PATHWAYS Philosophy

Our Mission

PATHWAYS’ mission is to  bring together the best of traditional theological education and the contemporary experiences of the church towards leadership development of lay and authorized ministers and those seeking authorization for ministry by offering affordable, accessible and excellent theological education.

Our Vision

PATHWAYS is the trusted brand of Regional Theological Education program that offers multiple paths for preparation for authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ. 

Our Philosophy

The Learning Process

PATHWAYS Theological Education pursues an adult learning model where the learner is responsible for one’s own learning process. We respect learners as adults and assume that all learners bring gifts, knowledge and wisdom to the table; therefore, all are teachers and all are learners. 

 The Community
We value and practice a collaborative learning approach to build a learning community actively engaged in collaboration, cooperation, effective and clear communication, and mutual support and respect among all learners. 

Theology
We promote professing progressive and contextual theology in which learners engage in theological reflection that counts into the pluralistic world in which we live. We are committed to equipping lay and authorized leaders for leading faith communities where unity in diversity, safety, and extravagant welcome take place.

Statement on Progressive Christian Theology

Christian faith is about how to live in loving, healing relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. We look to Jesus’ teaching and life to light our path to God in our uniquely Christian perspective. We affirm that God hears and speaks all languages of faith and values all expressions of faith that give life, light, and hope to the world. God loves and cares for every person, seeking our health and wholeness, extending forgiveness when we fail, and the grace to begin anew each day. We are called to have compassion and love for others; to reach out to those on the margins of life; to seek political and economic justice in the world; and to pray for our enemies.   

Progressive Christians cherish the Bible as sacred scripture, a source of inspiration, history, culture, life-transforming narratives, and expressions of the human condition before God. We understand all theology to be contextual; that is, arising from a particular culture, time period, and experience. Thus our faith is expanded and tested as we interact with and learn from other sources and faiths and by new insights from contemporary scientific, social, psychological, and historical research. Our faith journeys are further shaped and informed as we reflect on our experiences, trusting that God welcomes our doubts and questions as well as our devotion and prayers.

The purpose of Christian faith is to follow the Way of Jesus here and now in this world, trusting that God will be with us in life, in death, and in life beyond death. We recognize that there are many interpretations as to how the Word of God—God who is still speaking—is effected in the lives of every human; we thus acknowledge our finitude in contemplating the Mystery whose ways are higher than our ways and thoughts higher than our thoughts.