Recent graduate Jessie Ratcliff (MDiv '24) shares a reflection on how his identity as a trans person of color intersects with the social justice and spiritual work of environmentalism.

Historically Large and Diverse Class Enters PSR in Fall 2022

PSR is proud to welcome our incoming class for Fall of 2022! One of the largest in the past decade, the new class comes from 18 states and American Samoa, represents 12 denominations, and is over 50% BIPOC in line with PSR’s commitment to educating an emerging generation of students of color.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced our community to rethink the way we offered our education. Through struggle, we came together and found opportunity. Before 2020, most students came to our campus in Berkeley to study, but by creating robust online learning opportunities we’re able to reach a whole new cohort of emerging leaders. A number of factors can make studying in the Bay Area challenging for those seeking an education. Now students of every age and background can start the journey of transformative theological leadership while remaining in and serving their home communities,” said PSR’s Director of Admissions, Keaton Andreas.

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.

Micah Melody Taberner who is entering the Master of Divinity program said that she feels, “called to work in and alongside the LGBTQ+ community, building spaces for individuals to heal, worship God, and lead without fear of rejection, to advocate for trans and queer-inclusive theology and practice that affirms the full humanity, dignity, and worth of all people.”

When asked why she chose PSR as a path to achieve these goals she said, “I’m excited at the prospect of pursuing my theological education in an institution that understands the importance of elevating diverse voices in Christian leadership. I’m thankful for PSR’s history of continually standing on the front lines with those historically marginalized by the church, its commitment to anti-racism, and the groundbreaking work of the CLGS in advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

Daniel Guillen, who is currently serving as a religious affairs specialist in the Army Reserves after four years of active duty, is starting the Certificate of Spiritually and Social Change so he can, “better help soldiers and their families.”

Simeon Howard, an ordained minister, and Washington State Senate intern said he’s pursuing a Certificate of Sexuality and Religion (CSR) because one of his goals as a minister is to be, “educated and informed on the intersectional issues of today that impact the communities I belong to in order to be effective and responsive to the community of faith in a way that holistically serves the whole person. Christian or not.” He also believes the CSR will be an asset to his other vocational goal; to practice law and eventually enter a judgeship. He’s seeking a path to, “inquire more in-depth into values and assumptions within American society and the world at large.”

In an online orientation for new students, Dean Susan Abraham urged students to prepare for an education that would challenge them. She paraphrased the 20th century theologian, Bernard Lonergan’s advice to new theologians to be attentive, be intelligent, be loving, be kind, and when necessary, change your mind.

“It’s the hardest thing to do but the Universe will rush in when you change your mind. It’s knocking at your door. Let it in.” She added.

Abraham closed her comments to the incoming class by telling them her main goal was to prepare them to leave PSR, saying the world needs them and their leadership. “One day, you will leave, and you will set the world on fire with your words and with your inspiration. I can’t wait for that day. So, welcome, and get ready to leave.”

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