2014 Summer Session Instructors
Welcome • Courses • Instructors
PSR's Summer Session 2014 is still under development.
Courses, dates and instructors are subject to change, and more courses may be added. Please check back regularly.
Dr. Sharon Bray is best known for her innovative work leading expressive writing groups for cancer patients. She is the author of three books: This Way to Canada, a children’s book; When Words Heal: Writing Through Cancer; and A Healing Journey: Writing Together Through Breast Cancer. She is also co-editor of the anthology Learning to Live Again, published by the Stanford School of Medicine. She teaches creative writing for the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program and leads a number of writing groups for cancer patients. She makes her home in San Diego.
Rita Nakashima Brock
Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock is Research Professor in Theology and Culture and Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, and a Commissioned Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has been founding director of Faith Voices for the Common Good since 2004 and was a senior consulting editor in religion at The New Press from 2006-2008. From 2001-2002, she was a Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life, and from 1997-2001, she directed the Fellowship Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, an advanced research institute for outstanding scholars, artists, humanitarian leaders, and scientists. She was on the strategic planning team that organized the Radcliffe-Harvard merger in 1999. Before her time at Harvard, Dr. Brock taught religion and women's studies for 18 years at a number of colleges and universities, including holding the Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Hamline University from 1990-1997. A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Dr. Brock is the daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and the stepdaughter of a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, and she was raised in a military family. She is the first Asian American woman ever to earn a doctorate in theology (Claremont Graduate University, 1988) and the first ever to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). In December 2008, she and Dr. Gabriella Lettini began work on the Truth Commission on Conscience in War (www.conscienceinwar.org), which, in November 2010, recommended extensive public education on moral injury. An award-winning author, she and Dr. Lettini co-authored Soul Repair: Recovery from Moral Injury After War (Beacon, 2012)
Dr. Aaron Brody is the Robert and Kathryn Riddell Associate Professor of Bible and Archaeology and the Director of the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology at Pacific School of Religion. Dr. Brody’s primary research interests include archaeological interpretations of the society and economy of ancient Israel and its neighbors, archaeology and the study of religions, and deep-water archaeology. He has conducted fieldwork at Canaanite and Philistine sites on the Mediterranean coast of Israel and has participated in projects in the Negev and Akko Plain and with the Ohlone-Muwekma nation in Northern California. His writings include “From the Hills of Adonis through the Pillars of Hercules: Recent Advances in the Archaeology of Canaan and Phoenicia” in Near Eastern Archaeology (2002) and Each Man Cried Out to His God: The Specialized Religion of Canaanite and Phoenician Seafarers (1998). Dr. Brody earned his BA from University of California at Berkeley in 1988, his MA from Harvard University in 1994, and his PhD from Harvard University in 1996.
Jess Delegencia (PhD candidate, MDiv, MA) is the Coordinator of the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Roundtable at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at PSR. He is a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University. His research is focused on cross-cultural leadership and LGBT advocacy in Christian organizations. Jess was a full-time minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for over 12 years, serving as Area Director (2002-2004), Regional Program Director for the Global Urban Trek program in the Philippines and Asia (2004-2008), and a National Diversity Consultant (2002-2007) in API leadership development and ministry. Jess is also the co-founder of Kapwa, a Filipino American para-church organization in Berkeley, CA and serves on the Board of Directors for the Network on Religion and Justice for API-LGBTQ People (NRJ). He is also a sought after speaker and teacher, having preached or taught all over the US, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
Jared Finkelstein, believes that in a connected world it’s all about the quality of the connection. Jared is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication who offers communication and conflict resolution training to businesses, community organizations, faith-based communities, educational institutions, hospitals, individuals, and families. For 20 years Jared has explored ways to support deepening connection in and amongst communities. His experience includes workshop and retreat facilitation at conferences, camps, churches, and classrooms. A former filmmaker and media literacy instructor as well as an early childhood educator, Jared discovered NVC in 2007 while working in private schools. Struck by how beneficial this practice was in helping repair disconnection amongst disparate groups within the school system, he pursued further study with the intention of distributing this training more widely. At the heart of the practice of nonviolent communication is the question “how do we want to live with one another?” Jared enjoys exploring with communities ways to engage with that question. Collaboratively, and while modeling and practicing the form of nonviolent communication, he supports communities to invent and implement life-enriching whole systems and practices for restorative justice. Jared offers trainings in concrete skills of nonviolence that lead to reconciliation with ourselves, with our loved ones and within and between our communities.
Bishop Yvette Flunder is Senior Pastor of City of Refuge UCC, Oakland, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, and CEO of Ark of Refuge, a community based organization serving several marginalized populations in the USA and Africa. Several of Dr. Flunder’ sermons have been published, and she has been invited twice to be a guest preacher for The Academy of Homiletics.
Dr. Horace Griffin is PSR's Associate Professor of Pastor Theology. He came to PSR from General Theological Seminary in New York City, where he served as director of field education and adjunct professor of pastoral theology from 2005 to 2009. Dr. Griffin is the author of Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches (Pilgrim Press, 2006). His book, which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT studies, provides a historical overview and critical analysis of the black church and its current engagement with lesbian and gay Christians. His academic credentials include a BA from Morehouse College, 1983; MDiv from Boston University School of Theology, 1988; MA from Vanderbilt University, 1993; and PhD from Vanderbilt University, 1995.
