Pacific School of Religion (PSR) is proud to announce that total enrollment for its Spring 2023 semester is the highest in over 5 years, up 44% since 2018 with new student enrollment increasing 77% over the same time. This growth comes during a 15+ year downward trend in seminary enrollment in the United States. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS), PSR’s accrediting body, reports that over half of their accredited schools have seen declining enrollment since 2016.
Though historically seminary students in the U.S. have skewed white and male, PSR’s continued commitment to making theological education accessible and relevant to leaders from diverse backgrounds is reflected in a new student enrollment cohort that’s 58% people of color and majority female-identifying.
The shift to online and hybrid learning opportunities necessitated by the pandemic allowed PSR to expand its reach and impact beyond its home in Berkeley, California. Students from 29 states and four countries are now able to remain in their home and work contexts while completing a certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs full or part time.
“At PSR, we are proud to offer a nurturing and inclusive community that provides flexible curriculum for our students, enabling them to address the most important issues facing society and their communities today. This significant increase in enrollment, particularly in the diversity of our student population, is a testament to our commitment to creating a world where all can thrive,” said Murry Evans, PSR’s Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing.
This upward trend is on track to continue through the Fall semester with applications up 54% from the same time last year. Those interested in beginning a master’s program in Fall will be automatically considered for merit scholarships if they apply by the March 1st priority scholarship deadline. PSR offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid to make theological education more accessible.
PSR is also creating innovative, new pathways to theological education through its Ignite Collective, a networked, online learning and community platform funded in part through a $5M grant from the Lilly Foundation Inc., affirming our commitment to educating the next generation of change-making leaders.