University description (as per official university website)
About Pacific School of Religion
Since its founding in 1866, Pacific School of Religion (PSR) has served as a multi-denominational Christian seminary. PSR stands at a remarkable crossroads of faith and learning communities. Located in the broadly diverse San Francisco Bay Area on the axis of the continental United States and the Pacific Rim, PSR offers an unparalleled view of global relationships and currents of cultural change. Throughout its history, PSR has been on the cutting edge of emerging movements for change in the Christian tradition, representing an early voice for the equality of women, resisting racial prejudice and war, and advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and the economically disadvantaged.
PSR has formal relationships with three denominations: the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Half of PSR’s students come from these three traditions. Other PSR students come from faith traditions as diverse as Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and several other mainline denominations and new religious movements.
PSR's faculty members represent a wide spectrum of denominational and cultural backgrounds. In addition to traditional seminary subjects like bible, church history, theology, ethics, pastoral care, and worship leadership, PSR’s faculty specialize in subjects as diverse as art and religion, sexuality, and world religions, and are particularly concerned with issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and economic justice.
PSR participates in the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), an ecumenical consortium of nine theological schools with a combined student body of 1,300 and faculty of 130. PSR students use the GTU's Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, one of the largest theological libraries in the United States, and may choose from over 700 courses offered at GTU member schools. PSR is located one block away from the University of California, Berkeley, where students have access to resources of one of the world's great research universities.
PSR connects with diverse faith and learning communities throughout the world through the work of its more than 2,000 alumni/ae. The majority of alums serve faith communities through parish ministry, but others serve in non-profit management, global religious outreach, denominational government, counseling and social work, journalism, film and television production, and as professors and scholars.
PSR offers a comprehensive program of financial aid for eligible students. Three-quarters of our students receive need-based scholarships, merit scholarships, work-study, or loans.
Types of Financial Aid Available
PSR awards merit awards to select master's-level applicants regardless of financial need. President's Awards provide full tuition to five MDiv students on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and promise for ministry. Dean’s Awards provide partial tuition to five students entering MDiv, MTS, or PSR/GTU Common MA degree programs who show exceptional promise. (Merit awards are renewed for the allotted duration of each program, provided that recipients demonstrate continued academic excellence and vocational interest.) All accepted students entering in fall semester who have submitted all application materials (including all transcripts, reference letters, application fee, personal or academic statement, resume, and GRE or TOEFL scores if applicable) by the February 1 priority deadline are automatically considered for merit awards based on their admissions applications. (Applicants may, if they wish, submit additional materials that support their candidacy for these awards. MA applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample.) Recipients of these awards must be enrolled at least half-time.
Merit Scholars and Academic Progress
1. In order to retain a merit award, merit scholars must continue to make satisfactory academic progress.
2. If a merit scholar fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is placed on probation, he/she will receive a letter, warning that merit scholarship funds will be forfeited should the student remain on probation a second semester.
3. If a student continues on probation for a second semester, they will lose their merit scholarship. They may, however, be considered for need-based awards.
4. Conditions for the merit scholarships will be detailed in the original merit scholarship award information. Additionally, merit scholars will be required to file a financial aid form each year.
Each year Pacific School of Religion distributes scholarships to qualified students. Students are eligible for approximately 30–50% of tuition, based on demonstrated financial need and availability of funds. International students are eligible for these scholarships. These scholarships are not available for DMin students.
Scholarships are available to eligible students who are enrolled at least half time (4.5 credits for MDiv, MTS, CTS, and CSS students; 6 credits for GTU Common MA students). The half-time requirement does not apply to CSR students.
PSR is committed to increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of its student body. In addition to any other aid that they may receive, students from racial/ethnic minority communities are also awarded special scholarships. Recipients of these scholarships must be enrolled at least half-time.