Questions about these policies?

Student policies govern campus and academic life at Pacific School of Religion. These policies (listed below) are designed by the Dean’s Office and Office of Community Life to set a common standard of expectations that can be shared among faculty, students, and administrators, and to serve as a resource as students move through the school. Please familiarize yourselves with these policies, and if you have any questions or would like any clarification, please contact the Dean’s office (510/849-8233, Holbrook 135).

To indicate they have read the Catalog of Student Policies (listed below) and the Program Manual for their respective program(s), all incoming students taking courses for credit must sign and submit the Statement of Understanding to the Office of Academic Affairs ( by February 9, 2018, or they will not be permitted to continue to take courses at PSR.

Program Manuals are available under the “Manual and Forms” tab of each program’s page:

Please see here for Institutional Policies

Academic Disputes Policy

A student with a PSR academic dispute should first contact the instructor in writing regarding the concern. If the student wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision, he or she should bring the matter to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar. This phase of consultation may involve information gathering from involved parties, an attempt at a resolution, and the student may be advised to submit an Academic Petition form with relevant supporting documentation if needed. If the dispute is not resolved during this phase, or if the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Assistant Dean & Registrar, then the petition, supporting materials which include efforts to resolve the dispute, and any additional documentation the student wishes to provide will be forwarded to the Dean, who will determine to either pass on to an Academic Committee or the Faculty for deliberation. The decision of the Committee or Faculty is final. The student will be informed of the decision by the Dean’s Office.

Academic disputes that are not related to a specific course or instructor should also be taken directly to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar, and a similar procedure of petitioning as described above may be implemented.

Grade disputes must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar within six months of the date the final grade is posted. Students are responsible for checking their grades online and when they are posted. Disputes after six months of posting will not be considered except in the case of clerical and/or instructor error. This time limit does not apply to grades of “I” (incomplete).

GTU Consortial Agreement Concerning Protocols for Responding to Student Complaints
Cross-registration of students in courses within the consortium is a valuable feature of the Graduate Theological Union. The GTU and all the member schools are committed to ensuring that students have appropriate recourse in the event that they have a complaint about some aspect of their experience while taking courses at a school other than their own. The following protocol is to be followed in any such cases, including but not limited to complaints concerning unfair discrimination, cultural insensitivity, sexual harassment, and disputes over grades and other forms of academic evaluation.

  1. Each school of the GTU is committed to giving students from all other schools access to its normal complaint process whenever they are taking courses or studying with faculty at the host school.
  2. Students are encouraged to attempt to resolve the complaint directly by raising the issue with the individual at the host school whose conduct is the focus of the complaint.
  3. If the matter cannot be resolved directly, the student should bring the complaint to the attention of the dean of the student’s own school.
  4. The dean of the student’s school will then contact the dean of the host school in order to help the student determine which policies and procedures at the host school are relevant in the situation.
  5. The normal policies and procedures of the host school will be followed, with the added proviso that the dean of the student’s school will be kept informed of the progress made in addressing the complaint.
  6. At the conclusion of the complaint resolution process, the dean of the host school will report the outcome in writing to both the student and the dean of the student’s school.

Approved by the Council of Deans, April 2010

PSR is committed to helping students realize their academic potential and eliminate physical, programmatic and attitudes that serve as barriers for students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disabilities in employment, education, public accommodations, transportation, state and government services, and telecommunications.

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States [. . .] shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

This policy and its procedures and resources relate to not just physical disabilities but also learning and other types of disabilities as well. All accommodations related to physical, psychological, learning etc. disabilities must be determined by the institution to not incur an undue institutional burden and should not substantively alter academic standards and learning outcomes of the programs.

Accessibility in Buildings, Grounds, and Campus Housing

PSR works to ensure that important private and public spaces on campus are accessible to those who use wheelchairs. Ramps or ground-level doors provide ready access to the administration building, chapel, dining hall, and classrooms. Please consult the PSR campus map and our PSR Campus Accessibility page for details to reach the reception desk, find automatic door openers at the west entrance of Holbrook Hall. Because of the hills around PSR, manually driven wheelchairs can be difficult to maneuver; motorized wheelchairs or scooters are advised.

Accommodations based on Dietary Needs

While PSR may mandate a meal plan depending on student program, type, and registration, students may petition to waive this requirement based on health needs by following the ADA Procedure and Forms along with a physician’s notice regarding your health conditions.

Accommodations based on Learning/ Mental/ Psychological/ Emotional Disabilities

Students may apply to for accommodations for more time, use of various tools and technologies, and in some cases even negotiate alternative modalities for exams and lectures (dependent on the faculty’s capacity to accommodate) based on learning, mental, or psychological disabilities. Consult the ADA Procedure and Forms well in advance before accommodations.

For students who may not necessarily know what accommodations would be most helpful or are unsure of what kind of disability they may have, the student may seek out a third party Education or Learning Assessment which PSR and the GTU do not provide. Students are also encouraged to seek resources, including financial assistance through the Department of Rehabilitation.

Temporary Accommodations and Disability

At times, students may require short-term accommodations due to a variety of reasons such as surgery, short-term illness, etc. For such short term disabilities, students are also encourages to apply for ADA accommodations by consulting the ADA Procedure and Forms and submit a physician’s notice. Students are also encouraged to inform the Disabilities Officer when accommodations are no longer needed.

Other Resources for Students with Disabilities

  • Physician Services: Kaiser Permanente
    For students enrolled in the GTU Health Insurance Plan with Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser offers psychiatric evaluation, counseling, and group therapy as covered under the insurance plan we offer. If you have health insurance with a different provider, contact your provider to find out more about the evaluation and therapy services they offer. If you have a physical or dietary disability, Kaiser physicians can provide you with a notice of your condition for you to submit with your ADA forms.
  • California Department of Rehabilitation
    Students with disabilities often are eligible for an evaluation, support, and resources from California’s Department of Rehabilitation. The Berkeley branch by Ashby BART is close and accessible to Berkeley students. Education is sometimes a part of vocational rehabilitation, and for this reason, this service can be especially helpful to PSR students to help identify which assistive technologies may be most helpful to students with disabilities and you may even qualify for financial reimbursement of some educational costs such as tuition and books.
  • Software and Technological Tools
    • Bookshare
      Accessible Online Library for people with print disabilities (braille for visually impaired, high quality text-to-speech books)
    • Kurzweil Scanning
      For reading materials not readily available in Bookshare or with text-to-speech, Kurzweil scans in text and applies OCR to enable text-to-speech
    • The Pomodoro Technique
  • Educational Assessments
    If you think you might have a learning disability but aren’t sure, you may want to seek an Learning or Educational Assessment. The Bay Area has several resources for assessing a learning or other disability. Some local services include:
  • Animals as Accommodations Policy
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • ADA Policies from the Federal Government

In general students requesting accommodations should file a request with the Graduate Theological Union to cover accommodations at all consortial campuses. To find out more, visit the GTU Students with Disabilities page.

If accommodations need to be arranged with a specific campus, the GTU Disabilities Resource Officer (DRO) will work with the appropriate personnel at each campus for these accommodations.

All documents related to your ADA status and/or request will be kept in confidential file separate from your academic file and will be destroyed within one year after you have either graduated, withdrawn, or been terminated from the institution.

For further PSR-specific questions related to accommodations, contact the Assistant Dean at PSR.

If you require campus accessiblity accommodations that you do not see listed below, please contact the Assistant Dean & Registrar at for either temporary or ongoing campus accommodations. It is strongly recommended that you contact our offices for any special accommodations or access arrangements well in advance of your arrival.

Buckham (PSR chapel, PSR 6, IT)

  • There is an outdoor wheelchair lift from the main level of the PSR campus to the basement level of the chapel where PSR 6 and IT offices are located. The lift is located on the northeast side of the PSR Chapel and must be operated by a key that can be requested from the Housing Director (, who will also orient you on how to operate the lift.
  • Accessible entrance to PSR chapel on west side of building
  • Wheelchair door activation switch at west entrance
  • One unisex accessible restroom on the west side of building
  • Hearing loop for the hearing impaired installed in front pews in PSR Chapel

D’Autremont Hall (community dining hall)

  • Wheelchair door activation button at main north side entrance
  • One accessible unisex restroom

Holbrook Hall (administrative and faculty offices)

  • One elevator in Holbrook that accesses level G, B, 1 (main level of campus), and 2. However, level G is not accessible by itself.
  • Holbrook elevator may be used by those who park in the outer lot to access to main level of PSR campus
  • To access elevator in Holbrook outside business days/hours, contact Housing Director (
  • Three Ramps to Holbrook
    -West entrance
    -South entrance to the Bade Museum/Doug Adams Gallery
    -Outer parking lot to “B” level of Holbrook
  • Wheelchair door activation switch at west entrance
  • One accessible unisex restroom by elevator on level 1

Mudd Building (classrooms)

  • One Ramp to west wing of Mudd at southwest entrance
  • Wheelchair door activation button at southwest entrance
  • Wheelchair door activation button at main south entrance
  • 1st floor accessible. 2nd floor not accessible. If you have a class scheduled on the second floor and need it to be moved to the 1st floor for accessibility reasons, please contact the PSR registrar at
  • Non-gender specific accessible restrooms on 1st floor, west wing of Mudd


  • Parking spaces for persons with disabilities are available in the outer lot (not under the Mudd building) on the north side of Holbrook Hall.
  • A parking attendant is available during business days and hours when class is in session.

Student, Faculty, and visitor on-campus Housing (private access only)

  • Benton: all 1st floor units are accessible
  • Castleview: Units 1 and A have fire alarms for hearing-impaired
  • McCown: one accessible 1-bedroom apt.
  • 1718 Scenic: one accessible studio apt.

For more information on private campus housing accessibility, contact the Housing Director (

On some occasions, students may feel that their prior undergraduate or graduate work that is either outside the lapsed-time rule or that has already been used toward the awarding of a prior degree should excuse them from having in essence repeat a required foundational introduction course that is normally required as part of their PSR program. They may feel that a more advanced course in that required field may better serve their educational needs. Such students may choose to petition for “advanced standing” in their PSR program.

With advanced standing status, students may have permission to forego a normally required basic foundational course and take another course in its stead to to fulfil the credits for that required area.

The difference between a transfer and advanced standing is that in the case of transfer, actual credits from another institution are used toward the fulfillment of PSR program requirements whereas in the case of advanced standing, only the course but not the credits are used toward fulfillment of PSR program requirements.

Students interested in petitioning for advanced standing use the same form for transfers but should note “advanced standing” as their interest. Since advanced standing applies only to foundational required areas or area of interest requirements, all petitions for advanced standing must be accompanied by syllabi of courses listed in the petition.

If advanced standing is approved, the student may waive taking the normally recommended basic introduction courses as required by their PSR program and instead substitute the credits by enrolling in a different more advanced course in the same area of your own choosing. Note that in the case of advanced standing, credits are not transferred and thus, credits must still be fulfilled by taking courses through PSR.

Petition Evaluation Periods

Petitions to Transfer/Advanced Standing and any new additional documents or appeals will be considered on the following schedule:

Submission Deadline Materials received by

Will receive a response by

September 30

October 30

December 30

January 30

March 30

April 30

June 30

July 30

If you wish to appeal a decision, please do so by submitting all additional syllabi and/or other documentation to support your appeal by the next deadline. Submissions that are not received in time by a deadline will processed at the next deadline. However note that petitions with complete documentation should be submitted by the end of the first semester of your program so that a decision may be rendered in time for you to plan your program. No requests for transfer or additional appeals will be considered after your first year at PSR except under special circumstances.

Transfer and Advanced Standing Petition Forms

Below are Petitions to Transfer Credit for GTU Common MA students and non-GTU Common MA students. Please fill out the appropriate form and submit to the PSR Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.

Petition to Transfer Credits & apply for Advanced Standing for PSR Students (non-GTU MA) >>

Petition to Transfer Credits & apply for Advanced Standing for GTU Common MA Students

Transferring credits

If you have completed credits from another CHEA-accredited seminary or university and that have not yet been awarded to a degree and fall within your PSR program’s lapsed-time rule, you may be eligible to transfer them into your PSR program. For more information on transfers, consult our Transfer Policy.

All degree and certificate students are assigned an advisor by the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs. The core faculty at PSR serve as student advisors in all degree and certificate programs. Advisors are key to each student’s progress through their program and are a great source of support, direction, and academic counseling. For programs that have milestones, you will usually be advisor consult with you on your milestone as needed.

For programs that have a thesis/project defense of some kind, your advisor will usually be the primary committee member for your defense.

Incoming student advisors or changes to advisor assignments are usually processed and emailed to students around the summer for incoming Fall students and in winter for incoming Spring students. If any urgent and necessary advising needs come up in the interim, the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs may assist students during these transitional periods.

Students find their advisor and advisors find their advisees by logging in to Sonis. They may also find each others’ contact information that way or through the PSR website. For stability reasons, we try to encourage maintaining the same advisor assignment throughout a students’ program, but in the case that a student wishes to change advisors, after the first semester at PSR, they may apply to switch advisors by submitting a Change of Advisor form to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar.

In cases of advisor retirement or sabbatical, students will be reassigned another advisor.

Sometime during your first semester, make an appointment with your advisor to acquaint yourselves with each other and review your plans for your program. Your advisor is there to support and mentor you through your program, so make sure that you meet with your advisor at least once a year to check in.

For some students especially those in the MA and DMin programs, it may be in your best interest to have regular more frequent conversations with your advisor, including those about course selection, since those programs may be more flexible yet require more specialization. For all other programs, it may be sufficient to meet with the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs for course selection questions.

While your advisor oversees your program, you are responsible and expected to take the initiative in communicating with your advisor regularly and in understanding and fulfilling the requirements for your program.

Note that in the MA program, students are assigned the core faculty person overseeing the area you choose on your application. If you change areas or school of affiliation, your advisor will likely change and vice versa.

Worksheet: Your program worksheet will be one of the most valuable resources for you as you plan your coursework and make course selections each semester. All course requirements are listed for you to follow on your worksheet. Using this document will ensure that you meet your program’s requirements. If you have any questions regarding your course selections, review this document with the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.

Assistant Dean for Academic Programs: For some programs such as the MDiv, the recommended course selection each semester is fairly clear by consulting the MDiv worksheet and Suggested Sequencing for 3-Year Plan, Alternatives to Basics, as well as all other guides located on the MDiv page. For all other programs, consult your program page for planning guides then feel free to email the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs for any uncertainties you may have in your course selection or to make an appointment to discuss your course selection further.

Faculty: Read your PSR Viewbook or the PSR faculty web page and their areas of interest and expertise. Choose classes taught by people whose work and approach interest and challenge you. In most cases you can read about other GTU faculty on the web sites of their affiliate schools.

GTU Courses: Consult the GTU Course Catalog and read the course descriptions carefully to ensure they are not restricted to students from the host school or denomination.

Student recommendations: Ask students for their recommendations. Choose not only the content, but the style of class in which you learn best. Each faculty member has a particular style of combining lecture, discussion, student participation, etc.

Syllabi: Faculty prepare syllabi for each course which they distribute at the first class and upload on Moodle through the Office of Academic Affairs for your perusal. Referring to these syllabi will give you a good idea of the required readings, lecture or class discussion topics, and method of evaluation for each class. Looking at these syllabi and their reading lists is a helpful way to discover whether the reading material for a course is of interest or help to you in your program. The GTU library holds a reserve of all available syllabi from all consortial schools.  Otherwise, log into Moodle and enter the class “PSR Syllabi” to view all the syllabi we have on file for our courses.

Attend a class: The best way to determine whether or not a class suits your needs is to attend the first class. Most professors use this class to introduce the course, discuss the syllabus, course requirements, evaluation, and pedagogical method. Once classes start, you have the first two weeks of the semester to “shop around” for classes, which is a good time to attend all the courses your are considering before you make your final decision. Note that limited enrollment classes can be closed prior to the first week of classes.

Students admitted to the academic doctoral programs at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) may be affiliated for non-academic reasons with Pacific School of Religion. It is understood that such affiliation is informal and for the mutual support and enrichment of the student and PSR. If, for some reason, the student or the school wishes to sever the affiliation relationship, this may be done at any time.

After students have been admitted to the GTU, they may apply for affiliation with PSR by completing the Affiliation Application and submitting it to the PSR Academic Affairs department. Applications must be received by PSR before the last semester of the student’s PhD program. Any applications received after this deadline will not be approved for affiliation. If the application is approved, the student and the GTU will receive a letter confirming this affiliation.

