The Graduate Theological Union celebrates the work of the School of Applied Theology (SAT), a GTU affiliate that will be winding down its current programming in June. Throughout five decades as an affiliate of the GTU, SAT has provided holistic renewal and sabbatical programs to clergy, men and women religious, and laity. SAT will be transferring its remaining funds to the JST Renewal Program at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, where its mission of offering sabbatical opportunities will be continued.
Eugene Zimmers, SJ, founded SAT as the Institute of Lay Theology (ILT) at the University of San Francisco in 1960. ILT changed its name to the School of Applied Theology and became a GTU affiliate after moving to Berkeley in 1968, and later relocated to St. Albert’s Priory in Oakland in 1983. Although SAT has evolved over the decades, it has remained faithful to responding radically to the needs of the times in order to serve the church and the world with inspired action.
SAT Executive Director Dr. Carrie Rehak highlighted the importance of the School of Applied Theology's upholding of the sabbatical tradition: “Contemplative rest is essential to our encountering the world with openness, depth, creativity, generosity, and compassion. It is countercultural, but it is also at the heart of living a meaningful life. In SAT offerings, contemplation, study, reflection, play, and prayer were interwoven into a holistic experience, so that spiritual care providers, change-makers, leaders, teachers, chaplains, missionaries, and pastoral agents, depleted or in transition, could be renewed. All of us associated with SAT remain wholeheartedly committed to this mission and look forward to seeing how it will continue to unfold and touch lives.”
In celebration of its legacy and in gratitude for those who have made it possible, the School of Applied Theology has updated its website to showcase its archives and offer resources for those seeking sabbatical. The GTU offers its congratulations to the team at SAT on a job well done, and its continuing support to those who will continue this work through the JST Renewal Program.