The Latter-day Saint Council on Mormon Studies is working closely with the School of Religion to enlarge opportunities for pursuing Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. The Council seeks to foster interest in the academic study of the traditions descended from Joseph Smith among both insiders and outsiders in a context where many religious traditions are studied alongside of and in relation to one another.
In partnership with the Council, the School of Religion seeks to establish permanent and vibrant relationships with the LDS community in our region. The Council advises the School on the needs of the community, consults with the School on the development of courses and programs, and works with the School to sponsor lectures and conferences. The Council has now raised fund to endow a Chair and is seeking donations in support of programmatic activities in Mormon Studies within the School of Religion. To facilitate this campaign, the Council established the Howard Hunter Foundation to raise $5 million to endow a permanent Mormon Studies program at CGU. The first stage was achieved in April, 2008, with the endowment of the Howard W. Hunter Chair in Mormon Studies, the first occupant of which is Richard Lyman Bushman, one of America’s most distinguished historians, and recent occupant (now emeritus) of the Gouverneur Morris Chair of American History at Columbia University.
The Council on Mormon Studies is comprised of LDS leaders, including academics, lay leaders and interested community members, as well as faculty from the School of Religion. Formed in 2002 with only five members, the council has grown to include more than a dozen members who meet quarterly.