Pacific School of Religion Changemaker Campus

Pacific School of Religion is a progressive, multidenominational seminary and center for social justice that prepares spiritually-rooted leaders to work for the well-being of all. Rooted in the Christian tradition, Pacific School of Religion is home to a vibrant and diverse community of faculty, staff, and students from a wide range of spiritual, religious and cultural backgrounds. Reflecting the interreligious and multiethnic reality of the world, Pacific School of Religion develops and connects individuals engaged in faith-based leadership and social activism through rigorous scholarship, practical training, and immersive fieldwork.

Ignite Institute at Pacific School of Religion

The Ignite Institute Ignite was founded in 2014 by Pacific School of Religion as a hub for innovative new programs connecting spirituality, leadership, and social changemaking. The Ignite Institute has hosted webinars on spiritually rooted responses to Standing Rock, Sanctuary, and #BlackLivesMatter. Ignite also offers a range of co-curricular programming for PSR students and those in the broader community around active empathy; constructive dialogue around contentious topics; and spiritual practice for social change, with audiences ranging from high school students to recent retirees.

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Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion

The first center at a seminary dedicated to advancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender people, the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies (CLGS) offers students the possibility to learn about and discuss issues of religion and sexuality through the Certificate of Sexuality and Religion and to participate in immersive experiences, including “Engaging Communities of Liberation in Cuernavaca, Mexico”.  CLGS is invested in fostering community building across and within religious affiliation, ethnicity, gender, race and class.

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Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change & Master of Arts in Social Transformation

PSR’s Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change (CSSC) offers specialized training for the work of social changemaking. Participants come from and prepare for a wide range of socially innovative vocational paths, whether social justice advocacy, community organizing, the visual and performing arts, or congregational leadership. In each of these arenas, effective efforts for social change rely on ongoing personal change and transformation rooted in a practice of spiritual formation.   PSR’s Master of Arts degree in Social Transformation (MAST) equips students to think critically about socio-political dynamics and reflect constructively on the role played by religion and theological traditions in movements for social change. This academic program combines the tools and methods of social theory and constructive theology for a distinctive blend of spiritual leadership skills in a rapidly changing world.

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Community Engaged Learning

In our multicultural and multireligious world, effective leadership requires knowledge, perspective and skill that comes from engagement with diverse communities and contexts. Community Engaged Learning (CEL) links theological education with local and international communities.  CEL courses and programs create experiences to foster the reciprocal ways that self and culture, social forces, and institutions shape and give meaning to life and work.  CEL provides immersive education including year-long internships, semester-long immersions in change work and social entrepreneurship, and local, global, sustainable cross-cultural immersions from two weeks to three months. Through online Theological Education for Leadership CEL also makes progressive and critical Christian theological education accessible and off "Holy Hill" in Berkeley to communities, churches and individuals around the world.

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Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart Academic Director, Ignite Institute and Faculty, Director of Community Engaged Learning at Pacific School of Religion

Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart has led congregations and campus ministries for thirty-five years as an elder in the United Methodist Church. She has served as Senior Pastor of four United Methodist Congregations, and Chair of the Order of Elders in the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.   She has given professional leadership at international, national, regional, and local levels of the denomination and ecumenical associations, including serving as Director of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and as President of the National Campus Ministry Association. She has directed ministry programs at University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Berkeley, San Diego State University and University of California, San Francisco. All of these programs had immersive learning components for graduate and undergraduate students. Reverend Lockwood-Stewart has founded and re-vitalized ministries in health sciences, higher education, and community organizing as well as served as the founding director of PSR’s Contextual Learning program. She has also published devotions, sermons, curriculum, sermons, and poetry journal articles and papers in social religious history, which is the area of her academic interest as congregational and campus pastor.

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Derene Allen Interim Director at the Ignite Institute at Pacific School of Religion

Derene Allen began her professional career in Latin America with American Express. She is a successful international entrepreneur, comfortable in high growth, highly volatile environments, having co-founded a database marketing company in 4 countries in Latin America. For close to two decades, she was a Principal at Santiago Solutions Group, responsible for their Social Practice, linking for profit organizations with community opportunities. She has worked with a diverse set of organizations from Verizon and Johnson & Johnson to AARP, UNICEF, and Catholic Charities.   Derene has extensive experience helping nonprofits develop more sustainable financial models, devising social enterprises, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment strategies that result in increased earned income, engagement, and volunteer participation, particularly from multicultural communities. In 2008, in the midst of the great recession, Derene launched and managed the San Francisco worker owned cooperative for the nonprofit, Prospera, a social enterprise creating healthy, dignified jobs for low income Latinas.   Derene has taught at universities in the United States and in Latin America. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship for UC Berkeley Extension, the Silicon Valley Immersion Program at the University of San Francisco, and as a Mentor in the Global Social Benefits Institute at the Miller Center of Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.

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Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.