Once affiliation has been established, the student will receive information on being a part of the PSR community and assumes an obligation to conduct her/himself in a manner compatible with PSR’s mission, and to act in a manner which supports that mission. Any student who violates this standard may be asked to relinquish his/her affiliation with Pacific School of Religion.

Affiliated students participate in the community life of PSR through its worship and non-academic community events and will receive regular announcement of such events via email. Affiliated students have access to parking, meal tickets, a mailbox,, Mudd computer lab, Mudd student lounge, and housing at PSR, though each is subject to availability and published policies and priorities of the respective departments. Other access such as international student support, faculty advisement unless previously assigned, and ADA services may not be available to affiliates through PSR unless they are related to the resources above, and such services should be requested through the GTU. Affiliated students remain under the purview of the GTU with regard to academic policies.

Affiliated students are asked to notify both schools if their status as a GTU doctoral student changes or if they no longer wish to remain affiliated with PSR. Upon completion of all academic requirements according to the faculties and board of the Graduate Theological Union, an affiliated student may participate in the commencement exercises of PSR. The name of Pacific School of Religion appears on the diploma of all students who remain affiliated during their studies at the GTU, however the degree remains conferred by the GTU only.

Pacific School of Religion affirms its commitment to equality of opportunity for all individuals. This commitment requires that no discrimination shall occur regarding admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, any program

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Street Address (required)

City (required)

State (required)

Postal code (required)

Country (required)

Day phone

Evening phone

Date of birth (required)


Please list, in chronological order, your previous higher education. Note that a bachelor's degree is required to audit (required)

Term in which you wish to take classes

Note: Only applicants who qualify for a "special rate" (check off at least one of questions 1-7 below) should submit this application for Summer. All others should enroll for CEUs here at a lower rate.

Year in which you wish to take classes (required)

For what purposes do you wish to take courses?

What is your primary area of interest?

List the first class you would like to take. (required) (Look up course from GTU Master Course Schedule)

Do you wish to take this course for audit or for credit? (Required) Note that only applicants who qualify for a special rate by checking at least one of the questions (1-6) below may use this application to enroll for credit. All others interested in enrolling for credit should complete the Special Student Application instead.

List the second (if applicable) class you would like to take. (Look up course from GTU Master Course Schedule)

Do you wish to take this course for audit or for credit? (Required) Note that only applicants who qualify for a special rate by checking at least one of the questions (1-6) below may use this application to enroll for credit. All others interested in enrolling for credit should complete the Special Student Application instead.

Special Discount Category Questions #1-7

1. Are you a graduate of PSR?

If yes, degree and year of graduation

2. Have been you a Field Education Mentor/Supervisor within the past 5 years? If yes, please have the Field Education Director ( email the PSR registrar verification of your Mentor/Supervisor status.

3. Have you been a PSR Adjunct Faculty within the past 5 years?

4. Are you a PSR Staff or Faculty Emeriti?

5. Are you a special guest of PSR? If so, please forward the email approval of the Dean to the PSR Registrar.

6. Are you a regular employee (non-student worker) of PSR during the term you wish to take courses?

6a. If yes, enter your title and department, and please have your supervisor send the PSR registrar their approval

7. Are you a spouse of a PSR student (enrolled full time) during the term you wish to audit?

6a. If yes, name of your spouse & number of units spouse is registered for



Security & Facility Care Guidelines

Access to the Student Center, “Plato’s Cave”, D’Autremont Dining Hall, and the PSR Chapel is provided as a PSR community benefit. All rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis:

  • The Student Center is available 24/7
  • Dining Hall is available Monday thru Friday until 9:30 p.m. sharp.
  • Chapel is available 24/7 when it is not reserved

In order to ensure that the PSR community enjoys that intended benefit, it is necessary for all users to participate in observing a few security and facility care guidelines:

  • All facility users must acquire the necessary codes from the Academic Affairs Office (student/PSR-affiliation I.D. must be presented at the time the code requested is made)
  • All users must sign this “Accountability Covenant” indicating agreements to NOT SHARE the codes with others.
  • Access to codes should NOT BE SHARED WITH ANYONE ELSE (this is redundant, but absolutely bears repeating).
  • Users are also asked not to admit persons who have “left their codes at home” and/or cannot present adequate identification to show they are authorized users of the facilities.
  • Users must ensure that the facility door has closed completely upon leaving the building.
  • PSR Chapel: The code numbers to the chapel door near the outside bathroom may be used when the doors are locked before 8 am and after 5 pm, Monday thru Friday. If the chapel has been officially reserved, it is not available. Check at reception for reservations.
  • The Student Center’s Computer Lab Basic Guidelines are on the adjacent tab. Since we don’t have a paid staff to guard the space, please help enforce the rules below by reminding those who are using the computer lab about the rules.

Who may use the computer lab

Only PSR students are allowed in the Computer Lab. This includes GTU PhD & MA students who are officially affiliated with PSR.

Please be respectful

  • No loud (or distracting) music or conversations.
  • No cell phone conversations.
  • No food or drinks.

***Remember, this is an academic work space. Everyone must treat the computer lab just like a library. Please be respectful towards those who are working.***


  • Never prop the door for any reason.
  • Never open the door to those without a code (that is, do not open when they knock).

On the use of computers

  • Do not plug personal laptops into wired network in the computer lab.
  • Use your own USB flash to save personal files.
  • Do not save personal files to PSR computers.
  • Username and passwords for computers are posted at each computer


Vacuuming on Friday Evenings

  • On Friday evenings the lab will be vacuumed from 8:00 to 8:30 pm.
  • You must leave the lab during the time of the vacuuming.

Campus Safety & Clery Report

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, Pacific School of Religion provides information related to crime statistics and security measures to all current students, faculty and staff, and is required to notify recipients when the report is available. The current PSR annual security report is online.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law, originally known as the Campus Security Act. This legislation requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information pertaining to crimes that have been reported or occurred on or around college campuses, or in the vicinity of college properties on public properties, including properties owned or maintained by the college.

The annual report contains three years of campus crime statistics and must outline certain security policy and/or procedural statements, including sexual-assault awareness programs and reporting procedures. Specific information is provided regarding both the law-enforcement authority of campus security police and how and where the college community may report crimes.

Download the 2018 Pacific School of Religion Clery Report to read more on the following topics and more updated annually:

  • What to do in case of an Emergency
  • Missing Student Notification Policy
  • Campus Safety
  • PSR’s Main Security Provisions
  • Access to PSR Campus and Buildings
  • Security of PSR Campus Buildings
  • Procedures to Report Criminal Activity and Emergencies
  • Information about Registered Sex Offenders
  • Drug Free Campus and Workplace
  • Sexual Assault and Rape
  • Crime Statistics
  • Student Housing & Fire Safety Report
  • Crime Report & Internal Investigation Form/ PSR Crime Incident Report Form
  • GTU Alert System

During their time at PSR, students may feel the need to adjust their program of study in order to best meet their current educational and vocational goals.

In order to be eligible to add or change their program, students must have met the following criteria:

  • Must have completed at least 9 credits in their current program;
  • Are making Satisfactory Academic Progress in their current program;
  • Have spoken with PSR Financial Aid and are aware of the ramifications, if any, the changes they are applying for will have on their financial aid; and,
  • Have met with their Academic Advisor as well as the Assistant Dean and Registrar to discuss how they will complete the new program(s) they are applying for.

Once the student has met all of the above criteria, they must complete an Application to Add or Change Programs and submit any required additional application documents as instructed on the application by April 1 (for fall applications) or October 1 (for spring applications).

Once the application has been completed by the deadline, depending on the addition or change being made, the application materials will then be reviewed by either the Assistant Dean and Registrar or the Office of Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid.

Pacific School of Religion (the School) is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work and that our students invest in their studies represents a significant part of our culture. We embrace and encourage our employees’ and students’ differences in age, race, color, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, medical condition, religion, marital status, domestic partner status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Pacific School of Religion affirms its commitment to equality of opportunity for all individuals.

The School prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, including harassment, intimidation, and violence. This commitment requires that no discrimination shall occur regarding admission, or access to, or treatment or employment in, any program or activity in the seminary on the basis of age, race, color, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, citizenship status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, religion, marital status, domestic partner status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of PSR’s programs and activities.

The School is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. We want to have the best available persons in every job. The School is committed to compliance with all applicable laws providing equal employment opportunities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

This policy also prohibits discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of these characteristics listed above, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of these characteristics. Discrimination can also include failing to reasonably accommodate religious practices.

Please note: Pacific School of Religion is a school of religion and as such there are some occasions where religious doctrine, religious preference or personal beliefs or characteristics may be a bona fide qualification or limitation with regard to employment or with regard to participation in a particular program or activity.

This commitment applies to all persons involved in School operations and prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee of the School, including supervisors and co-workers.

To comply with applicable laws ensuring equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, the School will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or an employee unless undue hardship would result. The School responds to requests for disability accommodations in accordance with applicable law.

The School provides a procedure whereby complaints of discrimination based on this policy can be resolved. If the School determines that unlawful discrimination has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken commensurate with the severity of the offense. Appropriate action also will be taken to deter any future discrimination. The School will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint and will not knowingly permit retaliation by management, employees or your co-workers.

As part of Pacific School of Religion’s equal employment opportunity policy, PSR will also take action to ensure that minority group individuals, females, veterans, and qualified disabled persons are introduced into our workforce and student body.

The School’s diversity initiatives are applicable—but not limited—to our practices and policies on employee and student recruitment and selection; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social programs; and the ongoing development of a community environment built on the premise of gender equity that encourages and enforces respectful communication and cooperation between all employees and students.

The above-mentioned policies shall be periodically brought to the attention of employees and students and shall be appropriately administered. All personnel who are responsible for hiring and promoting employees and for the development and implementation of programs and activities are charged to support this policy. An Equal Opportunity Officer will be responsible for the establishment and implementation of procedures to guide our diversity program throughout the School. This includes monitoring diversity-related decisions and activities.

This chart summarizes some of the common policies of each PSR program with their different parameters such as

  • minimum required units
  • expected length of program
  • maximum total length of each program allowed including time off (leave of absence)
  • what constitutes full time for each program
  • maximum independent study credits SRC 9999’s
  • maximum number of incompletes (extensions you can take in a course)
  • minimum number of PSR credit to fulfill residency requriement
  • maximum number of Summer Session credits
  • cross registration limits
  • basic foundational courses
  • milestones, etc.

While this chart does not encompass all requirements for all PSR programs  and there may be additional or special qualifications, processes, paperwork, and approval needed. For a complete description of the program requirements described in this chart, consult program manuals, the academic program director, and any academic announcements for additional qualifications or changes that may occur during a student’s program. To download, click on the Academic Programs Common Policies Chart.

In all degree programs, one-third of all credits earned toward the degree, including transfer credits from within and outside the GTU, must be earned from PSR courses. For actual number of units in each program, consult the Academic Programs Common Policies Chart.


For the 2015-16 Academic Year

Pacific School of Religion – students, staff, faculty, and trustees – seeks to inspire a world of abundance, compassion and justice where all can thrive and flourish. To that end, the following Covenant presents qualities we seek to uphold in our life and work together.

Building on a foundation of truth, love and our identity as an institution of spiritual faith and practice, PSR desires to create and sustain an environment of “fearless welcome and radical hospitality.” Based on our belief that each individual is divinely empowered to create this community of inclusion and affirmation, we witness this co-creative enterprise to honor and value our diversity as a source of communal strength. We further commit ourselves to doing the difficult work together, supported by God’s grace, when living into this reality exceeds our realm of comfort and human capacity.

PSR is an ecosystem of interdependent connections – which includes not just our human relationships, but our connections to animals and the land and environment upon and within which we exist. Thus, we also affirm these covenantal intentions to respect and engage with PSR’s existing and evolving policies and practices, as they have been developed to express our institutional values and to foster safe, healthy and sustainable community.



. Respect and celebrate our unique and diverse identities, perspectives and pathways, and to practice an attitude of “fearless welcome and hospitality,” embracing all of who we are— through both self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
. Practice “drawing the circle of community wider” to include rather than exclude
. Celebrate our growing edges by listening and speaking authentically
. Remember our common humanity and practice forgiveness with generosity and discernment
. Honor and support the value of our own self-care and that of others

COMMUNICATION (Ephesians 4:15)


. Communicate in ways that foster a community of respect, safety, intellectual growth and vibrant spirituality
. Communicate with conscious awareness of our inter-connectedness in body, mind, and spirit and seek to “understand as well as be understood”
. Build and affirm the safety of our community by practicing patience and speaking our truth directly and compassionately
. Invite every person in our community to enter dialogue, assuming the best of intentions of all involved
. Engage our communications around topics and issues rather than personalities

NEGOTIATING CONFLICT (Romans 12: 17 – 18)


. Create spaces safe enough to risk truth-sharing
. Step out of [or avoid]

hiding in silence when difficulties arise
. Find value in differing perspectives
. Approach one another as allies and not enemies
. Be committed to healing and reconciliation
. When appropriate, engage institutional policies and processes designed to mediate conflict


This covenant is a living document which we will revisit each year and adapt as community needs and expectations grow and change. We are committed to infusing awareness and practice of this covenant into the full institutional life of our seminary – spiritual, theological, academic, social, and environmental – thereby engaging the entire community in “covenant keeping.”

That being said, we understand and expect that there will be times when our Covenant is broken. In such cases, we will seek to have our responses to alleged or confirmed fractures be guided by pastoral concern and practice. Every effort will be made to resolve breaches in a manner intended to be respectful, reconciling, restorative, liberating and healing.

Community Covenant Workshop Team: Alex Rush, Eli’jah Carroll, Grace Gilliam, Laurie Isenberg, Schmian Evans with support and facilitation of OCL staff, Ann Jefferson and Alison West.

In preparing this document we reviewed Covenants and/or Codes of Conduct from the following institutions: Auburn Theological Seminary, Andover Newton, Brite Divinity School, Candler School of Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, Drew, Harvard, Lexington, Seattle University, United Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Wesley, and Yale.

Our Covenant was also influenced by prior work of the Unitarian Universalist Association in helping their congregations develop “Covenants of Right Relations.

For PSR courses, one (1.0) semester credit hour requires the following minimum work:

  • one hour of instructor mediated learning and
  • three hours of outside of class study weekly

for an average fifteen (15) week semester.

Thus, one three credit hour (3.0) course would require a minimum of 12 hours of work per week (3 instructor mediated hours plus 9 outside study hours) for 15 weeks.

Time per Credit

For each graduate credit awarded by a course at Pacific School of Religion, students should be spending approximately one hour (50 minutes) in contact with the instructor and three hours (150 minutes) on course work outside of class per week over the equivalent of a 15-week semester.
This applies to face-to-face, intensive, and online classes alike.

  • 1.0 credit course = 13 hours of direct contact plus 38 hours outside of class
  • 1.5 credit course = 19 hours of direct contact plus 56 hours outside of class
  • 3.0 credit course = 38 hours of direct contact plus 113 hours outside of class

These figures are targets, not absolutes. Courses may exceed the expectations, or the ratio of direct contact to outside work may vary somewhat.

Students may not miss more than 10% of direct contact time within a given course. Students who miss 10%, or more, of any course are subject to an automatic fail unless the missing contact hours can be made up by the student and faculty meeting outside of the normal class hours (this is completely dependent on faculty wiliness and availability as it is not required for faculty to do so).

Learning outcomes for classes that have multiple formats are to be identical across format.  Format should have no effect on quality or quantity of learning outcomes.

Hours Outside of Class

“Hours outside of class” include advance and daily readings, writing, participation in online discussions, studying, reflection, projects, final papers, etc.

Intensive Classes

Intensive classes take place in summer and January sessions. They typically meet for four or eight hours per day, five days a week. Because we cannot expect students in a five or ten day course to spend 10+ hours per day studying outside of class, substantial student work ahead of and/or following the actual course dates is to be expected.

In the case of 3.0 credit classes that meet for 60 hours (3 weeks), direct contact hours exceed the 38 hour expectation. You may subtract the additional 22 hours of in-class time from the 113 required hours of out of class time, resulting in a target of 91 hours of out of class work time expected.

Online Classes

Online classes warrant further clarification, as definitions of “contact with the instructor” and “hours outside of class” are less obvious. As stated in Department of Education’s DCL ID: GEN-11-06:

The credit hour definition does not emphasize the concept of “seat time” (time in class) as the primary metric for determining the amount of student work for Federal purposes. Institutions may assign credit hours to courses for an amount of work represented by verifiable student achievement of institutionally established learning outcomes. Credits may be awarded on the basis of documentation of the amount of work a typical student is expected to complete within a specified amount of academically engaged time, or on the basis of documented student learning calibrated to that amount of academically engaged time for a typical student.

We see a similar line of reasoning in the Department of Education’s Program Integrity Q&A document ():

How would an institution apply the definition of a credit hour if the institution offers asynchronous online courses that are not also offered in a classroom setting?

CH-A4: There is no “seat time” requirement implicit in the definition of a credit hour. An institution that is offering asynchronous online courses would need to determine the amount of student work expected in each online course in order to achieve the course objectives, and to assign a credit hour based on at least an equivalent amount of work as represented in the definition of credit hour. [Guidance issued 3/18/2011]

Welcome to PSR Dining!

Dining room open Monday – Friday (closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays)
Monday through Friday 11:30am – 1:30pm

Hours and walk-in prices (as of January 15, 2019)

Monday – Friday

  • Lunch 11:30 am until 1:30 pm – $11.00
  • Dinner CLOSED

Meal Cards

  • 5 meal card: $46 ($9.20 per meal)
  • 20 meal card: $175 ($8.75 per meal)


  • Buffet meals
  • House made soups
  • Vegetarian options
  • 25 item salad bar
  • House made desserts

à la carte items for sale

  • Fountain drinks                        $1.00
  • Coffee                                     $1.00
  • Tea                                          $1.00
  • Juice                                        $2.00
  • Milk                                         $1.00
  • Dessert                                   $1.50


Students are permitted to take their meals to go instead of eating in the facility. Diners will be able to purchase a reusable to-go container for $5. The used container can be rinsed, returned to the dining hall, and exchanged for a clean container. The returned containers will be washed and sanitized by the dinning staff and then be available for reuse. As long as a diner brings in a used container, there is no additional cost to the diner for the next box. Disposable boxes are available for $0.75 each. At the end of the semester, the diner can keep the container or return it for a $5 refund.

Boxes can be exchanged for a token when not in use.

Meal Plans

Effective July 1, 2018

The d’Autremont dining facility is a student amenity funded largely through the sale of meals and from the community support fee.

Non-dormitory students receive one Block 20 meal card each semester at no charge. The Block 20 card is transferrable.

Dormitory students participate in PSR’s board plan. PSR grants exemptions from PSR’s board plan on a case-by-case basis for religious or medical dietary restrictions that PSR cannot accommodate. Medical restrictions require written documentation from a licensed physician addressing the specific accommodations required, e.g., meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. PSR is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. Students with medical notes specifying dietary restrictions should meet with the dining hall chef to discuss feasible accommodations. The chef will determine whether PSR is able to accommodate restrictions.

Students may appeal the chef’s decision to a panel of arbiters composed of a PSR student, PSR’s director of community living, and PSR’s chief business officer. The panel’s determination will be final.

If PSR is unable to accommodate restrictions, dormitory students may be eligible for some amount of discount at PSR’s sole discretion.
PSR’s Board Plan is required for all students living in dormitory housing. It includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dormitory Board Plan:
• Unlimited entry
• Required for students living in dormitories
• Available to all students
• Students taking only online, distance, blended, or hybrid courses may petition to the Business Office to waive this requirement.

Block 20 Plan:
• Includes 20 meals throughout the semester
• Required for all non-dorm students in degree programs that require on-campus presence
• Non-dormitory residents will receive one Block 20 card each semester at no charge
• Non-transferable
• Expires at the end of the academic year
• Cannot be replaced if lost

Block 5 Plan:
• Includes 5 meals throughout the semester
• Non-transferable
• Expires at the end of the academic year
• Cannot be replaced if lost.

Dining Policies and Procedures

One of our main goals is to provide a pleasant, clean, comfortable and satisfying dining experience. In order to meet this goal, we ask for your assistance with the following procedures:

  • Valid meal card is required at each meal attended.
  • Meal cards may only be used by person to whom it is issued.
  • Meal cards can be used for guests if accompanied by the owner of the card.


Dining Hall Policy

The D’Autremont dining facility is a student amenity funded largely through the sale of meals and from the Community Association of PSR (CAPSR) fee. Non-dormitory students receive one Block 20 meal card each semester at no charge. The Block 20 card is transferrable. Dormitory students participate in PSR’s room and board plan.


Dormitory students with dietary restrictions based on religion should consult with the dining hall chef.


Dormitory students with dietary restrictions based on medical conditions require written documentation from a licensed physician addressing the specific accommodations required, e.g., meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. Please submit your doctor’s letter and the form — found on PSR’s website — to PSR’s Chief Business Officer (CBO) who will discuss your dietary restrictions anonymously with the Dining Hall’s Chef to determine whether PSR is able to accommodate your restrictions. Be certain to state the specific accommodations you are requesting.  Your medical information will remain confidential; only your dietary needs will be shared with dining hall personnel.


If PSR is unable to accommodate restrictions, dormitory students may be eligible for some amount of discount at PSR’s sole discretion.

Dietary Needs

Do you have particular dietary needs or restrictions? Let us know and we will try to accommodate them.

Seconds Anyone?

Meals are always “all you care to eat.” In an effort to reduce food waste, please consider selecting only one entree at a time. You are always welcome to come back for seconds if you like.

Contact Us!

We invite and encourage you to contact us with questions, comments or suggestions. Please share your feedback, comments and or suggestions in person or by email.

Andrew Maxon, Chef/Manager

Dietary Needs

Do you have particular dietary needs or restrictions? Let us know and we will try to accommodate them.

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) requires all schools receiving federal funding of any kind (i.e. CWSP, Perkins Loans) to notify all employees of the following on an annual basis and all students at the time of matriculation:

The Pacific School of Religion and other GTU schools require that their campuses be drug free. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance while at PSR is prohibited. Abuse of alcohol (including underage drinking) on PSR premises is also not allowed. Violation of this policy will be considered cause for termination from employment or from a student’s program of study.

PSR is required to impose sanctions, up to and including the dismissal, of any employee/student engaged in the abuse of alcohol or the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs while on PSR or member school premises. Any employee/student involved in such illegal activity is subject to legal sanctions under local, State, and Federal law. (Information regarding specific penalties is available at PSR Business Office.) In addition, an employee/student convicted of any criminal drug statute for a violation occurring in the workplace/campus is required to notify the Personnel Officer or the President/Dean, of such a conviction no later than five days from the date of the conviction.

PSR and its member schools comply with California State law, which prohibits possession or use of alcohol by or sale of alcohol to, anyone less than twenty-one years of age. Abuse of alcohol on PSR campus is prohibited.

(Persons who qualify under California Proposition 215 to use marijuana for medical purposes are not permitted to possess, store, provide, or use the marijuana on any PSR owned or controlled property, including, but not limited to academic buildings, student housing and residences, parking lots, library and offices, or during any PSR sanctioned activity regardless of location. Failure to follow this policy may result in termination of employment and/or dismissal from academic programs, in addition to prosecution by police authorities.)

The health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol are many. Detailed information concerning the known health hazards resulting from the abuse of drugs and alcohol may be obtained from your physician, or from PSR Personnel Officer/Director of Community Life.

Several drug and alcohol counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are available to PSR faculty, students and employees. Check your health insurance program for the closest location. In addition you may find these resources helpful:

  • The New Bridge Foundation, 1820 Scenic Avenue in Berkeley provides assessment, residential inpatient rehabilitation programs, partial day programs, outpatient individual and group counseling sessions and educational workshops. New Bridge accepts private insurance.
  • The Merritt Peralta Institute at Summit Medical Center provides residential inpatient, outpatient, day treatment, workshops and group counseling. It may be reached at 510/652-7000.
  • A local Alcoholics Anonymous may be reached at 510/839-8900 and a local Narcotics Anonymous program may be reached at 510/444-4673.
    See the Personnel Dept. or Community Life for complete delineation of policy and educational programs for drug and alcohol abuse.

See the Personnel Department or Community Life for complete delineation of policy and educational programs for drug and alcohol abuse.

Email Account Activation /Termination email accounts are created for all PSR students in a graduate degree or certificate program (auditors, Special Students, and continuing education students do not receive email accounts). This account is mandatory and the only email address PSR will use for communication with students. All email accounts are issued as <first initial last name>, unless the username is already in use by another student. In that case a number will be appended to the username (example: <first initial last name>

Your email account will continue to stay active as long as you use it, even after leaving PSR. You must log into your account at least once per year to keep the account valid. If after one year you do not log into your account the account will be deleted from the database and all email and related information stored in the account will be lost forever. A warning message will be sent to the email address 30 days prior to the account being deleted, to alert the user of our intent.

Email Forwarding
Some users choose to forward all emails from their account to another address. This is a good option for those that do not want to have to check the account regularly, though it is still the responsibility of the user to log into their account at least once per year to keep it active. It is also recommended that students whitelist their address on their accounts to prevent important email from being marked as spam. How this is configured varies for every email service, and is beyond the scope of this document. In general you want to permanently mark as valid and not spam any email sent from your email address.

Questions concerning this policy or the PSR provided student email accounts should be directed to

For directions on how to log in to your PSR email account, click here:
To skip the directions and go straight to your account, click here:

GTU Common MA students: In addition to updating this information in your student account, please call the GTU Student Affairs Office at 510/649-2400 to make sure they receive your contact information updates. All students, even those on leave, under supervision, on internship, or otherwise away from campus but still active students are responsible for checking their email for PSR to ensure they meet academic deadlines.

Check Sonis to ensure the school has your most current information including address and denomination on file. If you just have a quick update, you may send your update to either the Registrar. If you have a name change, you will need to file a copy of the official document indicating your name change with the Registrar. If you have a nickname you preferred to be called by but isn’t your legal name, please make sure you indicate what that is at the Admissions stage with a Student Information form. If your preference changes during your program here, you may email

The following guidelines apply to Pacific School of Religion courses and assume that the student is responsible for explicitly requesting to the instructor the extra time as described below.

  • PSR faculty are encouraged to consider extending for one week the deadline for term papers submitted by ESL students, if the student states that this extended time is for the purpose of securing the assistance of the International Student Tutors or other such editorial assistance.
  • PSR faculty are encouraged to consider permitting ESL international students 50% more time to complete written examinations.

This policy pertains to PSR courses only and may not necessarily apply to non-PSR courses.

Extensions For Program: Lapsed Time Rule

Each degree and certificate program is to be completed in an expected number of years. However, if you are part time, you may still take courses that count toward your degree over more years, as long as you are within your program’s lapsed time rule. Remember that time lapse begins when the first course you want to use toward your degree starts, even transferred courses from other institutions, and time lapse even includes semesters/years you were on leave or not an active student.

Extensions beyond the expected graduation time may be subject to the approval of the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar in consultation with your advisor. Such extensions do not entail a continuation of housing and/or financial aid priveleges, and you may have to seek non-campus housing and other sources of income if you wish to continue beyound your program’s expected time.

Extensions beyond the maximum allotted time as stated in the lapsed-time rule must be specially approved by the Dean and most likely will result in the loss of eligible coursework to be applied to your degree/certificate, which may mean you will need to re-take some of your earliest coursework. Therefore it is in your best interest to graduate sometime within the lapsed time rule.

Degree/Certificate Expected time Lapse Time
MDiv 3 years 10 years
MA 2 years 4 years
MA/MDiv 4 years 6 years
MTS 2 years 5 years
DMin & CTS & CST 3 years 6 years
CSS & CAPS 1 year 2 years
CSR 2 years 4 years
CSSC 1 year 3 years

Extensions For Courses

All coursework is due by the end of the semester (5 pm of the last day of the semester as listed in the GTU course schedule), except in cases where illness or other serious circumstances make this impossible. If an extension is needed, before the end of the semester you must secure the signature of the instructor and the Associate Dean on a Petition to Take an Incomplete form. Deadlines for the completion of incomplete work after each semester are found in the academic calendar. Generally, three additional weeks are allowed. When the grade is submitted, it replaces the “I” grade. Incompletes not resolved within the appropriate time limit appear on the transcript as I/F (Incomplete/Fail) and will affect your grade point average as it will be counted as a failed grade.

The following degree/certificate programs have the following maximums:

  • MDiv: 5 incompletes allowed
  • All other degree and certificate programs: 3 incompletes allowedPSR strives to make all programs accessible to students with disabilities. If you wish to request extensions for assignments and exams due to a disability, please contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar.
  • After the maximum number of incompletes has been reached, a fail is recorded for all courses where work is not completed on time. Any student who has earned an I/F (Incomplete/F) must then file an appeal according to the Academic Disputes Policy within the stipulated time frame in that policy. Petition to Take an Incomplete forms are also available in front of Holbrook 135, or you may obtain one online by clicking the link for the form above. For Summer Session, students must complete all course requirements by the instructor’s deadline.  CEU students are not eligible for extensions.

When  you accept financial assistance, you are acknowledging that you have read, understand, and agree to comply with the terms and responsibilities listed below and all applicable federal regulations:

  • An award will be made in accordance with all current regulations and appropriations of the federal government and PSR. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to adjust or withdraw an award in the event of changes in policy, appropriation, or unintended error.
  • Your award is based on the projected enrollment status as indicated on your Financial Aid Application. If you enroll in fewer units than projected or drop classes which bring you below the projected units, your award will be adjusted accordingly or withdrawn completely. Funding is not guaranteed for in­creased enrollment. Students on internship or CPE will have institutional aid and/or Work Study awards revoked, if offered.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to remain eligible for institutional and federal financial aid. If you withdraw or cease to carry out the required half-time credit load, you must contact PSR Financial Aid and make arrangements to repay any aid for which you are no longer eligible.
  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or Gainful Employment program for continued eligibility.
  • All financial aid (both federal and institutional) is limited to the minimum number of attempted academic credits required to complete your program, and will be applied to only those courses that meet program completion requirements.
  • If you received aid for which you are no longer eligible, you must make arrangements to repay that aid.
  • You must provide accurate information. In most instances, misreporting information on financial aid forms is a violation of federal law and may be a criminal offense, which could result in indictment under the US Criminal Code.
  • Applications may be subject to US Department of Education verification procedures. If required, you must provide verification documents requested by PSR Financial Aid in a timely manner. An award is subject to adjustment or cancellation if aid eligibility changes as a result of the verification process.
  • Total financial aid cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance and need-based aid cannot exceed the calculated financial need. Therefore,  if you receive additional outside aid, your financial aid award may result in adjustments to your award package.
  • Recipients of federal loans must complete the online entrance counseling requirement before receiving any funds.
  • If an award includes Federal Work Study, necessary employment forms must be completed prior to beginning work. Work-Study employment is contin­gent upon availability and is not guaranteed.
  • In cases of withdrawal or leave of absence before the end of a semester, awards will be adjusted in accordance with the refund policy of your school and federal funds will be returned to aid sources as required by federal law.
  • Recipients of federal loans must complete mandatory exit counseling prior to separation from your school either by graduation, less than half­-time enrollment, leave of absence, or withdrawal.
  • With the exception of Federal Work-Study, financial aid awards will be credited to your student account at the Business Office.
  • Summer enrollment, because it is optional in many cases, is not included in the Cost of Attendance. Students wishing to enroll in PSR for-credit courses during summer should contact the Financial Aid Office to better understand the effect Summer enrollment will have on their federal aid.   
  • For those students who are residing or will reside in PSR on-campus housing, please note that Summer rent is ineligible to be covered by federal or institutional (PSR scholarship) aid, unless students are enrolled at least half-time during the Summer session, in which case, federal aid may be available. Students not enrolled at least half-time should plan on meeting their Summer expenses through their own means. Please note that federal regulations prevent federal aid disbursed in a subsequent term cannot be applied by PSR to cover a previous balance, including summer housing (For example, PSR cannot apply a student’s Fall 2017 federal aid to cover a Summer 2017 housing balance).

When you accept financial assistance, you must  notify  the Financial Aid Office:

  • If your address changes at any time during the academic year;
  • If your enrollment status changes or if you withdraw from school at any time during the academic year;
  • If the amount and source of any additional financial aid or resource you receive is not shown on your financial aid package. Examples of such aid include: support from religious affiliations, outside scholarships, support from private organizations, AmeriCorps awards, etc.

