PATHWAYS offers an alternative route to fulfill the academic requirements for authorized ministry. Members of Conference staffs and committees on ministry have been engaged in 2017 with the revised Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ and studying the new Manual on Ministry. What resources are already available that these groups can access? PATHWAYS Theological Education is a program of the Southeast Conference UCC and is open to all. PATHWAYS Theological Education is available both for those yearning for deeper learning of progressive Christianity and for those seeking to fulfill the requirements of authorized ministry.
PATHWAYS Theological Education maintains a robust curriculum of more than thirty courses which use the Marks for Faithful and Effective Ministers as their foundation. Each course has learning objectives written to specific Marks and end of course evaluations demonstrate the success in addressing those Marks. Whether it’s for UCC History and Polity, Professional Ethics for Authorized Ministers, or courses in the Bible, theology, preaching, or supervised ministry, PATHWAYS will work with your Commission on Ministry and Members in Discernment (MIDs) to assure that educational needs are addressed.
PATHWAYS courses are online and asynchronous—there are no set lectures or discussion times and the classroom is always open. Rev. Heidi Hulme, Pastor of Faith UCC in Davenport, Iowa, studied in the evenings after her children were in bed and in the mornings before they awoke. Course facilitator and Advisory Committee member Rev. Trish Greeves wrote from experience for the program’s 2015 Carpenter Grant application: “I am convinced that Pathways does indeed offer an excellent, accessible, and affordable alternative for ministerial training.”
Course facilitators provide a wealth of experience in local church, association, conference, and educational ministry around the UCC. PATHWAYS lives out its Progressive Christianity statement through this diverse faculty as well as by recruiting participants from across the denomination. The statement reads in part, “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…” A variety of voices in the online community better prepares each person for ministry wherever and however God may call them to serve.
PATHWAYS participants (students) from eight different Conferences have already taken advantage of the courses we offer. Please visit our website to learn more: pathways-ucc.org. There you can hear the stories of participants who completed the PATHWAYS program and are now authorized ministers in the Iowa and Southeast Conferences.
PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.
U.S. Mail: P. O. Box 897, Tucker, GA 30085