Terms & Definitions

PATHWAYS Theological Education: 
  • 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.
  • PATHWAYS courses are available to all learners who seek to deepen their knowledge and practice of the Christian faith.
  • PATHWAYS 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.
Competency Based Model:
  • A competency-based model of education is a model used in professional education today throughout many university systems. It begins with identifying the competencies held by a profession and works backwards by designing an educational experience to meet those competencies.
  • In the United Church of Christ, the competencies of authorized ministry are found in the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers. Each course in the PATHWAYS curriculum is designed to address specific Marks. The learning objectives within a course are aligned with the Marks for that course.
Asynchronous Learning:
  • Asynchronous learning is a learner-centered approach to learning that utilizes online learning resources to facilitate education outside of the limitation of time.
  • In an asynchronous learning environment, learners can respond to peers’ postings and access learning resources at any time based on the learner’s own schedule.
  • Learners enrolled in the PATHWAYS courses.
  • A person who facilitates the learning experience among the participants in a course room within the parameters of the goals and objectives of the course curriculum.
  • A facilitator communicates, guides, and offers feedback to the effect of (a) laying out clear expectations in regards to participation and work requirements in the course, (b) guiding the conversation among the participants in the course room, (c) asking probing questions to deepen the conversation, inviting the participants to engage in deeper theological reflection and thought, (d) providing substantive and timely responses to each participant on a weekly basis, (e) checking in with participants when their participation ebbs, and (f) being available for out-of-courseroom questions and conversation with individual participants.