GTU students range in age from mid-twenties to early seventies, and have families and/or obligations within their communities, denominations, and/or professional networks. Not all live in Berkeley, and many find it necessary to work to support their studies. Therefore, to have a sense of belonging to the GTU community is essential for a meaninful time at the GTU. Community is something that is built intentionally by committed individuals. Student community provides an avenue for sharing resources and experiences, learning about faculty, making a difference.
Students are encouraged to organize support groups and the Dean's Office is happy to help publicize their formation and meetings through the Dean's Newsletter. If you are interested in creating a group, please contact the Director of Student Life, Chaitanya Motupalli at email@example.com.
Currently the GTU has a few active groups, and have had a full range of student endeavors in recent years, including the Applied Ethics Think Tank, the Evangelical Round Table, the Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality (TREES), Peace and Justice Efforts Across the Consortium, Latino/a Scholars, and an Interfaith Meditation Group.
Current Active Groups Include
Korean Student Association
GTU Korean Student Association (GTU KSA) is a group established to serve Korean-American and Korean students pursuing various degrees from GTU and its member schools. The main purpose of the Association is to share Korean cultural heritages with GTU community and to foster interaction among the members. Given the diversity in denominations, GTU KSA facilitates networking and ecumenical dialogue among the membership. The students of KSA actively participate in local Korean congregations in the Bay Area and bring theological richness to the churches.
The activities of GTU KSA include traditional Korean Dinners, area discussions, and public lectures. The Association also leads worship services for GTU member schools as well as cultural celebrations for the community.
You may contact the Korean Student Association through its president, Jinseok at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beloved Community Students Union
The Beloved Community Students Union (BCSU) is an initiative that is aimed at building an inclusive and intemtional community of love and friendship. It proactively battles against the dehumanizing experiences of isolation, loneliness, and alienation, which often affect international students and socially disadvantaged persons. BCSU is focused on sharing meals, even hosting free dinners, that nourish body, mind, and soul and foster growth and sur-"thrive"-al. It also provides sprititual support and hospitality to all, so it is open to all members of the GTU community and their significant others, as well as interested individuals from UC Berkeley.
The activities of BCSU include weekday/Friday night cook-out/dinners on a smaller scale, community dinners on a larger scale that include games, story-telling, musical performances, presentations, etc.
International Student Association
The International Student Association, GTU is a student organization at the Graduate Theological Union for all international students and scholars. ISA aims to: 1) foster spiritual, intellectual, mental wellbeing of all international students; 2) support and provide assistance in all possible ways to international students, especially to those that are coming to the United States for the first time; and 3) create an inclusive space for all international students from all backgrounds to explore academic excellence, establish cross-cultural fellowships, embrace diversities, provide space to voice their opinions and promote healthy friendships.
By sponsoring/co-sponsoring events, activities, forums and discussion, ISA hopes to build a vibrant community, and foster cross-cultural friendships at the GTU. Also, ISA seeks to advocate for interreligious learning and dialogue in the global society by embracing and celebrating cultural and religious diversity, and inclusion.
ISA works closely with the Admissions office, Office of the Dean and Director of Student life to provide assistance to international prospective students in their application, housing, visa, and provide information related to studies and life at GTU, Berkeley. If you are a prospective student and if you are seeking guidance with regard to any of the above matters, please do reach out to the co-chairs of ISA: Zulu at ZLemtur@gtu.edu, or Marinda at email@example.com.
Student Advisory Committee
The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) consists of six doctoral students serving rotating two-year terms. The SAC meets several times a semester (starting early in each semester) for 1 1⁄2 hours with the Academic Dean and Associate Dean of Students. The Student Advisory Council advises the Deans and proactively advocates on behalf of student needs/concerns/issues. Specific duties include: formally participating in the incoming doctoral student orientation; hosting at least one open meeting with students per semester (the meeting is held early in the semester to leave time to follow-up on issues raised); collaborating with the Deans to develop accountability procedures to make sure student concerns are addressed; working with the Deans to make sure the composition of the SAC addresses the diversity among the students.
SAC members for the 2019-2020 academic year are: Thomas Calobrisi, Mahjabeen Dhala, Hanna Kang, Jennifer Lehmann, and Carmelo Sorita
Christina Atienza (HCSR)
Mark Guevarra (THET)
Student Advisory Committee
Carmelo Sorita (SATX)
Hanna Kang (HCSR)
Jennifer Lehmann (SATX)
Lwan May Oo (THET)
May Kosba (HCSR)
Pamela Stevens (HCSR)
Ayanna Grady-Hunt (REPR)
Erika Katske (THET)
Mariska Lauterboom (REPR)
Student Representative to the SBL
Grace Eunhye So (BIBL)
Student Representative to the AAR
Sheryl Johnson (THET)