Frequently Asked Questions
Who is PATHWAYS for?
PATHWAYS is for all those who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their Christian faith and to equip themselves for both lay and authorized leadership within the church.
Can I be ordained after PATHWAYS?
In the United Church of Christ, there are three forms of authorization for ministry: licensed, commissioned, and ordained. According to the UCC polity, authorization for ministry is the responsibility of the Association through its Committee on Ministry (for more information, see http://www.ucc.org/ministers/ministry-issues/Ministry-in-the-United-Church-of-Christ-A-Background-Document.pdf.) Successful participation in PATHWAYS may be part of an overall program of formation for authorized ministry; toward that end, the objectives of each course are tied directly to the Marks of Faithful and Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ (for more information, see http://www.ucc.org/ministers/pdfs/Marks-of-Faithful-and-Effective-Authorized-Ministers.pdf.) Prospective participants who discern a call to authorized ministry and wish to use PATHWAYS toward this end should check with their local Committee on Ministry for further guidance.
What are the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ (Marks)?
Committees on the Ministry use the Marks as documented in a Portfolio to assess Members in Discernment in the UCC for readiness for authorization. The Marks can be used by all Christians for self-reflection and to create a learning plan for further development of the characteristics and areas of expertise for effective leadership in the church.
What if I graduated from TAP? May I participate in PATHWAYS?
There are three levels to the PATHWAYS program: PATHWAYS 1.0: Foundational; PATHWAYS 2.0: Intermediate; and PATHWAYS 3.0: Advanced. Successful graduates of the TAP program (or its equivalent) may enter the program at Level Two: PATHWAYS 2.0.
What are the costs of PATHWAYS?
Tuition for PATHWAYS 1.0 (years one and two) is $300 per course. There is an initial, one-time $40 administrative fee. Participants are expected to purchase or borrow their own texts. On-line resources are included in the tuition for each course. Participants will also have to pay for travel and lodging for the face-to-face retreats.
Are scholarships available?
Participants are encouraged to approach their local churches and associations should they need financial assistance to participate in PATHWAYS. Limited scholarships are available for members of the Southeast Conference. For more information, contact the Associate Dean of the PATHWAYS program.
Who writes the curriculum for PATHWAYS?
A curriculum committee, made up of seminary faculty, clergy with expertise, and educators/practitioners oversees the development of the overall curriculum as well as individual courses. All have been trained in instructional design for face-to-face and online collaborative learning.
Who are the facilitators/instructors?
Because PATHWAYS is modeled on adult education practices in which everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher, course “instructors” are really facilitators of the learning process. These facilitators are seminary faculty, ordained clergy, and educators/practitioners who have been trained in group facilitation, adult education, collaborative learning, and the philosophies/theologies underlying the PATHWAYS program.
What kinds of resources are used in the courses?
PATHWAYS makes use of both textbooks and a variety of online resources suited to the learning objectives of each course. In addition, participants’ experiences will be important resources for critical reflection and mutual teaching and learning.
How many participants are in each class?
PATHWAYS is based on a cohort model – meaning participants start as a group and continue through each level of the program as a group. Cohorts are no less than 10 people and no more than 18.
Do I have to be computer literate to participate in PATHWAYS?
Basic computer literacy is a must for participation in the online portions of the PATHWAYS program. Tutorials and individual support are available for beginners and those with experience in online learning. Technical education and support is provided through the Center for Progressive Renewal.
What kind of internet access is required?
High speed internet connectivity is required for the online components of PATHWAYS.
Is PATHWAYS only for members of the United Church of Christ?
PATHWAYS is open to members of the United Church of Christ and its ecumenical partners. Others are welcome to inquire further by contacting the Dean of the PATHWAYS program.
Are their pre-requisites for participation in PATHWAYS?
There are no pre-requisites for PATHWAYS 1.0 other than an open mind and a desire to learn. Successful completion of PATHWAYS 1.0 and three letters of recommendation are required for participation in PATHWAYS 2.0. The recommendation of one’s Committee on Ministry is required for participation in PATHWAYS 3.0.
How do I find out more about PATHWAYS?