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About the
Claremont Core®
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The Claremont Core®

Engagement Skills for Creating a Sustainable Impact — In an increasingly interconnected world, leaders who want to make positive, sustainable change need to develop the critical perspectives and collaborative skills necessary to reach across traditional barriers of ideology, culture, economics and faith.

At CLU, we put development of these capabilities at the center of our degree programs. The result is the Claremont Core®. Progress through the Core takes you through a process of self-awareness and steadily evolves towards engagement with others and society at large.

With the Claremont Core, you will have the advanced knowledge, skills and capabilities to be a more effective change-maker in our new globalized world.

The Distinctiveness of the Core

From Inner to Outer: The Core leads you through an integrated process of personal and professional development. It begins with skills for self-development in the Mindfulness class and works steadily toward more outward engagement in the Dialogue, Collaboration and Change.

Contextualizing the Core: You will be expected to draw on your own background and interests in your discussions and assignments, thereby applying the knowledge and skills for your own self-improvement.

Collaboration across Degrees: You will have the opportunity to study alongside, and learn from, peers from the other degree programs who may be working in other sectors. This intentional opportunity for cross-sector interaction allows for creative possibilities for collaboration, perhaps even on the Capstone Action Project.

Portfolio: Along with The Core skills, you will be keeping a public portfolio outlining the progress toward your Capstone Action Project which classmates, faculty, friends, family and coworkers can follow. This will help enhance your professional persona and expand opportunities for dialogue and engagement beyond your current situation.

Claremont Core Skills

Develop your capacity to have focused awareness in the present moment and the cultivation of compassion in yourself and others. We believe that in order to effectively lead positive change in the world, we must first cultivate the practice of mindfulness in ourselves.
Effective dialogue is mindful communication that facilitates a shared understanding among diverse perspectives. This skill helps you reframe conflict and provides creative activities to increase your teams ability for effective communication.
Change is effective collaboration that generates positive and sustainable impact in society. You will develop the capacity to analyze the need for change and effectively design a project that addresses the need for change. You will then learn to evaluate the impact of a project in order to improve it.
Collaboration is the co-creative dialogue among key stakeholders to develop strategies for positive change. You will learn how to articulate contemporary understandings of cultural diversity and social privilege that exist in any collaborative effort. You will also be able to better manage interpersonal and organizational conflict and lead in a way that leverages intelligence and self-organization.

The Claremont Core Faculty

Claremont Core

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D, Director of Claremont Core

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, PhD, is the Director of the Claremont Core at Claremont Lincoln University, and an award winning teacher and interfaith leader. She is the host of the religion & culture podcast In Times Like These and author of Interfaith Grit: How Uncertainty Will Save Us. Varnon-Hughes was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. She holds a PhD from Claremont Lincoln University, an MA and STM from Union Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University.

Jack Abbott, Teaching Faculty

Jack Abbott has over 40 years' experience in business. He is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at Claremont Lincoln University, Brandman University, and Owner of JBA & Associates. As an adjunct faculty member with the University of Phoenix, Jack was twice honored as Outstanding Faculty for Southern California. Jack earned an MBA from Pepperdine University and has a BS from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Suzanne Atkin, Teaching Faculty

Suzanne Atkin's education started on the job including at organizations as diverse as the World Bank, the Department of Defense, and high tech companies. She is also owner of Workplace Harmony, a training and consulting firm. As an executive secretary, she became aware of communication and how it can be less or more effective. After returning to higher education as an adult learner, she earned two Bachelor of Science degrees: in Social Science and Communication Studies. After earning her MA in Communication Studies, she now teaches in the social sciences for several universities. Her interests include the change process, identity, relationships, and communicating in the digital age.

Ludmila Battista, Teaching Faculty

Ludmila Battista has been an online college professor for over 16 years in the education and professional studies field, most recently focusing on the increasingly ubiquitous area of mindfulness and meditation in enhancing personal and professional development. She has served as a faculty advisor for student organizations, lead curriculum and course development and facilitated outcomes-based assessment integration into courses. Her research/interests include project-based learning, motivating and engaging students in higher education and supporting special needs students.

Lauren Moulton-Beaudry, Ed.D, Teaching Faculty

In addition to loving being a CLU faculty member, Lauren Moulton-Beaudry is the Director of Ethics and Education for Front Porch where she directs the Front Porch Ethics Service and Front Porch University. As a change agent in her organization, Lauren and her team have developed and sustained corporate-wide service excellence and leadership training efforts.

Carlos V. Guzman, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Carlos Guzman has a PhD in Psychology from Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco, an M.S. in Counseling Psychology and a BA in Psychology from California State University Fullerton. He primarily teaches mindfulness and doctoral courses in diversity, research and statistics. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, as well as Saybrook and California State University Fullerton Alumni Associations and a contributing scholar for the Journal of Children and Schools for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Jack Hopper, Teaching Faculty

For the past 20 years, Jack Hopper has been involved with the training and teaching of communications as both a private consultant and a university instructor in communication. He is president of a small consulting firm, Hopper Consulting, which deals in improving people's communication skills. Mr. Hopper's areas of teaching expertise range from using interpersonal skills, such as the often-overlooked meta-communication messages one sends, to effective speaking and writing.

Sue Park, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Sue K. Park holds a PhD in Practical Theology and ordination in Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad. Deeply rooted in faith communities, Sue's research interests include interfaith relations, spirituality, Asian American theology, and feminist theories/theology. She also holds a BA from University of Florida, an MDiv from Duke University, and an STM from Union Theological Seminary.

Lyvonne Picou, Teaching Faculty

Lyvonne "Proverbs" Picou is a preacher, poet, educator, and creative social entrepreneur. She is the founder of beautiful scars, a storytelling agency focused on addressing sexual trauma, healing, and resiliency. Lyvonne graduated from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Divinity and Columbia Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and teaches spin classes for fitness and fun!

Stan Ward, Ph.D., Dean of Capstone Studies

Dr. Stanley J. Ward is the CLU capstone studies dean and director for CLU's Center for Action Research. He holds a PhD in Leadership studies and certifications in coaching, 360 feedback, and change management. Besides his writing projects for CLU, he also recently co-edited Ethical Leadership: A Primer. Outside of academia, he is also a leadership coach, ukulele player, and Tai Chi practitioner.