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.

Even if you’re not a PSR student, there are several ways you can enjoy our rich educational resources. If you’d like to keep apprised of our programs, events, and classes, why not join our mailing list?

Laurie Isenberg
Director of Community & Continuing Education
510/849-8227 /

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.

Customized Offerings for Groups or Congregations

PSR regularly works in close collaboration with denominational and other partners to develop customized educational offerings.  If your congregation, group, or organization is looking for a single workshop or a full curriculum, contact the Office of Community and Continuing Education (510/849-8227) to discuss the possibilities.

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.

Alumni/ae Coursework Opportunities

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

Continuing Education Units

PSR offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to participants in various activities. Click here for more detail about CEU opportunities at PSR.

Evening & Weekend Courses

PSR and the other schools of the GTU offer several courses in the evenings or on weekends, allowing students 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.

Field Education Mentors

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

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.

July: Introduction to Christian Worship

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HandShadowsDr. Sharon Fennema
dates July TBD

For many communities of faith, worship forms the heart of their life together. It is a place where participants learn the behaviors, rhythms, and patterns of faith that form them for lives of spiritual and social transformation. In this introduction to the practice of worship, we will examine the ways in which Christian liturgies both shape and are shaped by culture, history, theology, language, and practice. As we investigate the different movements and rhythms of worship and sacraments, students will learn to harness the power of embodied spiritual and ritual practices in different ministry contexts by critically and constructively engaging liturgical texts and contexts, by designing multisensory, intercultural, and meaningful worship services, and by practicing their leadership of different elements of worship, all while immersing themselves in their own unique religious/denominational, historical, and cultural styles of worship.

This is a hybrid course with required sessions on campus and online sessions for all participants. Read More

July 25: Introduction to the New Testament

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jesus-washes-feetDr. Tat-siong Benny Liew
July 25 – August 5

This introductory course to the New Testament begins by familiarizing students with some basic issues of the text (manuscript transmission, translation, and canon) and the Greco-Roman and Judaic context of its writing. We will then focus on the diverse body of texts that form the NT itself, paying special attention to various methodologies of interpretation and the perspectives they represent. Read More

Feb. 9: Wells of Living Water: Spiritual Practices for the Journey of Life

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

Rev. Dr. Christy Newtonwith Rev. Dr. Christy Newton
February 9 – 16, 2016

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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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Feb. 23: Called to Lead: The Care and Administration of Church

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with Rev. Barbara Essex
February 23, 2016

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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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Feb. 29: For the Bible Tells Me So? An Introduction to Christian Ethics

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

Rev. Dr. Carol Manahanwith Rev. Dr. Carol Manahan
Monday, February 29 – Monday March 7, 2016

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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 14: Politics, Sexuality & the Bible 

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

Bishop Yvette Flunderwith Bishop Yvette Flunder
March 14 – 21, 2016

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Bishop Yvette Flunder is an international leader working to destigmatize human sexuality and recognize everyone as a child of God.  Her politics and her ministry are one and the same whether she is keynoting at the White House’s World AIDS Day, speaking out for LGBTQ equality, supporting orphanages in Zimbabwe, or speaking from the pulpit.

This unique eight-day experience will give you the chance to deeply consider the Biblical context of political activism and the Biblical imperative to act for change.  You will explore ways – large and small – to make a difference via the public square.  You will have the opportunity to find or amplify your own political voice and learn from the experience of Bishop Flunder and others sharing the journey.

Politics, Sexuality and the Bible will include two live, interactive webconference sessions with Bishop Flunder, as well as a week of guided learning with online Facebook-style conversation.  Reading, reflection, participation in online forums, and some writing is expected, as well as active presence in opening and closing live online sessions.  1.6 CEUs are awarded for full participation.

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March 22: 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 22, 2016

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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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April: Still Waters and Streams:  An Introduction to Pastoral Care

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

instructor TBD
April 2016 (exact dates TBD)

This course is a brief introduction to pastoral care.  Students will be introduced to the history of pastoral care and the Church’s tradition regarding the “cure of the soul.”  Drawing from readings, class lectures and a case study, students will develop skills for pastoral conversations and spiritual care.  This course will provide a special focus on assisting others in crises, such as illness, troubled relationships, loss, death and dying.  Students will understand and observe pastoral care as a spiritual undertaking involving lay members as well as clergy within a faith community.  Pastoral care will be explored in the context of theological issues such as theodicy (problem of evil in a “good” world),  God as a benevolent being, and sin.

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May: Text and Culture: A Survey of the Old Testament

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with Dr. Steed Davidson
May 2016 (exact dates TBD)

This course examines the Old Testament in the context of the ancient near east as a product of its time. Attention will be paid to the historical, social and cultural forces that shaped the texts and the ways Jews and Christians have read these texts. Coming to an appreciation of the content of selected books and their relevance for contemporary culture will also be a focus of this course.

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June: Text and Culture II: A Survey of the New Testament

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with Dr. Tat-siong Benny Liew
June 2016 (exact dates TBD)

This course intends to explore the literature and background (thus “text and culture”) of the early Christ-following movement.  Our study will basically progress in two steps: first, an overview of the socio-cultural and religious contexts out of which Christianity developed; second, a selective survey of New Testament books (mainly Paul and Mark, and to a lesser degree, the other canonical Gospels) to emphasize the theological diversity within the canon of Scriptures.  We will also give special attention to the contextual and ideological nature of textual interpretation.

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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

Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership