Housing at the GTU
Most students live "off-campus" in apartments and homes in Berkeley and neighboring communities.
Several GTU member schools own apartment buildings and dormitories in Berkeley and elsewhere. Member schools house their MDiv students first and then rent to MA and PhD/ThD students depending on the availability of space. Most likely, you will need to wait until mid-summer to receive definite notice from a school regarding its housing availability. Some schools give preference to students who have affiliated* with them. Single students (without pets) may wish to consider applying for dormitory housing (at CDSP and SFTS). It is always good to seek other housing options while you wait to hear about the housing availability.
Member School Housing Information
*Affiliation with a member school is not required for doctoral students, however, for some it is of interest. The two primary benefits are that affiliation formally connects you with the community and worship life of a member school, and, for those who intend to teach or work at church-related schools or organizations, affiliation can provide an environment for expanding knowledge of denominational opportunities and increase your network of professional colleagues.
Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes
The Mission Homes were established in 1937 through the foresight and generosity of Carolyn Babcock Adams and her family. Today, BPMH provides subsidized housing for international faith leaders who are pursuing advanced degrees at the Graduate Theological Union. The subsidy is offered at the highest rate (no more than 50-55% of market value) to students with F-1 visas who intend to return to their home country.
UC Berkeley's International House
This multi-cultural campus residence and program center is dedicated to promoting intercultural respect and understanding among 585 residents (mostly graduate students) from 70+ countries, as well as through diverse programs serving the local and campus community, and alumni worldwide.
Single students from GTU member schools are welcome to apply for a room at "I-House," an historic building on the west side of campus with its own cafe, dining hall, library, computer room, and resident lounges on each of eight resident floors. A virtual tour of the facility, as well as rates, an online application, and program information is available at ihouse.berkeley.edu.
Berkeley Student Cooperative
The Berkeley Student Cooperative is a 501c3 nonprofit housing cooperative. The BSC provides affordable housing and board to students at UC Berkeley and other Bay Area colleges and universities. BSC's mission is to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community to university students, thereby providing an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to afford a university education. Presently the BSC has over 1300 student members living in or eating at seventeen houses and three apartment cooperatives around the UC Berkeley campus. Each house is democratically run, and all contribute labor to help keep housing costs affordable.
Housing in the Bay Area
With so many reasons to love the Bay Area, it has become one of the most competitive rental markets in the nation. Here are some suggestions for finding housing that fits your budget and your needs:
- Start early. Try to visit for a week-long search in June or July, or arrive several weeks before classes for an in-person search. You may also consider a summer sublet as a temporary housing option, allowing you to look for permanent housing once you’re here.
- Diversify your search. The most fruitful housing search will consist of a wide variety of resources, including online listings, newspaper classifieds, housing bulletin boards, housing services, management companies, and word-of-mouth.
- Come prepared. Prepare a “Housing Resume” for visiting showings. This should include:
- Your name, address, and phone number;
- Your previous addresses, landlords, and their phone numbers (five–10 years);
- Your present (or future) employer’s address and phone; and
- A recommendation letter that speaks to their experience of you as a good tenant.
- Be ready to "move." Because housing in the Bay Area is such the "seller’s market" you will find that the best apartments are snatched up very quickly—sometimes in a matter of hours. If you find a place you like, consider making an offer before someone else does. Be prepared to pay first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit.
Housing Lists and Services
Perhaps the single best resource for rental listings in the Bay Area is Craigslist. This non-profit community bulletin board offers many listings for rentals and shared housing throughout the Bay Ara. They also offer a free subscription service, customized to your specifications, which sends you new listings as they are posted. Craigslist also has listings for jobs, personals, community events, and just about anything else you can imagine. Other sites, like RentLingo, Zillow and My New Place, have searchable listings for rentals. Roomies is a website that lists shared housing, and you can also make a posting if you're looking for a place. Zillow and Estately both list homes for sale in the area.