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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 April 11, 2016.  Limited on-campus housing is available.  Email after May 15 to receive information.

See you this summer in Berkeley!

“The Christian Church will die of boredom long before it dies of controversy. The ranks of the ordained will continue to include a minority who will push the boundaries while the majority will seek to provide the narcotic of religious security. This remains true despite the fact that most of our denominational training schools are in the business of blessing the status quo, rather than engaging in a search for truth that will meet the people of tomorrow’s world. Out of those boundary pushers, the leaders of tomorrow will emerge. … Theological seminaries like the Theological School of Drew University and the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, have new leaders who understand that blessing the status quo is not the doorway into tomorrow. I believe the future is bright.”Bishop John Shelby Spong, Summer 2016 instructor





June 7: Introduction to the New Testament

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

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

By | Community and Continuing Education, Summer | No Comments

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: 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
Dr. Karla Suomala, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Luther College

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. All participants are required to apply through the IRDP webpage on the Paris, France program. Applications are currently being accepted. See here for a preliminary course syllabus.

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July 11: Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

By | Community and Continuing Education Events, Summer | 2 Comments

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 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

July 11, HYBRID: Introduction to Christian Worship

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

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

July 16: A Festival of Writing

By | Community and Continuing Education Events, Events, Summer | One Comment

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

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 14 – 28, 2016
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Led by Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis, Managing Director, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Ministry (CLGS) and Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, Sr. Pastor, Glide SF (UMC)

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.

PSR students: to register for credit to use toward your certificate or degree, please submit a Special Reading Course form for SRC-9999-PSJT online for the Summer 2016 term.

Summer 2016 Payment & Financial Aid Information

This information applies to PSR summer courses.  It does not apply to the Festival of Writing or the Cuernavaca Immersion.

Payment & Financial Aid

Payment Due Date

Payment for courses taken for credit or audit is due by July 1 or within 5 days of when you register for the course(s), whichever is later. Payment for CEU courses and other events is due upon registration. The fee for late payment is $75. Only students who have paid may attend class.

Where and How to Pay

You must pay by credit card or check (“e-check”) from within the online registration pages (WebAdvisor) for CEU courses. You may pay for credit courses through  your home school WebAdvisor page or by check, cash or money order at your home school business office. If you have questions, contact your home school business office.

Paying with Loan Monies

Summer direct loans and/or financial aid may be available to GTU consortium academic credit students who meet a minimum number of credit hours, as defined by your home school. Contact your home school financial aid office for details.

Financial Aid Questions

PSR and other GTU students, refer to your home school’s financial aid policy.

All PSR students interested in receiving summer aid must submit a PSR Summer 2016 Application for Financial Aid. Because summer 2016 is a trailer to the 2015-2016 academic year, students who apply for summer aid will receive the same need-based and merit-based aid they were eligible for in the 2015-2016 year, with the exception of federal loans, which are only available to students if they have not borrowed up to the federal annual limit of $20,500 for the year.

Federal aid is only intended to support tuition and fees for courses taken for academic credit, as well as living expenses for the duration of the courses. A PSR student who has applied for summer aid must be registered for a minimum of 4.5 academic credits (half-time) to be eligible for federal loans, but will have the scholarships they have been awarded applied to their tuition and fees costs regardless of enrollment.

PSR scholarships and federal financial aid will not support CEU courses.

How to Change Your Registration

Changing Grading Option

To change grading option from academic credit to CEUs or vice versa, contact the Summer Session office at You will be refunded or charged for the difference in price. Some fees may apply. See the table below for deadlines and fees.

Dropping a Course

To drop a course, log in to the online registration system (WebAdvisor) and follow directions online, or contact the Summer Session office at Some fees may apply. See table below for deadlines and fees.  Refunds, if any, may take up to six weeks to process.

Adding a Course

To add an additional summer course, log in to the online registration system system (WebAdvisor) for CEU’s and and your home school WebAdvisor for credit courses and follow directions for registering for a course.

Registration Fees, Deadlines & Refunds 


Six weeks before your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Full tuition payment due

Insufficient registration may cause course to be cancelled – register early!

Minimum enrollment: 9


Dropped course:
Tuition refunded minus $50 per course cancellation fee

Change in grading option between academic credit, audit, or CEUs:
$50 processing fee

Notice for all changes due to PSR Summer Session Office in writing before your course begins

The day your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Full tuition payment overdue

$75 same-day registration / late payment fee


Dropped course:
Tuition refunded minus $75 per course same-day cancellation fee

Change in grading option between
academic credit, audit, or CEUs:
$75 processing fee

Notice for all changes due to PSR Summer Session Office in writing the day your course begins

After the first day your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Registration closed


No refunds or grading option changes

SRC 9999 Special Reading Courses begin on the first day of the summer term, and fees will be charged accordingly.

SRC 8888 Course Upgrades begin on the start date of the course.

Register early! Courses without sufficient registrations six weeks before their start date will be canceled. Register to help ensure that your class will be available! Minimum enrollment is 9 people per course. The registration census is taken six weeks before the course begins.

Please note that course cancellation refunds may take four to six weeks to be issued.

Credit Options

Transferring Credit

Prior to enrolling, please check with the registrar and/or academic advisor at your institution to confirm that Summer Session course credit will be applicable to your particular degree program and area of study.

Grading Options

There are three options for summer session courses: Academic Credit, Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and Audit.

  • Academic Credit
    Those who take courses for academic credit are expected to have a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent.  Non-PSR/GTU students who wish to take a summer class for academic credit, must apply for Special Student Status.

Courses are taken for either letter grade or pass/fail and are evaluated by graduate level standards. For more explanation on letter grade and pass/fail options, consult the PSR Grading Policy.

On the registration form and on the first day of class, participants taking courses for academic credit will be asked to declare whether they prefer a letter grade or pass/fail status. Students must complete all course requirements by the instructor’s deadline. It is at the instructor’s discretion whether incompletes will be rewarded.

  • General Public (Continuing Education Units or not-for-credit participation)
    Those seeking to attend class without credit or to earn continuing education units (CEUs) should register for CEUs.  PSR evaluates CEUs primarily by attendance and participation. Ten scheduled classroom contact hours equal 1.0 CEU. CEU students are generally not expected to submit lengthy assignments or complete exams or long papers. For more details, see PSR’s CEU page. Students must complete all course requirements by the instructor’s deadline. CEU students are not eligible for extensions. CEU students must fulfill course CEU requirements to receive CEU credit.  Those not seeking credit of any kind need not fulfill any requirements, but are encouraged to do so.
  • Audit
    This option is allowed only for those who have special circumstances or a specific reason to audit rather than register for CEUs.

Changing Credit Option

To change grading option from academic credit to CEUs or vice versa, contact the Summer Session office at You will be refunded or charged for the difference in price. Some fees may apply. See table above for deadlines and fees.


Textbooks for Summer Session courses requiring them are available for purchase at the GTU Amazon bookstore.

“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