Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) - Certificates

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Certificates offered through the TEL program provide formal recognition of achievement in general or focused areas of study.  If you wish to use a TEL certificate as part of a formal ministerial development  plan, check with your denominational office first.  Because courses are not taught at graduate-level intensity, TEL courses do not count toward graduate-level academic credit (see CTEL below for exception).

Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership (CTEL)


Apply to the CTEL Program

The CTEL provides strong theological leadership training for lay and clergy leaders, equipping you to strengthen congregations and create new ministries. 

One of the richest traditions of PSR's lay certificate programs has been that of cross-cultural, cross-denominational networking and community building.  In order to retain that program strength, the CTEL's principally distance delivery mode will be undergirded with opportunities for communal gathering and reflection.  Ideally, learners would be able to meet on the PSR campus for one or all of these opportunities.  Understanding that this may not be possible, accommodations for orientation and the middler gathering will be made for those at a distance.

Also, students are encouraged to communicate one-on-one with TEL staff and instructors to develop their ministry and vocational goals, particularly if they are considering further studies at PSR.

The CTEL includes, over the course of 12 months:

  • June: optional online orientation
    This session will provide a forum for students to meet one another, meet CTEL faculty, and be introduced to the program as well as strategies for successful distance-learning.
    CTEL learners progress as a cohort, learning and reflecting together online throughout the year.  Relationships seeded at orientation and nurtured through each successive course leads to a cohesive and supportive learning community.
  • November: optional "middler" gathering in Berkeley with an online component
    CTEL students are invited to participate in PSR's "Come & See Prospective Student Weekend"  - which takes place on the Berkeley campus -  to further community-building and provide space for theological and spiritual reflection at a mid-point in the program. A special online "live seminar" will take place during the weekend to connect with our long-distance learners.  Contact admissions@psr.edu or Click for more information about the conference.
  • May: optional commencement ceremony (with other PSR graduates in Berkeley)
    CTEL students are invited to receive their certificate during PSR’s commencement ceremonies, along with other PSR students.

Certified Lay Minister Program (CLayM)

More about CLayM

Pacific School of Religion has partnered with the UMC California-Nevada Conference to enable CLayM students to satisfy most of their requirements through the CTEL certificate program.  CLayM/CTEL students complete CTEL course work as described above, with special UMC seminars and courses. 

UCC Identity Series

More about the UCC Series

Pacific School of Religion is partnering with the Northern California-Nevada Conference of the UCC to provide a one-year online series of classes in UCC History, Polity, Ethos, and Theology.

Special Topics Certificates

Special topics certificates are comprised of three or four courses on one topic offered within the span of a year. Check back for more information about TEL special topics certificates.