was successfully added to your cart.

Sage by the Chapel LearningOutdoors3Women

Welcome to Summer at Pacific School of Religion.  All immersions, workshops, courses, and more are open to the general public.

Registration is now open.  Limited on-campus housing is available.  Email housing@psr.edu to receive information.

See you this summer in Berkeley!

“The Christian Church will die of boredom long before it dies of controversy. The ranks of the ordained will continue to include a minority who will push the boundaries while the majority will seek to provide the narcotic of religious security. This remains true despite the fact that most of our denominational training schools are in the business of blessing the status quo, rather than engaging in a search for truth that will meet the people of tomorrow’s world. Out of those boundary pushers, the leaders of tomorrow will emerge. … Theological seminaries like the Theological School of Drew University and the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, have new leaders who understand that blessing the status quo is not the doorway into tomorrow. I believe the future is bright.”Bishop John Shelby Spong, Summer 2016 instructor





July 11: Paris Immersion: Immigration & the Refugee Crisis

By | Contextual Learning, Immersions, Paris Immersion, Summer | No Comments

Immigration/Refugee Crisis, Religion, Globalization and the Post-Colonial State

"Welcome" sign in English and ArabicLed by:
Rev. David Vasquez-Levy, President, Pacific School of Religion

Dr. Hatem Bazian, Co-Founder, Zaytuna College & Faculty, UC Berkeley
Dr. Karla Suomala, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Luther College

Course description:

The course addresses the on-going global migration and refugee crisis readily documentable on the daily news and extensive policy debates at the local, national, and international levels. At present, the number of people that are on the move from their homeland as immigrants or refugees number over 50million and are not confined to one region, ethnic, or a religious group but come from populations allover the globe. The visible movement of peoples across national boundaries in search of economic opportunities and higher standards of living, and away from conflict zones, persecution, and violence is reflective of the increased globalization of trade and has transformed countries in Europe and North America.

As a result of this massive human movement, the emerging of multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multireligious societies are becoming a daily norm and with it rising tensions that problematizes and seeks to exclude immigrants and refugees on some marked, constructed or imagined difference. In this course, we will analyze the causes and consequences of the movement of immigrants and refugees into Europe and the US. The course will examine the immigration/refugee crisis from a longer historical lens that takes into account the legacy and impacts of colonization, the post-colonial state, the Cold War (Low Intensity Warfare in the Global South) and free trade agreement and privatization in the Global South.

In addition, the course will centralize and contextualize the pernicious impacts of globalization and the collapse of economies and states in the Global South that accelerates the rates of migration and instability. More critically and from a religious and spiritual basis, the question of the collective ethical and moral responsibility will inform and serve as the running thread throughout the course and lectures. The lectures and readings will examine the religious, political, economic, social, racial and security responses that accords differentiated treatment to immigrants and refugees with primary focus on Europe and North America. Also, how are the political and social responses of receiving governments and societies are developed and what forces are acting upon it; the rising tide of securitization and criminalization of immigrants and refugees-including the entanglement of armed conflicts, smuggling, trafficking and terrorism in policy formation; changing conceptions of citizenship and nationality inreceiving states; the role played by religious institutions, governmental and non-governmental international agencies in influencing state policies towards refugees and immigrants, and the moral and ethical issues for public policy posed by international population movements.

Return to Summer Session 2016

July 11: Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

By | Community and Continuing Education Events, Summer | 2 Comments

John Shelby Spong returns to PSR this summer!

Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy by John Shelby Spong (book cover)Bishop John Shelby Spong
July 11 – 15, 2016
9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: PSR Chapel

Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy
A Journey into a New Christianity through the Doorway of Matthew’s Gospel

Why is a literal reading of the Gospels is actually heretical?  How is it that this mistaken notion of literalism only entered the church once Gentiles had pushed out all the Jewish followers of Jesus?  We’ll take a radical new look at the gospels today to see just how deeply Jewish the Christian Gospels are, and how much they reflect the Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship. Pulling back the layers of a long-standing Gentile ignorance, we will see how the church’s literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from these original Jewish authors’ intent that may be considered act of heresy.

Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, we will explore the Bible’s literary and liturgical roots—its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition—to explain how the events of Jesus’ life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written.

Please click here to view the course syllabus.

Read More

July 16: A Festival of Writing

By | Community and Continuing Education Events, Events, Summer | One Comment
Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider (book cover)the 3rd Annual
Festival of Writing
Saturday, July 16, 9:30am – 4:30pm

presented by Amherst Writers & Artists West and Pacific School of Religion

Come write with other writers in a supportive environment. The all-day event will feature writing workshops and a lunch-time panel/Q&A session with workshop facilitators.  

With the insight that “everyone is born with creative genius,” Pat Schneider created the AWA method more than thirty years ago to provide a safe, encouraging environment for writing.  The method continues to help people from all walks of life find and appreciate their unique voice.

The Festival is open to all – no experience necessary. Morning and afternoon writing workshops will be led by experienced AWA method-trained workshop facilitators.  Take advantage of many nearby options during the lunch hour, or bring your own lunch and eat on the beautiful PSR campus.

Read More

Summer 2016 Payment & Financial Aid Information

This information applies to PSR summer courses.  It does not apply to the Festival of Writing or the Cuernavaca Immersion.

