2014 Summer Session Instructors

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Study with these outsanding scholars and leaders!

Sharon Bray

brayBest known for her innovative work leading expressive writing groups for cancer patients, Dr. Sharon Bray is the author of two books on writing and health, co-editor of a cancer patients’ anthology published by the Stanford School of Medicine, a children’s book, and creative nonfiction essays which have appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. In addition to her work with cancer patients and survivors, she is a frequent speaker at healthcare programs across the U.S. and is the author of the blog site, www.writingthroughcancer.com. She teaches creative nonfiction for UCLA extension Writers’ Program and since 2005, leads an annual series creative writing workshops for Stanford Medical School.

Rita Nakashima Brock

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock is Research Professor in Theology and Culture and Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, and a Commissioned Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has been founding director of Faith Voices for the Common Good since 2004 and was a senior consulting editor in religion at The New Press from 2006-2008. From 2001-2002, she was a Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life, and from 1997-2001, she directed the Fellowship Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, an advanced research institute for outstanding scholars, artists, humanitarian leaders, and scientists. She was on the strategic planning team that organized the Radcliffe-Harvard merger in 1999. Before her time at Harvard, Dr. Brock taught religion and women's studies for 18 years at a number of colleges and universities, including holding the Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Hamline University from 1990-1997. A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Dr. Brock is the daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and the stepdaughter of a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, and she was raised in a military family. She is the first Asian American woman ever to earn a doctorate in theology (Claremont Graduate University, 1988) and the first ever to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). In December 2008, she and Dr. Gabriella Lettini began work on the Truth Commission on Conscience in War (www.conscienceinwar.org), which, in November 2010, recommended extensive public education on moral injury. An award-winning author, she and Dr. Lettini co-authored Soul Repair: Recovery from Moral Injury After War (Beacon, 2012)

Jess Delegencia

Jess DelegenciaJess Delegencia (PhD candidate, MDiv, MA) is the Coordinator of the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Roundtable at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at PSR. He is a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University. His research is focused on cross-cultural leadership and LGBT advocacy in Christian organizations. Jess was a full-time minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for over 12 years, serving as Area Director (2002-2004), Regional Program Director for the Global Urban Trek program in the Philippines and Asia (2004-2008), and a National Diversity Consultant (2002-2007) in API leadership development and ministry. Jess is also the co-founder of Kapwa, a Filipino American para-church organization in Berkeley, CA and serves on the Board of Directors for the Network on Religion and Justice for API-LGBTQ People (NRJ). He is also a sought after speaker and teacher, having preached or taught all over the US, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Philippines.

Yvette Flunder

Yvette FlunderBishop Yvette Flunder is Senior Pastor of City of Refuge UCC, Oakland, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, and CEO of Ark of Refuge, a community based organization serving several marginalized populations in the USA and Africa. Several of Dr. Flunder’ sermons have been published, and she has been invited twice to be a guest preacher for The Academy of Homiletics.


Horace Griffin

Horace GriffinThe Rev. Dr. Horace Griffin is PSR's Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology.  He came to PSR from General Theological Seminary in New York City, where he served as director of field education and adjunct professor of pastoral theology from 2005 to 2009. Dr. Griffin is the author of Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches (Pilgrim Press, 2006). His book, which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT studies, provides a historical overview and critical analysis of the black church and its current engagement with lesbian and gay Christians.  His academic credentials include a BA from Morehouse College, 1983; MDiv from Boston University School of Theology, 1988; MA from Vanderbilt University, 1993; and PhD from Vanderbilt University, 1995.

Jehon Grist

Jehon GristJehon Grist, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Lehrhaus Judaica, the Bay Area School for adult Jewish education. He received his Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern cultures from UC Berkeley after doctoral research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and archaeological field research in Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt. He has published articles and photos on the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, and the Biblical Archaeology Review. An instructor and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, and Cal State Fresno, Dr. Grist has spent the last 20 years administering Lehrhaus and teaching courses at various Jewish community and secular institutions in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Debra Haffner

The Reverend Debra W. Haffner is Co-founder and President of Religious Institute, Inc.  An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, she is also the endorsed community minister with theUnitarian Church in Westport, CT.  Rev. Haffner  has served as chief executive officer of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States; the Director of Education for the Center for Population Options; the Director of Community Services for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington; and Special Assistant in the U.S. Public Health Service. Rev. Haffner is the author of several guides for congregations on sexuality as well as two award-winning books for parents, a college sexuality education textbook, a book for adults on sexual enrichment, and numerous articles for academic and public audiences.  Rev. Haffner’s work has been honored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Association for the Advancement of Health Education, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine.  Rev. Haffner has a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, a Master of Public Health degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. 

Robert Kramish

Robert KramishRobert Kramish is a doctoral student in biblical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He is a beloved language and Hebrew Bible teacher at the GTU and its member schools, including PSR.



