Deciding whether seminary education is right for you?

Visit us for Signs Along the Way, a weekend visit and discernment retreat

November 6-9, 2014

Berkeley, CA

Please join us at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary for our weekend visit and discernment retreat.

  • Explore your sense of call to ministry
  • Experience the Bay Area and what it's like to live and study at PLTS
  • Interact with current students, faculty, and staff

Register online

This event is offered at no cost to you, other than your transportation. Please speak with us if you would like additional financial assistance for airfare.

Arrive at the Seminary by 4 pm on November 6th. The weekend concludes with a visit to a grad fair at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) on Sunday, November 9 at 4:30 PM.

Your time will include class visits, conversations with key staff and students, discernment activities, and exploration of the Bay Area.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, November 6

  • 4:00 pm - Arrive, settle into housing and get to know one another over a pre-dinner reception.
  • 6:00 pm - Dinner
  • 7:30 pm - Introductions, opening prayer, Bible study and vocational discernment session

Friday, November 7

  • 8:00 am - Class visit
  • 10:00 am - Panel discussions and small groups with faculty and staff
  • 11:00 am - Worship with board of advisors and community
  • Noon - Community Lunch
  • 1:30 pm - Student Panel with board
  • 3:00 pm - Denise Morita, Financial Aid director
  • 4:00 pm - free time
  • 6:00 pm - dinner with current students
  • 8:00 pm - Optional night life/group activity

Saturday, November 8

  • 9:00 am - Signs Along the Way: Bible study and vocation session
  • 10:30 am - Group Adventures: Day in San Francisco or hiking/exploring Marin County

Sunday, November 9

  • 10:30 am - Worship at a local congregation
  • Noon - Lunch and GTU tour
  • 2-4:30 pm - Graduate Theological Union fair (with all schools represented, plus panels with faculty and students.

Voices from Previous Visits

“The first thing I remember of my visit was the view of the City from the tower taking my breath away and the view and smell of the eucalyptus trees in Tilden and thinking ‘Yeah, I could study God here.’ But, outside of the physical views of the beautiful Bay Area scenery, I was also struck by PLTS' views on community, academics, theology, and the church. In even such a brief time on campus… I was able to see that people here took our studies and formation seriously, and creatively. I knew that my experiences here and at the GTU would be rich.” - Amanda Nelson, PLTS 2014

“Not only were we encouraged to develop a community among those of us who where present for the visit weekend, but we were also welcomed into and allowed to experience the deep community among the students, faculty, and staff at the seminary.” - Tony Rhodes, PLTS 2014

“The visit helped me to rethink what I was doing, and brought me back to the desire that I had when I started on my journey to ordination.” - Prospective Student


How do I get there?

If you’re flying in, the closest airport is Oakland (OAK), but San Francisco also works. Both are served by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART – The BART will get you within 3 miles of campus; we’ll take care of the rest. Be sure to send us your travel plans, and keep us posted and we’ll coordinate rides from the BART. If you will arrive by car, take a look at a map and see how many roads reach PLTS – choose one! If you are walking or biking, bring a lot of water and make sure you’re in shape!

Can I bring a Significant Other?

Of course! Bring along people with whom you make decisions or who would be affected by your decision to go to seminary. Talk with us so that we can arrange appropriate housing for you and your + 1.

What about housing?

The first 14 people will stay in on-campus housing. Some rooms will be shared and some are single. If you have specific necessities, please let us know.

I want to come, but I can’t afford it. Can you help?

Most of the weekend’s costs will be covered. If you need assistance with travel costs, talk with us and we will work with you.

Is it okay if I leave early?

We think the whole weekend is important, and experiencing the GTU is a big part of that. We also understand you may be traveling long distances. Make the decision that is best for you.

Where is Berkeley, Anyway?

It is in the San Francisco Bay Area, a 20-minute BART ride from San Francisco.

Where is the seminary?

Located in the “Berkeley Hills,” it is at the top of a very steep road that dead-ends on campus. It is in a residential neighborhood that borders a large regional park.

I can’t come to this weekend, can I visit another time?

Absolutely. We regularly set up day-long or longer visits for prospective students. This weekend will have some added special features, but you are welcome to visit whenever class is in session. We can usually accommodate you on campus, especially if you let us know at least three weeks ahead of time.

Do I have to stay on campus?

No, you can feel free to arrange and pay for your own housing if you’d like.

Why is it called “Signs Along the Way?”

Think of your life as a big long road trip. God is guiding you in some way, with ‘Signs’ that guide you in some ways. This weekend will explore those moments in life when you’ve felt led or called by God, as signs along the way.

For further questions, contact the admission office:

Rev. Holly Johnson, Director of Graduate Admission
(510) 559-2738

Ed Johnson, Assistant Director of Admission & Housing Coordinator
(510) 559-2730