For any questions  or concerns, please contact us at the following:

Pacific School of Religion

Office of Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid

1798 Scenic Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94709

510-849-8931 {phone), 510-845-8948 (fax)

Pacific School of Religion 2017-2018 Financial Aid Verification Policy

In accordance with regulations set forth by the United States Department of Education, the Office of Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid verifies every Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that has been selected for Verification before need-based federal aid can be disbursed. Verification ensures the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA. The process reduces errors and ensures that eligible students receive all of the federal financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid for which they do not qualify.

A FAFSA application may be selected by the United States Department of Education Central Processing Service or by PSR Financial Aid.  Reasons for being selected include, but are not limited to:

  • Incomplete data
  • Inconsistent and/or incongruent data
  • Random selection
  • Estimated income tax information

Students are notified if their FAFSA is selected for Verification via a comment on the Student Aid Report (SAR) that is provided to them after submitting their FAFSA as well as by PSR Financial Aid via e-mail. The email will be generated and sent as soon as we receive the FAFSA data from the Department of Education.

Students selected for Verification should submit the required documents no later than the first day of classes in their next upcoming term of enrollment. Financial aid will not be awarded until completion of the Verification process. In some extreme cases, students who have been selected but who cannot complete the process may appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for a preliminary award. A preliminary award may be granted if the appeal documentation is merited. In either case, whether a new or returning student is selected, no federal aid can be disbursed until the Verification process is completed.

FAFSA data items that may need to be verified include, but are not limited to:

  • Household size
  • Number in college
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Tax liability
  • Untaxed income
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP)
  • Child Support Paid

To complete Verification, students will be required to submit the following documentation to PSR Financial Aid:

PSR Financial Aid will notify the student via e-mail if additional documentation is required. Please do not send copies of tax returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ). The U.S. Department of Education regulations state we can only verify using tax return transcripts, or by use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

Should any corrections to the student’s FAFSA be necessary, PSR Financial Aid will instruct the student to make the corrections to their FAFSA based on the Verification documentation via e-mail. Once the corrections are made, a financial aid award can be packaged based on the new and verified FAFSA transaction that is sent to us.

Should PSR Financial Aid have reason to believe that the information submitted on the FAFSA and/or the Verification documents has been altered and/or misreported in order to fraudulently receive federal need-based aid, all questionable evidence will be submitted to the Office of the Inspector General at the California Regional Office.

Updated 4/27/17

For all programs except the Master of Arts program, full-time status is achieved at 9.0 units or more per semester, and 4.5 units per semester is considered half time. For MA students, full-time is at 12.0 units or more, and 6.0 units is considered half time. For agencies that require status reporting during other terms besides Fall and spring the definitions are as follows. During the Intersession term, 3.0 credits is considered full-time, and during the Summer term, 6.0 credits is considered full-time. PSR can verify load status for only courses registered through PSR. Transferred courses or courses taken concurrently outside of the consortium to not contribute to load status as reported by PSR.

Often eligibility for certain programs such as housing, financial aid, loan deferment, some veteran’s benefit programs, and immigration status, so check with the policies of these department to ensure your load is appropriate for the eligibilities you are seeking.

Note that these standards do not necessarily define how many units need to completed each year in order to finish in the program’s prescribed time. In many cases, it may be necessary to take more than 18.0 units per year to complete your program on time. To find how the recommended load per year for your program, consult Part I of your program manual or consult the Common Academic Policies Chart.

International students must be at full time status at all times for reasons related to visa status. The only exceptions in which this is not necessary is in the case that an MDiv student is enrolled in Field Education Internship (FE 1011-1014 series) or a DMin student is under supervision (DM 6005) or thesis status (DM 6011). If international MA students are below 12.0 units, they must register for MA 5000 or MABL 5005 for the remaining units to reach full time load.

Generally semester loads above 15.0 credits are discouraged. If you are planning to take more than 15.0 credits in one semester, you may be required to have a consultation with the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and/or your advisor.

Grades are pedagogical tools to help students understand two things: (1) where they stand on any one assignment in relation to others in the class (since grading is mainly a comparative matter); and (2) whether they have fully mastered a particular assignment or need to do further work on it before moving on to the other issues. Thus, assigned grades should communicate the following. The grade point average (GPA) associated with each letter grade (LG) is also listed below.

Letter Grades

GPA   LG     Explanation

4.0      A+     Publishable material; superb work, far beyond the level of excellence generally found in student work.

4.0      A       Excellent work; work that shows a level of mastery consistently beyond the expected scope of the assignment;

3.7      A-      Excellent work; work that shows a general level of mastery usually beyond the expected scope of the assignment but also indicates a few instances of only adequate levels of mastery;

3.3      B+     Very good work; work that indicates a consistently full and adequate mastery of the assignment at the expected level;

3.0      B       Good work; work that indicates a basically adequate level of understanding of the assignment but where improvements are clearlypossible;

2.7      B-      Passable work; work that shows a beginning grasp of the assignment but that needs improvement and additional study to reach a level of adequate mastery;

2.3      C+     Weak work; work that indicates significant lacunae in understanding, execution, or critical engagement; much additional study is needed to adequately fulfill the assignment;

2.0      C       Poor work; work that shows a lack of overall understanding of the assignment;

1.7      C- through D-       Levels of extremely poor work; work that indicates varying degrees
 –                                       of severe weakness in understanding, execution, and critical
0.7                                  engagement; student needs to begin studying all over again;

0.0      F        Failure — Consistent inability to understand, execute and critically engage the material; student receives no credit for assignment or class.

Other Grades

The following are some other grades that PSR uses and their explanations. No credits are given for courses that receive an AUD, IF, F, NC, NR, and W. All grades except for IF (which is counted in GPA calculation as an “F”) do not affect GPA. Countinuing Education Units (CEU’s) do not carry academic credit.

AUD = audit.
I = incomplete (PSR does not have permanent “I”s)
IF = incomplete failure due to either students not submitting final work to instructor or no
replacement grade given by instructor
IP = in progress (IP units may not be used toward graduation requirements)
NC = no credit (usually given in non-audited courses offered for 0.0 units)
NR = not recorded (students should contact instructors to resolve)
P = pass
S = satisfactory, given for CEU courses in which CEU requirements were fulfilled
NS = non-satisfactory, given for CEU courses, in which CEU requirements were not completed
W = withdrawal

Some courses are offered only on a pass/fail on basis. You may request permission to take a pass/fail course for letter grade, but this option is always subject to the consent of the instructor. When a course is taken for pass/fail, pass is the equivalent of C or better. Fail indicates the level of C- or below. No credits are given for courses that fail. If a student anticipates additional graduate work, it is not advisable to take academic courses pass/fail, particularly in the anticipated field of study. For infomation on what restrictions there may be to take pass/fail courses in your particular program, consult your program manual.

Policy on Unsubmitted Grades

PSR shall take appropriate and reasonable measures to communicate with instructors to ensure that course grade are submitted within a reasonable amount of time in accordance with published deadlines. In the case that an instructor is incapacitated, unresponsive, or otherwise unable to submit grades two (2) months beyond the stipulated deadline, the PSR Dean shall assign another faculty person to evaluate final work and assign grades to registered students.

Other Information on Grades

Required foundational or basic courses must be taken for a letter grade, unless specified as “P/F only” in the course description.  Grades are always accessible to students via Sonis. Also after each Fall and Spring students will receive an unofficial hard copy of their grades up to the most current semester. Generally GTU Common MA and MDiv/MA students will not have GPA’s appear on their official transcripts.

A course may be repeated once to improve a poor or failing grade (no letter grade other than D or F). When a course is repeated, the previous grade is replaced with a “W” and remain on the transcript for 0.0 credits, and the new grade and units are used to calculate GPA and show up on the transcript for the semester in which the course was repeated.

For information on required GPA’s, consult the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy: For more information on disputing grades, consult the Academic Disputes Policy. For any other questions regarding grades, contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and Registrar.

Degrees and Certificates are conferred twice a year: at the end of the Fall Semester and at the end of the Spring Semester. This is not to be confused with the Graduation/Commencement Ceremony. The graduation ceremony happens one time a year at the end of the Spring Semester. In order to be eligible to participate, your degree/certificate requirements must be met by the end of the Spring Semester. If you complete your requirements in the Fall term, you may file an Intent to Graduate form, receive your degree/certificate for the fall term, and still choose to participate in the Graduation Ceremony at the end of the following Spring Semester.

Students must submit an Intent to Graduate form (please click on the link to access the form) the semester before they anticipate completing their program requirements. Ideally, the Assistant Dean and Registrar should receive the form prior to Early Registration for the coming semester so that they, and their advisor, can review the student’s progress, and future registration, to assure program completion. Even if all program requirements are met, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for degree or certificate conferment. (The only exception are students planning on receiving their Certificate of Special Studies which has a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0.) Please provide a completed program worksheet at the time of submission.

The Assistant Dean and Registrar will respond to the Intent to Graduate form prior to the start of General Registration for a student’s anticipated final term. The correspondence will confirm (or deny) eligibility for degree conferment, eligibility to participate in the Graduation Ceremony, and notify the student of any outstanding requirements. The timing is so students have the opportunity to register or work on any requirements not yet met before the end of registration and/or the semester. Students may submit the Intent to Graduate form at any time during their anticipated final two semesters however those submitted after Early Registration or during the student’s anticipated final semester are considered late.

It is the student’s responsibility to understand their program requirements and not drop any course that is needed for degree or certificate conferral during their anticipated final semester. In the event it does happen, students should anticipate their program completion to be deferred and may lose eligibility to participate in the Graduation Ceremony.

Degrees and certificates will be conferred after successful completion of program requirements. Students can anticipate the reception of their diploma about two months after their degree conferral date. When filling out the Intent to Graduate form, please provide an address where you will be at the time the diploma is sent. Please avoid providing P.O. Boxes, and other small locked mailboxes, as diplomas are large and do not fit.

At the Graduation Ceremony, students receive their diploma cover and are hooded by the Faculty Marshall. Master of Art and Doctor in Ministry students are specifically hooded by their faculty advisor. In the absence of the expected faculty, the Dean, Program Director, or Faculty Marshall will replace them and do the hooding. Students must get the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs if they wish for others to hood them.

Please note: Participation in the Graduation Ceremony in no way indicates degree/certificate conferral for students finishing their program requirements in the Spring. Degrees/certificates are only conferred upon the Assistant Dean and Registrar’s confirmation of final grades and that all program requirements have been met.

For more info on the Graduation Commencement in May (robes, hoods, announcements, graduation tickets), click here.

In the fall prior to your expected graduation, graduating students will be asked to file an Intent to Graduate form and return it, with a completed program worksheet to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.

After submitting your Intent To Graduate form, expected graduates must submit this form to the Office of Community Life:

Graduation Form PSR 2016

Learn more here:

Graduation Memo and Frequently Asked Questions


Grievance Policy and Procedure

Student Grievance Form


The Pacific School of Religion is committed to nurturing a professional and fulfilling working and campus environment as well as open communication for all its employees and students. However, if communication issues or problems arise among community members, students with the complaint should refer to existing relevant and applicable policies and then discuss the issue with his/her instructor/advisor. PSR values each student as a member of our community, and encourages comments about how our campus environment can be improved.


It is the goal of PSR to maintain a collegial campus environment, which minimizes conflict and encourages the resolution of problems.

It is most beneficial if problems are resolved informally and at the lowest level where such resolution proves possible.  When a student is troubled by an incident that occurs with another community member, he/she should speak with the other community member to try to resolve the issue.  ** An exception to this process is in the case of sexual harassment or any other conflict in which there is a risk of harm to oneself or others, whether real or perceived. In such cases it is advised that the grievant cease any contact or communication with the presumed respondent and report to the Title IX coordinator, deputies, other appropriate PSR employee, or local authorities.

If the issue is not resolved between the two community members, the grievant (the student) should consult the Assistant Dean, and/or Director of Community Life in order to review existing student and institutional policies that may address the complaint more specifically.   In the case of a student who is troubled by an incident that occurs with his/her own instructor or advisor, he/she should speak directly with the instructor/advisor to resolve the issue. If the issue is not resolved in this fashion, the student should consult the Assistant Dean, Dean, and/or Director of Community Life.


However, in an organization of this size and with such diversity, problems may arise that do not necessarily fall into the categories above. It is for such cases that the following grievance procedure has been adopted.


This grievance policy applies to currently registered and active students of the Pacific School of Religion.


Matters which may be grieved through this process include those related to the application of the PSR student program manual, and any disputes or complaints arising between two or more community members when the grievant is covered by this grievance procedure.  Grievances against persons or by persons not covered by this procedure do not follow these procedures.

In order to provide for prompt and efficient evaluation of and response to grievances, PSR has established the practice of an initial informal procedure as described above. There will be no discrimination against or toward anyone for his/her part in presenting grievances or against or toward the person against whom the grievance is brought, regardless of the outcome of the matter.


The Grievance Panel (appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean) as described in the Appendix: Composition of Formal Grievance Panels) is charged with investigating the grievance and making a written recommendation for its resolution.  The Panel shall establish its own procedures for the conduct of its investigation.  The Panel shall have full authority to obtain any necessary documents and discuss the grievance with any related party(s).   All information received and reviewed by the Panel shall be kept in strict confidentiality.

The investigation can include, but is not restricted to, discussions with any parties directly involved, review of any applicable institutional policies or state/federal laws, and examination of any written documentation as presented by the parties directly involved (i.e.: memos, letters, etc).   If a grievance is denied due to missed deadlines and the grievant believes there are extenuating circumstances, he/she may request an exception.  The Grievance Panel in consultation with the Dean shall determine if an exception can be made to this guideline.

PSR will ensure that a training session is conducted for the co-conveners, as well as provide the full panel an orientation to the grievance process.


If a satisfactory resolution is not reached through the informal grievance process, the grievant may begin the formal procedure by advising the Dean in writing, using the forms provided in the addendum.

The Dean (or designee) will promptly inform all parties named in the grievance and will then appoint a Formal Grievance Panel consisting of members as described in the Grievance Panel matrix.

The Grievance Panel will normally conclude the investigation of the grievance no later than twenty-two (22) business days after the Dean formally received the complaint.  The Panel shall have full authority to obtain any necessary documents and discuss the grievance with any related party(ies).  The grievant and the person against whom the grievance was made each have the right to meet directly with the Grievance Panel.

If the Grievance Panel wishes to meet with the grievant or requests more information from the grievant, it must do so in writing. The grievant must provide a documented response to the request within five (5) business days of the request or the grievance will be denied. A response may be documented via email, fax, documented meeting, hardcopy memo, or documented conversation with a panel member.  The grievant is not allowed to have his/her legal counsel present during the formal grievance procedure.  However, should he/she desire, a written statement may be given to the Panel from the grievant’s attorney.  In addition, the grievant and respondent when called to participate in a hearing may bring a PSR employee as a note taker; this person cannot address the committee or respond to questions posed to the claimant or respondent.

All information related to this grievance obtained by the Panel members is strictly confidential and may be used only for the purpose of resolving the grievance both during and after the grievance process.

The Panel may recommend any remedies including any disciplinary consequences up to and including dismissal.  In any case in which dismissal is recommended by the Panel, the Panel’s recommendation shall be made by written report to a Review Group.  The Review Group shall be made up of:

  1. In the case the dismissed party is an employee: The Chief Business Officer (or designee), direct supervisor of the employee whose dismissal is being recommended, and an Administrative Staff member.
  2. In the case the dismissed party is a student: The VP for Academic Affairs/Dean (or designee), Assistant Dean/Registrar, dismissed student’s advisor, and Director of Community Life (or designee)

The membership of the Review Group is designed to provide a balanced decision. If any of these people are implicated in the grievance, he/she shall be recused from this review group.

One or both of the co-conveners of the Grievance Panel will present the dismissal recommendation to a meeting of the Review Group to explain the reasons for the recommendation and to answer questions that may arise.  After reviewing the recommendation from the Panel, the Review Group will make the final decision regarding the recommended dismissal and document the reasons for its decision.  The Review Group may make additional recommendations to the Grievance Panel (e.g. disciplinary actions rather than dismissal, changes to policies, etc.) but the final decision on all recommendations OTHER THAN DISMISSAL are made by the Grievance Panel.

