Alumni Memories & Stories

Berkeley School of Theology is celebrating 150 years of history, memories and stories. We want to hear from you, our friends, former students and faculty! Send us your video stories and memories by September 9, 2022. Written form memories and stories are welcome, too. The deadline for submissions has past. Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories!

We encourage you to submit a video or story even if you are attending the 150th Anniversary Celebration. If you can't join us in October, then we would love to hear from you!

We will compile the videos for release in October. Please include the following details in your video introduction:

  • Full name

  • Year you graduated from BST

  • What you studied, i.e. M.Div

  • Your current city/state and country

Please keep your video submission to 2 minutes or less. Please name your file your first and last name.

The deadline for submissions has past. Thank you to our alums who submitted their stories!

Helpful Tips for Filming

If you are new to filming on your smartphone, here are some suggestions to help you during the process. Please don't worry if you cannot adhere to these guidelines perfectly - enjoy your storytelling!


  •  Audio is one of the most important aspects to video. People are less likely to watch you 100% of the time, but they will listen to you.

  • Set yourself up in a quiet, preferably empty space to minimize unwanted background noise.

  • If you have to choose a well-lit room or a quiet room, prioritize the quiet room. It’s important that viewers can hear what you’re saying.

  • If you’re in a home with other people, let them know you’re filming a video and ask that they remain quiet until you’re finished.

  • If you’re filming on a smartphone, turn on Do Not Disturb so your phone doesn’t buzz during your shoot.

  • Be sure to switch off anything that could contribute to background noise, such as air conditioners, fluorescent lights, or clanky radiators.


  • Make sure your subject—you, in this case—is the main focus of the frame. Avoid backgrounds that areoverly busy or include a lot of extraneous motion. Ensure that other people’s faces are not in view.

  • If you’re filming in front of a flat wall, sit far enough away to avoid casting shadows behind you.

  • Try to have yourself centered in the frame, aim for a your waist and above if possible.

example filming


  • If you’re using a smartphone, make sure you’re recording in landscape orientation (horizontal).

  • Rest your camera on a flat surface to ensure that the frame isn’t off kilter or at a weird angle. Keep the horizon line level.

  • Position the camera at eye level. When speaking to the camera, you should be looking straight ahead toward the lens, not up or down.

  • Leave some room between the top of your head and the top of the frame.

  • You don’t always have to be in the middle of the frame; sitting off center adds visual interest.



  • The best at-home lighting is daylight. Try to position yourself facing a window (or set up a light if daylight isn’t an option) with your face pointing about three-quarters of the way toward the light.

  • Make sure that there are no bright lights behind your head, like windows, lamps, or even a sunlit wall.

  • Avoid overhead lights if possible. They can cast unflattering shadows on your face.


  • If you’re filming on a smartphone, use the back camera, which records higher-quality footage than the front-facing “selfie” camera.

  • Whenever possible, avoid handheld shots. If you don’t have access to a tripod, you can prop your recording device on a stack of books, a window sill, etc. As long as your shot is steady and level, it
    should look great.

  • Always do a test shot: Get in position, hit record, and say a sentence or two. Then watch the clip to make sure your visuals and audio are set up the way you want them.

  • Wait three seconds after you hit record before you start speaking to ensure that your words don’t get cut off. Similarly, when you’re done speaking, wait three seconds before ending your recording.