Are you looking for leadership training or other ways to strengthen your work in ministry? Would you like to take a seminary course for personal enrichment or to help you explore your vocational goals?

As the Office of Community & Continuing Education, we’re here to help you find the lecture, course, certificate, or degree program that may be the next step on your spiritual path.

Auditing Courses and Special Student Status

If you’re not enrolled as a PSR student and would like to audit classes or take one or two classes for credit, consider becoming an auditor or Special Student.

January & Summer Sessions

In January and Summer sessions, intensive classes from one to three weeks or longer are offered.  These classes, especially summer classes, attract people engaged in ministries of all types: pastors, religious educators, pastoral counselors, social ministries staff, lay people, artists, and seminary students.

Theological Education for Leadership (TEL)

The Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) program of special courses and seminars provides progressive, accessible Christian theological education year round for clergy, laity, and spiritual seekers. Retaining an important emphasis of its antecedent, the Certificate of Ministry Studies (CMS) program, TEL is multicultural in its design and focus.

Using PSR’s “flexible learning” approach, the TEL program fosters a strong and supportive community environment while enabling participation locally or at a distance through online learning. A carefully selected curriculum of online and face-to-face experiences may be engaged individually, or as part of various non-graduate-level certificates.

Events

Lectures, conferences, workshops and other events are hosted by PSR throughout the year.  Check the PSR calendar (scroll down on the PSR homepage) for event listings.  Many events award CEUs.  Consult the event literature or contact the organizer for details.

Courses

Connect to the GTU course catalog

Day, Evening & Weekend Courses

PSR and the other schools of the GTU offer several courses in the evenings or on weekends, in addition to daytime courses, allowing people to take classes while working or serving in congregations. Designed for seminarians and other Master’s-level students, these courses are also appropriate for those seeking continuing education.

January & Summer Sessions

In January, one- to three-week Intersession classes are designed for seminary students as well as those currently working in ministry.

Summer session classes attract people engaged in ministries of all types: pastors, religious educators, pastoral counselors, social ministries staff, lay people, artists, and seminary students.

Alumni/ae Coursework Opportunities

Graduated from PSR and eager to learn more? Alumni/ae are welcome to return and take courses at a discounted rate.

Field Education Mentors

Field Education Mentors may register for courses at a reduced rate during the semesters they are mentoring for PSR students.

Events

Lectures, conferences, workshops and other events are hosted by PSR throughout the year.  Check the PSR calendar (scroll down on the PSR homepage) for event listings.  Many events award CEUs.  Consult the event literature or contact the organizer for details.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

PSR offers CEUs to participants in many of its programs, including Theological Education for Leadership (TEL), Summer Session and January Intersession, as well as to participants in various special opportunities. In addition, graduate level courses may be taken for CEUs, with faculty permission.

One CEU at PSR represents ten (10) contact hours between student and teacher/event.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS)

PSR CE offerings meet the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Accredited schools (such as PSR) are authorized by BBS to provide continuing education and are not required to have a continuing education provider number.  (See Statutes and Regulations Relating to the Practice of: Professional Clinical Counseling; Marriage and Family Therapy; Educational Psychology; Clinical Social Work, Section 1887.6)

Proof of Participation

Pacific School of Religion’s Department of Community and Continuing Education (CCE) assumes administrative responsibility for approval and record-keeping of CEUs. As part of this record-keeping, PSR provides participants with proof that they have received CEUs for appropriate educational activities in the form of a certificate of completion.

Students needing further verification may request a transcript through PSR’s transcript request process.

July 18: HIV and Theology

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nofearinloveRev. Dr. Jim Mitulski and Donald Messer
July 18 – 29

As a topic in contemporary social ethics, the global HIV and AIDS pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to the church and society in the 21st century.

This course addresses the history, theology and ethics of the complex personal, medical, social, cultural, and religious dimensions of HIV and AIDS.   Particular attention to the pandemic will be given to the United States, Africa, and Asia.  Because HIV and AIDS has disproportionately affected communities deemed expendable by the dominant culture, it reveals where there is racism, sexism, classism,and homophobia in every society.  Evaluating secular sources for HIV culture as well as as religious sources for theological insights will be a particular emphasis.

