Our Transformative Future:

2017-2018 Institutional Priorities

Student Recruitment and Retention

Student Recruitment and Retention

Our educational mission can only be fulfilled if we reach sufficient number of students to create a rich learning environment and sustain our programs. Therefore improved recruitment and retention is an “all hands on deck” effort and should be our highest priority. In order to facilitate a broader community engagement, better utilize individual expertise in the staff, and reflect the need for innovative approaches to the work of recruitment and retention, we have shifted the model of the Office of Admissions and Enrollment, which will lead this critical work as a collaborative team.


Develop a recruitment and admissions plan that includes:

  • Specific recruitment targets in each program to reach a 25% increase in applications and a minimum incoming class of 50 degree seeking students in Fall 2018. In addition to degree programs recruit 15-20 students for the 2018 Spring cohort of the new Leadership Intensive.
  • An efficient system that supports an excellent experience for prospective students from recruitment to matriculation.
  • A financial aid strategy that best leverages our resources to support our enrollment targets (with particular commitment to diversity), vision, and values
  • Clear messaging about student housing options
  • Strategy for developing recruitment materials that reflect current programs and capitalize on the vision, location, and diversity of PSR
  • Increased engagement by faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni/ae to support recruitment


Student retention is paramount to our ability to fulfill our mission, serve our students, and maintain financial sustainability. As the background and experiences of our student body intentionally broadens, and the support many of them have from their communities of origin shifts significantly, we must find ways to maximize students’ ability to persist and complete their education.

  • Revise, in conversation with GTU schools, the current registration schedule to incentivize students to register earlier.
  • Conduct a review of the current situation around retention, looking at both anecdotal and data driven trends, and identify a set of initiatives that may have the most impact in improving retention.  Pay particular attention to closing the gap of achievement for Students of Color.
  • Clarify and disseminate a process by which students’ concerns can be identified early enough to intercede prior to withdrawal.
  • Partner with student leaders and the student body to identify ways to sustain student support groups, particularly affinity groups around race/ethnicity/culture and gender identity/orientation.
  • As new faculty joins our community and we incorporate new programs into our curriculum, conduct advising training for faculty to ensure consistency in student experience and clarify expectations.
  • Continue improvements around financial counseling for prospective and current students.
  • Gain a better understanding of alumni/ae employment paths as an important messaging component for recruitment and retention efforts. Develop a longitudinal study to track alumni/ae post-graduation career paths and explore a post-graduation placement initiative.

Academic Excellence


Financial Health


Administration and Leadership

Strategic Values and Outcomes 2020

Our institutional priorities are grounded in these values:

By May 1, 2020, Pacific School of Religion will build strength through diversity in our student body, faculty, staff, and board through curriculum, resource allocation, and partnerships, committing to more closely reflect the growing diversity in the country, particularly in California, in terms of its ethnic, cultural, economic, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religious diversity. Moving beyond representational diversity, we will prepare leaders of all backgrounds who can effectively challenge white privilege and racism and who have the tools to transform congregations, organizations, and businesses into more just and inclusive communities.

By May 1, 2020, Pacific School of Religion will have achieved financial equilibrium while broadening access (particularly for under-represented individuals and communities) and demonstrating the value of our program offerings.

By May 1, 2020, graduates of Pacific School of Religion will be demonstrably prepared and recognized as theologically and spiritually rooted leaders for social transformation, within and beyond the church. Our leadership formation will be marked by innovation, diversity, and effectiveness.

By May 1, 2020, Pacific School of Religion’s leadership—faculty, staff, administration, and board—will embody a vision of education that is clear about what we can offer the church and the world as well as what we can learn, taking fuller advantage of the culture, innovation, economy, and environment of our immediate context and our broad-reaching networks.