Our Program

Program Description

PATHWAYS Theological Education is a leadership formation ministry that provides 3 levels of engagement (foundational, intermediate, and advanced) toward equipping lay and authorized leaders for ministry in the United Church of Christ. All PATHWAYS courses are offered through the www.tasc21.net online platform, and its curriculum is built on the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers–a discernment and assessment tool developed by the UCC for use by Members in Discernment, Committees on Ministry, and authorized ministers.

PATHWAYS is designed to combine the best of the academy and of the church, to shape ministerial leaders not only by introducing them to theory, but to provide them formation in the supervised practice of ministry, and to guide them in theological reflection upon their practices. The facilitators are drawn from seminary and university faculty and ordained clergy who have excelled in local church ministry or particular specialized ministries. The program also comes with opportunities to broaden the life experience of the participants by engaging in Christians and people of other faiths through our Global Theological Education program. 

While PATHWAYS originates in the Southeast Conference, we welcome conversations with other UCC Conferences and Associations towards building partnerships.

Collaborative and Adult Learning

  • PATHWAYS employs best practices in both collaborative and adult learning.
  • PATHWAYS respects learners as adults and assumes that all participants bring gifts, knowledge and wisdom to the table; therefore, all are teachers and all are learners.
  • The development of intentional learning communities through collaborative learning models the church as communities of faith practices.

Cohort Model

Studying in cohorts enhances learning through collaborative methodologies, provides an intentional community of co-learners for mutual support and a “laboratory” for group dynamics, and increases participant satisfaction and retention. 

Levels and Outcomes

PATHWAYS 1.0 (Level I) = Foundational Formation 

  • Approx. two years in length, with a total of 10 courses.
  • Focus on Biblical and theological reflection and praxis, and vocational discernment.
  • Begin development of professional portfolio.
  • PATHWAYS Level 1 Curriculum

PATHWAYS 2.0 (Level II) = Intermediate Formation / Path toward Licensure for ministry

  • Approx. 15 months in length (Completion of PATHWAYS Level I program or its equivalent is a prerequisite).
  • Emphasis on advanced Biblical studies and preaching, spiritual formation, ministerial identity, and praxis.
  • Continue portfolio development.
  • PATHWAYS Level 2 Curriculum

PATHWAYS 3.0 (Level III) = Advanced Formation / Path toward Ordination in the UCC

  • Approx. 17 months in length (Completion of PATHWAYS Level 2 program is a prerequisite.)
  • Emphasis on supervised ministry and specialization (such as, new church development, congregational renewal, interfaith relations, youth ministries, etc.).
  • Ongoing portfolio development.
  • PATHWAYS Level 3 Curriculum

Method of Delivery

  • All courses are offered online in an asynchronous learning environment. In other words, learners engage in interaction with peers and facilitators at a time of their choosing. Synchronous (“real time”) meetings via Skype or GoToMeeting may take place at the discretion of the facilitator.

Further Information