At the end of the investigation (including decisions by the Review Board) the Grievance Panel shall submit a written report outlining its recommendations to the grievant and any other parties involved and affected in the grievance and the Dean.

In cases of discipline short of dismissal, the Panel’s written decision shall be delivered to the grievant and other involved and affected parties by a member of the Grievance Panel and shall be considered a final decision.

If dismissal is recommended, the Dean (or designee), (and the direct supervisor if the dismissed person is an employee) will deliver the written decision to the person being dismissed in person.  A member of the Grievance Panel and the Dean (or designee) will deliver in person the written decision to the others affected by this action.

Whether or not dismissal is recommended, a final decision from the Grievance Panel will normally be delivered to the grievant within twenty-two (22) business days of the Dean’s receipt of the formal grievance.  If this time-frame is impossible to achieve, the grievant will be provided the reasons for the delay.


The decision of the Panel (including the decision of the Review Group) shall become final within five business days, unless the grievant, the person against whom the complaint was lodged, or a person whose dismissal resulted from this process appeals the decision to the President.  Appeals must be made in writing within five (5) days of receipt of the Grievance Panel or Review Board’s decision.

  1. The President will only accept an appeal if it is based on at least one of the following criteria: An allegation that the grievance panel process was not in conformity with prescribed procedures.
  2. An allegation that there is new information or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, sufficient to alter a decision, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original investigation by the Grievance Panel.

The president will make a decision on whether or not to accept the appeal and will notify the grievant about the next steps.  The President’s decision is final.


All documentation developed during the formal grievance process shall be turned over to the Dean who will keep copies for official files.


This policy prohibits retaliation against persons who report a grievance, assists someone with reporting a grievance, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a grievance case. Retaliation includes but is not limited to threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or ability to participate in the educational program, including on-campus housing, on-campus dining, or other non-academic programs that are part of the educational program PSR provides.

Having health insurance is a legal requirement and Pacific School of Religion encourages all students to maintain coverage.

Kaiser Permanente’s student health insurance plan, which fewer than 10% of PSR/GTU students are enrolled in, will conclude on August 31, 2017. For students enrolled in this plan, please see your email from correspondence from Dean Mary Donovan Turner regarding next steps.

If you need health insurance, you may compare plans at Covered California.

Health Insurance FAQs

International Students

Refer to the questions below, but also find out about issues particular to you as an international student at the tab above.

Affordable Care Act

You may wish to enroll in one of the plans offered by the Affordable Care Act. For California residents, you may explore your insurance options and enroll at Covered California.

Common Terms

Co-pay – the additional fee a person pays upfront for each visit to a doctor or for each prescription purchased at the time when service is rendered. Unlike coinsurance where the insured is required to pay a certain percentage of the covered costs, co-pay plans require the insured to pay a specified dollar amount.

Deductible – the cost a person pays for medical care before the insurance company pays. Some policies have a limit on how much a person will pay in deductibles in a year.

HMO – Health Management Organization; PPO – Preferred/Participating Provider Organization; for more info on the differences see:

Open Enrollment – the limited time period in which an individual may enroll, cancel or change their health insurance plan. Once the time of open enrollment has passed, the individual must wait until the next open enrollment time in order to enroll, cancel or change their health insurance plan.

Premiums – the amount paid or to be paid by the policyholder for coverage under the contract, usually in periodic installments. Premium costs for students will be assessed each semester.

Health Insurance FAQs for International Students

Why do I need health insurance while I am here and what are the consequences of having inadequate or no health insurance?
There is very restricted government-funded health care in the United States. Costs for health care in the United States are managed through private companies, many that are national and sometimes even international, but not government-based. The cost for health care is high and increases annually.

Usually an individual does not have the financial ability to pay for these costs, especially diagnostic tests and hospitalization. For example, surgical procedures can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, uninsured hospitalization for just one day can cost several thousand dollars; an ambulance or a CT scan can cost around $2000-$3000; just one i.v. injection can cost around $200.

Sometimes doctors charge several times (about 7 times) as much to an uninsured patient as they do for the insured because health insurance companies are able to negotiate such drastic discounts for their patients. These are all out of pocket costs for the uninsured. Health insurance companies pay the majority or sometimes all of the costs, thereby drastically reducing the cost to the individual, even after paying $200-$300 per month in premiums.

A few years ago an international student at PSR had a health insurance policy from her home country in Asia. However, her policy did not include all hospital expenses. The student became ill enough that she needed to be in the hospital. The cost to her was $40,000! PSR does not want any student to face such a situation. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to have sufficient health insurance coverage.

What kinds of services do qualified comprehensive health plans cover and what kind of fees should I pay attention to?
Comprehensive health plans generally cover all things health related: doctor’s visits for flu, infections and other illnesses; prescribed medicine; urgent care for when you have health emergencies, vaccinations such as for influenza, polio, hepatitis, TB; diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI, CAT scan, and preventative health care. Additionally, life insurance plans are not a substitute for health insurance and vice versa.

Being insured usually requires that someone (you, your employer, your spouse) pay a monthly premium. These premiums can range from $30/month to $1000/month depending on many factors, such as who the company is, how extensive your coverage is, how many people are covered.

Many health insurance policies require the individual to pay some minor costs each time they use health services. One may have to pay a co-payment or a small additional fee paid upfront each time they visit a doctor or when they pick up their prescription medication. In addition, there might deductibles, for example, an individual might be required to pay the first $500 of a charge that is really $2000 for staying overnight at the hospital, but the insurance company will pay for the remaining $1500. Health insurance policies vary and you should carefully analyze any health insurance plan by a variety of factors that can include: the type of services and care you’ll need the most and is covered by your plan, the co-payment and deductible amounts, the monthly premiums, how accessible will the facilities and doctors be to you during your time here, and whether or not you already have a regular doctor or specialists you want to continue to use.

I have an international health insurance policy from my country. Why can’t I just use that?
As you can see from the above example, often an international health insurance policy issued outside of the United States does not adequately cover the costs of getting the same services you would use in your own country. In many cases, the same services you would receive and would be fully covered in your country could cost you far more than your plan could cover.

In general International Travel insurance which usually has a relatively higher amount of coverage in the case of catastrophic accident, death or sickness does not qualify.

Contact Shan McSpadden, International Student Support Coordinator, with questions: 510/849-8250 |

Our housing options provide opportunities for students and their families to enjoy the benefits of living in community during completion of their academic program. Our goal is to create an environment where residents may feel truly at home.

Housing assignments are made according to a specific order of priority which takes into account several categories of student status, including whether a student is full- or part-time; continuing, new, or returning; international or domestic. The length of time students are eligible to remain in housing is determined by their course of study.

In addition to providing housing for residential students, we reserve several dormitory rooms for commuter students who wish to stay on campus one or two nights a week but whose permanent home is some distance from Berkeley.


Full details of living in PSR’s campus housing are contained in the Housing Policy, which is reviewed and updated regularly; familiarity with and adherence to its provisions is a condition of living in campus housing.

Residential rates are set by Administrative Staff and the Board of Trustees, generally effective with the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1), although some rates and fees may be revised at any time as deemed necessary.  Students may select from a variety of contract options ranging from 4 months to 12 months, depending upon eligibility and student status.  Such options are detailed in the Housing Policy.

While being assigned campus housing cannot be guaranteed due to the limited quantity of certain types of units, students applying by established deadlines are given priority.  Applications received after these deadlines will be considered as long as housing is available.

Failing to take possession of an assigned unit as well as cancelling one’s contract after having taken possession of one’s unit may result in substantial penalties.  Consequences of contract changes and cancellations are stated in the Housing Policy.

Full details of living in PSR’s campus housing are contained in the Housing Policy, which is reviewed and updated regularly; familiarity with and adherence to its provisions is a condition of living in campus housing.

2016-17 Housing Policy

2017-2018 PSR Housing Policy

Students who will be living by themselves generally are assigned to one of our two types of dormitories:

  • Benton Hall: private rooms off main hallways with a centrally located unisex bathroom on each of its 2 floors; Benton Hall is a “pet free” environment.
  • Anderson Hall: individual bed/study rooms in gender-specific suites of 2 or 3 units with common living space and bathroom; pets are allowed.

Couples/families are assigned to unfurnished studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments. (Note: International Students may request basic furnishings.) Rent does include utilities but not the meal plan. Students living in studios and apartments are required to purchase the Block 25 meal plan.

Unit assignments (dormitory rooms, studios, 1-, 2-, 3-bedroom apartments) are made according to“best fit” guidelines which consider availability, need, and family size. Residential students are allowed to bring one spayed/neutered cat or dog, depending upon the location of their assigned unit, as we know that often a pet is a valued family member!


Residential rates are set by Administrative Staff and the Board of Trustees, generally effective with the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1), although some rates and fees may be revised at any time as deemed necessary.  Students may select from a variety of contract options ranging from 4 months to 12 months, depending upon eligibility and student status.  Such options are detailed in the Housing Policy.

While being assigned campus housing cannot be guaranteed due to the limited quantity of certain types of units, students applying by established deadlines are given priority.  Applications received after these deadlines will be considered as long as housing is available.

Failing to take possession of an assigned unit as well as cancelling one’s contract after having taken possession of one’s unit may result in substantial penalties.  Consequences of contract changes and cancellations are stated in the Housing Policy.

The basic assumptions of our statement are:

1. Language shapes and informs our impressions of reality. It is basic to learning.

2. Language informs our attitudinal stereotypes and subtly influences people into roles, positions, status, and other forms of fragmentation. It is a key to human relationships.

3. Language can be a creative, liberating force or a captive, oppressing force. It is an expression of shared assumptions and a major factor in all liberation struggles.

4. Both women and men suffer from the use of a male-oriented language which forces personalities into culturally approved roles, limiting free decisions.

5. Our use of male-dominated language images and forms deny the feminine\masculine duality in each of us.

There are some basic theological assumptions which need affirmation in light of the above assumptions:

1. God is not a male person (SUPER-Superman). Terminology about God, particularly in worship, which uses exclusively masculine words (e.g., He, Him, His, Father, Lord) distorts our concepts of a deity in whose image both females and males are created.

2. All persons share equally in God’s plan for humanity.

3. Jesus recognized women as valuable persons, even to the point of violating the social mores of his time (e.g., by conversing with women in public).

4. The Church, as the Body of Christ, is a liberating and creative force enabling persons to transcend the boundaries of language and society in being faithful to the Word (Gospel) of Love.

5. The historical periods described in the Bible as well as the times in which the Scriptures were written, compiled and translated were all in patriarchal social settings. Thus, images of male-female roles described are colored by the cultural understandings of those times and need not be literally interpreted for our changed cultural situation. The truths of the faith are denied by sex role stereotypes. They can be conveyed more clearly without the male-dominant, female-submissive images of a given historical period.

The following suggestions are given as guidelines for use in printed materials, classroom environment, academic work, and worship. The guidelines are based on the above assumptions and theological affirmations.

1. Much of the language which appears in printed materials reflects a masculine bias. Therefore, the following list of words is given as alternatives to the exclusively masculine phraseology:

a. for mankind: Humankind, humanity, people, persons, creatures, citizens, community, ourselves, yourselves, folk, mortals, beings, etc.

b. for brotherhood: sisters and brothers, society, public, unity, community, amity, kinship, corporateness, etc.

c. for masculine pronouns:he/she, we, our, their, one, the person, individual, someone, member, etc.

2. Attempts need to be made to refer to God in other than exclusive masculine words in order to balance our images of the deity. Some options include: Creator, Redeemer, Holy Spirit, Sustainer, Mother and Father God, One, Life Giver or Giver of Life, etc. (See nonsexist liturgies in the bookWomen and Worship by Sharon and Thomas Emswiler, Harper & Row, 1974).

3. Occupational and status terms often suggest role and position stereotypes which need to be avoided. This is true for both women and men. The following titles should be avoided:

a. policeman, fireman, serviceman, statesman, watchman, salesman, etc.

b. authoress, aviatrix, heiress, sculptress, songstress, poetess, etc.

Such terms not only give young people false impressions about their vocational prospects, they also tend to perpetuate discriminatory practices that exist. Occupational and status terms can be avoided by the use of diction, by changing the sentence construction, or by altering the terminology.

4. It is often demeaning to women to be identified entirely by their relationship to men. One form of this discrimination is the use of the terms Mrs. and Miss, which identify women according to marital status. It is preferable to use the general title Ms. to identify a woman, as Mr. is used to identify a man.

5. In referring to couples, whether married or partnered, use such identifying phrases as “Mary and John Jones” rather than “Mr. and Mrs. John Jones” or “John Jones and his wife Mary” or “the John Joneses.” There is more dignity in using a woman’s full name. Editors should also be aware of couples using hyphenated last names (e.g., “Marcia and John Clark-Johnson,” “Doug and José Tompkins-Garcia”), which include the each person’s last name–and also the number of couples using different last names (neither person changes their last name). If it is important to identify them as a married or partnered couple, it can be done as “Mi-Ok Kim and Young Park, wife and husband (or partners),” or “Dionne Coleman and her wife (or partner), Sophia Evans.” (Which partner’s name comes first, is optional, but should not be consistently one way or the other, implying a more important status to the first.)

6. The common ways in which identification of persons is written suggests a predominant male orientation. Identifications and family relations often reflect fixed roles, stereotyped duties, or child affinity and possession. For example, “housewife,” “the little woman,” etc. suggest attitudes which imply that only women are in the home and doing domestic chores. This is demeaning to both men and women.

7. Application forms for educational institutions (e.g., seminaries), or membership in organizations (e.g., craft unions), or employment in jobs traditionally held by men (e.g., welding), should not discriminate against women applicants by such means as asking for the “wife’s name.” If such information is necessary, the word is “spouse.”

Any CONTINUING STUDENT who does not intend to register for degree work or approved field education during any regular semester (fall or spring) must apply for a leave of absence. Such requests, in writing, must be received by the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and Registrar before the conclusion of the registration period of the semester for which the leave is requested. Request for a Leave of Absence forms are available in the hall outside Holbrook 135. Failure to either register or request a leave of absence each semester may result in termination which means that a student who wishes to return to school will be required to apply for re-admission. Requests for leave received after General Registration will incur the Late Registration fee.

Leaves of absence will not be granted for more than two consecutive semesters at a time. Exceptions are considered by petition to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and Registrar. Leave of absence entails a break in all academic work and eligibilities: library privileges; financial aid eligibility; loan deferment qualification; housing; school health insurance eligibility; class work; examinations; thesis work; and interaction with the faculty. However, you will still be required to stay on  and check your mandatory PSR student e-mail account in order to receive important announcements about deadlines that will help keep your student status active even as you are away. You are advised to consult with the Financial Aid Office, about whether a leave of absence is the best financial decision. If you have educational loans, a leave of absence may jeopardize your deferment of payment. All semesters of leave are included in your time lapsed period.

GTU Common MA students have a slightly different Leave of Absence policy. They must submit a GTU Leave of Absence form by the close of registration for each semester they will be on leave. There is a fee per semester for MA leaves.

To return from a leave, please notify Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar, and if you are an MA student, also notify the MA coordinator at the GTU. After you’ve notified us that you plan to return from leave, just make sure you register online through Sonis during open registration periods. Check the academic calendars online for those dates.

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Students who withdraw from all coursework (including going on a Leave of Absence) and who do not complete more than 60% of their term of enrollment must have a portion of “unearned” federal funds returned to their source. For more information on PSR’s R2T4, please view the policy here.

If you are an entering NEW STUDENT and have been accepted to PSR but cannot attend the semester you had planned to start, please let PSR Admissions know by contacting before the close of registration that you wish to defer and for how long (one term usually), and we will keep your admitted status active for up to one year. Semesters of deferment are not included in your time lapsed period.

If PSR does not hear from you by the close of registration and you do not attend, your active admitted status will be terminated, and you will be required to complete another application — including new letters of reference, personal statement, and other admissions forms — should you wish to attend any time after one year of deferment, with no guarantee of admittance the second time around. If you still cannot attend after one year, your active student status will be terminated.

