audit or credit, to refresh your previous ministerial and theological training. JST’s distinctive curriculum emphasizes the cultural context of theology and ministry and the critical connection between faith and justice, making this an ideal place to pursue ongoing formation in alignment with a Synodal Church. (see page 10 of the USCCB’s Synodal summary document).

  • Cohort Experience: You will join a cohort of other Renewal students, engaging each week with the Renewal program director for prayer, reflection, and integration of learning. Outside of the weekly meetings, members of the cohort may choose to gather for social and recreational activities. 

  • Spiritual Direction: You will be able to meet with a spiritual director throughout the semester for guidance and accompaniment in your spiritual growth.

  • Rest and Rejuvenation: Since Renewal students only enroll in two courses, there is ample time for rest and rejuvenation. Enjoy the rich cultural life of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as its temperate climate, natural beauty, and opportunities for recreation and exploration.

  • School Community Life:  Participate in the robust JST school community and spiritual formation activities, including JST liturgies, events and gatherings, and retreat offerings.  JST welcomes a diverse student body drawn from the United States and countries throughout the world, offering the opportunity to engage in authentic intercultural encounter.

Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University, and the Graduate Theological Union

The Jesuit School of Theology (JST) is a graduate school of Santa Clara University (SCU), located at a satellite campus in Berkeley, California, 50 miles northeast of Santa Clara.  Renewal participants apply and enroll as non-degree graduate students of JST-SCU. As such, they may avail themselves fully of university resources while also being expected to meet all requirements set forth by the university for graduate students.

JST is one of 8 member schools within the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), an ecumenical and interreligious graduate consortium that shares course offerings, the consortial theological library, and other resources. The GTU neighbors the University of California at Berkeley, one of the foremost educational institutions in the United States.

Eligibility Requirements for All Renewal Program Applicants

  • Completion of an undergraduate degree
  • Either a previous degree in theology, or a minimum of some previous coursework in theology, with capacity to engage in graduate level study of theology
  • Experience in ministry or related field of service
  • The complete requirements for your application to the Renewal Program are listed here

Program Dates

Fall semester runs from late August through mid December.
Spring semester runs from late January through late May.

If you are applying to begin the program in the Fall, you have the option to apply for one or two semesters (i.e., Fall and the following Spring, for a continuous academic year).


Estimated Program Costs 

The fee to enroll in the Renewal Program is $7,000 per semester.  Partial scholarships are available to assist with the program fee. As a Renewal student, you should expect the following expenses as part of your total cost of attendance.  The following estimates are based on enrolling in the program for one semester.

Program Fee $7,000
Housing and Living Expenses $8,900
Health Insurance required of J-1 visa / international students (U.S. students should calculate their own health insurance costs) $1,527
Total Estimated Cost of Attendance $17,427

Recommendations for Renewal Students at JST-SCU

Renewal students will engage in graduate level study in theology.  As you consider the program, please review these recommendations before submitting your application.

Once you have reviewed the recommendations, you may begin your application.

Learn More

If you have questions about the Renewal Program or need assistance with the application process please email

To receive ongoing updates from the Renewal Program please complete this inquiry form.

Paul Kircher

Paul Kircher

Director of the Renewal Program