Letter from the Director

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the School of Applied Theology (SAT), an urban oasis in the San Francisco Bay Area, and an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), in Berkeley.  With nearly six decades of serving thousands of laity, priests, deacons, and men and women religious, SAT is more aware than ever of the need of all people, from diverse walks of life—whether working in the home, in the church, or in the world—to take a break.  Whether you come to SAT from the local area or from around the globe, seeking Sabbatical for a day, a week, a month, or a semester or two, it is our mission to offer you a holistic Sabbath experience of attentive rest, theological renewal, and spiritual transformation. 

Why is Sabbatical for you?  Sabbatical is at the heart of contemplation, awe, wonder, and ultimately meaningful lives.  In his recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us that contemplative rest is integral to living meaningful lives, so that we may encounter the world with openness, depth, creativity, generosity, and compassion.  He writes, “We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning….  It protects human action from becoming empty activism; it also prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which makes us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else….  Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others.” 

Our course offerings on a variety of themes in contemporary theology—spirituality, mysticism, cosmology, the arts—are interwoven with time for reflection, discussion, and integration, in a contemplative setting, with a rich community of adult seekers and learners.  Just as fields that lay fallow revitalize the soil and yield more fruitful crops, SAT invites you to rest from your labor so that you may be renewed in body, mind, and spirit.   We look forward to serving you!

Peace and blessings,

Carrie Rehak, Ph.D.
Executive Director