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Welcome to Summer at Pacific School of Religion.  All immersions, workshops, courses, and more are open to the general public.  Registration opens in April 2016.  Fees will be set in February.  Limited on-campus housing is available.

See you this summer in Berkeley!




July 11: Paris Immersion: Immigration & the Refugee Crisis

By | Contextual Learning, Immersion, Immersions, Summer | No Comments

Immigration/Refugee Crisis, Religion, Globalization and the Post-Colonial State

"Welcome" sign in English and ArabicSponsored by:
Pacific School of Religion

UC Berkeley Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP)
Zaytuna College

Led by:
Rev. David Vasquez-Levy, President, Pacific School of Religion

Dr. Hatem Bazian, Co-Founder, Zaytuna College & Faculty, UC Berkeley
July 11-22, 2016
Paris, France

This guided immersion takes you to France to experience up-close the ongoing global migration and refugee crisis readily documented on the daily news and extensive policy debates at the local, national, and international levels.  At present, the number of people that are on the move from their homeland as immigrants or refugees number over 50 million and are not confined to one region, ethnic or religious group, but come from populations all over the globe.

Contact for more information.

July 11: Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

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John Shelby Spong returns to PSR this summer!

Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy by John Shelby Spong (book cover)Bishop John Shelby Spong
July 11 – 15, 2016
9:00am – 1:00pm

Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy
A Journey into a New Christianity through the Doorway of Matthew’s Gospel

Why is a literal reading of the Gospels is actually heretical?  How is it that this mistaken notion of literalism only entered the church once Gentiles had pushed out all the Jewish followers of Jesus?  We’ll take a radical new look at the gospels today to see just how deeply Jewish the Christian Gospels are, and how much they reflect the Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship. Pulling back the layers of a long-standing Gentile ignorance, we will see how the church’s literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from these original Jewish authors’ intent that may be considered act of heresy.

Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, we will explore the Bible’s literary and liturgical roots—its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition—to explain how the events of Jesus’ life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written. Read More

July: Introduction to Christian Worship

By | Community and Continuing Education, Community and Continuing Education Events, Summer | No Comments

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 16: A Festival of Writing

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Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider (book cover)the 3rd Annual
Festival of Writing
Saturday, July 16, 9:30am – 6:00pm

presented by Amherst Writers & Artists West, and Pacific School of Religion

Come write with other writers in a supportive environment. The all-day event will feature writing workshops, a reception, and a key note (speaker TBD).

With the insight that “everyone is born with creative genius,” Pat Schneider created the AWA method more than thirty years ago to provide a safe, encouraging environment for writing.  The method continues to help people from all walks of life find and appreciate their unique voice.

The Festival is open to all – no experience necessary. Morning and afternoon writing workshops will be led by experienced AWA method-trained workshop facilitators.  Take advantage of many nearby options during the lunch hour, or bring your own lunch and eat on the beautiful PSR campus.

A late afternoon reception will offer an opportunity for participants to meet and talk. The Festival will culminate in a keynote speech in Pacific School of Religion’s Bade Museum. 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

August: Cuernavaca Immersion: Engaging Communities of Liberation

By | Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Contextual Learning, Cuernavaca, Immersion, Immersions, Summer | No Comments

Cuernavaca-crearEngaging Communities of Liberation: Cuernavaca, Mexico

CETLALIC: Centro Tlahuica de Lenguas e Intercambio Cultural
August (exact dates TBD)
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Contextual Learning at PSR and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) will again partner with CETLALIC, a language school with deep, progressive roots and a passion for liberating pedagogy, for a two-week immersion in language study for ministry and in engaging liberation theologians, base communities, women’s groups, LGBTQ communities, and social justice advocates.  This immersion will be offered each summer through partnership with Glide Church and Cathedral of Hope.

Contact for more information.

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

—Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of The Children’s Defense Fund