Iliff educates and develops leaders with courageous theological imaginations and, reflecting its United Methodist heritage and relationships, is committed to social justice, inclusiveness, and religious diversity.
The Iliff School of Theology began in 1892 as a graduate department of theology of the University of Denver, which had recently relocated in University Park, Colorado, just south of the city of Denver. Evolving from the dream of John Wesley Iliff, the School was established after his death by his widow, Elizabeth Iliff Warren, and her second husband, Methodist Bishop Henry White Warren. Bishop Warren's address at the opening of Iliff Hall in 1893 set a direction for the School that has characterized its entire history: "The Iliff School of Theology has been established to promote progress in doctrine and experience. In doctrine it fears no criticism, courts always an advance."
Iliff is an independent, graduate theological school and is one of the thirteen official seminaries of the United Methodist Church. Iliff is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (since 1936), by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (since 1972), and by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. Degree programs at Iliff have also been approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veteran's Education & Training under Title 38, Chapter 36, United States Code (38 U.S.C. 3671[a] and 3672[a]).
"We integrate and apply our learning to real contexts and real circumstances in our world." Zachary Moon ('16)
"Iliff taught me what it would mean to be truly open to the "other," whether that other person is across the table, across the street, or across the globe. It grew my capacity to love the world more fully, receive the gifts of this work, and to help others receive these gifts more fully from me. It helped me balance out the value of the past with the needs of today and the call of the future." Gretchen Haley ('11)
"At Iliff, I learned to be in dialogue about theological and social justice issues with people who were not only on my same page and marching the streets with me, but also with those opposed to what I was doing because of their own personal, political and theological reasons. I learned to be in community with all of them." Laura Folkwein ('05)
"Iliff taught me how to think on my own. It was a haven for me. I came here at a point in my existence where I needed a new direction. Iliff taught me not only how to express myself more thoroughly but to help others do the same." Naomi Harris ('04)
"At Iliff, I learned that ministry can change people's lives. That helped me greatly then and still now. I highly recommend Iliff to anyone who wants to go to a school of theology or to seminary because the school offers a great program for pursuing academic excellence." Youngsook Kang ('91)