Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) - Certificates

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CTEL   •   CLayM      Gender, Sexuality & the Bible

Certificates offered through the TEL program provide recognition of achievement in general or focused areas of study.  If you wish to use a TEL certificate as part of a formal ministerial development  plan, check with your denominational office first.  Because courses are not taught at graduate-level intensity, TEL courses do not count toward graduate-level academic credit (see CTEL below for exception).

Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership (CTEL)

Apply to the CTEL Program

photo credit: Wesley CappsThe CTEL provides strong theological leadership training for lay and clergy leaders, equipping you to strengthen congregations and create new ministries. 

One of the richest traditions of PSR's lay certificate programs has been that of cross-cultural, cross-denominational networking and community building.  

Students are encouraged to communicate one-on-one with TEL staff and instructors to develop their ministry and vocational goals, particularly if they are considering further studies at PSR.

The CTEL includes, over the course of 12 months:

  • June-May: 11 foundations courses (online) and two seminars (online). You may enroll and begin the program at any time during the year.
    CTEL learners progress as a cohort, learning and reflecting together online throughout the year.  Relationships seeded and nurtured through each successive course leads to a cohesive and supportive learning community.
  • CTEL students are invited to participate in PSR's "Come & See Prospective Student Weekend"  - which takes place on the Berkeley campus -  to further community-building and provide space for theological and spiritual reflection. This weekend event is a good opportunity to meet faculty and staff of the TEL program. Contact or learn more about Come & See.
  • May: optional commencement ceremony (with other PSR graduates in Berkeley)
    CTEL students are invited to receive their certificate during PSR’s commencement ceremonies, along with other PSR students.

Certified Lay Minister Program (CLayM)

More about CLayM

UMC logoPacific School of Religion has partnered with the UMC California-Nevada Conference to enable CLayM students to satisfy most of their requirements through the CTEL certificate program.  CLayM/CTEL students complete CTEL course work as described above, with special UMC seminars and courses. 

Participants should apply both to the CTEL (see above) and to the CLayM program.


Certificate of Gender, Sexuality & the Bible


Apply to the CGSB program

Download the CGSB brochure

Is the Bible a wellspring or a weapon?  The Gender, Sexuality and the Bible course series at PSR invites all readers of the Bible to join a rich, substantive exploration of sexuality and gender from a progressive, theological perspective.  

Six highly engaging, sensitive, and community-minded monthly online sessions bring participants into direct conversation with seminary faculty, faith leaders, and each other.

There are no educational or religious pre-requisites, just an open mind and a desire to learn.  Individual courses and the full certificate program are open to all, whether you plan to lead your congregation in study or simply ponder these issues at home over a cup of coffee.

For pastors and professionals who wish to engage, 1.6 CEUs are available for each course and 11.5 CEUs are awarded for the full certificate. 

The TEL Certificate in Gender, Sexuality and the Bible helps participants to:

  • Think theologically about contemporary sexual practices and identities
  • Acquire a respectful common language for discussion of gender, sexuality, and the Bible
  • Interpret the Bible through a progressive lens
  • Gain confidence in leading and participating in discussions of gender, sexuality, and the Bible
  • Uncover relationships between race, class, and sexuality

Course schedule:

  • September: Reading the Bible for Liberation with Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson
  • October: Human Sexuality with Schmian Evans
  • November: Transgender Liberation with Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis
  • January: Gender, Sexuality & the Bible: Hebrew Scriptures with Rabbi David Dunn-Bauer
  • February: Gender, Sexuality & the Bible: New Testament with Dr. Yii-Jan Lin
  • March: Politics, Sexuality & the Bible with Bishop Yvette Flunder
  • April: Capstone for Certificate Students with TEL faculty

UCC Identity Series

As of 2015, Pacific School of Religion is no longer offering a one-year online series of classes in UCC History, Polity, Ethos, and Theology