Sunstone West

Most people know about San Francisco’s architecture, steep hills, beautiful bridges and cable cars, but few know of a group of Mormon pioneers that arrived by ship in 1846 and helped build the city by the Bay. This religious community known as the “Brooklyn Saints” was the first group of immigrants to arrive in California by sea after it became U.S. Territory. Surprisingly, San Francisco, not Salt Lake City, was the first city built by Mormon pioneers in the West. 

Since that time, it has seen both boom and bust, and is home now to the both technology giants, and liberal world-views. Sunstone West will bring both the future and the past together at the renowned Berkeley Theological Union this January 30th.

Add your content here. Thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with.


January 30th 2016 at the Pacific School of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union
8:30 am Registration
9:00 am – 9:45 am Fundamentalist Mormons and Reality Television by Michelle Mueller in PSR 6 Classroom
#ILookLikeAnEngineer Now, But My Mormon Community Hasn’t Always Thought So by Michelle Glauser in Chapel
10:00 am – 10:45 am Loving One Another in the 21st Century – the Emotional, Social and Moral Implications of a Connected Life by Bill McGee in PSR 6 Classroom
Technology and Mormonism: A Two-edged Sword by Robert A. Rees in Chapel
10:45 am

Lunch presentation: 

Where We Stand by Kristine Stolakis

in Chapel

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Transhumanism, Feminism, and the Future of the Mormon Religion by Joseph West, Blaire Ostler, and Carl Youngblood in PSR 6 Classroom

Mama Dragon Story Project by Kimberly Anderson, Cosette Johnson Blanchard, Nancy Clark, Kathleen Huber, and Diane Oviatt in Chapel

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm Imagine! Technology and the Future of Mormonism by Robert A. Rees and Maya Balenz Rees in PSR 6 Classroom
Advancing Science and Technology: Implications for Mormonism by Dorothy Deasy and Christopher Bradford in Chapel
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm The LDS Church’s Policy Changes on LGBT Parents and Their Children by Carol Lynn Pearson, Mitch Mayne, Caitlin Ryan, Chair: Robert A. Rees in Chapel
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm Girls, Coding, and Gospel Potentials by Cynthia Bailey Lee in Chapel 


Download the PDF of the FINAL program here.

6:00pm Keynote: Jake Spurlock, WIRED magazine

Mormons and Tech

In this tech talk, Mormon history is looked at under the lens of the major technological advances, and how they changed the underlying religion. Starting with the printing press, photocopiers, and now the Internet. 🙌🙏

Jake Spurlock is a software engineer on the Wired tech team, overseeing digital publishing, content management, and web performance. Prior to his work at WIRED, Spurlock led web development at Maker Media, overseeing Make: magazine and Maker Faire. He has a degree in digital media from Utah Valley University, and while originally a Utah native, he currently lives in the Bay Area with his wife and three kids.

Lunch Presentation

Where We Stand – the story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women’s ordination in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The film follows Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. The film is not just for Mormons. It is not just for feminists. It is for anyone who has questioned what it means to believe and to belong.

Kristine Stolakis is a documentary filmmaker dedicated to creative, complex, and character-driven storytelling. Her films have played at festivals internationally, including Hot Docs International, Seattle International, and Frameline.


Conference + Lunch $75

Online registration is now closed. Please register at the door.

Pets and animals (other than service animals) will not be admitted into the building



Pacific School of Religion

1798 Scenic Drive
Berkeley, CA 94709

Getting There

By BART: Take BART to the downtown Berkeley station (not the North Berkeley station). It’s a 15-minute walk to the PSR campus. On foot, proceed north on Shattuck Ave from the station; turn right onto University Ave; turn left onto Oxford Ave, right onto Hearst Ave; then make an oblique left onto LeConte Ave and walk uphill to the top of the bluff. The PSR campus is on your left.

By AC Transit bus: From the downtown Berkeley BART station, cross Shattuck Ave. to the bus stop at the corner of Shattuck and Center St. Take the #65 bus to the first bus stop on Euclid Ave. Walk one block west (towards the bay) along Le Conte Ave to the PSR campus.



There is an open parking lot behind the Holbrook Building and the Mudd building (numbers 1 and 2, respectively on the map below) with an entrance off Scenic Drive. The lot has a couple of spaces for handicap parking with placard/plate.

There is a covered parking lot under the Seeley G. Mudd Building (#2 on map) with an entrance off Scenic Drive and another from Arch Street.

Street parking is limited to TWO HOURS and tickets are expensive. If you park on the street, you WILL need to move your vehicle every two hours to avoid being ticketed.

Overflow parking is available at the LDS Berkeley Institute of Religion, located at 2368 Le Conte Ave. There is a driveway to the parking structure by the two white Institute buildings.

This area is called Holy Hill for a reason! Le Conte, Arch Street, and Scenic Drive are STEEP but walkable.

  1. Automobile parking is restricted to street parking or negotiated spaces in the PSR parking lot.
  2. No vehicles are to be on the PSR Quad unless with special permission from the PSR Director of Facilities
  3. All vehicles are parked at their own risk; PSR does not assume any responsibility for damages to applicant and/or applicant guest’s vehicles.




Morning plenary sessions will take place in the Chapel of the Great Commission and the Buckham Chapel.

Morning onsite registration will take place in the Chapel of the Great Commission.


Meals will be catered in the Chapel. There will be a presentation in the Chapel before lunch, so please be patient and allow time for the session to finish before entering.

Lunch will go as follows:

11:00: Food served from Salt and Honey Catering
11:45: 20 minute documentary on the Ordain Women movement (watch while you eat).

Sessions will resume at 12:30 pm in the Chapel of the Great Commission.