In the United States and many other countries, one of the important markers of high academic standards is proper attribution (giving credit) for someone else’s ideas, thoughts, words, or methods of scholarship. Proper credit should be given in both oral and written contexts. Proper credit is:

  • When you use an actual sentence from a published article or unpublished essay, including print and digital material, you must put the sentence in quote marks and give a footnote or citation to indicate who said it. The citation should include full bibliographic information. (For further information about correct citation form, see Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations.)
  • When you paraphrase or summarize another person’s ideas, you must give a footnote or citation to indicate whose ideas they are and where you got them. (Or, in lecturing, make clear from whose ideas you are drawing.)
  • When you adopt a significant idea from someone else’s work, you must give a footnote or citation to indicate where you got the idea.
  • When you use a method developed by someone else, you must give a footnote or citation to indicate the source of the method.

When you fail to do this, it is considered plagiarism. Plagiarism can apply both to students and to faculty. Plagiarism is using someone else’s ideas, thoughts, words, or methods of scholarship as if they were your own and without giving proper credit to that person. Plagiarism is considered wrong because (1) it is ‘stealing’ another person’s ideas, methods, etc., and (2) it is ‘lying’ — representing something as your own when it is not yours. At PSR, as at many comparable graduate-level institutions, plagiarism is considered a serious offense.

  • Plagiarism includes failing to give citations in the examples above.
  • Plagiarism also includes copying another student’s exam or part of an exam or essay.

It is not plagiarism when you indicate clearly that you are summarizing someone else’s views in order to provide the context for an assessment or critique of those views, or to incorporate them into a larger project. In this case, you must indicate clearly that you are giving the views of someone else — e.g. by starting with “so-and-so argues that…” It is also not plagiarism to use a well-established idea that has been developed in multiple sources — e.g. to claim that God can be called “woman” as well as man is now sufficiently well established that it needs no attribution. Some phrases — e.g. “the personal is political” — are in such wide usage that sometimes we do not know where they originated; in such cases, it is acceptable to use them without attribution. However, the best scholarship will make every effort to give attribution where possible (e.g. to note that this phrase came from Robin Morgan).

Procedures and Penalties

Instances of suspected plagiarism will be reported to the Academic Dean (or, in the case where the Dean is suspected of plagiarism, to the President). Suspected plagiarism may be reported by either students or faculty. The Dean or President will assess the evidence and investigate in order to determine whether plagiarism has occurred.

PSR’s Plagiarism Policy applies to all PSR students and PSR faculty, including but not limited to adjunct and visiting faculty. In all cases of reported plagiarism, source information of what was plagiarized (such as the name of the article, textbook, author, or the original source of ideas) must be submitted at the time the case is reported to the Dean’s Office for at least one identified instance of plagiarism. Failure to comply with the policy may result in a re-evaluation of work accused of containing plagiarism by other PSR faculty and/or other administrators as assigned by the Dean or President.

In the Case of Students

When plagiarism has been substantiated, the faculty person shall inform the dean’s office (every instance of substantiated plagiarism must be reported to the dean’s office so that plagiarism can be monitored). The faculty member will discuss the plagiarism policy with the student and the student shall fail the assignment.

Additionally, the student will sign a letter stating that he/she has committed plagiarism, has received a warning, and is aware of the consequences. This letter will be re-signed each time the student has committed plagiarism. The letter will be kept in the student’s file.

If, when reporting student plagiarism to the dean’s office, it is discovered that it is the student’s second attempt at plagiarism, the faculty member, dean, and student shall meet together. The student will fail the course.

If a student plagiarizes a third time, the student shall be immediately expelled from the school.
The student will not be allowed re-apply to PSR for one year at minimum. If the student re-applies after one year, all documentation regarding instances of plagiarism and the institutional actions taken will be included in the admissions file for review. If the student is re-admitted, and one more confirmed instance of plagiarism occurs after re-admission, the student will be expelled again permanently with no option of returning.

In the Case of Faculty

If allegations of plagiarism appear to be substantiated, the faculty member has been charged with “action justifying dismissal,” and shall be dealt with according to the procedures described in the Faculty Manual. Faculty who serve on the Core Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union are also subject to the plagiarism policies and procedures of the GTU.

Policy adopted by PSR Faculty September 2009

GTU Consortial Agreement Regarding Plagiarism
When a student from one GTU school is suspected of plagiarism in a course that the student is
taking at another GTU school, the following protocol will be followed:
1. The faculty member teaching the course will notify the dean of the faculty member’s school that the student has been suspected of plagiarism.
2. The dean of the faculty member’s school will notify the dean of the student’s school that the student has been suspected of plagiarism.
3. The faculty member will follow the policy of his or her own school in regard to possible consequences within the context of the course (e.g., failing grade on the assignment, failing grade for the course, etc.).
4. The student’s school will be responsible for following its own policy in regard to possible consequences beyond the context of the course (e.g., warning, academic probation, expulsion, etc.)Approved by the Council of Deans, April 2010

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a Federal law which states (a) that a written institutional policy must be established and (b) that a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education records.

Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union accord all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the institution, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the Act.

Within the Graduate Theological Union community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to appropriate segments of student education records. These members include personnel in the office of Academic Affairs and Dean (including Registrar and Assistant to the Dean, Common Registrar), Faculty Advisors, Financial Aid Office, and the Business Office, and other academic personnel within the limitations of their need to know.

At its discretion the institution may provide Public Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: student name, address, telephone number, email address, photograph, date of birth, place of birth, area of study, year in school, enrollment status (graduate, full-time, half-time, less than half time), dates of attendance, degrees received from this institution, dissertation or thesis title, religious affiliation/order, scholarships and honors, most recent previous degree and school, country of citizenship, school/school affiliation.

Students may withhold Public Information by notifying the GTU Common Registrar or PSR Registrar in writing by the first registration deadline of Fall semester at or respectively. A form for this notification is also available from the Common Registrar. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore authorization to withhold Public Information must be filed annually in the Common Registrars Office and registrar of school of affiliation.

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable. The Common Registrar at the Graduate Theological Union has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, and financial and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the head of the appropriate office as listed in the Directory of Student Educational Records, listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered by the Act will be made available within forty-five days of the request. Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions (e.g., a copy of the academic record for which a financial “hold” exists or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere). Official transcripts are available for a charge per copy that may be found on the Tuition and Fees page. Student education records do not include records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute; employment records; or alumni records.

Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Act: confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may discuss their problems informally with the Registrar or Office of Academic Affairs. If the staff decisions are in agreement with the student’s requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended; and they will be informed by the Registrar and Assistant to the Dean of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearings. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the students’ expense. The hearing panels which will adjudicate such challenges will be appointed by and chaired by the Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The hearing panel will consult with legal counsel as appropriate.

Decisions of the hearing panels will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the hearing panels, if the decisions are in favor of the student. If the decisions are unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records, or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panels. The statements will be placed in the education records, maintained as part of the students’ records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.

Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may request, in writing, assistance from the President of the institution to aid them in filing complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, Room 4074, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 20202.


The term “student” includes an individual who has been admitted to and has enrolled in or registered with any degree or certificate program or registered enrollment as a Special Student, auditor, CEU, or other level of enrollment in courses through Pacific School of Religion. The term “student” an individual who may be active in a program but on leave of absence, internship, of thesis work. FERPA rights are effective upon the student’s first registration of a course or first payment for a course after admittance and a student’s records are protected under FERPA for the life of the person.

Student Education Records
Student education records mean those records which are directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution. Student education records may include, but are not limited to, academic evaluations, transcripts, test scores and other academic records, general counseling and advising records, disciplinary records, and financial aid records.

The term “student education records” does not include:

  1. “Sole Possession” records created by individuals for the use of memory aid and reference; other personal notes.
  2. Personnel Records or records relating to an individual who is employed in an educationally related position as a result of his or her status as a student (e.g. work-study).
  3. Medical and Health records
  4. Records which contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student, such as information pertaining to alumni. The only exception to this rule are legal name change records submitted after a person is a student at PSR for the purposes of updating official transcripts or ordering diplomas

Public/Directory Information

The term “public information” as used in the PSR FERPA policy is the same as the term “directory information” in the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the State of California Education Code.

However in the interest of protecting student privacy, general practices at PSR will interpret “public information” to be limited to student’s name, email address, state or country of birth, area of study, dates of attendance, year in school, degrees or certificates conferred, number of credits registered or unregistered, registered status, dissertation or thesis title, religious affiliation/order, scholarships and honors, most recent previous degree and school , country of citizenship, school/school of affiliation.

For the interest of protecting student privacy, the fields that PSR would not disclose without some additional discretion and discernment are: student address, phone number, date of birth, registered courses, current and past. However PSR retains the right to consider these semi-restricted fields as public directory  for third parties with a legitimate and educational need and right to know.

Disclosures that do NOT Require Student Consent

PSR may disclose personally identifiable  information educational records without student consent to the following parties:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interests
  • In connection with a health and safety emergency if knowledge of information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals
  • U.S. Comptroller General, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Department of Education
  • State and local officials
  • Authorized organizations conducting educational research and services
  • Accrediting agencies
  • Alleged victim of a crime
  • Parent of a Depended Student as defined by the IRS
  • Parent of a student under 21 regarding the violation of a law regarding alcohol or drug abuse

Subpoenas of Student Records

In the case of a court ordered or lawfully issued subpoena, PSR makes a reasonable effort to notify the eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance, so that the eligible student may seek protective action unless the disclosure is in compliance with-

(A) A Federal grand jury subpoena and the court has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed;
(B) Any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or other issuing agency has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed; or
(C) An ex parte court order obtained by the United States Attorney General (or designee not lower than an Assistant Attorney General) concerning investigations or prosecutions of an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g)(5)(B) or an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331.

Proof of receipt of this notification to the student is not required for PSR to comply with the subpoena. In the cases that proof of receipt of acknowledgement is received by PSR, a record of that receipt of will be kept in the student’s educational record so long as the educational record is maintained. In all other cases, a copy of all records relevant to the subpoena will be kept in the student’s educational record so long as the educational record is maintained.

Disclosures that DO Require Student Consent

For personally identifiable information disclosures of educational records to a third party other than those listed above, regarding personally identifiable information of students that is not a degree verification, or enrollment verification or what is considered “public directory” information under FERPA, student written consent is usually required.

To submit a form requesting such information for a PSR student(s) contact the PSR registrar at The form will request that the student verify that the records may be disclosed, state the purpose for the disclosure, and identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made. A copy of this form will be kept in the student’s educational record so long as the educational record is maintained.


Provisional status may be offered for up to 18 months to applicants who do not meet the minimum academic requirements but who otherwise meet admission criteria and standards.   The minimum academic requirements for regular admission are a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and, when applicable, TOEFL test scores that meet minimum acceptable scores.  (Cumulative GPA is calculated from all higher education coursework.)

Provisional status may also be offered to applicants whose files contain insufficient information for the committee to determine if they meet the minimum academic requirements and who otherwise meet admission criteria and standards.

Provisional status provides a student with the opportunity to demonstrate successful participation in the academic life of the institution.

Provisional status is for the Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Social Transformation (MAST), or Master of Theological Studies (MTS) programs only.  Admission without a bachelor’s degree to any of our other programs will be decided by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Information

  • Applicants complete and submit the standard program application with the same required supporting materials.
  •  Provisional status is offered by the Admissions Committee based upon its review of the application file.
  • Applicants who do not possess a bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of two years’ worth of undergraduate coursework in order to be admitted to any program.

Moving from Provisional to Full Status

After you have completed your first two semesters as a provisional student, you may be required to apply for full status in order to continue in your PSR degree or certificate program. Apply here under the “Provisional Student Status” tab

Dropping Coursework and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy

Federal aid (AKA “Title IV” aid) is awarded under the assumption that you will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was awarded. If you withdraw from school or drop all of your courses before the end of a term, you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that you have received or were scheduled to receive, and would thus be subject to a Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4).

The return of funds is based upon the premise that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. A pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds they will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. For example, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Once over 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of their financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.

Calculating Earned Financial Aid

The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar rather than business days. Earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of days in the term (first day of instruction until the last day of finals, excluding Reading Week in the fall semester and Spring Break in the spring semester).

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned financial aid. All students who withdraw from coursework during the semester, regardless of when, will have the R2T4 calculation performed in order to determine whether or not they are eligible to receive a “Post-Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD)”.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements (PWD)

In compliance with federal regulations, PSR Financial Aid will perform the R2T4 calculation within 30 days of the student’s withdrawal and funds will be returned to the appropriate federal aid program within 45 days of the withdrawal date should a return be necessary. An evaluation will be done to determine if aid was eligible to be disbursed but had not disbursed as of the withdrawal date. If the student meets the federal criteria for a PWD, the student will be notified of their eligibility within 30 days of determining the student’s date of withdrawal. Because PSR is a graduate institution and thus only disburses federal direct loans, after being notified of PWD eligibility, students must reply to PSR Financial Aid if they wish to accept the post withdrawal loan obligation. When a PWD is accepted, the funds will be disbursed within 45 days of determining the student’s date of withdrawal. A PWD of loan funds would first be used toward any outstanding charges before any funds are returned to you. If no response is received within approximately two weeks of notification, the award will be canceled.

School Portion vs. Student Portion of Return of Title IV Funds

As part of the R2T4 calculation, schools must assess the charges made to the student and calculate a percentage of charges that were “unearned” by the school, based upon the percentage of the term that the student actually completed. For example, If PSR charges a student for 9 credits at $710/credit for the fall semester (charges equaling $6390) and the student withdrew from courses after completing 50% of the fall semester, PSR must return 50% of “unearned charges” (totaling $3195) made to the student for which Title IV funds were used to pay the charges incurred. After the school returns its portion of unearned aid, any amount of the total unearned aid that remains becomes the student portion of the Return. The student portion of the Return is calculated by subtracting the amount of the school Return from the total unearned aid.

Total Unearned Aid

(Subtract) School Return Amount

(Equals) Student Portion of Return

Because PSR is a graduate institution, R2T4 policies only apply to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. The student portion of unearned loans is to be repaid according to the terms of your Master Promissory Note. You will not be billed for these funds upon discontinued enrollment.

Future Aid Eligibility

Anytime a student receiving a federal direct loan drops below a half-time load of coursework, they must complete Exit Counseling, and the Financial Aid Office will notify the student right of this requirement as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days past the time of withdrawal. A financial aid-related hold will also be placed on the student’s account that will prevent the student from receiving transcripts or registering in the future until the Exit Counseling has been completed. Additionally, anytime a student is enrolled less than part-time, the “grace period” of six months begins before loans must enter repayment. This grace period will begin on the day of the withdrawal from the school. The student must contact the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or his/ her lender(s) to make payment arrangements, and once payment arrangements are made, loans must be repaid by the loan borrower as outlined in the terms of the borrower’s promissory note. For more information on how to repay your loans, including information on the different payment plans available to students, you can go here.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

When a student withdraws from coursework and does not complete at least 75% of the term in which they were enrolled, the student is then placed on academic probation and is thus not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) per PSR SAP policy. For more information on SAP, please visit the appropriate policy section of our website by going here.


Other helpful and related PSR policy links:

Current Year Tuition Rates and Tuition Refund Policy

Leave of Absence and Deferment

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

After each semester, student transcripts are reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs, who informs the Dean of any students not making satisfactory progress.  Satisfactory progress is defined as:

  1. Cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 3.0. CSS students require GPA 2.0 or greater.
  2. No more than five total incompletes for the MDiv and MDiv/MA and three total incompletes for all other programs.
  3. Completion of at least 75% of the course units for which the student was registered in a Fall or Spring semester term (the “W”, “I”, and the “F” indicate non-completion).

Note that merit scholars may lose or compromise their scholarship if they do not meet safisfactory academic progress. For more information on this policy, consult the PSR Financial Aid page.

A student who does not fulfill the conditions for satisfactory academic progress is automatically placed on academic probation.  The Assistant Dean for Academic Programs informs the student and advisor of this action.  The student is required to meet with their advisor before the start of the semester.

A student on academic probation must register for PSR courses for at least half their load each term during academic probation. Non-PSR courses repeated to resolve a failed course do not need to be counted in this half.

The student is removed from academic probation if he or she is making satisfactory progress at the end of a probationary semester.  The Assistant Dean for Academic Programs informs the student and advisor of this action.
A student may remedy the situation for which probation was imposed by:

  • bringing one’s GPA to the required level.
  • satisfactorily repeating a required course in which a D, F, or incomplete was received. A grade of “W” or “WF” will replace the D or F. The new grade will appear with the course in the semester it was re-taken
  • satisfactorily completing the following semester’s work, if less than 75% of the coursework in the previous semester was completed

If a student has not met the terms of satisfactory academic progress at the end of the probationary semester, a hearing with the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and Faculty Advisor is held before the end of the first week of the next semester.  Based upon this hearing, the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs may require a second hearing with the Dean present. At the conclusion of this second hearing, a recommendation will be made to the PSR Faculty aregarding the student’s future status, either 1) continued probation with or without specific conditions the faculty may require or 2) dismissal from the academic program.