Kwok Pui Lan

Dr. Kwok Pui Lan (http://kwokpuilan.blogspot.com/), William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at Episcopal Divinity School, is an internationally known scholar and recent President of the American Academy of Religion. She received her doctorate from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from Kampen Theological University in the Netherlands and Uppsala University in Sweden. The author or editor of fifteen books in English and Chinese, Kwok’s publications include Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology (Westminster John Knox); Introducing Asian Feminist Theology (Pilgrim); Discovering the Bible in the Non-Biblical World (Orbis Books); and Chinese Women and Christianity, 1860–1927 (Scholars Press). She is an editor of the major reference work Women and Christianity (4 vols., Routledge). Kwok was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 from the American Academy of Religion. A cofounder of the network Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry, Kwok has held leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. She has spoken at the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops conference and at ATS workshops, as well as delivered lectures across the United States, Asia, and Europe. Kwok is co-editor of the Reclaiming Liberation Theology Series of the SCM Press and serves on the boards of several journals.

 Boyung Lee

Boyung Lee Dr. Lee is Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Education and Spiritual Formation at PSR. She is a United Methodist whose ministry experience ranges from one of Korea's poorest communities to an affluent New England suburb. She considers Korea's poor, particularly its women, to be brilliant commentators on justice and realized eschatology. One of Dr. Lee's pedagogical goals is to help people find truth within themselves and to reflect critically on it in their present life contexts, thus to descry new futures/creations. Dr. Lee's research interests are communitarian Christian religious education, postcolonial biblical pedagogy, Asian feminist theology, and racial/ethnic and sexual identity formation. Dr. Lee received her BA from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 1987; her ThM from Yonsei University, 1989; her MDiv from Claremont School of Theology, 1994; and her PhD from Boston College, 2004.

Jay Johnson

JohnsonThe Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson is an Episcopal priest and has served congregations in the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union. He came to PSR as a staff member at the school’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) in 2003 and began teaching courses for the school’s Certificate of Sexuality and Religion program, for which he now serves as the coordinator.

Dr. Johnson's research and writing interests include the intersections of critical social theory (especially queer theory) and Christian theological traditions, theological anthropology and Christian eschatology, and multimedia/pop-cultural influences on constructive theology. He has published articles on sexuality, Christian theology, and spirituality and is the author of Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope (2005), as well as co-editor with Donald Boisvert, of a two-volume anthology, Queer Religion (2011). Dr. Johnson also serves on the editorial board of the journal Theology and Sexuality and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Gay Men and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion.

Beth Ritter-Conn

Elizabeth Ritter-ConnDr. Beth Ritter-Conn received her Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the GTU in 2014. Her doctoral dissertation is titled "Divine Disruption: Toward a Theological Reconstruction of Hospitality." Her research centers on theological anthropology and issues of embodiment, including gender, sexuality, and non-normative bodies in relation to the Christian tradition. Beth holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Theological Studies, both from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.


Donna Schaper

Donna SchaperRev. Dr. Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church, in Greenwich Village, where worship is lively and experimental,undocumented immigrants lead the New York City New Sanctuary Movement, a half dozen seminarians are trained each year in public ministry, and a “Bailout Theater” feeds and enjoys the homeless. She blogs on the Huffington Post and has written 31 books, including Sacred Chow: Some Holy Ways to Eat and Sabbath Keeping, which deals with time famine and how to stay alive in ministry. She writes and consults as a “turn-around specialist” for congregations through her consultancy, Bricks without Straw.

Pat Schneider

Pat SchneiderPat Schneider (http://www.patschneider.com), author of ten books, including How the Light Gets In, Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press) and Wake Up Laughing: A Spiritual Autobiography, has pioneered a writing method that has gained international attention, both for its effectiveness in deepening the artistry of the individual writer, and as a way of empowerment for low-income and other under-served populations.


John Shelby Spong

John Shelby SpongJohn Shelby Spong has been an ordained priest and an elected bishop of the Episcopal Church for 54 years.  As a leading spokesperson for an open, scholarly, and progressive Christianity, Bishop Spong has taught at Harvard and at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also lectured at universities, conference centers, and churches in North america, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. He has authored 82 books which have sold over a million copies, including: The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; A New Christianity for a New World, Rescuing the Bible from fundamentalism, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his autobiography, Here I Stand

Justin Tanis 

Justin Tanis Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis is Managing Director of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion at Ministry (CLGS) at PSR.  He has worked in the LGBT non-profit field for over 20 years as a community organizer, manager, educator and program specialist. He holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary, as well as certificates in graphic design and multimedia design. He is the author of Transgender Ministry, Theology and Communities of Faith. Prior to working at PSR he served as Community Education and Outreach Manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality and Director of Leadership Development for the Metropolitan Community Church.

Mary Tuchscherer

Mary Tuchscherer, MA, is the founder and CEO of VoiceFlame, a non-profit organization that is illuminating the voices of girls and women through writing and education.  Since childhood Mary knew the key to her own self-empowerment was through the authentic use of her own voice.  Mary is certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists workshop facilitator and trainer and is adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. She is passionate about teaching, mentoring, visioning and sharing the stories of VoiceFlame.

Courses, dates and instructors are subject to change. Please check back regularly.


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