Inventory of the Bay Area Laymen's School of Religion Collection

Graduate Theological Union Archives Staff
Graduate Theological Union Archives
Graduate Theological Union
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Berkeley, California, 94709
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Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Bay Area Laymen's School of Religion Collection

Collection number: GTU 2004-11-01

Graduate Theological Union Archives

Graduate Theological Union

Berkeley, California
Processed by:
Graduate Theological Union Archive Staff
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
David Stiver
© 2013 Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Bay Area Laymen's School of Religion
Dates: 1962-1969
Collection number: GTU 2004-11-01
Creator: James, Muriel M.
Collector: Leslie, Robert C. (Robert Campbell), 1917-2006
Collection Size: .1 linear feet (1 folder)
Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Abstract: The collection contains a short history, newsletters, and brochures for the Laymen's School of Religion, which operated in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1959 to 1969. Following an extension school format, the school offered topical courses (Youth and the New Morality, for example) with a religious emphasis taught by seminary professors and other academic and experienced persons.
Physical location: Small Collections Box 16, folder 2, 2/D/3
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

Bay Area Laymen's School of Religion collection, GTU 2004-11-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

Acquisition Information

Compiled by Robert Leslie, professor emeritus, the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.

Biography / Administrative History

The Laymen's School of Religion held classes in local parishes and in seminaries that were part of Graduate Theological Union from 1959 to 1969. Teachers and members of the board of directors included a members of the faculty from the GTU consortium.
Robert Leslie provided a brief history of the school:
"The greater San Francisco Bay Area has long been a center for creative work in dealing with interpersonal relationships. One of the most significant organizations of importance for the religious community was the Laymen's School of Religion, organized and directed by Muriel James, B.D., Ed.D., who had spent a part-time internship at the PSR Pastoral Counseling Serivce. The School provided classes meeting for two hours in three si-week terms for several years beginning in 1959. It was designed as an extension school "where concerned laymen and clergy" could meet for serious study of the nature and relevance of the Judeo-Christian faith, for deeper understanding of themselves, and for more adequate expression of their faith in the contemporary world."
"In March 1969, the School announced that in the past 10 years, 487 courses had been offered, scheduled for three terms each year, and held within a radius of 74 miles of Berkeley. In addition, numerous workshops, special events and seminars were held with over 7000 persons participating."
The director, Muriel M. James, received a BD from Church of Divinity School of the Pacific and a PhD in Education from UC-Berkeley and was also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She later became well-known as a student of Eric Berne and as an author and practitioner of Transactional Analysis.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection includes a short history by Robert Leslie and brochures and newsletters from the Laymen's School of Religion.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Religious Education of Adults.
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)--Religion.

Genres and Forms of Material


Index Terms Related to this Collection

Leslie, Robert C. (Robert Campbell), 1917-
James, Muriel.