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Immersion Blogs


A Year in the Life of Pacific School of Religion

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Wanda ScottDear Friends,

Just over a year ago, I packed up my house, said goodbye to family and friends, left my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio where I spent most of my life, and took a one-way flight to Oakland to start my new position as the Chief Advancement Officer at PSR. It was a bold move. I think I realize it more now than I did the day I spoke a joyful “Yes!” to President David Vásquez-Levy when he called to offer me the position.

As I complete my first full academic year at PSR, I reflect on an impressive 150-year-old tradition of preparing theologically and spiritually rooted leaders to boldly transform their communities. This past year, I have had the privilege to work alongside talented and committed faculty and staff and meet amazing alumni/ae who are passionate about their calling and bringing justice to the world. I’ve been inspired by the dreams and visions of our students, as well as the conversations with donors and alumni/ae over a meal or a cup of coffee. I’ve witnessed our President and Board of Trustees work tirelessly to ensure the institution’s economic viability and mission fulfillment.

Our campus transformation plan gives me great hope not only for our current reality but the future of PSR, as we continue to explore new and innovative ways to provide the theological education that we believe the world needs, in a way that is sustainable and demonstrates good stewardship. Maintaining our presence on Holy Hill; right-sizing our campus to meet our current needs; and selling our residential properties and reinvesting those dollars in programming and endowment are clear steps to the institution’s longevity.

As we continue to move boldly into our future, please consider making a gift to PSR today. No gift is too small and every dollar makes a difference. Our fiscal year ends this Friday, June 30th so it’s not too late to support the education, programs, and financial support our students will receive in the upcoming school year. Visit our giving page at www.psr.edu/give.
Thank you again for your continued partnership in preparing theologically and spiritually rooted leaders to boldly transform our communities and our world.

Wanda Scott
Chief Advancement Officer

Now Accepting Applications for our Hawaiʻi Summer Doctor of Ministry Cohort

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Waikiki_RainbowFor religious leaders who want to explore the ministry issues in the Pacific world

Join a spiritually rooted community of fearless, revolutionary, curious, and creative people focused on guiding their faith communities into the future. The Hawaiʻi cohort will take into account the complex cultures and societies of the Pacific world and the distinctive issues facing faith communities.

Complete your Doctor of Ministry as a full-time or part-time student, in Hawaiʻi or wherever you live and work. DMin students spend one or two weeks in Honolulu each summer and complete the rest of their course work in a variety of ways to suit their own situations. The 2017 Hawaiʻi DMin Seminar meets July 17-July 29 in Honolulu.

Application Deadline: June 22, 2017 for this year’s class

More Information about the Program can be found at www.psr.edu/dmin

To talk further with us about the Pacific School of Religion DMin Program, contact:

Office of Recruitment and Admissions admissions@psr.edu 800/999-0528 or 510/849-8931
or the DMin Program Director Rev. Dr. Randi Walker rwalker@psr.edu 510/849-8221

Memorial Service Details for Dr. A. Durwood Foster, Faculty Emeritus

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A. Durwood FosterDear Pacific School of Religion Community,

We are saddened to share that Dr. A. (Andrew) Durwood Foster, Pacific School of Religion Emeritus Professor, passed away on May 20 in Ashland, Oregon, surrounded by his family. The memorial service for Dr. A. Durwood Foster will be held Saturday, June 24 at 2:00 PM in the Pacific School of Religion chapel. PSR alumna Sharon Burch will preside, and PSR President David Vásquez-Levy will be one of the speakers. A reception will follow in the Badé Museum.

Dr. Foster came to PSR as Associate Professor of Christian Theology in 1959, and was named Professor of Systematic Theology in 1964. He served as Dean from 1974 until 1979. His areas of interest included liberation theology, interfaith dialogue, theology and the natural sciences, and theology and art. Dr. Foster’s courses covered Tillich, Wesley, and Christian-Buddhist dialogue. He retired from PSR in 1992.

Dr. Foster described his vocation as, “bearing witness, through all my limitations, to the wholeness of the Gospel vision in realistic relation to the problems of contemporary life.”

An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Foster was a graduate of Emory University and Union Theological Seminary. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar at Heidelberg, and was a visiting scholar at Gottingen, Columbia, Basel, Berlin, and Oxford. His teaching career sent him around the world, from Durham, North Carolina to Bangalore, India to New York City. Dr. Foster authored The God Who Loves, co-edited Hermeneutics and Unification Theology and Original Sin and Society, and contributed to numerous journals and books.

Kay Schellhase, PSR’s Archivist, fondly remembers Durwood’s expansive and precise vocabulary—“you often had to get a dictionary after having a conversation with him.”

Rev. Dr. Mary Donovan Turner reflects: “My first year of teaching at PSR was Durwood Foster’s last. He was everything you hope a senior colleague will be—gracious, hospitable, and affirming. Because we both had ties to the south and to Emory University in particular, he seemed to take a special interest in my well being, always the consummate mentor and friend.”

Dr. Foster is survived by his children, Catherine (Berkeley, CA) and Robyn (Kansas City, MO). The family hopes to hold a memorial service at PSR in June. We will share details as they are confirmed.

Our prayers are with Dr. Foster’s family, friends, and the many students whose lives he shaped during his three-decade tenure at Pacific School of Religion.

Rev. Dr. Justo González, Methodist Historian and Theologian, to Offer Summer Course on Latino/a Perspectives on Church and Theology

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Renowned Methodist historian and theologian, Rev. Dr. Justo González, will be offering a Summer course on Latino/a perspectives on church and theology. The class will take place at Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, CA, from June 12 to 16 and can be taken for both academic credit and CEUs.

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Announcing our 2017 Commencement Speaker: Rev. Traci Blackmon

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Rev. Traci Blackmon

We are delighted to announce that our 2017 Commencement Speaker will be the Rev. Traci Blackmon, who is the Acting Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO.  She will be addressing our chosen theme: “Is There No Balm in Gilead: Healing Witness for a Hurting World” based on Jeremiah 8: 18 – 22.

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