“I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe …When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So, I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”
~ The late Congressman John Robert Lewis (1940-2020)
Welcome to your 2020 New Student Orientation! One year ago, as we prepared to welcome new students to our community, we could never have imagined how much our world would have changed by this year. Even though Pacific School of Religion was in existence during the 1918 pandemic, for the first time in the seminary’s history, our Fall Orientation will occur in Virtual Space. While this new reality poses some interesting challenges, it has also created some exciting possibilities to expand our understandings of community and connection. We are excited to welcome you to this journey of academic learning, theological and leadership formation, and personal and communal transformation.
The final words penned by the Late Rep. John Lewis lay out so much of the challenge of these days. They help us to affirm why your entrance into theological education “for such a time as this” is so imperative. No matter your age or status in life, you are the generation that has the opportunity to “lay down the burdens of hate and [set a standard for] peace that finally triumphs over violence, aggression, and war.”
During your Orientation, we look forward to laying the groundwork for you to make as successful a transition as possible into PSR as “Co-Creators” in this adventure of listening, learning, and leading as we seek to “build a world where all can thrive.” Your official Orientation Day will take place on Monday, August 31st. A more detailed agenda for the day will be posted here next week. On that day we’ll have the opportunity to focus on key “Logistics of Learning” to optimize your academic journey, and we will also focus on “Community-Building and Support Connections” to optimize your co-curricular and spiritual formation experiences.
In the weeks leading up to that day, you will receive communication and updates via email and on this page that will help introduce you to staff, faculty, and students along with various components of life at PSR and the wider Graduate Theological Union (GTU). In every instance we will pay careful attention to fostering vitality even as we connect through virtual platforms. Because we are in such an unprecedented time, we anticipate that we will continue to provide various elements to orient you to the community throughout the fall.
For now, know that it is our prayer indeed that you will “walk with the wind, … and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” As you enter this season of Orientation, we invite you to view this video – “Building a World Where All Can Thrive” – that features the voices of some of our recent graduates along with our President, Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy.
May you all be safe, well, and whole wherever you are and again, “Welcome to PSR!”
Welcome from our Faculty and Staff!
Our faculty and staff welcome you as you begin your adventure at PSR. Click here to view all the warm wishes we have for you!
A Time to Rend and A Time to Repair: Quilting the Journey’s Call in an Unprecedented Season
Our theme for this year’s Orientation and community-building explores conversations around worship and our diversity work about the role of “rending, mending, quilting, tearing apart and piecing back together.” We are inspired by the images of quilts from the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.
We would like to ask all of our incoming students to find a piece of fabric that is representative of the “cloth you are cut from.” If you were a quilt block, what kind of fabric would you be? What color(s), fabric content, weight, would represent who you are and where you’ve come from. We’ll use the fabrics to introduce ourselves during our gathering ritual.
We are looking forward to seeing all the pieces you bring!
Click the links below for additional information for your Orientation Day.