"The kind of vision I hope to set for the institution will come about with collaboration with faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees," Kuan said in a recent interview from Madison, New Jersey. "It is a communal vision I hope we can create together. "
Kuan, 55, accepted an invitation from the Board of Trustees to be president last week, school officials said.
Since 2011, Kuan has been dean of Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey and is an Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church.
He holds a doctorate in Old Testament from Emory University in Atlanta, a Master of Theological Studies from Perkins Theological School in Dallas and a bachelor's degree in Theology from Trinity Theological College in Singapore.
"I am very interested in a more global, theological education," Kuan said.
Claremont "can be a major player in helping think about what global Christianity and global theological education is all about. "
Kuan is a first generation Asian American of Chinese descent as his grandparents emigrated from China to Malaysia and he speaks four Chinese languages as well as English and Malaysian.
"It enables me to negotiate in different contexts more easily," Kuan said of how his knowledge of languages helps him relate to others.
"That is the theological education that we are hoping to provide at the Claremont School of Theology. Once they are trained more broadly, it enables them to live in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world. "
Kuan, who is married to Val Toh, said as a Christian he has been engaged in justice issues since the 1990s and has spoken out against discrimination of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transsexual communities.
"The discrimination against people that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gender is something that I believe very strongly within the Christian faith we must address and stop this kind of discrimination."
He said the Bible is written within a "particular context" that is "very heterosexual and patriarchal. The context has no understanding of homosexuality. "
"I am excited about the appointment of Jeffrey to be the next president of CST," said Jerry Campbell, president of Claremont Lincoln University and former president of the Claremont School of Theology.
"He is an extraordinary colleague who understands today's challenges for theological education, but who also understands the opportunities. He will bring a fresh perspective, new energy, and bold creativity. He is a gifted Hebrew scholar, an experienced administrator, and a deeply committed and respected United Methodist clergyman, who understands the importance of multi-faith collaboration. I do not think that CST could have found a better leader for the next generation, and I look forward to welcoming and working with him. "