1. Continued Probation.  The recommendation for continued probation might be made if there is improvement in the GPA that would suggest that the student could reach the GPA required for graduation within a reasonable period, or if the low cumulative GPA seems to be the result of an isolated semester of poor grades.  If a student is permitted to continue on probation for a second semester, the hearing will be repeated if the conditions for satisfactory academic progress are not met after the end of the second probationary semester.

2. Dismissal.  If academic progress is not being made at the end of the probationary semester, the Dean may recommend that the faculty act to dismiss a student immediately.  A student cannot apply for re-admission after dismissal for academic reasons for at least one year (two semesters) following the dismissal.  Re-admission is contingent upon the approval of the Admissions Committee.

Federal standards require that students receiving any form of federal assistance to be in good standing, making satisfactory academic progress. Therefore, the student placed on academic probation is also placed on financial aid probation for up to one year. If the student regains satisfactory progress, financial aid will continue. If the student fails to meet the standards after two semesters of probation, aid will be discontinued.

Students who exceed two semesters of academic probation and are in jeopardy of compromising their financial aid status and/or enrollment status may request an appeal to this policy due to exceptional circumstances. Appeals must be made in writing to the Dean before the first day of the third semester on probation and must describe the nature of the exceptional circumstances. In some cases, the Dean may decide to consult the faculty for a decision on the appeal. Students who invoke the appeal process may do so only once during their program at PSR

policy approved by faculty as of February 2010

Here you’ll find policies and resources for students related to Sexual Harassment at PSR. All active PSR students (registered or unregistered) are required to complete an online Sexual Harassment Training powered by CampusAnswers/WorkPlaceAnswers by the end of the calendar year in which they entered. For more information or to sign up for a training, contact

PSR Sexual Harassment Policy

Last updated July 2014

Pacific School of Religion (PSR) is committed to providing a work environment and educational community in which all persons who participate in PSR programs and activities can work and learn together in an environment free of all forms of harassment. Every member of the PSR community should be aware that such behavior is prohibited by law and institutional policy and that PSR will take appropriate action to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that is found to violate this policy.

For PSR’s disclosures and policies regarding the Clery Report which covers instances of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, rape, and other instances of sexual violence, battery and assault, please refer to our Clery Report, updated annually.

This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and others who participate in PSR programs and activities.


In general, sexual harassment is defined as inappropriate, unwelcome, or offensive conduct whether verbal, physical or otherwise where

• Submission or rejection to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment or education

• Submission or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions; or

• Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or education, or creating and intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

For example, sexual harassment often involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or offensive sexual jokes.

Harassment that is not sexual in nature but based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex- or gender- stereotyping and/or sexual orientation is also prohibited by PSR’s non-discrimination policies if it is sufficiently severe to deny or limit a person’s ability to particulate in or benefit from PSR’s educational programs, employment, or services. While discrimination based on these factors may be distinguished from sexual harassment, these types of discriminations may contribute to a hostile work or educational environment and thus may be considered in cases regarding sexual harassment.

This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. For other cases involving harassment of a non-sexual nature please refer to PSR’s harassment, student conduct, grievance, and/or non-discrimination policies.


Employees or students who believe they are being harassed should promptly notify their supervisor or the PSR Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy. Investigation and resolution of complaints will be handled by personnel trained to investigate harassment allegations.

Supervisors, faculty members, staff, or any “first responder” who become aware of a sexual harassment situation, whether created by employees or non-employees, by students or non-students, should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator. “First responders” may include but are not limited to the Director of Community Life and Spiritual Care, a faculty advisor, an administrator, building managers, the HR Director, or any individual who has direct access to personnel who has the authority to officially respond and take action on a sexual harassment case. These designated employees have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual harassment, even if the complainant requests that no action be taken.

Prompt reporting will enable PSR to investigate the facts, determine the situation, and provide an appropriate resolution or disciplinary action. PSR shall respond to reports of sexual harassment brought up to one calendar year from the time of the alleged incidence, taking into consideration the amount of time transpired since the alleged incident occurred.

Complainants are also reminded that they may file a report with law enforcement when applicable.

PSR shall respond to the greatest extent possible to reports of sexual harassment brought anonymously or brought by third parties not directly involved in the harassment, with the understanding that the response and investigation from such anonymous or third party reports may be significantly limited if information cannot be verified by direct parties.


As your institution, Pacific School of Religion has adopted a firm policy against sexual harassment. Every reasonable step will be taken to prevent harassment from occurring. However, if you believe that you have been unlawfully harassed, we urge you to report the incident immediately so that your complaint can be resolved quickly and fairly

Procedures for Early Resolution

Early Resolution options may be recommended when the parties involved desire to resolve the situation cooperatively and/or when a more formal investigation or resolution procedure is less likely to lead to a satisfactory outcome. Early Resolution may involve an inquiry into facts, but typically does not involve a formal investigation. Options for Early Resolution may include but are not limited to:

• Mediating an agreement between the parties;

• Separating the parties

• Referring the parties to counseling program

• Negotiating an agreement for disciplinary actions

• Conducting targeted educational and training programs

• Providing remedies for the individuals harmed by the offense

The person(s) leading the Early Resolution may choose to schedule separate discussions with the parties involved, make recommendations for resolution, and/or conduct follow-up after a period of time the chosen response has been implemented.

All parties needing further advice or counseling on matters addressed by this policy are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator, an appropriate designated Deputy, the HR director and/or the Director of Community Life and Spiritual Care.

Procedures for Formal Investigation

For cases in which Early Resolution may not be appropriate or lead to a satisfactory outcome, PSR may conduct a Formal Investigation. If the complainant does not want to pursue a Formal Investigation, then PSR’s ability to investigate and respond will be limited. The following are the steps for a Formal Investigation:

1. Provide a written or oral complaint to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy as soon as possible after the Incident. Include all details regarding the incident, names of individuals involved, and names of any witnesses

2. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy will appoint an individual as Investigator who is well versed with the PSR Sexual Harassment Policy and trained in conducting investigations if the Coordinator/Deputy will not be leading the investigations themselves. The Investigator shall not be an individual for whom either party may hold a position of authority over.

3. The Investigator will undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the allegations. The Investigation will generally include interviews with each party, interviews with other witnesses as needed, and review of relevant documents. Disclosure of facts to parties and witnesses shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation. Participants in an investigation will be reminded that maintaining confidentiality is essential to protecting the integrity of the process.

4. Upon request, the complainant and the accused may each have one (1) representative present when they are interviewed.

5. At any time during the investigation, the Investigator may recommend interim protections or remedies for the complainant or witnesses to be provided by PSR. These interim protections may include but are not limited placing limitations on contact between the parties, modifying work or housing arrangements, etc. Non-compliance of these interim protections may be considered violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy.

6. The investigation will be completed as soon as possible but at the latest within 60 working days of the filing of the complaint.

7. The investigation will result in a written report that will include at minimum: a statement of the allegations and issues, the positions of each parties, a summary of the evidence, findings, and a determination by the Investigator as to whether the Sexual Harassment policy has been violated. The report also may contain a recommendation for actions to resolve the complaint including recommended disciplinary measures. This report is kept in the office of the Title IX Coordinator and may be used as evidence in subsequent complaints or appeals.

8. The complainant and accused will be notified in writing when the investigation is completed. The notification will include the following information

• Whether the Sexual Harassment Policy was or was not violated

• Disciplinary actions or sanctions up to and including expulsion or termination

For the accused:

• All sanctions imposed

For the complainant & other related parties:

• Only sanctions imposed that directly relate to and affect the complainant and other related parties on a need-to-know basis

• The accused may give explicit written permission to disclose all sanctions to the complainant and related parties if they choose to

9. The complainant and the accused may request a copy of the Investigator’s report.

Procedures for Appeal

In an unsatisfactory result occurs at the conclusion of the Formal Investigation, the complainant may file a Formal Grievance. Please refer to the PSR Grievance Policy and Procedure.

Sexual harassment is prohibited by state and federal law. In addition to the procedures above, individuals may pursue complaints directly with government agencies that deal with unlawful harassment such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).


This policy prohibits retaliation against persons who report sexual harassment, assists someone with reporting sexual harassment, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a sexual harassment case. Retaliation includes but is not limited to threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or ability to participate in the educational program, including on-campus housing, on-campus dining, or other non-academic programs that are part of the educational program PSR provides.

Intentionally false reports

Because sexual harassment frequently involves interactions between persons that are not witnessed by others, reports of sexual harassment cannot always be substantiated by additional evidence. Lack of corroborating evidence or “proof” should not discourage individuals from reporting sexual harassment under this policy. However, individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action.

Conflict of Interest Related to Consensual Relationships

There may be special risks in any sexual or romantic relationship between individuals within the PSR community, and parties in such a relationship assume those risks. Even when both parties have consented at the outset to a romantic involvement, this past consent does not remove grounds for a charge based upon subsequent unwelcome conduct.

Where such a relationship exists, the person in the position of greater authority or power will bear the primary burden of accountability, and must ensure that they do not exercise any supervisory or evaluative function over the other person in the relationship. Where such a recusal is required, the recusing party must also notify their supervisor, dean, or HR Director so that they can exercise their responsibility to evaluate the adequacy of an alternative supervisory or evaluative arrangement to be put in place. The responsibility of recusal and notification lies with the person of greater authority or power.

In rare situations where it is not possible to provide alternative supervision or evaluation, the supervisor, dean, or HR Director must approve all evaluative and compensation actions and decisions.


PSR protects the privacy of individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment to the extent required by law. In times when it may be required to disclose certain personal information, PSR will make every effort to redact records or remove identifiers when possible. Only sanctions that directly relate to or affect the complainant will be disclosed to the complainant or other relevant parties unless the accused gives written permission for all sanctions to be disclosed to the complainant or other relevant parties.

An individual’s requests regarding confidentiality of reports of sexual harassment will be considered in determining an appropriate response. However, such requests will be considered along with context of campus and individual safety as well as the context of the institution’s legal obligation to ensure a working and educational environment free from sexual harassment.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for maintaining records relating to sexual harassment reports, investigations, and resolutions. Records shall be maintained in accordance with PSR archiving and record-keeping policies, generally five years after the complaint is resolved. Records may be retained longer at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator in cases where parties have a continuing affiliation with PSR.


The Title IX Coordinator for Pacific School of Religion is Patrick O’Leary (

The Coordinator’s duties include:

• Training and supervision of Title IX Deputies who may function as the central sexual harassment officer in different contexts (example: deputy for student vs. student cases; deputy for staff vs. staff cases);

• Oversee, develop, and implement sexual harassment education and training programs in coordination with Human Resources and Student Services departments

• Update Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures as federal and state regulations change

• Maintain records of reports of sexual harassment per PSR practices

• Prepare and submit an annual report to the Office of the President summarizing PSR sexual harassment complaint activity

Title IX Deputies are formally trained by the Coordinator to interpret and implement the policy in contexts that may be specific to the department, setting, or classification of individuals involved.

• The Registrar ( for student vs. student cases

• Patrick O’Leary ( for employee vs. employee cases

Office of Community Life and Spiritual Care Pacific School Religion

• Ann Jefferson ( provides a safe space to initially discuss a possible sexual harassment case for individuals of all classifications (student, staff, faculty).

Office for Civil Rights

The Office for Civil Rights serves student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems. An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Agency-initiated cases, typically called compliance reviews, permit OCR to target resources on compliance problems that appear particularly acute. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. An important part of OCR’s technical assistance is partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.


This policy is effective July 1, 2014. It is subject to periodic review and any comments or questions may be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator.

Sexual Harassment Prevention

Title IX

Sexual Violence and Assault

Campus SaVE Act
PSR Clery Act

Sexual Harassment resources

Bystander Intervention

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Catharsis Productions: And I’m Glad I Did It Bystander Intervention PSA 1 (1:10)

Step Up-American University video (5:25)
Step Up, is an award-winning bystander intervention program, adopted by American University, that uses five steps to teach students how to intervene in situations including sexual assault, alcohol abuse, mental health emergencies, hazing, and more. This film has been created by American University’s Office of University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Campus Life.


Faith Trust Institute: a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence.

Love Is Respect: The Love Is Respect Website offers information on how to recognize dating violence and seek help.

Office on Violence Against Women: Established by the Violence Against Women Act, the Office on Violence Against Women is designed to reduce violence against women and strengthen resources for all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Established by the Violence Against Women Act, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides twenty-four hour support for people facing domestic violence.

Stalking Resource Center: Part of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Stalking Resource Center provides assistance and guidance for those impacted by stalking. This government-sponsored Website contains resources on responding to and preventing sexual assault in schools.

Pandora’s Project: Nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information, support, and resources to survivors of rape and sexual abuse and their friends and family since 1999.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): This nonprofit organization has a twenty-four-hour hotline for anonymous support for people dealing with sexual assault and their friends and families.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: This nonprofit organization has a twenty-four-hour, toll-free confidential suicide prevention hotline.

VAWnet: National online resource on Violence Against Women. A comprehensive and easily accessible online collection of full-text, searchable materials and resources on domestic/intimate partner violence, sexual violence and related issues.

Students may find many different resources in the Student Policy section to help meet their needs. In the case that a student’s needs are not sufficiently addressed by existing policies, and a complaint needs to be filed, the following student policies students may refer to:

If an individual has exhausted this institution’s internal complaint process and the complaint remains unresolved to the satisfaction of the individual, they may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for further review of the complaint. The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833,, (916) 431-6924, (916) 263-1897 (fax).

PSR’s Internal complaint processes may include but are not limited to the Student Conduct and Special Needs Policy, Academic Disputes Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, Grievance Policy, and other policies that may be found in a PSR Program Manual (Part I: Varies by Certificate or DegreePart II: Includes PSR Student Policies) or PSR Faculty Manual.

The conduct of each student at Pacific School of Religion shall at all times be consistent with the character and purpose of the school, as an educational institution committed to serving God by equipping leaders for ministries of integrity, compassion and justice. On rare occasions in every institution, questions arise about whether a student’s conduct on the campus, in academic and non-academic settings, is compatible with the nature and purpose of the institution.  When these questions arise, the School has established a Committee on Student Conduct to hold an objective assessment of the facts and make recommendations and/or decisions on what action should be taken.

In the case of theological students, the Special Needs Policy, a sub-category of the Student Conduct Policy, may be invoked.

Special Needs Policy

Pacific School of Religion (PSR) shares responsibility with the ordaining and commissioning agencies of churches and other religious communities for judgments concerning a person’s fitness for professional religious leadership. Special needs policy and process involves, in part, the School’s exercise of this responsibility. Master of Divinity students and other students preparing for ministry agree by their enrollment at PSR, to accept the policy and procedures described below as part of their education
and to be bound by the decisions. These standards do not preclude the School’s application of other policies such as those pertaining to the occupancy of school housing, academic discipline, and student conduct.

Definition: Special Needs
A “special need” refers to any situation or condition which brings into question the personal and professional development of a student that makes consultation and/or intervention necessary beyond the usual teacher-student or advisor-advisee relationship. In such instances, this process assesses questions of fitness and of professional development for ministry.

Examples of possible special need situations include, but are not limited to: personal and professional difficulties arising from field placement; matters of character, self understanding or integrity that raise questions about the student’s fitness, competencies, readiness or effectiveness for religious leadership; behaviors suggesting short or long term emotional difficulties which may impact the student’s ability to attend to personal and professional development.

The primary purpose of this process is to identify needs relevant to the appropriate preparation for ministry, and resources to meet those needs for students in the professional degree programs. When it does not appear that a student in PSR’s judgment, can appropriately attend to those needs, the policy may lead to limits on the range of the student’s participation in PSR classes and other activities up to and including temporary removal from classes or permanent expulsion.

The following procedures refer to both Student Conduct and Special Needs cases unless a distinction is clearly stated.

Before the completing of either policy procedure, the student shall retain all rights and privileges as a student unless the President and/or Dean, with the consultation of the Committee, determine that immediate suspension from student rights and privileges or greater on different sanctions is in the best interests of the School. At all times in this process, the School has all rights and obligations otherwise imposed by law to notify law enforcement agencies if appropriate. See section on “Immediate Interim Suspension” for more details.


