The PCC programs make every effort to cultivate a diverse, widespread, and supportive learning community in which personal and academic growth are valued and embraced. The programs offer a wide array of extracurricular events that contribute significantly to the richness of our learning environment.

Brief History class as the School of Athens

A drawing by PCC doctoral student Olena Provencher incorporating classmates and professors from her Fall 2016 course Brief History of Western Thought. It is based on Raphael's School of Athens. 

Recent Community Newsletters

PCC Community Newsletter Summer 2016

Newsletter Archive: Spring 2015 | Fall 2013

PCC FaceBook Page

PCC on FaceBook

The PCC Annual Retreat

Esalen photo

Every Fall, students, faculty, and alumni spend a week deeply immersed in community at the annual retreat, traditionally held at Esalen Institute. Retreat activities are cocreated by students and faculty, and include presentations, experiential workshops, excursions in nature, and a closing-night dance celebration.

PCC Forum

Anisa Mehdi

The PCC Forum is a lecture and event series that features CIIS professors as well as visiting scholars, filmmakers, performers, and others. The Forum also encourages contributions from PhD students. A typical Forum runs for two hours, with approximately one hour for the presenter and one hour for discussion. Our core principles include:

  • Foster interdisciplinary dialogue
  • Emphasize diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility
  • Encourage creativity, curiosity, and openness

Guidelines for Forum Proposals:

  • Submit a title and abstract proposal of 100-200 words describing your topic
  • Note audio/visual requirements or other special requests
  • No verbatim reading of papers is permitted at the Forum
  • Proposals may be sent by email to the addresses below.

 Contact Robert McDermott ( for Forum proposals. 

Visit the PCC Forum website for the current semester's schedule and videos of past lectures. 

Semester Opening Party

Each semester begins with a party for students, faculty, and alumni.


PCC has organized or sponsored a variety of conferences over the years, from "Meeting the Millennium" and "Evolution and Complexity" to "Planetwork," "The Cosmological Imagination," and "Wisdom and Action."

Student participation at these conferences—whether as presenters, organizers, or attendees—has been an invaluable element of the PCC learning environment. Since 2008, the student organized "Cosmology of Love" conference has featured presenters that included students, CIIS faculty, and national figures.

PCC also organized a track at the 2015 International Whitehead Conference. The conference was called "Seizing an Alternative: Towards an Ecological Civilization." PCC faculty and students participated in a track focused on reimagining the metaphysical foundations of late modernity. Videos of the presentations and discussions are available on YouTube here.

PCC Unplugged

PCC Unplugged

In recognition of the importance of creative expression, PCC Unplugged gives students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity to share song, performance, poetry, spoken word, and more.

Species Alliance

In 2003, PCC students formed a group designed to address the current mass-extinction crisis. The group evolved into Species Alliance, a nonprofit organization and documentary film project. For more information visit

Gaiafield Project

The Gaiafield Project arose through the collaboration between two PCC students--David Nicol and Leslie Meehan--and faculty member Sean Kelly around the idea and practice of what they came to call "subtle activism." For more information visit

Graduation Ritual

PCC Stone


An important element in the framing of students' experience of our program is the graduation ritual, where graduates are given space to relect upon on the successful completion of their journey.

PCC Students and Alumni

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