Payment & Financial Aid

Payment Due Date

Payment for courses taken for credit or audit is due by July 1 or within 5 days of when you register for the course(s), whichever is later. Payment for CEU courses and other events is due upon registration. The fee for late payment is $75. Only students who have paid may attend class.

Where and How to Pay

You must pay by credit card or check (“e-check”) from within the online registration pages (WebAdvisor) for CEU courses. You may pay for credit courses through  your home school WebAdvisor page or by check, cash or money order at your home school business office. If you have questions, contact your home school business office.

Paying with Loan Monies

Summer direct loans and/or financial aid may be available to GTU consortium academic credit students who meet a minimum number of credit hours, as defined by your home school. Contact your home school financial aid office for details.

Financial Aid Questions

PSR and other GTU students, refer to your home school’s financial aid policy.

All PSR students interested in receiving summer aid must submit a PSR Summer 2016 Application for Financial Aid. Because summer 2016 is a trailer to the 2015-2016 academic year, students who apply for summer aid will receive the same need-based and merit-based aid they were eligible for in the 2015-2016 year, with the exception of federal loans, which are only available to students if they have not borrowed up to the federal annual limit of $20,500 for the year.

Federal aid is only intended to support tuition and fees for courses taken for academic credit, as well as living expenses for the duration of the courses. A PSR student who has applied for summer aid must be registered for a minimum of 4.5 academic credits (half-time) to be eligible for federal loans, but will have the scholarships they have been awarded applied to their tuition and fees costs regardless of enrollment.

PSR scholarships and federal financial aid will not support CEU courses.

How to Change Your Registration

Changing Grading Option

To change grading option from academic credit to CEUs or vice versa, contact the Summer Session office at summer@psr.edu. You will be refunded or charged for the difference in price. Some fees may apply. See the table below for deadlines and fees.

Dropping a Course

To drop a course, log in to the online registration system (WebAdvisor) and follow directions online, or contact the Summer Session office at summer@psr.edu. Some fees may apply. See table below for deadlines and fees.  Refunds, if any, may take up to six weeks to process.

Adding a Course

To add an additional summer course, log in to the online registration system system (WebAdvisor) for CEU’s and and your home school WebAdvisor for credit courses and follow directions for registering for a course.

Registration Fees, Deadlines & Refunds 


Six weeks before your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Full tuition payment due

Insufficient registration may cause course to be cancelled – register early!

Minimum enrollment: 9


Dropped course:
Tuition refunded minus $50 per course cancellation fee

Change in grading option between academic credit, audit, or CEUs:
$50 processing fee

Notice for all changes due to PSR Summer Session Office in writing before your course begins

The day your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Full tuition payment overdue

$75 same-day registration / late payment fee


Dropped course:
Tuition refunded minus $75 per course same-day cancellation fee

Change in grading option between
academic credit, audit, or CEUs:
$75 processing fee

Notice for all changes due to PSR Summer Session Office in writing the day your course begins

After the first day your course begins

Tuition Due Dates & Registration Costs

Registration closed


No refunds or grading option changes

SRC 9999 Special Reading Courses begin on the first day of the summer term, and fees will be charged accordingly.

SRC 8888 Course Upgrades begin on the start date of the course.

Register early! Courses without sufficient registrations six weeks before their start date will be canceled. Register to help ensure that your class will be available! Minimum enrollment is 9 people per course. The registration census is taken six weeks before the course begins.

Please note that course cancellation refunds may take four to six weeks to be issued.

Credit Options

Transferring Credit

Prior to enrolling, please check with the registrar and/or academic advisor at your institution to confirm that Summer Session course credit will be applicable to your particular degree program and area of study.

Grading Options

There are three options for summer session courses: Academic Credit, Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and Audit.

  • Academic Credit
    Those who take courses for academic credit are expected to have a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent.  Non-PSR/GTU students who wish to take a summer class for academic credit, must apply for Special Student Status.

Courses are taken for either letter grade or pass/fail and are evaluated by graduate level standards. For more explanation on letter grade and pass/fail options, consult the PSR Grading Policy.

On the registration form and on the first day of class, participants taking courses for academic credit will be asked to declare whether they prefer a letter grade or pass/fail status. Students must complete all course requirements by the instructor’s deadline. It is at the instructor’s discretion whether incompletes will be rewarded.

  • General Public (Continuing Education Units or not-for-credit participation)
    Those seeking to attend class without credit or to earn continuing education units (CEUs) should register for CEUs.  PSR evaluates CEUs primarily by attendance and participation. Ten scheduled classroom contact hours equal 1.0 CEU. CEU students are generally not expected to submit lengthy assignments or complete exams or long papers. For more details, see PSR’s CEU page. Students must complete all course requirements by the instructor’s deadline. CEU students are not eligible for extensions. CEU students must fulfill course CEU requirements to receive CEU credit.  Those not seeking credit of any kind need not fulfill any requirements, but are encouraged to do so.
  • Audit
    This option is allowed only for those who have special circumstances or a specific reason to audit rather than register for CEUs.

Changing Credit Option

To change grading option from academic credit to CEUs or vice versa, contact the Summer Session office at summer@psr.edu. You will be refunded or charged for the difference in price. Some fees may apply. See table above for deadlines and fees.


Textbooks for Summer Session courses requiring them are available for purchase at the GTU Amazon bookstore.

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

—Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of The Children’s Defense Fund