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CLU History | We create compassionate Leaders
Claremont LincolnUniversity History
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CLU History | We create compassionate Leaders A longer, more complete description.
Claremont LincolnUniversity History
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A New Graduate System
"My late great friend David Lincoln and I had this idea to create a graduate university the likes of which had never existed before."
The Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell
President Emeritus,
Claremont Lincoln University

It was David C. Lincoln's belief in the power and potential of the Golden Rule that led him to join together with renowned interfaith and higher education leader Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell to envision a new graduate educational system. The design encouraged the exploration of diverse beliefs, values, and traditions as the scaffolding for positive change leadership. Born out of a Lincoln family passion to philanthropically foster collaboration and justice in the world, CLU students become visionary leaders, educated with the skills and tools to build a better collective future for businesses and communities.

Students across the globe now have access to a meaningful and relevant graduate degree to advance careers, increase income and change the world. For the optimal student experience, CLU has developed a foundation for an "online-by-design" culture, supported by highly engaged faculty, and a purposeful curriculum that integrates the latest best practices of learning sciences with technologically-supported instructional design.

2008 —2019:
A core group of scholars, philanthropists, and peacemakers invested in interfaith values in Claremont, commit to exploring what they refer to as "The University Project," a re-imagination of higher education in a pluralistic society.
David C. Lincoln writes to his long-time colleague and friend, the Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell, summarizing discussions and ideas regarding a plan for a graduate education that unlocks the power and potential of the Golden Rule. A consensus was built from their vision and the original core group, and the idea for "The University Project" begins in earnest.
David and Joan Lincoln give a generous gift to establish Claremont Lincoln University (CLU), which emerges under the umbrella of Claremont School of Theology. The Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell is appointed as the University's Founding President, faculty, and board of directors are appointed. Members of the first incoming class begin their studies. The university incorporates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and becomes eligible for accreditation.
CLU receives national recognition for its groundbreaking educational approach in Time Magazine and PBS NewsHour, among other national and international news outlets.
CLU is granted candidacy for accreditation. WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) approves the first online master's program, the M.A. in Ethical Leadership (now Organizational Leadership).

CLU becomes independent of Claremont School of Theology, with its own offices, staff, faculty, and Board of Directors. The next two master's programs in the initial suite of complementary programs are approved by WSCUC: the M.A. in Social Impact and the M.A. in Interfaith Action.

The Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell becomes President Emeritus, and Dr. Eileen Aranda becomes Claremont Lincoln University's second President.
CLU is granted accreditation under WSCUC.
CLU breaks ground on its new headquarters at 150 W. 1st Street in the heart of Claremont, CA due to the generosity of a significant gift from David and Joan Lincoln.
CLU expands enrollment in existing programs by investing in new and innovative marketing and enrollment practices.
Tony Digiovanni becomes Claremont Lincoln University's third President.

Three new master's programs are approved by WSCUC in record time: M.A. in Human Resources Management, M.A. in Healthcare Administration, and M.A. in Sustainability Leadership.

CLU officially moves into its new headquarters.
Creating a culture and practice of ethics in any business or endeavor creates success for individuals, society, and the economy.

— David C. Lincoln,
Founding Board Chair,
Claremont Lincoln University
A Golden Genesis: Our Founders

Joan and David Lincoln — The University's name honors two visionary, generous people: Joan Lincoln (1927-2016) David Lincoln (1925-2018). The vision, passion, integrity, intellectual leadership and financial support provided by Joan and David Lincoln were key to the establishment of Claremont Lincoln University.

Joan and David were particularly pleased with the idea of creating a university that reflects the power and potential of the Golden Rule, treating others as you would like to be treated. They believed the outcome of this approach to education will be tolerance and respect among different cultures & religions and the ability to better address global problems where collaboration and cooperation are needed to reach solutions and repair the world.

