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.


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.


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.


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.

June 7: Introduction to the New Testament

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jesus-washes-feetDr. Tat-siong Benny Liew
June 7 – 14 (online CTEL course only)
Register through Eventbrite for this online course

July 25-August 5 (on PSR campus 3.0 credits; 4.0 CEU)
Register through WebAdvisor for this face-to-face course

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.

Please note: This is a community education class. To register for the online June course, register If you wish to take the summer New Testament class towards a degree at Pacific School of Religion, register for that class via WebAdvisor.

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June 13, ONLINE: History of Christianity and Social Change

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Rev. Dr. Randi Walker
June 13 – July 22

St.Gregory'sDancingSaintsIconThis course is held entirely ONLINE.  It is a basic introduction to the history of Christianity for students in a variety of programs of theological education. The course will treat Christianity as a world religion, and will offer students ways of focusing on denominational history or the history of particular traditions, interpretation of Christianity to non-Christian communities, or the exploration of a particular theme or problem in the history of Christianity. The course will include attention to institutional church developments, theology, and the relationships of Christianity and society. Students will gain skills in finding and interpreting historical evidence, reading and using historical books and articles critically, and the ability to craft a good historical essay or presentation that could be used in an educational setting outside the classroom. Read More

July 11, ONLINE: Art & Technique of Academic Writing

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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

July 11, HYBRID: Introduction to Christian Worship

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HandShadowsDr. Sharon Fennema
July 11 – 29

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. Tentative schedule: July 11-22 online asynchronous. July 25-29 face-to-face classroom time. Read More

May 3: Text and Culture: A Survey of the Old Testament

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

Dr. Steed Davidsonwith Dr. Steed Davidson
May 3 – 10, 2016

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

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

LiewBenny200x300with Dr. Tat-siong Benny Liew
June 7-14, 2016

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

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

Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blakewith Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake
January 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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“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