Claremont School of Theology is fully recognized and approved as one of thirteen official theological schools of The United Methodist Church , with close relationships with other Protestant denominations, especially the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The school traces its history to 1885 with the founding of the Maclay College of Theology in San Fernando, California. In 1900, Maclay College moved to the campus of the then Methodist-affiliated University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1956, the School withdrew from the University and became an independent corporation, related to the Southern California-Arizona Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The School moved to its present Claremont site in 1957.

Six distinguished past presidents have provided extraordinary leadership for Claremont School of Theology: Ernest Cadman Colwell (1957-1968), Gordon Elliott Michalson (1968-1977), Richard Wilson Cain (1977-1990), Robert W. Edgar (1990 - 2000), Philip A. Amerson (2001-2006), and Jerry D. Campbell (2006-2013). Jeffrey Kuan began as Claremont's seventh president on July 1, 2013.