Specific reports about a PSR student shall be brought to the attention of the Dean’s Office by one student, any faculty, staff, field education supervisor, other student, on-campus residential member, or others with whom the student associates.

Initial Respondent

Such reports may be referred to the Director of Community Life to be addressed informally and without reference to disciplinary measures (i.e. offering conflict management counseling, providing a referral to mental health services or substance abuse treatment). If such a report is not informally resolved through the involvement of the Director of Community Life, the report may be referred to the Dean, and a phase of more formal information gathering will follow.

Information Gathering & Policy Determination Phase

1. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, gathers preliminary information from relevant sources and decides if the situation warrants initiation of either the Student Conduct process or the Special Needs process, or not
2. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, notifies the student’s advisor of the situation and meets with the advisor and one other member of the PSR faculty or staff (e.g., the Assistant Deans, Housing Director, etc.), selected by the Dean, normally within five business days following determination of either a Student Conduct or a Special Needs situation.

Consultative Phase

1. The information gathering phase leads to a consultation with the Dean, the student, the advisor, and if needed, one more appointment at the Dean’s discretion in light of the type of issues raised by the alleged conduct. A course of action is outlined to define and deal with the student conduct.
2. If the proposed course of action is accepted by the student, then a written statement of the proposal, and a signed statement of the student’s assent is placed in the advisor’s file, the Dean’s office, and a copy sent to the student.

Committee Phase

1. If the proposed course of action is not accepted by the student, or if the Dean thereafter determines that the action plan is not being followed by the student, or for other good reasons, the Dean may then convene a Committee, normally within 10 business days. The student will be notified in writing of the convening of the Committee.
2. The Committee shall consist of
a. For Student Conduct: the Dean, Director of Community Life, Advisor, faculty member,
and if needed, one more appointment by the Dean.
b. For the Special Needs: three faculty members appointed by Dean for the academic year.
The Dean serves as an ex officio member.
3. The Committee reviews the case, the steps taken to date, and any documentation considered relevant. The Committee chooses a chair for its work with the particular student. The Committee chooses a recorder/secretary. The Committee sets place, time, and date within ten business days for a hearing with the student.

Hearing of the Committee

1. The student is informed in writing of the time, date and location for the hearing with the special needs Committee; at least four business days in advance.
2. These proceedings may be conducted in the absence of a student who fails to appear after proper notice.
3. The Committee, together with the student’s advisor, shall meet with the student in a hearing. Formal rules of evidence will not be used. Any person who disrupts the hearing may be excluded.
4. The student shall have the privilege of presenting to the Committee written or oral statements from others with knowledge of pertinent facts or of presenting other pertinent materials.
5. If a psychological or other professional evaluation has been requested by the Committee, the professional who prepared the evaluation may be requested to appear at the hearing and to respond to relevant questions, upon request of any party, if the chair of the Committee determines that such participation is important to the resolution of the case.
6. The Committee may require the attendance of persons from the PSR community. The Committee may also request the attendance of persons from outside the community, whose participation is deemed important to the adjudication of the case.
7. The student may choose to be accompanied by no more than one person, such as a family member, a licensed mental health professional, a member of the faculty or staff, or a fellow student. The student may consult with, but not be accompanied by, an attorney. The student shall communicate to the Committee chair the name of the person who will accompany him/her to the hearing, doing so two days in advance of the hearing.
8. The hearing may be tape recorded by the Dean or designee. This recording will be available only to the student, the Committee and, if needed for appeal, to the president. The Dean shall store this tape for 90 days following the hearing.
9. When the Committee determines by majority vote that it has received all information necessary to its determination, it shall terminate the process and, in private session, reach its decision with respect to the matter under consideration.


1. The Committee’s decision shall be transmitted to the student in writing, by the Dean or designee doing so within five business days (if practicable) after the completion of the hearing. The written decision should contain a statement of reasons for the Committee’s determination. In the case of a decision for expulsion, the student should be advised as to when or whether a petition for reinstatement would be considered, along with any conditions for petitioning for reinstatement. The student should also be advised of his/her right of appeal.
2. If the Committee makes a decision not affecting the student’s matriculation, it may initiate a process of consultation and/or action which it considers appropriate to meet the student’s need. Examples of appropriate action include, but are not limited to the following: special training in study skills; the requirement of additional course work in writing or academic research skills; an appropriate term of psychological counseling; removal from or change of field education or internship placement; specified medical treatment; etc.
3. When in the judgment of the Committee a process has met the student’s need, no further action is needed. A brief report shall be made to the faculty, enclosed in the student’s file.
4. If the Committee makes a decision affecting the student’s matriculation, that is, expulsion or a conditional or non-conditional leave of absence, the chair shall present at the following executive faculty meeting as full a report as needed to inform the faculty of the case. The faculty may accept the report or, if presented with new substantive information within 30 days, ask the Committee to reconsider its decision.

Professional Evaluation

1. After initial review of the situation and at any time during these proceedings, the Committee may refer a student for appropriate professional evaluation. For example, a student may be referred to a mental health evaluation approved by the School..
2. Students referred for professional evaluation shall be informed in writing and shall be given a copy of these standards and procedures.
3. The cost of the professional evaluation is the responsibility of the PSR.

Immediate Interim Suspension

1. An interim suspension may be implemented immediately if the Dean determines that a student’s behavior poses a danger of causing physical or emotional harm to the student or others; substantially impeding the academic or other lawful activities of others; or causing property damage.
2. The Dean shall determine whether the student will be suspended from classes, campus and/or housing.
3. A student subject to an interim suspension shall be given written notice of the suspension and shall be given a copy of these standards and procedures.
4. The student shall then be given an opportunity to appear personally or by conference call before the members of the special needs Committee (or substitute faculty members, if necessary), within five business days from the effective date of the interim suspension, in order to review the following issues only: the reliability of the information concerning the student’s behavior and whether or not the student’s behavior poses a danger of causing physical or emotional harm to the student or others, impeding the academic and other lawful activities of others, or causing property damage.
5. The student has the right to present a current professional psychological evaluation relevant to any and all of the issues listed above.
6. When appearing before the Committee the student may be accompanied by a family member, licensed mental health professional, a member of the faculty or staff, or another student.
7. The student will be allowed to enter campus to attend hearings, or for other necessary purposes, only if authorized by the Dean.
8. A student on interim suspension will remain suspended unless and until the suspension is reversed by this Committee (defined below).
9. The Dean will notify the student in writing of the decision of the special needs Committee.


1. The student may appeal the final decision of the Committee to the president, doing so within ten business days after the Dean’s written communication of the decision to the student.
2. The president may consult with the Committee and any other persons of his/her choosing. The president shall have access to the tape recording of the proceedings of the informal hearing (if any exists) as well as any documentation pertinent to the case. The president may then meet with the party or parties involved in the complaint. If the president chooses to meet with them, the student or students involved may be choose to be accompanied by a family member, licensed mental health professional, faculty member, staff member or another student. Students may not be accompanied by an attorney. Students must communicate the name of the accompanying person two business days in advance of the meeting.
3. The president may affirm the decision of the Committee, overrule the decision, or return it to the Committee for further consideration and resubmission with appropriate time limits set by the president. The president’s decision shall be final and conclusive and not subject to appeal within the institution.
4. If the matter before the Committee is one in which the president is directly involved, then the president shall delegate the review powers described herein to a member of the faculty, administration, Board of Trustees or third party unaffiliated with PSR who is not otherwise involved in the matter.


Records of proceedings under this policy shall be maintained in a manner calculated to limit access only to those persons with institutional need to know or right to know.

last approved by faculty in April 2012

To contact tech support, email

Wireless internet connectivity is available to all students, faculty and staff. Wireless coverage includes all of the PSR campus and many of the consortium member school campuses as well. Wireless passwords will be distributed at new student orientation.

PSR A/V Media Services provides audio-visual equipment for classes, webinars, and special events sponsored by PSR faculty or staff on the PSR campus. PSR A/V Media Services does not provide support to events hosted by outside entities, including for other GTU affiliates.

Use the AV Request Form to request equipment, services, or training no fewer than 7 working days in advance.  Last-minute requests may not be honored.

Consult the Classroom Audio-Visual Equipment Policy or Faculty/Instructors Teaching on the PSR Campus for instructions and guidelines.

Event hosts must provide their own staff to run AV equipment.  Media Services will train event staff in the operation of necessary equipment and deliver/pick up equipment as needed.  Media Services staff are not available to operate equipment during an event.

Recordings will be made available to PSR staff within three weeks of a recorded event. Media services does not provide editing or posting services.

Contact or 510.849.8218 for more information.  AV staff are available, as schedules permit, between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

PSR Media Center Policy

  • Reservations must be made at least 7 days in advance at  
  • Reserved equipment must be signed out at reception.
    • You can sign-out equipment without a reservation but only if it is available and you have the skill to use it without assistance. Equipment sign-out lasts until the end of the business day at 5:00 pm unless a reservation has been made.
  • PSR A/V Media Center assistance is available only for PSR-related events.
  • Any equipment that requires help, training, or set-up from a PSR A/V Media Center staff person requires a reservation made at least 7 days in advance to ensure someone is available to help.
    • Training is available for after-hours events. However, we cannot guarantee staff is available for after-hours events.
  • If you encounter any PSR A/V equipment that is not functioning, please report it to 510-849-8201 or
  • Zoom video conferences using the school’s general accounts require an advance reservation.
  • If you need PSR A/V equipment after-hours, it must be returned by 8:45 am the following business day. (i.e. You reserve and use a PSR A/V laptop for class Monday night. The laptop needs to be returned to the A/V manager by 8:45 am the following Tuesday morning.)


  • All PSR A/V equipment needs to be treated with care.
  • PSR A/V equipment should not be removed from the PSR campus.
  • No food or drink should come in contact/be left on the same surface with any electronic equipment.
  • Cords will be received in good order and should be returned as such.
  • Gaffer tape will be provided so cords can be taped down for your safety and their well-being.
  • PSR A/V equipment must be shut down when you finish using it so the power is off completely, not just asleep.
  • PSR A/V equipment should not be left unattended in unlocked spaces.

This policy is in place to allow all PSR staff and faculty access to PSR A/V media equipment so our programs can run effectively for our students. Please comply with these policies so everyone can benefit from the resources PSR has available.

Transfer Policy and Procedure

You may transfer a portion of your PSR program from an accredited theological or graduate school if that credit is evaluated by the Assistant Dean as an appropriate part of your program. No credits that fall outside the lapsed-time rule (see time lapse limit in Common Academic Policies chart) may be counted toward the program. Petitions to Transfer Credits should be submitted by the end of the first semester of your program so that a decision may be rendered in time for you to plan your program.

Petitions should include official transcripts showing the credits earned if they are not already obtained during the Admissions process. All petitioned courses are assumed to be transferred for elective credit unless noted on your petition to be used toward a basic requirement. In the case that you wish to petition a transferred course to be used for one of your basic requirements or any other kind of requirement, you must note that on your petition, and you must supply course descriptions and syllabi of those courses to accompany the written petition request. Requests without syllabi will be processed for elective credit only.

Please note: courses that are transferred in are used to determine your overall GPA.

Special Transfer Cases

  • Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership (CTEL):Students who already possess an associates degree or higher and have earned a CTEL, may petition to transfer up to 3.0 elective credits toward a graduate PSR degree or certificate program by the end of their first semester at PSR.
  • Certificate of Ministry (CMS):
    CMS graduates who wish to pursue futher education at PSR may transfer up to 7.5 elective credits toward PSR graduate degree or certificate or program by the end of their first semester at PSR.
  • Field Education credit: Transferring Field Education credits requires, in addition to transcripts, submission of all field education reports documenting the field education experience and evaluation from the previous institution.

As PSR is on a semester system, quarter credits are transferred in at 2/3 the original rate. Courses suitable for transfer of credit are graduate level academic courses from an ATS and/or a regionally accredited (or equivalent) institution. Up to 2/3 of your total required units may be transferred from a school outside PSR including courses from another school in the consortium.

In short, a few key things to remember and check if you are thinking about transferring are:

  • Credits cannot be older than usually 4-7 years (lapsed time rule) depending on which program you are applying to at PSR.
  • Courses must be at graduate level, in theological field, and from accredited institution.
  • Petitions must be accompanied with copies of syllabi for courses you wish to use toward basic foundational requirements of PSR programs.

If you have completed prior relevant coursework but it does not necessarily meet all the criteria as listed above, you may still be eligible for advanced standing status, which may waive you from certain course requirements, but require you to still fulfill the credits with an appropriate substitution of your choice. For more information on petitioning for Advanced Standing status, visit our Advanced Standing Policy and Procedure.

Petition Evaluation Periods

Petitions to Transfer/Advanced Standing and any new additional documents or appeals will be considered on the following schedule:

Submission Deadline
Materials received by
Will receive a response by
September 30 October 30
December 30 January 30
March 30 April 30
June 30 July 30

If you wish to appeal a decision, please do so by submitting all additional syllabi and/or other documentation to support your appeal by the next deadline. Submissions that are not received in time by a deadline will processed at the next deadline. However note that petitions with complete documentation should be submitted by the end of the first semester of your program so that a decision may be rendered in time for you to plan your program. No requests for transfer or additional appeals will be considered after your first year at PSR except under special circumstances.

Transfer and Advanced Standing Petition Forms

Below are Petitions to Transfer Credit for GTU Common MA students and non-GTU Common MA students. Please fill out the appropriate form and submit to the PSR Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.

Petition to Transfer Credits & apply for Advanced Standing for PSR Students (non-GTU MA) >>
Petition to Transfer Credits & apply for Advanced Standing for GTU Common MA Students

Transferring out of PSR to another institution

Note that this policy covers only transfers of non-PSR coursework to PSR programs only. For policies on transfers of PSR credits to an outside institution, please consult that institution’s transfer policy.

  1. Students may not use any hand held devices in the classroom (cell phones, PDA’s, MP3 players, cameras, etc) without the explicit permission of the instructor. All hand held devices should normally be turned off and packed away during class sessions.
  2. The use of computers in the classroom is a privilege, not a right. Computers should be used for note-taking only. If computers are used for texting, e-mail, or internet connection (without the explicit permission of the instructor), the instructor may revoke the privilege of using a computer in that class. Students with multiple violations of this policy will not be permitted computer use in any future PSR classes.
  3. Students who need to use voice recorders for class lectures must receive the explicit permission of the instructor in order to do so.
  4. Students may not post ANY material from classes on the internet or other personal networking sites without the explicit, written permission of the instructor and all other class participants.
  5. Classes must explicitly list in their description and syllabus that they are open to the use of flexible learning technology in order for a student to take the class using such technology.

adopted by the PSR faculty September 2009

Students are encouraged to have a consultation with their advisor, the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar, or the Dean before filing for withdrawal or accepting termination from a program. While PSR aims to support students in their decisions, in many cases, we have policies and suppport in place to accomodate and address the reasons for student departure that would be less severe and irreversible.

Withdrawal from Program

Withdrawal severs the relationship between the student and PSR. Committees are dissolved, and it is intended to be an irreversible decision.

If you are considering withdrawing from PSR, please speak with your advisor, the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Registrar, or the Dean. As withdrawal is a permanent action, if you should decide to return to PSR later, you would need to re-apply again through Admissions with a full application.

Termination of Program

Students who do not register and do not file for a leave of absence by the end of the fourth week of the semester will be removed from the active rolls and their programs will be terminated. Students on suspension or academic probation who do not fulfill the terms of their agreement to return may also be terminated. At times students who have been terminated have not updated their contact information with PSR, so make sure you update your contact information and check your PSR emails to avoid termination.

Like withdrawal, termination also severs the relationship between the student and PSR. Committees are dissolved, and it is intended to be an irreversible decision.  If you should decide to return to PSR later, you would need to re-apply again through Admissions with a full application.

Withdrawal from Course

After the 10th week of courses, if you request to drop a course and obtain the approval of the instructor and the Dean, your course will be marked on your transcript as withdrawn or “W”. This action is subject to change in schedule fees.

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Students who withdraw from all coursework (including going on a Leave of Absence) and who do not complete more than 60% of their term of enrollment must have a portion of “unearned” federal funds returned to their source. For more information on PSR’s R2T4, please view the policy here.