Rev. Dr. Jerry Campbell — The catalyst for the creation of Claremont Lincoln University. He is also a founding member and was CLU's first President, as well as a former President of Claremont School of Theology. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Campbell previously served as Chief Information Officer and Dean of Libraries at University of Southern California, and as chief librarian and faculty member at the Iliff School of Theology, Perkins School of Theology, and Duke University.

Rev. Dr. Campbell holds a B.A. from McMurry University, an M.Div. from Duke University, an M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Denver.

About Claremont Lincoln University

CLU is a nonprofit, WSCUC accredited, "online-by-design" graduate university, created on the principles of ethical leadership and The Golden Rule.

A Partnership Begins

In 2008, a partnership began through relationship, dialogue, and collaboration. Our founders, the Reverend Dr. Jerry Campbell and Mr. David C. Lincoln, were committed to three complementary concepts: the idea of the Golden Rule as transformative for society; a belief that the culture and practice of ethics results in success for individuals, business, and society; and the prospect of creating a new model of graduate education that would be accessible, affordable, and practical.

3 Years Later

Just three years later, in May of 2011, with a generous gift from David and Joan Lincoln, a new graduate online university emerged as Claremont Lincoln University (CLU), headquartered in Claremont, California. By 2014, CLU was incorporated as a non-profit public benefit corporation under IRS 501(c)(3), and on March 2, 2016, CLU was granted accreditation under WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

A Vision Conceived

The vision as conceived by our founders is a world in which disputes between those that have conflicting views are addressed peacefully without violence. Our students learn the skills necessary to understand differences among religions, governments, organizations, and individuals; how to respect those differences; and how to cooperate and collaborate with those of different viewpoints to resolve problems between them peacefully without violence.

Social Agents of Change

CLU is passionate about creating a rigorous curriculum that provides students not only with a degree but with practical and concrete skills that are applicable and relevant for today's leaders. By the end of their master's degree program, students have developed concrete skills in collaboration, conflict resolution, ethical decision-making, and inspiring diverse teams and stakeholders towards common goals. Across all master's programs, visionary leaders are given the scaffolding to create and scale impact through a deeper understanding of the self and the process of change. Graduates leave with the knowledge and skills to lead more effectively and courageously influence their organization in making ethical decisions that have a positive impact.

Today, CLU is educating social change-agents to be more effective in their personal and professional social contexts through the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the following five areas—these come from the institutional mission and serve as Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO's).

    Instructional Learning Outcomes (ILO's)
  1. Demonstrate personal, professional and social agility in serving multiple perspectives through dialogue, collaboration and decision-making.
  2. Achieve constructive results in complex and dynamic situations.
  3. Negotiate agreements for mutual gain and drive conflict resolution.
  4. Evaluate real-world problems and implement successful solutions.
  5. Practice the ethics of the Golden Rule as compassionate and transformative leaders.
Faculty Who Inspire

CLU faculty is comprised of experienced scholar-practitioners committed to mentoring and inspiring students to find practical and inclusive solutions for societal and organizational challenges.

Faculty Bios
The Claremont Core®
Four Integrated Skills

Today's leadership challenges require the ability to navigate complex social, moral, religious, economic and geographic divides with deep structural and historical roots. CLU addresses this challenge through The Claremont Core®, four integrated and progressive skills embedded in every master's program teaching Mindfulness, Dialogue, Collaboration, and Change. Moving from personal awareness and transformation to active listening and the creation of a collaborative path towards sustainable change, students report profound transformation, both personally and professionally.

Capstone Action Project

Each of the courses in the Claremont Core® prepares students for the implementation of their Capstone Action Project, where they are matched with a mentor. Research linking mentoring to positive student outcomes is compelling; participation promotes civic responsibility, self-confidence and leadership. The Capstone Action Project requires students to facilitate a change management project that includes mindfulness, dialogue and collaboration with stakeholders to promote positive change. CLU's unique capstone action model walks students through the process of facilitating measurable change in their organizations or communities in a way that respects values, people and outcomes.

More About the Core

We Create Compassionate Leaders