Pacific School of Religion’s Congregation Speaker Program partners with midsize-to-large congregations to become regional hubs for progressive theological reflection and spiritually-rooted social transformation. This program strengthens both congregational ministry and PSR’s mission by bringing together the resources, knowledge, skill, and capacity of congregations and the academy. Through this effort, PSR will build on the historical examples of “cathedral schools” that, during the early Middle Ages, provided access to education amidst major cultural instability. These schools bridged the gap between training for clergy and the broader public, eventually giving rise to the university system. This program will provide attractive public educational opportunities that develop local leaders, nurtures resilience, vision, and responsibility within local communities. 

How does it work? (How can congregations partner with us?)

Since our founding in 1866, PSR has relied on strong, mutually beneficial relationships with congregations. As the church and our society experience unprecedented change and challenge, PSR is deepening partnerships with key, leading-edge congregations to enliven our collective witness for a just world. Through this program, PSR will encourage distinctive communities of faith as they seek to become regional hubs for intellectually rigorous and globally-minded compassionate reflection and action.

For more information about this program please contact PSR’s Associate Advancement Director, Rev. Will Scott 510-849-8260 or

A Sample of Topics:

  • Migration and Faith
  • Race, Class, and Gentrification
  • Lament, Confession and Apology as public theological responses to systemic oppression
  • Sex, Spirituality and Social Change
  • Finding Hope in an Era Ecological Collapse
  • Spiritual Roots of Social Movements
  • Resilience, Hope, and Transformation
  • The History of LGBTQ-Welcoming Christianity
  • Queer Christian Spirituality: What is It and What Can It Contribute to Congregational Life?
  • Art, Faith, and Social Movements

 A testimonial from a recent partnering congregation:
Lead Coordinator, The Lecture Series at UCUCC Seattle
“For over a decade, University Congregational UCC, Seattle, has invited leading theologians, teachers, writers and thinkers to our community to help us explore what it means to be Christian in the 21st century. The list has been impressive: we’ve welcomed Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Walter Brueggemann, Amy Jill Levine, Miroslav Wolf, Sister Joan Chittister, J. Phillip Newell, and others. These guest lecturers push our boundaries and open us up to new ways of thinking and being.  The best of these speakers ground us in faith while connecting us with the imperative to act upon contemporary injustice. 

None has done this better than Pacific School of Religion (PSR) President Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy, and professors Dr. Sharon Fennema and Dr. Sharon Jacob….The weekend was eye-opening and thrilling. We learned something new to us, we experienced new practices and we left energized…Our collaboration with PSR has been immeasurable. We know we can trust lecturers from PSR to speak and preach with moral clarity, deep compassion and steeped in academic rigor. PSR is a rich resource for churches like ours. We hope to continue to explore what might be possible working with PSR in the years ahead. Thank you, David, Sharon, Sharon, and all associated with this remarkable institution.”

For more information about this program please contact PSR’s Associate Advancement Director, Rev. Will Scott 510-849-8260 or

Past Events

I Can Hear My Neighbor Crying: Sounding Theology, Resounding Social Change

Pacific School of Religion & Lynnewood United Methodist Church will Launch Progressive Faith Lecture Series with Interactive Singing.

Sunday, October 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Lynnewood United Methodist Church
4444 Black Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566
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