Our Educational Philosophy

Starr King School's educational philosophy is rooted in Unitarian Universalist values. We educate in ways that:

  • trust in an empowering and liberating grace that is larger than ourselves,
  • call forth the full, authentic presence of people,
  • welcome silenced knowledge, feeling and experience,
  • undergird human wholeness, integrity, interdependence and agency,
  • foster self-awareness and self-respect,
  • strengthen relational capacities and the ethics of community,
  • deepen knowledge and wisdom arising from engagement with primary texts and primary experience,
  • embody an ongoing practice of inquiry, study, action and reflection.

Our Educational Model

Starr King’s New Educational Model advances Starr King as a school with “permeable walls” and opens the School to enrollment growth by making the School’s programs more flexible. In keeping with the School’s long heritage of student-centered education, it places the student at the center and offers each the close and committed guidance of a faculty mentor-advisor. Within a framework of individually-designed courses of study, it asks each M.Div. and M.A.S.C. student to engage in three modes of learning: on-line learning, residential learning, and immersion learning. The new model fully integrates into all aspects of the curriculum the School’s commitment to education that counter-oppressions, creates just and sustainable communities and fosters multi-religious life and learning.
Read more about Starr King's Educational Model.

Educating to Counter Oppressions and Create Just Communities

The mission, theological vision and educational philosophy of the school support us in educating to counter oppressions. In our work we strive to embody what we hope to see in the world -- a just, loving humanity and community in which people are free to be themselves fully and without fear. A community where no one is exiled, silenced or exploited because of gender, gender expression, race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual/affectional orientation, age, class, physical character or disability. (Read the full text of "Educating to Create Just Communities that Counter Oppression" and "Educating to Counter Oppressions Self-Assessment Report".)

Committment to Multi-Religious Education

A study published by Auburn Seminary in 2010 named Starr King School as one of the top 20 theological institutions engaged in multifaith education. Between January and August, 2009, the study's authors surveyed 150 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and multi-religious institutions in America that train religious leaders, representing approximately one-half of the accredited theological schools in the U.S.

Our Educational Practices

Starr King School emphasizes student-centered, holistic learning that cultivates habits for successful ministry and effective religious leadership through:

  • individually tailored courses of study,
  • close personal attention and intensive advising,
  • written evaluations rather than letter grades,
  • learning from life experience, independent study and spiritual practice,
  • high standards of scholarship and intellectual inquiry,
  • opportunities to teach as well as take courses,
  • practical engagement with congregations and communities.

Statement on Inclusion

In faithfulness to our theological commitments, Starr King School embraces all, regardless of age, gender, gender expression, race, color, class, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual/affectional orientation or disability.

Anita Narang is SKSM's Title IX officer. Contact: 2441 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley, Calif. 94709, (510) 549-4702 or anarang@sksm.edu. Or, contact the federal Office of Civil Rights, OCRSanFrancisco@ed.gov or 415/556-4275.

Watch a Video About Starr King School

This ten-minute video, produced by Starr King student Garrick Linn, presents our new educational model, introduces our students and faculty, and lays out our vision for theological education in the 21st century.

Click to view the complete Starr King catalog in PDF format.(Note: Seminary for the Laity certificate program is no longer offered.)


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