PSR to launch 'TEL' program this fall with online access

May 2, 2011

Pacific School of Religion will restructure its community education intiatives into the new Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) program, which will begin in September of 2011. This program will provide 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, and may be engaged for personal spiritual formation, lay leadership training, professional growth, or continuing education. A flexible learning approach fosters a strong and supportive community environment while enabling participation locally or at a distance through online learning.

Students will be able to take as many or as few courses as interest them in fields like biblical studies, theology, worship and preaching, Christian education, and church administration. Courses will be offered online and on the Berkeley campus of PSR. Those who complete a full year of study across a thoughtfully structured range of introductory biblical, theological, and ministerial praxis courses, whether online or in combination with on-campus courses, will receive the Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership (CTEL). This Certificate program continues the tradition of the Certificate of Ministry Studies, in a shorter and more accessible form.

Enrollment for individual courses, special topics clusters, and the Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership (CTEL) is open to all adults who seek to learn—a bachelor’s degree is not required. Continuing educational units (CEUs) for individual courses are available to clergy and other professionals.

“These courses will be taught by PSR and Graduate Theological Union (GTU) faculty, GTU doctoral students, and experienced theologians or pastors with a particular area of relevant expertise,” says Laurie Isenberg, PSR’s director of community and continuing education. “Online courses, like traditional on-campus courses, will be dynamic and interactive. We want to encourage groups of people to come together to learn in community, whether in the Bay Area or beyond. We’re excited about the possibilities of the TEL program, and we believe it will accelerate PSR’s transformative curriculum of theological learning across the country and around the world.”

For more on the new TEL program, see or contact program coordinator Ann Jefferson at