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PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.

An Online Institute for Progressive Christian Theology

PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.

PATHWAYS Theological, Inc.  is an affordable and accessible online program in progressive theology. Participants are not bound by geography and have a flexible time schedule over the course of each week. The weekly readings and the facilitated accompanying online forum offer a practical, open-minded education and create a learner-centered environment where participants can bring their own questions and wisdom.  Our upcoming courses are listed below.  For inquiries or registration email us at registrar@pathwaystheological.org or www.pathwaystheological.org 

March 4 – April 14 

L1.9 Ethics & A Life of Meaning (6-weeks) $295
This course uses two complementary texts, one which brings together clear, comprehensible ethical theory and goals; and the other text introduces an ethical approach which bridges ethical theories with down-to-earth ethical situations in today’s world. These two texts will provide a strong, practical ethics background.  Participants will be able to identify moral dimensions of ethical issues, describe multiple moral stances related to these issues, and formulate thoughtful and faithful responses to these issues, shaped by individual, communal, and broad UCC values.

L2.3 Small Church Administration (6-weeks) $295
This course is very practical and invites you to learn about areas that are necessary to leading a healthy organization. No administration course can cover all the areas. In this course, you are invited to look at your church’s past, present and future priorities with regard to: mission, budget keeping, meeting facilitation, membership records, and spiritual and practical stewardship practices.

L3.6 Professional Boundaries and Ministerial Self-Care (6-weeks) $295
Ethics are a set of principles for appropriate conduct.  While often based on morals, which is the understanding of what it right and wrong, ethics differs from morality. Some things that moral behavior generally considers “right” may not be appropriate conduct in terms of professional ethics. For example, it is morally good to foster friendships with others.  However, the ethics of most professions discourage friendships with those to whom a professional provides a service. That’s not because friendship is wrong. Instead, it’s because that boundaries of the professional relationship need to be maintained so that a person receives a quality service from the professional that isn’t influenced by a friendship.

In this course, we will explore ethics and their application for professional pastoral ministers.  We will consider the boundaries that define the relationships between professional pastoral ministers and congregants.  We will also consider how the professional minister’s right to privacy helps to maintain appropriate boundaries and serves as an essential aspect for self-care.

L3.7 Contextual Theology (6-weeks) $295
Contextual theology acknowledges that every expression of the Christian faith arises from a particular time and setting. Culture, experiences, social location, and social change all contribute to the context in which we live and move and have our being.  Our families and other people who have influenced our lives, the places we have lived, the schools we’ve attended, and the churches where we’ve worshiped have all affected what we believe and how we express our Christian faith.

The post-Constantinian version of Christianity that most North Americans assume to be foundational, is not the only or most authentic version of the gospel. For the next six weeks, course participants will hear the accented (to us) voices of Christians from around the world telling the good news of Jesus Christ as it has spoken to them in their own setting and through their own experiences. It is important to remember that some of these different voices may also be our nearest neighbors.

It is our hope and expectation that our listening, reading, and sharing in this course will expand our appreciation for the depth and breath of the faith we profess by connecting us with brothers and sisters whose perspectives we must attend to if we are to fulfill Jesus’ prayer that “we may all be one.”

March 4 – March 31

ESC1 What About the Bible? (4-weeks) $99
This course invites participants to think about how they relate to the Bible. They will be introduced to progressive perspectives on biblical authority and interpretation. They will experience the application of these principles in Bible studies shared with their peer group.

ESC5 Singing the Bible for Musicians, Worship Leaders, and Everyone Else, Too (4-weeks)
Most of us probably know at least a few Bible stories and memory verses because of children’s songs learned from teachers, parents, and grandparents. Our hymnody and contemporary music teach Biblical stories and themes, as well. In this course, we will look at favorite hymns and other worship songs, Biblical stories, and Biblical themes for deepening our understanding of our faith. For those charged with planning worship, this exploratory course offers tips and tools for choosing music for congregational singing and ensemble presentations that enhance the themes and stories of Biblical passages chosen for proclamation.

April 8 – May 5

ESC13 An Overview of Homosexuality and the Bible (4-weeks) $99
Using the historical-critical method of biblical interpretation, this course examines the most-often cited biblical texts thought to refer to (and condemn) homosexuality.  How do these texts apply to our understanding of LGBTQ people of faith today, if at all? The course also addresses the possibility of LGBTQ-affirming stories in the Bible.

April 15 – May 26 ($295)

L1.1 Making Sense of Theology (6-weeks)
In this course, participants will learn how to reflect critically on their lives and the world around them using the resources of traditional Christian theology. They will learn to differentiate between embedded and deliberative theologies; articulate their own theology at this point in time; differentiate between their theology and those of others; and reflect on the importance of doing theology in community.

L2.2 Old Testament Hermeneutics (6-weeks)
In this course, participants will explore the Hebrew Bible using historical critical methods and other tools of Biblical interpretation. Participants will learn the interpretive tool of Midrash (sanctified imagination) and apply Biblical insight to 21st century issues.
L3.11 Special Occasions Course (6-weeks)

April 15 – June 16 ($295)

L3.2 Supervised Ministry V: Pastoral Approaches for Those Living with Mental Illness (9-weeks)
The Supervised Ministry Series is designed to provide a practical internship in pastoral ministry over an eighteen-month progression. The arc of this series begins with entering a new place of ministry and concludes with leaving a place of ministry. Along this arc, participants will explore issues of pastoral identity, ethics, and organizational dynamics.

April 15 – July 14 (no assignments week of July 1-7) ($595)

L2.6/2.7 UCC History and Polity (12-weeks) 

PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc., is a Progressive Christian learning community seeking to empower transformative leadership for justice and peace within and beyond the church by engaging heart and mind to consider what it means to know, love and serve God in today’s changing world.

For more information, including course descriptions, visit: Pathways Theological Education, Inc. or, email: registrar@pathwaystheological.org.

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