Future Students

Current Students

Many communities are in crisis today over issues of sexuality. In these painful debates, religion and the interpretation of religious texts and practices often play a defining role in the status and treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in religious congregations and the broader society.

More than ever, strong leaders are needed to provide compassionate and informed guidance on these issues in religious communities and institutions, professional societies, advocacy organizations, and legal and legislative bodies.

PSR’s Certificate in Sexuality and Religion (CSR) is designed to provide specialized training for such leadership in religious settings by providing a unique program focusing on the theological, historical, ethical, pastoral, and practical dimensions of sexuality, sexual orientation, religion, and gender identity.

Graduates of the program can expect to find vocations in the religious arena as religious directors, religious educators, activities directors, other religious work, and in some cases even clergy. Participants may come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including:

  • Seminary students, clergy and lay leaders from Protestant and Catholic traditions who want to be better equipped to lead the often painful conversations and important constructive actions required to advance the full inclusion of LGBT people within their faith communities.
  • Journalists, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals whose work involves issues of sexuality and religion.
  • Folks who may not necessarily be interested in the certificate program but who are interested in taking a CSR course or two as a Special Student or Auditor might be LGBT activists and friends who want to become more articulate about religious issues and establish collaborative alliances with religious communities.

The CSR provides working professionals and students with knowledge and skills to apply theological, historical, ethical, pastoral, and practical dimensions of sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity to their religious vocations. The goal of the program is to help students to demonstrate the following skills in vocations of religious leadership and work:

  • Think theologically about contemporary sexual practices and identities
  • Understand the history of faith traditions in regard to sexuality and sexual identity
  • Speak knowledgeably about contemporary sexual practices and the scientific and psychological information relevant to them
  • Consider the historical and theological development of ethical systems used to evaluate and regulate moral judgments concerning various sexual practices and identities within faith traditions
  • Gain authority and expertise in leading discussions on issues of religion and sexuality both within faith traditions and within society more broadly

CSR courses are taught by faculty from Pacific School of Religion and other Graduate Theological Union member schools. Some courses are offered by adjunct faculty selected by PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.

It is strongly recommended that you have basic introductory knowledge of the Bible, theology, church history and ethics before matriculating into the CSR program. This recommendation can be satisfied in one of the following three ways:

  1. Undergraduate or graduate level course work in these areas at an accredited institution;
  2. Proof of completion of an MDiv degree program;
  3. Completion of a reading list supplied by PSR.

Transfer Students

Transfer credit from an accredited seminary or graduate school is accepted if that credit has not already been applied to a degree and if that credit is evaluated by the Associate Dean as an appropriate part of the MDiv program. Transfer students should contact the Associate Dean as early as possible in the application process. Petitions to the Associate Dean should include an official transcript showing the credits earned. In some cases, the Associate Dean may request that you supply syllabi to accompany the written request.

If you are transferring to the Master of Divinity program you should contact the Field Education office during the application process to determine your filed education requirements and to plan for a placement if necessary.

The following disclosure is published in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulation on Program Integrity: Gainful Employment: CSR Gainful Employment Disclosure Data

CSR students complete 21 credit hours to be completed in an expected period of two years or maximum of four years part time study. Required courses include 9 hours of foundational courses, 9 hours of specialty elective courses, and 3 hours dedicated to a final project in a field of interest. The most CSR courses are scheduled in intensive formats during the summer and January sessions. Other classes are held on weekends or evenings during the regular fall and spring semesters, or are available online. As course offerings change each year, a list of course offerings that qualify that year for the CSR may be obtained below or from Director of the CSR program.

Foundational courses (9 credits)
Three credit hours in at least three of the four following foundational areas of study are required for letter grade:

  • Religious texts and sexuality/sexual identity
  • Human sexuality with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity, including attention to contemporary scientific and psychological understandings of sexuality
  • Theology, ethics, and sexual identity, including discussion of the limits and conditions of appropriate sexual conduct
  • History of sexuality/sexual orientation issues and religion

Electives (9 credits)

CSR Final Project (3 credits)
A final project is undertaken by each student after course work is completed. The general focus is determined at the start of the program and is used to guide the student’s work throughout the course of study. Register for CSR 3001 in the semester you complete your Final Project.

Required and elective coursework for the CSR program can be taken through a variety of means. PSR offers several courses each year that are designed specifically with CSR requirements in mind (“CSR-Designed Courses”). Other PSR courses and courses at other GTU schools will sometimes meet those requirements as well (“CSR-Suitable Courses”). In addition, some courses can be taken, in consultation with the instructor, so as to meet CSR expectations (“CSR-Potential Courses”).

Courses in the latter of those three categories require approval from the CSR Coordinator, Sharon Fennema, who will also discern with the student which of the courses will work for CSR requirements and which ones will work for electives. Other courses not listed here may a apply to the CSR with approval from the CSR coordinator. The following is a list of courses for all three types of courses offered during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Summer 2017

CSR Designed

BSRS-2333     QUEERING THE USE OF THE BIBLE       1.5-3.0 Koch              Area A

CSR Suitable

DM-6074        RELIG/GENDR/RACE/NAT:FEM THEO   3.0      Sauceda        Area C 

Fall 2017

CSR Designed

HS-3577         HOMOSEXUALITY & CHRISTNTY         3.0       Schlager            Area D

CSR Suitable

STRS-4075     QUEERING THE REFORMATION          3.0       Warfiled, J.      Area C

CSR Potential

OTRS-4050    CHILDREN OF SARAH, HAGAR &MARY 3.0   Hens-Piazza

HSHR-2105    RELGS RDNGS:AF AM WOMEN’S LIT    3.0       McManus

STRS-8250     SOCIAL TRANSFORM & LIBERATION  3.0       Radzins (online)

CE-2009          WORK, FAMILY, AND ECOLOGY           3.0       Massaro

RAHS-2000    WOMEN IN RELIGION                               3.0       Schroeder

RS-1830          CRITICAL THEORY FOR LEADERS        3.0       Dowdell

January Intercession 2018

FTRS-2450     REFUGE IN THE CITY                   3.0       Flunder                    Area B/C 

Spring 2018

CSR Designed

CSR-3010       POLITICS OF THE FLESH               3.0       Evans                          Area B

STRS-4000/8400      EROS, EUCHARIST, SOCIAL CHANGE    3.0    Johnson, J.      Area C

(online and in person)

CSR Suitable

CE-2008          SEXUAL ETHICS                              3.0       Fullam                         Area C

STCE-2531     LIBERATION THEOLOGIES           3.0       Maia                            Area C

NT-9300         GLOBAL TEXT:THEORY/METHOD NT   3.0       Menendez-Antuna       Area A

HSHR-2520    RLGS FNDTNS US SOCIAL MOVMNTS 3.0       Schlager                      Area D

CSR Potential

RARS-4006    DANCE AND RELIGION                            3.0       Summers

RSHR-8427    PROMISED LAND AND IMMIGRANTS  3.0       Cordova Quero

RAHS-4311    MARIAN ART                                              3.0       Barush

For questions regarding this list of approved courses, contact CSR Director Sharon Fennema at sfennema@psr.edu


*Required Core CSR areas:
A. Religious texts and sexuality/sexual identity
B. Human sexuality with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity, including attention to contemporary scientific and psychological understandings of sexuality
C. Theology, ethics, and sexual identity, including discussion of the limits and conditions of appropriate sexual conduct
D. History of sexuality/sexual orientation issues and religion

Program Manual

Student Policies Catalog

Statement of Understanding

Other CSR Forms