Please click here to view the course syllabus.

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July 11, ONLINE: Art & Technique of Academic Writing

By | Community and Continuing Education, Summer | No Comments

Christina Fetherolf
July 11 – 29

laptop, writing pad and books

This writing course is designed to orient students to the primary types of academic writing they will be asked to do during their years at PSR and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), including reflection papers, research papers, critical essays and exegetical papers. The course is intended to help students learn or “dust off” the writing skills they will need to succeed academically while in seminary.

Through online lectures and discussions, extensive exercises, and brief homework assignments, participants will learn the art and technique of composing critical writing in a U.S. academic setting. Among other topics, this course will cover: developing a topic; identifying reliable resources; reading and note-taking; constructing a thesis; writing and revising the outline, body, introduction and conclusion of a paper; formatting footnotes and bibliography; and preparing an audience-oriented summary of a paper. Participants will also learn how to identify and use the online resources of the GTU library. Finally, the course will introduce PSR’s Plagiarism Policy and will offer students strategies for avoiding plagiarism. Read More

Aug. 9: The Great Story of Your Faith: Defining Moments in Christian History

By | Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership, Community and Continuing Education, Community and Continuing Education Events | No Comments

Dr. Jim Lawrencewith Dr. Jim Lawrence
Tuesday, August 9 – 16, 2016

By focusing on fateful events that decisively shaped Christianity the immense landscape of Christian history can be brought into view. Using a lens of progressive Christianity, we will engage four such defining moments in the two thousand years of the world’s largest faith tradition: the first-century expulsion from synagogues that launched organized Christianity; the fourth-century Council of Nicaea that inaugurated Christianity as a world empire religion; the sixteenth-century Protestant breakaway that created entrepreneurial religion; and the 1974 Lausanne Conference that still seeks global evangelization.

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Nov 8-15: Biblical Interpretation: An Ancient Text for Today’s World

By | Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership, Community and Continuing Education | No Comments
Dr. Katy E. Valentine
 With Dr. Katy E. Valentine
November 8 – 15, 2016

Course Description

This course will introduce learners to the basic tools and strategies for interpreting the Bible.  The Bible is a huge book—or rather collection of books—that shapes our religious communities, our political landscapes, as well as our personal lives; therefore, learning strategies for interpretation is important.  The course will build on what you already know concerning the Bible and give you constructive tools and strategies for expanding your understanding of the Bible. In our time together we will focus specifically on historical interpretation (who wrote it, when, where and why) and literary and metaphorical interpretation (what is this story about? what are its features?).  We will also take into consideration our own social locations to see how our own lives, and those of our communities, become part of our interpretations. By the end of the course, you will have a toolbox for doing Biblical exegesis, which will lead you to your own interpretation of Scripture.

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January 2017: I’m Gonna Preach: Finding Voice in Church and World

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January 10-24, 2017

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) records words of the prophets who spoke challenging and hopeful words to the people of Israel and Judah. In the New Testament Jesus  teaches in the synagogues and preaches to the masses who gathered around him. Early church leaders like Peter and Paul proclaim the good news to the crowds. And, as the early church developed, teaching and preaching the word became an important and formative part of Christian worship.

In our differing traditions and denominations preaching has developed in sometimes unique and interesting ways. What is a sermon in your tradition? Are sermons based on scripture – why or why not? What do you hope for when you listen to a sermon?  What is a good process for sermon writing?  What forms do sermons come in and why does it matter?  What does your tradition think about prophetic preaching that engages community, social and political concerns?

Together we will explore these historical and contemporary issues related to proclamation in worship.

