About Pacific School of Religion
Founded in 1866, Pacific School of Religion (PSR) is a progressive Christian seminary, graduate school, and center for leadership development and social impact. PSR transforms individuals and communities through a flexible, stackable curriculum and a collaborative, lifelong learning ecosystem powered by diversity.
PSR offers multiple, flexible options for anyone looking to build spiritually grounded leadership skills; or learn from wisdom-based traditions. In addition to PSR’s Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Theological Studies (MTS), Master of Social Transformation (MAST), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) programs we also offer Graduate Certificates including Sexuality and Religion and Spirituality and Social Change. Courses can also be completed through the Ignite Institute and our Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) programs. PSR is also home to the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS), the first seminary-based LGBTQ+ Center.
PSR is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
PSR: Unafraid Since 1866
Religion News Service | 9/22/23
Current DMin student Leeann Younger (MTS ’23) shares a reflection on her search for a decolonized Jesus through her studies at PSR.
Associated Press | 9/14/23
Pacific School of Religion celebrates historic growth and inclusivity with an incoming class that’s 68% students of color and almost 50% LGBTQ+-identifying.
Associated Press | 7/5/23
A statement from PSR about the unjust dismantling of affirmative action by the Supreme Court. We mourn the implications of this decision and its devastating impact on our efforts to address the savage inequalities that plague our educational system.
PSR Newsroom | 6/12/23
Musician, LGBTQ+ activist and PSR alumnx Ryan Cassata (MAST ’23) shares a reflection on the very real dangers of the transphobic rhetoric from J.K. Rowling and other TERFs.
Religion News Service | 6/7/23
Master of Divinity student Micah Melody Taberner shares how a Transgender Christian Ethic of Liberation can give all individuals the agency to co-create their bodies, and the world, toward greater flourishing and abundant life.
Religion News Service | 5/4/23
Master of Divinity student Najon Saina Tuiolemotu reflects on the ways climate change is threatening the existence of her Pacific Island Nation home.
Religion News Service | 3/16/23
Religion News Service | 2/21/23
Bucking the national trend for seminaries, PSR has grown steadily over the past five years with Spring 2023 representing the largest enrollment in recent history — up 44% since 2018.
PR Newswire | 1/26/23
The Stanley Watson Endowed Chair in Ethics is funded by alumnx and former board member Stan Watson who came to PSR to study ethics and health care in the wake of the AIDS crisis.
PR Newswire | 9/27/22
Delivered through an online platform currently in pilot under the brand name The Ignite Collective, PSR’s educational ecosystem will be funded through the Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.
Selected News Coverage
PSR Newsroom | 9/11/23
Alumnx Rev. Adriene Thorne (MDiv ’08) will be installed as Senior Minister at The Riverside Church in New York City on Sunday, September 17th. Rev. Thorne will be the eighth senior minister at the historic church, and the first Black woman to hold the position.
CBS News | 9/9/23
Alumnx Karen Oliveto (MDiv ’83), the UMC’s first openly gay bishop, discusses the schism in the church over LGBTQ+ inclusion and the role she’s played in it.
The Times of Israel | 8/8/23
Badè Museum curator Melissa Cradic talks with The Times of Israel about the museum’s award-winning, open-access web exhibition, “Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Naṣbeh Excavations (1926-1935)”
Newsweek | 6/26/23
PSR’s CLGS’s Bernie Schlager says the Bishops’ revision “gives no voice whatsoever to transgender people of faith who, in embracing their authentic identities, embraced the person that the divine intended them to be and become.”
PSR Newsroom | 6/16/23
A look back at the successes and milestones of Pacific School of Religion’s 2022-23 academic year.
PSR Newsroom | 6/16/23
A reflection on Juneteenth and the freedom to be fully human from PSR faculty Leonard McMahon
The Ancient Near East Today | June 2023
Badè Museum curator Melissa Cradic writes about “Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Naṣbeh Excavations (1926-1935)” in ASOR’s The Ancient Near East Today.
Daily Montanan | 5/13/23
PSR alumnx Robyn Morrison (MDiv ’08) offers an inclusive, biblical counterpoint to the Christian nationalist views behind #SB99, which would ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Monkey Mind | 4/23/23
Rev. James Ishmael Ford (MDiv ‘91, MA ‘92), shares his reflections on the PSR’s Alumnx Gathering where he was recognized as a 2023 Distinguished Alumnx.
Graduate Theological Union Newsroom | 4/20/23
PSR professor and Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake honored by GTU faculty and Council of Deans.
Bear World Magazine | 4/20/23
Stringfellow, the managing director of PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion, gives advice to queer adults looking to re-examine their relationship with Christianity.
Bay Area Reporter | 4/5/23
Coverage of CLGS’s African American Roundtable’s ‘Souls A’Fire 8 Conference: A Gathering for Black Queer Theology.
The Past | 2/13/23
A profile of PSR’s Bade Museum’s exhibit, Unsilencing the Archives: the laborers of the Tell en-Nasbeh excavations (1926-1935).
Bay Area Reporter | 1/31/23
PSR alumnx Roland Stringfellow becomes managing director at PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion.
Outreach | 12/9/22
Profile of ‘Queer and Catholic: An Oral History,’ a project of #CLGS‘s Catholic Roundtable & one of the first centralized oral history repositories dedicated solely to the queer Catholic experience.
PSR Newsroom | 11/30/22
Current Bade Museum curator Melissa Cradic and former Bade curator Sam Pfister recognized for their work on the multi-platform project and web exhibition, Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Masbeh Excavations (1926-35).
The Heights | 11/13/22
A profile of the work PSR alumnx Rev. Nikira Hernandez (MDiv ’16) is doing at their UCC church to heal some of the negative experiences her community, especially LGBTQ+ and POC folks, have had with Christianity and create an open and affirming congregation.