Jehon Grist, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Lehrhaus Judaica, the Bay Area School for adult Jewish education. He received his Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern cultures from UC Berkeley after doctoral research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and archaeological field research in Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt. He has published articles and photos on the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, and the Biblical Archaeology Review. An instructor and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, and Cal State Fresno, Dr. Grist has spent the last 20 years administering Lehrhaus and teaching courses at various Jewish community and secular institutions in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
The Reverend Debra W. Haffner is Co-founder and President of Religious Institute, Inc. An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, she is also the endorsed community minister with theUnitarian Church in Westport, CT. Rev. Haffner has served as chief executive officer of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States; the Director of Education for the Center for Population Options; the Director of Community Services for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington; and Special Assistant in the U.S. Public Health Service. Rev. Haffner is the author of several guides for congregations on sexuality as well as two award-winning books for parents, a college sexuality education textbook, a book for adults on sexual enrichment, and numerous articles for academic and public audiences. Rev. Haffner’s work has been honored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Association for the Advancement of Health Education, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine. Rev. Haffner has a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, a Master of Public Health degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Robert Kramish is a doctoral student in biblical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He is a beloved language and Hebrew Bible teacher at the GTU and its member schools, including PSR.
Pui Lan Kwok
Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at Episcopal Divinity School, is an internationally known scholar and recent President of the American Academy of Religion. She received her doctorate from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from Kampen Theological University in the Netherlands and Uppsala University in Sweden. The author or editor of fifteen books in English and Chinese, Kwok’s publications include Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology (Westminster John Knox); Introducing Asian Feminist Theology (Pilgrim); Discovering the Bible in the Non-Biblical World (Orbis Books); and Chinese Women and Christianity, 1860–1927 (Scholars Press). She is an editor of the major reference work Women and Christianity (4 vols., Routledge). Kwok was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 from the American Academy of Religion. A cofounder of the network Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry, Kwok has held leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. She has spoken at the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops conference and at ATS workshops, as well as delivered lectures across the United States, Asia, and Europe. Kwok is co-editor of the Reclaiming Liberation Theology Series of the SCM Press and serves on the boards of several journals.
Dr. Lee is Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Education and Spiritual Formation at PSR. She is a United Methodist whose ministry experience ranges from one of Korea's poorest communities to an affluent New England suburb. She considers Korea's poor, particularly its women, to be brilliant commentators on justice and realized eschatology. One of Dr. Lee's pedagogical goals is to help people find truth within themselves and to reflect critically on it in their present life contexts, thus to descry new futures/creations. Dr. Lee's research interests are communitarian Christian religious education, postcolonial biblical pedagogy, Asian feminist theology, and racial/ethnic and sexual identity formation. Dr. Lee received her BA from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 1987; her ThM from Yonsei University, 1989; her MDiv from Claremont School of Theology, 1994; and her PhD from Boston College, 2004.
Dr. Radzins is Pacific School of Religion's Assistant Professor of Theology and the Dorothea Harvey Professor of Swedenborgian Studies. Dr. Radzins’ research interests lie in the intersection of theology and political theory, philosophy, and women’s/gender studies. She teaches courses in constructive, feminist, and political theology, Swedenborgian thought, and modern philosophy. Dr. Radzins has published articles on Emanuel Swedenborg and Simone Weil, and is currently working on a manuscript that explores the relationship between politics and cosmology in Weil’s works.
Beth Ritter-Conn is a doctoral student in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the GTU. Her research centers on theological anthropology and issues of embodiment, including gender, sexuality, and non-normative bodies in relation to the Christian tradition. Beth holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Theological Studies, both from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church, in Greenwich Village, where worship is lively and experimental,undocumented immigrants lead the New York City New Sanctuary Movement, a half dozen seminarians are trained each year in public ministry, and a “Bailout Theater” feeds and enjoys the homeless. She blogs on the Huffington Post and has written 31 books, including Sacred Chow: Some Holy Ways to Eat and Sabbath Keeping, which deals with time famine and how to stay alive in ministry. She writes and consults as a “turn-around specialist” for congregations through her consultancy, Bricks without Straw.
Pat Schneider (http://www.patschneider.com), author of nine books, including Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press) and Wake Up Laughing: A Spiritual Autobiography, has pioneered a writing method that has gained international attention, both for its effectiveness in deepening the artistry of the individual writer, and as a way of empowerment for low-income and other under-served populations.
John Shelby Spong
John Shelby Spong has been an ordained priest and an elected bishop of the Episcopal Church for 54 years. As a leading spokesperson for an open, scholarly, and progressive Christianity, Bishop Spong has taught at Harvard and at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also lectured at universities, conference centers, and churches in North america, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. He has authored 82 books which have sold over a million copies, including: The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; A New Christianity for a New World, Rescuing the Bible from fundamentalism, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his autobiography, Here I Stand.
Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis is Managing Director of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion at Ministry (CLGS) at PSR. He has worked in the LGBT non-profit field for over 20 years as a community organizer, manager, educator and program specialist. He holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary, as well as certificates in graphic design and multimedia design. He is the author of Transgender Ministry, Theology and Communities of Faith. Prior to working at PSR he served as Community Education and Outreach Manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality and Director of Leadership Development for the Metropolitan Community Church.