About the Claremont Center

The Claremont Center for Reason, Religion, and Public Affairs was founded in 2014 by five professors of the Claremont Colleges and one from Pasadena City College to provide an opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and others in Claremont (and southern California more generally) to explore the relevance of religious thought to philosophy, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and public policy.

The six founders of the Center represent a variety of fields and training including philosophy, theology, law, education, criminal justice, and political science.  Also, two of the founders are members of the bar; one founder worked for nearly a decade in the criminal justice system; several have worked on political campaigns; several have been directly involved in public policymaking; one spent several months with Mother Theresa in Calcutta and wrote about her experiences; one has written about how the study of philosophy helped to bring him back to Christianity from a kind of militant atheism; and one is an ordained Presbyterian minister.

The founders represent two balances that are central to the Center.  One is a balance in subject matter between issues of “reason and faith” (especially science and faith) and those of “religion and public affairs.”  The other balance is denominational:  with both Catholics and Protestants among its founders, the Center approaches the issues surrounding reason, religion, and public affairs with the broad range of perspectives one finds in the diverse Christian community.

The Center hosts colloquia, workshops, lectures, and conferences; promotes scholarly research by Claremont faculty and visiting academics; and, through publications and an Internet presence, seeks to engage the broader culture.  It is registered as a religious not-for-profit in the state of California and is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under federal law.


Joseph M. Bessette, Claremont McKenna College
Stephen Davis, Emeritus, Claremont McKenna College
Mary Poplin (chair), Claremont Graduate University

William Lane Craig, Biola University
Thomas Kaiser, Thomas Aquinas College
R. R. Reno, Editor of First Things
Steven Long, Ave Maria University