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Big News for the Center for Process Studies!

It is with genuine excitement that I announce a significant milestone in the life of the Center for Process Studies (CPS). After 50 years of thriving as a faculty center of Claremont School of Theology (CST), CPS is now spreading its wings and leaving the nest as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit!

Since its creation half-a-century ago, the very intellectual life of graduate studies in Claremont has been deeply intertwined with CPS research and programming. Claremont is known worldwide for its leadership in interfaith dialogue. This is due, in large part, to the work of CPS. The Cobb-Abe exchanges provided an early model for Christian-Buddhist dialogue, and in the 1970s CPS organized a number of conferences engaging with Buddhism, Hinduism, Chinese religions, and Mormonism. In the 80s and 90s, Claremont became synonymous with religious pluralism, as John Cobb, David Griffin, Marjorie Suchocki, and others from CPS challenged the paradigm of their Clarmeont colleague John Hick. That work continues to the present, under the leadership of people like Roland Faber.

Claremont has also been at the forefront of science and religion dialogues. Whereas faith and science were at odds in many seminaries, CST has promoted ways of being religiously committed that are compatible with modern intuitions and scientific insights. This work was initiated by a CPS conference on modern science in 1974. Soon after, CPS organized a series of conferences on physiological psychology and neuroscience, before bringing world-famous physicists like David Bohm, and biologists like Lynn Margolis to Claremont in the 1980s. This legacy continues today through collaboration with biologists like Merlin Sheldrake, and having science and religion experts like Philip Clayton on the CST faculty.

Perhaps more than anything, CST is known for being a global leader in progressive theological education where all people are welcome. CPS contributed to this identity as well, helping to establish the field of eco-theology in the 1970s, and holding major conferences on feminism, post-patriarchy, and sexuality in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Such visionaries like Rosemary Radford Reuther, Marjorie Suchocki, Mary Elizabeth Moore, Catherine Keller, and Monica Coleman, were among the leaders of these CPS initiatives.

Over the years, Claremont faculty members that shared a vested interest in the work of CPS were invited to formally serve as faculty co-directors. John Cobb and David Griffin were the founding co-directors in 1973. Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki became a co-director in 1990. Philip Clayton became a co-director in fall 2003. Roland Faber became a co-director in January 2006, and Monica A. Coleman became a co-director in fall 2008. Of course many other faculty, staff, and students in Claremont played vital leadership roles at CPS over the years. Some of those include Mary Elizabeth Moore, Bill Stegall, Judy Casanova, Will Beardslee, Jay McDaniel, Catherine Keller, Jeanyne Slettom, John Sweeney, John Quiring, and many more than could be named here. In fall 2013 (while I was still a PhD student), I was appointed as Managing Director of CPS. Upon completion of my PhD in fall 2016 I was appointed Executive Director of CPS (a position I still hold today).

In summer of 2020, CPS went through a major transition; relocating to Salem, OR as part of a first wave of CST programs that were to become part of Willamette University (WU). Unfortunately, CST’s integration with Willamette University was never realized. At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, the affiliation between CST and WU ended. Forced to move from the WU campus, CPS (and especially our library/archives) needed a new home. In August 2022, CPS relocated again to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Milwaukie, OR (8 miles from downtown Portland, OR). While the past several years of awkward transitions have contributed to the need for independence, this development has been in the making for quite some time.

Over the course of our 50 year history, CPS has evolved. What started as a modest faculty project in the early 70s became the hub of a global movement that now includes more than 45 process centers and nonprofits around the world, led by scholars and activists on 6 continents. A new organizational structure was needed to match this new role. In the words of one CPS advisor, “You’re 50 years old; it’s time to get out of your parent’s basement!”

So, on May 15, 2023 the CST Board of Trustees approved a proposal that enabled CPS to establish itself as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. And now it is! This new organizational structure empowers CPS to better collaborate with other process centers, schools, nonprofits, and relevant entities, as we move into the next 50 years.

IMPORTANT CHANGES for you to be aware of: 

  • Our new phone number is: +1 (503) 454-6619.
  • Our new mailing address is: 5678 SE Harlene St, Portland, OR 97222.
  • Our physical library and archives are now located in Portand, OR. If you want to arrange a visit, contact us. Digital access to these materials can also be arranged.
  • Donations to CPS are still tax deductible, but our new nonprofit tax id is: 88-3398956
  • Donations by check can be made payable to “Center for Process Studies” (previously CST/CPS).
  • If you’ve included CPS in your estate plans, please update your materials to name “Center for Process Studies” as a beneficiary (previously CST designated for CPS). Find more Planned Giving language at

While many things are changing, the most important parts of CPS will remain. The mission remains the same; we’ll continue to conduct research and develop educational resources on holistic thinking for the advancement of social and environmental wellbeing (i.e. a relational worldview for the common good). Our services remain the same; rigorous research, innovative conferences, transformative courses, compelling publications, the world’s largest library/archives of process resources, and so on. We remain dedicated to the exploration of process philosophy and its relevance for shifting paradigms in a variety of fields, including theology and spirituality, the natural sciences, the social sciences, education, the arts, sustainability, and so on. Indeed, we may be in the Whitehead century. And I firmly believe that in process studies we have the foundation for more holistic ways of thinking, more meaningful ways of living, and coherent agendas for action to advance the common good. Please consider supporting this new phase of our development with a donation to our new nonprofit

It is with excitement that we move into the next 50 years as a legally independent, but as all things interdependent, nonprofit think-tank. I’m extremely grateful for the support, guidance, and contributions of so many that have brought us to this moment. The legacy of the Center for Process Studies is deeply rooted in the dedication of those who have come before us, as well as those who continue to surround us. We carry that torch with honor and reverence. 

We also extend an open invitation to scholars, researchers, and institutions from all around the globe to join us on this exciting journey. Together, we can forge new collaborations, amplify our impact, and collectively contribute to the advancement of process thought and ecological civilization (i.e. better ways of thinking for better ways of living). Thank you for being a part of our global process family. I am genuinely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!

Dr. Wm. Andrew Schwartz is Executive Director of the Center for Process Studies and Assistant Professor of Process Studies & Comparative Theology at Claremont School of Theology, as well as Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the Institute for Ecological Civilization. Dr. Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. His academic interests are broad, and include Comparative Religious Philosophies, Process Thought, Ecology, Education, and more. His recent work has been focused on high-impact philosophy and the role of big ideas in the transition toward ecological civilization. As Executive Director, Andrew has overall strategic and operational responsibility for CPS, including development and implementation of the CPS mission, programs, and strategic vision.