In September 2013, the Franciscan School of Theology (FST) officially opened at Mission San Luis Rey.


The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) brings together three important words: Mission, Franciscan, and California. The Franciscans have provided theological training in California since the beginning of the state’s history and have worked with California’s diverse population since then.

In 1854 Mission Santa Barbara was chartered as an apostolic college and continued in that capacity until 1885. From 1869 to 1877, it also functioned as a college for lay men. In 1896, it began a four-year high school seminary program. The high school became a separate institution in 1901, and the college department became a separate institution at San Luis Rey, California in 1929. Over the course of the years, the college department expanded into a four-year accredited liberal arts college.

Mission Santa Barbara remained the center for theological studies and continued to operate as a seminary until 1968 when the theological school moved to Berkeley, California as the Franciscan School of Theology, a member school of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical consortium of nine theology schools.

In September 2012 the Board of Trustees of FST announced that the school intended to enter into a service and curricular affiliation with the University of San Diego in San Diego, California and relocate to Mission San Luis Rey, in Oceanside, California for the academic year 2013-2014.

FST is the only Franciscan theology school whose mission it is to prepare professional ministers for the Church.

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