State of California DOJ Press Release | 11/1/22
PSR alumnx Dr. Sarai Crain (MTS ’06) was selected as CA’s first-ever sexual assault evidence outreach coordinator. Dr. Crain previously served as the Deputy Chief for the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention and as the Executive Director of Bay Area Women Against Rape, the nation’s oldest rape crisis center.
UCC News Room | 10/18/22
Coverage of PSR’s Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant through the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.
PSR Newsroom | 10/12/22
The entire Pacific School of Religion community grieves deeply for the sudden death of Isamaeli (Eli) Mata’afa. We hold his family, church, and the entire Bay Area Samoan and Tuvaluan community in prayer.
ABC 8 News | 9/14/22
A profile of Doctor of Ministry student, Donte McCutchen, and the impact he has in his home community of Richmond, VA as the health district’s trauma healing coordinator.
PSR Newsroom | 8/29/22
Students from around the country are drawn to PSR for its rigorous scholarship, compassionate and welcoming community, flexible, stackable curriculum, and commitment to intersectional inclusion and social justice.
Religious News Service | 7/18/22
PSR alumnx Rev. Adriene Thorne becomes the 8th Senior Minister and third PSR alunmx to serve the historic Riverside Church.
PSR Newsroom | 6/24/22
During a Pride month event PSR alumnx Loey Powell and current student Ryan Cassata shared their experiences as LGBTQ+ pioneers, why they were drawn to seminary and how PSR helped them build a community that fueled their activism.
Premier Christianity | 5/27/22
An urgent plea for Christians to call for sensible regulation of weapons in the wake of the Uvalde massacre by PSR alumnx Rev. Peter Cook (MDiv ’89, MA ’91).
The Crime Report | 2/24/22
PSR alumnx and the first African American to lead the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office, Diana Becton (MTS ’15) discusses her career and her vision for reforming the criminal justice system.
Religious News Service | 2/10/22
Profile of PSR’s Ignite Institute and their Wisdom Based Leadership cohort program as part of a larger trend of seminaries creating ethical leadership programs.
The Guardian | 9/11/21
PSR alumnx, Megan Rohrer (DMin ’17) is installed as the first openly transgender bishop by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Desert News | 3/27/21
NPR | 9/12/20
PSR Dean, Susan Abraham, shares reasons Catholics have historically eschewed outdoor service, a practice that gained traction during the pandemic.
Religious News Service | 7/20/20
PSR, described by a student as “the most welcoming and accepting place I had ever experienced,” featured as one of the seminaries working to increase inclusion of trans seminarians post-graduation.
The Salt Lake Tribune | 6/15/20
Profile of PSR alumnx and superintendent of the UMC’s Utah/Western Colorado District, Rev. Elizabeth McVicker (MDiv ’93) as she helps her denomination navigate the worldwide schism over LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Vice | 9/17/2019
A profile of PSR alumnx and founding pastor of Ministerio Latino, Rev. Rhina Ramos, and her work creating inclusive spaces for queer Christians.
Detroit Free Press | 6/29/19
Op-ed from PSR alumnx and senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church Detroit, Roland Stringfellow.
The Daily Californian | 4/30/19
The Body | 3/30/19
A profile of PSR alumnx Rev. Monica Joy Cross as part of a roundup of leaders in the nationwide fight for civil and human rights for trans and gender nonconforming people of color.
Iowa State University News Service | 2/25/19
PSR president David Vasquez-Levy discusses immigration laws and the current landscape from a faith-based perspective with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
The Salt Lake Tribune | 1/12/19
Karen Oliveto, PSR alumnx and the first openly lesbian bishop in the United Methodist church, discusses the schism in her denomination over LGBTQ+ inclusion.
The New York Times | 9/28/18
The Christian Century | 1/18/17
Justin Tanis, director of the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) discusses how religion informed his transition, “I had a sure sense that God knew exactly who I was and loved me as I am.”
NPR | 9/28/16
PSR faculty Robyn Henderson-Espinoza talks about she responded to racist comments, big and small, from family, friends, and strangers.
Mother Jones | 8/29/16
PSR alumnx Karen Oliveto (MDiv ’83) on choosing to become Bishop despite the controversy, “If you’re going to tell me that my love is wrong, I’m concerned about the church and its ability to recognize God. Because we believe God is love and love is of God.”
The Washington Post | 5/27/16
PSR highlighted for having a large population of transgender students and for convening the Trans Seminarians Cohort a nationwide leadership development program through PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion.
The New York Times | 5/3/16
Obituary for alumnx Bob Fitch (MDiv ’72), who photographed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent black civil rights figures as the official chronicler of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The New York Times | 12/25/14
Obituary for alumnx Harold Schulweis (DTh ’72), an influential rabbi and theologian who focused his sermons, books, and social activism on connecting the Jewish community with the wider world.
Washington Post | 9/22/14
Obituary for alumnx Gerald Larue (Dmin ’53), an archeologist, a religious scholar, and debunker of claims such as Lazarus rising from the dead and the discovery of Noah’s ark.
New York Magazine | 7/10/12
“This is significant because it’s saying, ‘This is around to stay — this is not a passing fad,’” said Mary A. Tolbert, founding director of PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS).
The New York Times | 2/18/12
PSR faculty, staff and alumnx are among the leaders in mainline Protestant denominations fighting for marriage equality and the ordination of gay clergy.
Time | 3/22/11
PSR faculty and Director of the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Aaron Brody speaks on early Israelite polytheism.
The New York Times | 3/04/07
PSR faculty Doug Adams, who has edited several books on the subject of dance and the church, discusses its growing popularity.
SF Gate | 2/25/04
Mary A. Tolbert, founding director of PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) discusses the Bible’s complicated history of marriage.