(this course approved for the MCC L.E.A.D. program)

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January 2017: Gender, Sexuality & the Hebrew Scriptures

By | Certificate of Gender Sexuality and the Bible, Community and Continuing Education | No Comments

Rabbi David Dunn Bauerwith Rabbi David Dunn Bauer
January 2017

So many of our foundational understandings of identity, gender, and sexuality derive from Hebrew Scripture. The stories of Creation, the commandments and laws given to Moses, the passionate visions of the Prophets, and the poetry of the Song of Songs all leave an imprint on contemporary life and consciousness. Some of these texts instantly bring us comfort. Others have been used (occasionally by ourselves) to intimidate or shame us and may awaken anxiety within us. Honoring these texts and learning from them does not mean taking them literally. It means trusting in our own strength as readers and interpreters to find in them what is inspiring and edifying and to address forthrightly those passages we find most challenging. We will make space in this class both to be compassionate to our concerns and fears and to be open to new inspirations and inquiries.We will study texts that convey both the force and nuance of Hebrew Scripture as we focus on themes of identity, desire, and power. Who are humans meant to be? Whom and how are we meant to love? What rights do we have over our own sexuality and what rights do we have over others’?

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February 2017: Wells of Living Water: Spiritual Practices for the Journey of Life

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Rev. Dr. Christy Newtonwith Rev. Dr. Christy Newton
February 7-14, 2017

All around us, there are messages of scarcity that claim there is simply not enough. Not enough time, energy, or money. Not enough creativity, intelligence, beauty, hope, wonder… Not enough to share. These messages deplete our spirits on multiple levels and leave many of us as faith leaders trying to quench our spiritual thirsts with the dust of dry wells. This course will introduce a selection of spiritual practices capable of replenishing dry wells and quenching the deep spiritual thirsts of individuals and communities of faith. Students will engage in experiential spiritual practices and critical reflection on those practices. Together we will explore why certain spiritual practices resonate with us and how these spiritual practices might be incorporated into the life of a community of faith.

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February 2017: Called to Lead: The Care and Administration of Church

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with Rev. Barbara Essex
February, 2017

Every religious community or church requires management and administration. Management that is deeply rooted in the church’s vision of ministry and the church’s understanding of its own calling, moves beyond paper and numbers becomes a ministry itself.  This course is designed to help participants discern their own community’s vision and how it directs and impacts the various acts of administration, including finances,personnel, planning, volunteer management and leadership. Sensitivity to culture and context are critical as pastors and leaders create a theological and spiritual basis for the work of church management.

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February 2017: For the Bible Tells Me So? An Introduction to Christian Ethics

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Rev. Dr. Carol Manahanwith Rev. Dr. Carol Manahan
March 14-21, 2017

 

Early in our lives we begin to discern right from wrong, fair from unfair. As we grow up, we discover the complexity and ambiguity that accompany our lives in the church and the world. When we can no longer find simple answers, we turn to ethical reflection, the spiritual practice of bringing life and faith together for making difficult choices.

“For the Bible Tells Me So?: an Introduction to Christian Ethics” will introduce learners to the tool and methods for choosing action in unfamiliar or controversial situations. Drawing on the Bible, Christian tradition, experience, and reason, we bring our own lives into the ongoing conversation about how to live as Christians in our families, churches, and communities. This course will allow students to explore methods of ethical reasoning which can help us act compassionately, wisely, and faithfully.

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March 2017: Loving God by Loving Ourselves: Self-Care for the Selfless

By | Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership, Community and Continuing Education | No Comments

Rev. Dr. Toni Dunbarwith Rev. Dr. Toni Dunbar
March 2017

 

How can we love our neighbor if we do not love ourselves?  Recent studies of religious professionals have found that Protestant clergy have the highest degree of work-related stress.  In another study, Lutheran clergy and lay leaders (ELCA) have self-reported problems with depression, relations with family and friends, finances, and personal devotional life.  Can we, the pastoral leaders in our churches, learn to love ourselves and care for ourselves as we love and care for our neighbors?  A topic not just for clergy – lay leaders who are concerned about the well-being of their pastors can benefit.

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“The scope and vision of Christian educational ministry is opened up by online possibilities.  This has significance for the ownership of theology, formerly the preserve of the university, seminary, or specialist theologian.  It suggests a different sort of theology, not derived from academics or church hierarchy but emerging from within the ordinary people of God.”

—Dr. Ros Stuart-Buttle, Journal of Education & Christian Belief, 2014

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